As the technology of LEDs improves, manufacturers are making a push to produce LED lights that are more affordable, dimmable and offer light equivalent to that produced by metal halide and fluorescent light bulbs.
Garden Grove, CA (PRWEB) February 28, 2013
Internet retailer MarineDepot.com is shedding new light on the shopping habits of aquarium owners in shades of cool white, hyper red and royal blue.
The popular online aquarium supply store revealed data today affirming light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have replaced fluorescent and metal halide bulbs as the light technology preferred by the majority of aquarium owners.
“We are witnessing a renaissance in aquarium light innovation and adoption,” said Ben Ros, Director of Operations for MarineDepot.com. “LEDs went from objects of interest to the new standard in aquarium lighting in less than three years. To meet the swell in demand, we have added a ton of new LED fixtures, pendants, bulbs and strips to our store.”
Aquarium hobbyists have been using LED lights for evening, or lunar, lighting for years. Using LEDs as a primary light source is a relatively new phenomenon. It wasn’t until 2011 that LEDs began to emerge as a suitable alternative to popular aquarium lighting solutions like metal halide and fluorescent technologies. Advanced aquarium keepers rely on aquarium lighting not only to illuminate their fish tanks so they can see their wet pets, but also to grow and care for a variety of aquatic plants, alga, colorful corals and interesting invertebrates.
Ros revealed LED sales at MarineDepot.com skyrocketed between 2011 and 2012. The company reports LED sales rose 40% in a 12-month period and revenue for the LED light category shot up 60%. Visits to MarineDepot.com for LED-related keywords are up 16% during the same period. LED lights now account for the majority of MarineDepot.com’s aquarium light sales.
So what’s all the fuss about?
“The greatest benefit of LEDs is the infinite control that can be achieved in lighting our aquariums,” said Tim Marks, President of EcoTech Marine, makers of the popular Radion XR30w LED light series. “This allows us to create truly unique, customized and beautiful ecosystems in our homes and businesses.”
EcoTech Marine's most recent release, the Radion XR30w Pro, is a light fixture outfitted with 42 energy-efficient LEDs in six controllable colors. It communicates wirelessly with other Radion lights and the company’s line of pumps through a cloud-based web app accessible on any device with an internet connection.
Ros said the cost of LED aquarium lights has dropped substantially in the past year. He credits early adopters for sharing their successes with the community in online message boards, aquarium publications and respected industry figureheads releasing favorable test results, increased competition within the industry and the evolution of the technology itself. Plus, Ros adds, savvy shoppers simply recognize the many benefits that LEDs offer.
“Since we started making aquarium LEDs seven years ago, we have seen an incredible increase in demand. This has been driven by consumers seeing the energy savings through tank temperature reduction, less energy consumption, individualized color options and the cost savings in replacing bulbs,” said Chris Clough, President of C2 Development, makers of the Aqua Illumination product line.
Ros claims LED lights, on average, use 50% less energy than alternative solutions yet produce the same photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) values required to care for delicate coral reef inhabitants popular among saltwater aquarium owners. The radiant heat produced by LED lights is also negligible to non-existent in many cases. With less heat being transferred into your aquarium, the less likely you are to need cooling equipment, like fans or a chiller, to bring down the temperature of your tank. Arguably the greatest benefit of LEDs is that they do not have to be replaced every 6-18 months, like metal halide and fluorescent light bulbs, which contain mercury that can make its way into groundwater if not properly disposed of or recycled. Aquarium LED diodes last 5-7 years under normal use, sometimes longer depending on the quality of the LED and how frequently it is used.
“Until recently, LED bulbs cast light in all directions and didn’t put out enough lumens to make a realistic atmosphere for primary aquarium lighting,” said Steve Nguyen, Director of Sales and Marketing at Innovative Marine, an aquarium supply manufacturer that lives up to its namesake. “Hobbyists had growing concerns with LEDs, wondering ‘Will this grow my corals?’ As the technology of LEDs improves, manufacturers are making a push to produce LED lights that are more affordable, dimmable and offer light equivalent to that produced by metal halide and fluorescent light bulbs. We have seen the prices of LEDs coming down—making the next wave of aquarium LED fixtures that much better.”
Because diodes are smaller than bulbs, manufacturers are able to design compact LED fixtures that are aesthetically pleasing. Big, bulky and box-like fixtures are an eyesore to any living space. LED lights, on the other hand, look sleek, smart and stylish.
“The acceptance of LEDs within the aquarium hobby mirrors what’s happening outside of it,” said Ros. “As LED technology has advanced, light output has increased while maintaining efficiency and reliability. That’s why people are using LED lights more often in their homes, businesses are beginning to use them in the workplace and cities have started using them in street lights. The low energy consumption, low maintenance and small size of modern LEDs make them an ideal choice for a variety of applications.”
Visit MarineDepot.com today to learn more about LED aquarium lights and other advanced aquarium keeping technology.
MarineDepot.com is the world’s #1 supplier of marine and reef aquarium supplies. The company was founded in 1997 by self-professed “fish geek” Ken Wong after he became frustrated by the lack of selection and support provided by many local fish stores. Today, MarineDepot.com offers over 7,000 popular and hard-to-find products with free technical support provided by a staff of aquarium experts known as the Reef Squad. MarineDepot.com employs 45 full- and part-time employees in Garden Grove, CA. The company was included in the Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Businesses in 2011 and is a 3-time Top 500 Internet Retailer and BizRate Circle of Excellence winner.