The 48″ SkyLED is a 39 watt fixture that simulates natural, shimmering sunlight by blending 10K and 7K LED bulbs. But this fixture has other advantageous besides just generating crisp daylight. First, its LED bulbs are extremely long lived, so you can forget about needing to replace the lamps, as you would have to do for conventional fixtures. Second, LEDs run very cool, unlike traditional high output lighting that generates tons of heat. Thus, there is no need for noisy cooling fans or expensive chiller equipment during the summer months. Third, LED fixtures are much safer than florescent lighting, as LEDs do not contain the toxic metal Mercury and therefore do not require hazardous waste disposal. And finally, LEDs are tremendously more energy efficient, watt for watt, than other types of lighting. As such, the 39 watts drawn by this fixture go much further and provide way more light for your dollar.
Standing alone, the 48″ SkyLED is not going to support high-light plants. However, this unit is an ideal choice for those going low-tech. For example, the 48″ SkyLED is perfect sized for a 55-gallon low tech project, utilizing low light plants such as java ferns and mosses, anubias and hardy stem plants. Moreover, in such a setup, you won’t need to fret about all of the concerns that often come into play when using higher wattage canopies, such as the need for constant fertilizing, expensive CO2 injection systems, routine algae problems, etc. As I have said before, going low-tech doesn’t mean going “old” tech. And with respect to lighting in particular, it pays in the long run to put your money into a high quality light fixture that provides good illumination, and will last. The 48″ SkyLED is a well-built fixture that does both.