How do you illuminate your aquarium correctly?
Unlike with your living room or bathroom you shouldn’t just follow your personal taste when choosing aquarium lighting, since live aquatic plants are involved. For your fish the lighting is less important but aquatic plants have adapted to the existing sunlight in the course of evolution. They use the individual spectral components of visual sunlight to produce energy in the photosynthesis process.
For your plants to thrive your aquarium light needs a sun-like spectrum. The JBL SOLAR fluorescent tubes and LED light under lighting precisely have this sun-like light because they are full spectrum lights. Full spectrum means that not only some spectral components but that ALL visible spectral components of the sunlight are created. Plant expert Prof. Dr. Ole Pedersen has found out in tests that the JBL SOLAR full spectrum lighting has the most positive influence on the growth of aquatic plants of all the lamps tested!
A tropical day offers 12 hours of light from about 6 am to 6 pm. During sunrises and sunsets the sunlight has a warm colour temperature of about 2500 K. When the sun has reached its zenith the colour temperature rises to about 5500 K. The higher the colour temperature the colder the light.
You are strongly advised to avoid lighting with spotlights, LEDs or lamps which are not specially designed for aquariums! They might be bright and elegant but the light spectra are definitively NOT developed for aquatic plants. Very reddish radiation creates cell enlargement in plants but not healthy growth. Your aquarium plants would become long but only have a few leaves. Ideal are LEDs or full spectrum fluorescent tubes as available in the JBL light range.
Even though the light colours of a lamp are a subjective impression of our eyes, they are based on the colour temperature of the respective lamp. Higher colour temperatures (e.g. 9000 K) we experience as cold light, lower colour temperatures (e.g. 2500 K) are seen as warm light. JBL SOLAR NATUR T5 ULTRA, 24-39 W : 9000 K, cold-white daylight, very bright, ideal for fish aquariums or in combination with JBL SOLAR TROPIC T5 ULTRA, 24-39 W .
Would you like to know exactly how much light your aquarium needs? In this light calculator you will receive the answer: ProScape light calculator .
You haven’t managed to illuminate your aquarium strongly enough due to lack of space above your aquarium. In nature we measured during the JBL expeditions lux values between 100,000 lux (Amazon) and 160,000 lux (Australia). Fluorescent tubes or LEDs always remain below these values. If you use a stronger illumination for your aquarium (2 tubes instead of one, stronger LEDs instead of tubes etc.) your aquatic plants will get hungrier and you will need to increase the fertiliser and CO2 quantities.
What can modern LED lighting do?
The LED technology has revolutionised our lives: long-lasting torches, stylish car headlights, energy-saving room lighting and, of course, natural aquarium lighting. But why has a JBL LED concept taken so long? LEDs have been around for a long time!
Because LEDs have only recently become more energy-saving than fluorescent tubes, there has been no common technology and no demand (!) to optimise the LED light spectrum for aquarium plants. Up to now LEDs have only been used in the technical sector and in the home. The light spectrum of aquatic plants, however, varies considerably from the spectrum in the home or LEDs torches. Here we are talking about the photosynthetically active radiation range of the light, called PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation), and a full spectrum which contains the TOTAL range within the visible light spectrum. Only with those two components has it been possible to manufacture the perfect light for aquarium plants!
Since JBL was the first manufacturer worldwide to develop a full spectrum modelled on sunlight with its JBL SOLAR fluorescent tubes (under lighting ) our development department didn’t just want to use the available home spectrums for LED aquarium technology, it wanted to create a SOLAR full spectrum, especially for aquariums! This took some time – but now it is available!
What are the benefits of the JBL SOLAR range?
With the modern JBL LED SOLAR system you will receive:
JBL LED Solar Natur and Effect with remote control unit
An immediately accessible, elegant LED light system, incl. remote control, with maximum light efficiency for beautiful aquarium plants.
JBL LED Solar Natur
Perfect light for your fish, invertebrates and aquarium plants, since the warm-white and cold-white LEDs are evenly distributed in the light bar (only at JBL!).
Lux measurements compared
An energy-saving aquarium light, since the JBL LED SOLAR provides twice as much light compared to lighting with fluorescent tubes, while simultaneous halving the electricity costs.
The possibility, with the help of the enclosed remote control, to slowly switch the light up and down, or to quickly switch it on and off, as well as to select one of three set colour temperatures: 2700 K (warm light), 4000 K (daylight – ideal for aquatic plants) or 6700 K (cold-white daylight).
All required components for the attachment: press into the existing T5 or T8 fluorescent tube sockets (plug-in holders are included) or position with telescopic V4A stainless steel holding brackets (also included) on aquarium rim. Special holders for suspension from the ceiling are also available as accessories.
Cooling fins prolong the service life
Optimal passive cooling through cooling fins in the lamp body lead to very long service life. The LED module has a service life of more than 50,000 hours. With an illumination time of 10 h/day it keeps for more than 13 years! (The extremely long service life of 50,000 hours applies only to the purely LED module. The other components min. as guaranteed: 2 + 2 years)
Ideal PAR value
Specially optimised for aquarium plant growth: ranges of the visible light are used by the plants to produce energy in the photosynthesis process. The quantity of this photosynthetically active spectrum (PAR) can be measured with special devices. With a PAR value of >200* the JBL LED SOLAR Natur provides the perfect light, just as the plants receive it from the sun in their natural habitat!
*) measured as PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) in µmol/m2/s in a distance of 20 cm to the light.
A safe system with double effect: watertight in accordance with IP67. If a water ingress causes a short circuit the power supply switches off automatically.
Why does your aquarium need special light?
Over millions of years aquarium plants have adapted to our sunlight and use it to produce energy. Even if our eyes perceive sunlight only as white light, water drops in the air or prisms show us that it consists of “rainbow colours”. During photosynthesis plants use individual spectral components of the light in their leaf green, to transform CO2 with water into nutrition (sugar), and thus oxygen is released. This oxygen serves as livelihood for all animals on earth. They, in turn, exhale CO2 which the plants use for photosynthesis. This cycle keeps our planet alive. Aquarium plants are also dependent on CO2 (carbon dioxide), and the photosynthetic active radiation elements of sunlight LED lighting for living rooms and LEDs for vehicles have totally different objectives: they don’t need to imitate the sunlight but to appear warm, light a wide area, or set lighting accents. For the aquarium lighting the focus is only on the photosynthetically active spectrum. The new JBL LED SOLAR concept has been developed to meet this requirement! The plant promoting radiation (PAR = Photosynthetic Active Radiation) can be measured using electronic measuring instruments. The JBL Research and Development department has managed to achieve a full spectrum with a PAR value of over 200*! This is the best thing that can happen to your plants! Since there is only a small demand for sun-like LEDs compared to living space or ornamental LEDs the prices for these special LEDs are unfortunately a bit higher.
*) measured as PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) in µmol/m2/s in a distance of 20 cm to the light.
The changeover to modern LED technology is easy
You can easily exchange your fluorescent bulbs for JBL LED SOLAR lights, even if the technical equipment of these tubes doesn’t work anymore. You only need the holders left and right to attach the JBL LED lights. Here's how it works:
Removing fluorescent tubes
Remove your fluorescent tubes (T5 or T8) from the sockets and measure the tube length without the pins at the ends. In the following table you can find the suitable LED for the appropriate tube length you want to replace.
Selecting JBL LEDs
Start with the basic equipment of the JBL LED technology ( JBL LED SOLAR NATUR ) in the required length mentioned on the back of the packaging.
Plugging in the adapters
Press the JBL retrofit adapters (included in the kit) onto both ends of the JBL LED light and then into your moisture-proof sockets of the tube holder. Screw them back on both ends of the tube sockets – finished! The LED lights are freely rotatable and can be precisely aligned into a horizontal position.
Putting light on aquarium rim
If you don’t want to use the existing fluorescent tube holders you can also put the JBL LED light directly on the aquarium rim with the enclosed V4A stainless steel holding brackets.
Now connect the cable of the LED light with the infrared receiver (enclosed in the kit) and connect the IR receiver with the driver (ballast). The driver has a power plug which you put into a timer or directly into the power socket.
Putting remote control into operation
With the enclosed remote control you can now switch the LED light on and off or slowly switch it up and down. With the remote control you can also choose between three light colours. The buttons for the colours Red (R), Green (G) and Blue (B) are only relevant if you extend your basic equipment with a JBL LED SOLAR EFFECT light.
Get the most out of LED light technology
Would you like to exactly reproduce the light of a tropical living environment (biotope)?
With the accessory JBL SOLAR Control WiFi you have the opportunity to imitate the light conditions of a habitat exactly, with dry and rainy seasons or lightning storms, or to set the perfect light for a densely planted aquascaping aquarium. The JBL development team has implemented 5 aquarium types with the JBL SOLAR Control WiFi :
What do the individual JBL LEDs contain?
You will find out exactly what the individual LED components contain, the way they function and what effects they have, here.