This reef aquarium containing numerous different species
of corals shows the level of success that can be achieved
using LED lighting.
what aspects are relevant to reefkeeping, what the potential pitfalls are, and how it compares with existing
lighting are all important elements in allaying the fear
and skepticism generated by this new and potentially
game-changing approach to lighting.
What are LeDs anD ho W Do they Work?
LEDs were first developed in the 1960s, and initially they
were used for indicator lights in electronic equipment,
traffic lights, electrical signs, and simple displays (
calculators, watches, etc.), where the light source is easily
seen. The 5-mm LEDs that are commonly available were
designed for these applications and have been in use for
a long time and in large numbers, resulting in low manufacturing costs and retail prices.
LEDs are not really designed for illumination. Illumination requires that the light source provide enough
light to permit the viewing of other objects, much like
a typical light bulb or fluorescent light. Here the objects
are made visible by the reflection of the incident light
emanating from the light source. Modern high-output,
high-power LEDs, which deliver meaningful levels of
light for illumination, started to become commercially
available in the late 1990s. Since their introduction there
has been steady development in LEDs designed for illumination, focusing on providing the highest output
per watt consumed and creating white light, with the
ultimate purpose of replacing existing lighting technology for all household and commercial applications. For
aquarium purposes, LEDs must not only illuminate but