Combination LED Light Panels
The bigger the glass box, the tougher the lighting challenges become. Adding just spot lights has its downsides -- usually some coverage issues. Using only LED strips means the light at the bottom will often not be enough for many plant species.
The obvious solution is a light design that mixes both technologies together, but this can create a kluge on the top of the tank, which might necessitate the need to build a custom cover to hide the mess. Especially if you're making a featured display tank.
By combining both lighting types into a single panel, a lot of problems go away or are at least mitigated.
Pictured here is a 22"x13" combo LED panel which has been added to The Store. The vivarium is 24"x24" and 32" tall. This design is intended for use over the top of any 24" x 18", but in this it's case specifically designed for the Exoterra 24"x18"x36" vivarium.
• Three 15w LED spot lights running at approximately 6500k (45w total)
• Five custom LED strips using a blend of 6500k, 3500k and red and blue diodes (about 40w total)
• No fans required, due to very low heat emission
During the two-plus years I've been working with and testing LED strip light products, I've found that they usually provide good plant growth in tanks up to about 24" high. They will maintain plant health at heights of 30". So the lighting design will often depend on what species you plan to use and their location.
Also note, holes can be drilled in these light panels to allow for misters to be mounted right through the panels (the tubing would be run over the top of the panel). This greatly helps to bring the aesthetics together and make your design look much more seamless.
You might also notice, that because the lights sit directly on top of the glass, there isn't much light leaking out all over the room, which will often light up things you don't want visitors to focus on. The panel is surrounded on three sides by edging, only the back is open to vent what little heat is emitted. The wires are also routed in such a way as to minimize their impact.
As with all lighting systems designed by Spectral, they can be customized to solve any lighting issue.