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Re: [APD] Help With My New Tank!! -- or - Bravely into the Shadows

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There are several primary types of lights around, and those are incandescent lights (with filaments), fluorescent lights (which use a primary light source of one wavelength to stimulate the emission of other wavelengths from one or more phosphors), HID (High Intensity Discharge, or "arc") lights (which generate an electric arc -- basically a big and continuous spark -- in a rarified atmosphere), and solid-state lights (LEDs).
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I left out LEDs in my last post! For the sake of completeness I wrote this part anyway:

LEDs are solid-state emitters that operate on an atomic level, except for the white LEDs which are currently phosphor-based like fluorescent lights (they use a blue (silicon carbide) LED to light a phosphor that then adds in some other wavelengths to give a white light). There are some new white LEDs being working on that don't use a phosphor, but not too many are commercially available yet. LEDs are very efficient, and last a *very* long time, but are not currently of much use for general aquarium lighting due to the high cost to build a fixture sufficient to light a mid- to large-size tank. Eventually we should see more economical LED-based aquarium lights, but that is probably several years away yet.


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