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Mimicking Nature - Apex LED dimming


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  1. #1
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default Mimicking Nature - Apex LED dimming

    The Apex has a seasonal data table built in that provides daily sunrise, sunset, moon rise/set/intensity, and temperature for the region circled in the map above. Although this table was present my previous controller {Neptune AC3), I never used it. Having recently gone with LEDs, I have recently spent some time working with my Apex controller to have control better control over the light cycle. Whether mimicking seasonal/regional data is a gimmick or something that will be beneficial, I have no idea. But it is cool none the less.

    I'm also using the built in "weather profile" to help acclimate the corals to the higher intensity LED lighting. My program currently maxes the LED intensity at 25% but also provides cloudy periods where the whites dim down to 12% during the main photo period these last for 15 minutes and occur approximately 40% of the time. I will continue to vary the maximum intensity of the LEDs and amount of cloud cover until I feel things are stable and receiving enough light. At 25% intensity, corals receive the same light as my previous 150 halide bulb produced when it was a few months old.

    The program uses 3 virtual outlets (variables) to establish whether it is sunrise (2 hours), sunset (2 hours) or midday. These variables are used to determine which profile to use on the white and blue variable (dimming) ports. I have it set so I can get a higher amount of blue in the morning and some all blue time in the evening before the moon takes over.

    This is what the light program currently looks like (I also included the heater program at the bottom because it is also using the Regional Data Table):



    VARIABLE PORTS (V1/V2)


    Whites-Dim [0]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Light A
    Program:
    Set OFF
    If Outlet Sunrise = ON Then White++
    If Outlet Midday = ON Then White-On
    If Outlet Sunset = ON Then White--

    Blues-Dim [1]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Light B
    Program:
    Set OFF
    If Moon 000/000 Then MoonInt
    If Outlet Sunrise = ON Then Blue++
    If Outlet Midday = ON Then Blue-On
    If Outlet Sunset = ON Then Blue--


    VIRTUAL OUTLETS


    Sunrise [17]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Sun
    Program:
    Set OFF
    If Sun 000/-120 Then ON
    If Outlet Midday = ON Then OFF

    Midday [18]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Sun
    Program:
    Set OFF
    If Sun 120/-120 Then ON

    Sunset [19]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Sun
    Program:
    Set OFF
    If Sun 120/000 Then ON
    If Outlet Midday = ON Then OFF


    PROFILES


    White++ [PF1]
    Type: Ramp
    RampTime: 120
    StartIntensity: 0
    EndIntensity: 25

    White-- [PF2]
    Type: Ramp
    RampTime: 45
    StartIntensity: 25
    EndIntensity: 0

    Blue++ [PF3]
    Type: Ramp
    RampTime: 45
    StartIntensity: 0
    EndIntensity: 25

    Blue-- [PF4]
    Type: Ramp
    RampTime: 150
    StartIntensity: 25
    EndIntensity: 0

    Blue-On [PF5]
    Type: Weather
    MinIntensity: 20
    MaxIntensity: 25
    Cloud Light Intensity: 0
    Cloudy Percent: 0
    Probability of Lightning (%): 0
    Lighting Intensity (%): 0

    White-On [PF6]
    Type: Weather
    MinIntensity: 12
    MaxIntensity: 25
    Cloud Light Intensity: 15
    Cloudy Percent: 40
    Probability of Lightning (%): 0
    Lighting Intensity (%): 0

    MoonInt [PF7]
    Type: Ramp
    RampTime: 5
    StartIntensity: 0
    EndIntensity: 6

    REAL OUTLETS


    WhiteLEDs [7]
    Program Type: Light
    Display Icon: Light A
    Program:
    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Time 06:30 to 20:00 Then ON //turns off white LEDs during the night when not in use at all
    If Temp > 82.0 Then OFF //serves as a visual alarm if the temp is too high & minimizes heat
    Min Time 030:00 Then OFF

    Heater [14]
    Program Type: Advanced
    Display Icon: Left/Right Arrows
    Program:
    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Outlet Maint = ON Then OFF
    If Temp < RT+0.0 Then ON
    If Temp > RT+0.5 Then OFF
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Likes agv180 liked this post

  2. #2
    estanoche - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Joanne
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    Default

    curiosity question.... do the blue and white LEDs put out the same par? What is the rationale behind just dimming the whites? (other than, well it looks good, and seems logical, haha)
    SAY NO TO FISH STICKS - Put screened and vented lids on your tanks, and save your wrasse

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    50201061558882069332143 - Mimicking Nature - Apex LED dimming

  3. #3
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by estanoche View Post
    curiosity question.... do the blue and white LEDs put out the same par? What is the rationale behind just dimming the whites? (other than, well it looks good, and seems logical, haha)
    Good question...I'll have to do some measuring and report back.

    I decided to dim the whites so I could actually be able to see when it is in "cloud" mode. It is very hard to tell the difference between 12% and 20% with the naked eye (at least for me). The PAR meter definitely shows the difference...clouds with that amount of change would be almost unnoticeable if they were both dimmed the same amount.

  4. #4
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    The new light period is taking me some time to get used to...I used to have the actinics on for hours a day. I'm not sure if I like not being able to see the tank as much.

    I did change the tank time so it is offset by 4 hours. That way the lights are on till 11-ish. Turning off at ~7 pm was no good.

    So maybe I'm not mimicking nature as much as I was originally planning. It will be interesting to see if the reduced photo period makes any difference with the corals.

  5. #5
    XSiVE - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    The blues put out more par than the whites could ever hope to fyi

  6. #6
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Interesting...I'll definitely measure them this weekend then.

  7. #7
    Tom@HaslettMI - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimsflies View Post
    The new light period is taking me some time to get used to...I used to have the actinics on for hours a day. I'm not sure if I like not being able to see the tank as much.

    I did change the tank time so it is offset by 4 hours. That way the lights are on till 11-ish. Turning off at ~7 pm was no good.

    So maybe I'm not mimicking nature as much as I was originally planning. It will be interesting to see if the reduced photo period makes any difference with the corals.
    I'm confused. How is the photoperiod reduced?

    Tom

  8. #8
    CR Member
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    Russ

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimsflies View Post
    I did change the tank time so it is offset by 4 hours. That way the lights are on till 11-ish. Turning off at ~7 pm was no good.
    No need to bias the Apex clock, Jim. It is much easier to let the Apex run at your local time You can offset the If Sun (and If Moon) statements by as much as 10 hours (600 Minutes) before or after the time in the season table.

    If Sun 600/600 Then ON/OFF/Profile
    If Sun -600/-600 Then ON/OFF/Profile

  9. #9
    CR Member
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    Default

    BTW, I think the Sun thing is almost as gimmicky as lightning with the AI SOLs But I agree that they are cool to play with!
    Last edited by RussM; 09-05-2011 at 05:00 PM.

  10. #10
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom@HaslettMI View Post
    I'm confused. How is the photoperiod reduced?

    Tom
    I used to have actinics come on at 6:30 am and go until midnight...so I could see my tank before and after work. By following actual sunrise and sunset times, the tank was getting dark at ~7:20 pm.

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