LED for 75gal


I am looking at purchasing an new lighting system for my 75gal reef. I don't want to be limited on what I can keep with my lighting . I was initally looking at T5 HO lighting but I am getting a pretty good rebate from upgrading my home heating system so i am thinking of splurging and purchasing an LED system. I have been searching on this forum and it seems as though the AI and the radion are the most popular. I wish I had the time and the know how to build my own system as that seems to be cost effective means of upgrading. It seems as though the AI are a little less expensive than the radions.
For information purposes - I have a few questions about what i need for my lighting.
How many of the AI sol units would i need over my 75 gal? I was thinking 2 but not sure it that is enough. Or is that a good place to start and i can add on on down the road?
I also want some actinic lighting -- would l need to purchase one sol white and one sol blue -- that part i am confused about. Or do the whites have some actinic LEDs in them.
What controls would i need to purchase -- i saw a connectable programable contol with pre-set timers and you are able to creat your own dawn/dusk. I also saw a wireless remote for controlling the lights -- that might be more than i need and also something that might get lost with kids running around.
Also how many AI sol units can be controlled with one control -- are these units linkable or do i need one control for each AI unit.

My final and probably one of the most important questions
for me is can these either the radion or the AI sol be mounted inside a hood. My tank in in my living room so for asthetic purposes i have a nice hood that matches my stand. I do no want anything suspended from the ceiling. I need a unit that can be mounted inside my hood. If these units aren't able to be mounted -- what are my other LED options?
Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!


Active Member
Hi there,
Other then needing to be able to be mounted inside your canopy, what are you looking for in a light fixture??
LED's have come a long way in the last few years. The AI Sol's are kinda old technology (hence the price break) even the Gen 1 Radion's are price dropped. This is all good for the hobbyists.
You seem to be leaning towards the Sol's which are just white and blue. The Radion's have a full color spectrum. A lot of people recommend having a full spectrum fixture.
There are a lot of other LED fixtures out there that may fit what your are looking for.
Ecotec Radions
AI Vega's (recommended over the Sol's IMO)
Maxspec Razors
Vertek Illumina
Acan 800 series
GHL Mitras
All of the above are the higher end brand name fixtures. They are dimmable and controllable, and can run programs (like thunderstorms, sunrise & sunsets). I am not super familiar with all of them but you can read up on them.
There are some Chinese options as well. The quality is getting better, and the options are increasing as well.
d120's or IT2040's from Evergrow lighting are interesting options. They cost less and are catching up with the higher end fixtures. The new models coming out are full spectrum, dimmable, and controllable (1/2 hour increments, sunrise & sunset), but I have not seen that they have the ability to program things like thunderstorms. Do a google search on Evergrow lighting and the D120's or the IT2040's. It may be an option.
I just ordered 2 x IT2080's for my 125g reef tank. I am waiting for them to ship. If money was not an option I would go Vega's or the new Radion's. The GHL Mitras are crazy cool, but I am not sure if they are for sale yet. I have yet to see a price (its gonna be high).


Thanks for all the information. I am just starting my research and will certainly take my time before making my purchase -- well I only have one of my two MH working right now so i am on limited time with my lighting. I am just so new to this type of lighting that i am not sure if there are brands that are ones i should stay away from.
I mentioned the AI's in my post because after searching on this forum it seemed like many people have gone with these units. I am open to any LED lighting system which will meet my needs.
How difficult is it to build your own? I have looked briefly at some and it looks like you need to solder (?sp) pieces and that is something that i am not sure i would be able to do --- that being a female. I'm pretty handy but not sure i want to be messing around with electical.
As for the number of units or wattage -- what are the min requirements to keep pretty much any type of coral?

mr. limpid

Active Member
Also may want to look into Apollo Reef LED's they look promising.
As for quantities most fixtures cover a 2'x2' to 3'x3' foot print.
And for mounting most fixtures want to be at least 12" above the water line. Not saying you cant mount them in your canopy but that will make your foot print smaller and you may need to add a fixture or rearrange your corals. There are mare than one way to swing a dead cat (12.12.12 concert).