Chihiros WRGB, Vivid, or Orphek LED Bar - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Chihiros WRGB, Vivid, or Orphek LED Bar

Hi All! I've been working on some finishing touches to a 120 gallon nature aquarium set up and decided to ditch the 4 bulb t5 I've been using in favor of going with 100% LED's. I am currently running to "reef bar pro's" in 6500k at 40% each (maximum output is 126 watts each consisting of 42 3w diodes) along with the t5's (blue favored spectrum from two bulbs in am, 2 hours of four bulbs for midday burst, and red heavy spectrum from two bulbs in pm). The t5 fixture doesn't fit in my canopy and its total overkill with the LED's anyway, so I was planning on swapping it out for a 120cm chihiros RGB. While i was shopping around I came across a new model chihiros fixture that really caught my eye. Its called the "WRGB" instead of just RGB- still has the array of different color diodes, but the 120cm is 95w instead of 90w max output and what really peeked my interest is the blue tooth controller that allows each color (white, red, green, and blue) to be controlled independently. Its got plenty of horsepower for my purposes and I really like the ability to dial in the spectrum and run blue heavy in the am and gradually shift to a red heavy spectrum in the afternoon (this mirrors the natural output of the sun that signals to plants when they should wake up and when they should start winding down for the day).

At $310 shipped with the controller, its not a cheap light but its still less expensive than anything else I've found with that level of control and output. I was ready to pull the trigger but then i came across the Orphek OR series led bar, which also caught my eye. While it doesn't do everything i was looking for in a new light, there are enough pros to at least warrant further consideration. Here are the pros and cons for this application:

Pros: Orphek quality, covers wide spectrum with custom orphek diodes, includes cyan, tempered glass splash guard, 108w output (36x3w diodes), price point: 120cm only $160

Cons: cannot be dimmed or ran with controller (at least not without mods), hard to find adapters/connectors used by orphek, possible color blending issues (single row of lots of different color diodes, possible "hot spot" in center of tank even with 120 degree lenses.

The Chihiros light really fits the bill for me, but the orphek spectrum, build quality, and price point are all attractive features. My guess is that by the time I've modded the light so it can be controlled the way I'd like the difference in price wouldnt be huge and even the best case scenario wouldnt allow for control of individual color diodes. The Chihiros WRGB does appear to be an upgrade in build quality over the previous version and I dont really care if the splash guard warps a little since its all going to be housed in the canopy anyway- but I do not want to spend $300 plus on a light with diodes that will start failing after a few months when i know that build quality is unlikely to be an issue with companies like orphek or fluence.

Would really like to hear everyone's thoughts on these lights!

Thanks

Last edited by AdamRT; 09-18-2018 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Title change
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 12:50 AM
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Not going to debate the Chihiros light one way or another but just want to add some more "possibilities"

Orphek can be customized.

Diode choices:
Quote:
Each light bar has 36 - 3 watt LEDs. The available LED colors are:
6300K
12,000K
410
430
460
490
595
630
660
730
Some 120 driver specs..
Quote:
Input Current (Amps) 1.1
Output Voltage (V) 35-60
Maybe even get them diver less.. Not hard to match w/ a dimmable driver though most will be 0-10V or 10V PWM

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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank Jeff, I was hoping you would chime in!

I dont mind swapping out drivers, but I dont like cutting wires on light fixtures or splicing in new connections (not that I actually mind, but my wife Ill burn the house down if I start) and Ive heard the orphek connectors are hard to find.

The other concern is the ability to control individual colors throughout the day. Since the orphek bars are customizable, this might not be as much of a concern as I had originally thought, but the best I could do is dim everything diode on the orphek through a single channel.

I guess I could go with two of the finnex 24/7 ccs for close to the same price as the chihiros to get the customization Im looking for but rgb diodes are crap compared to a bank of individually colored diodes that are independently controllable.

As long as it would be overkill, I think two custom orphek bars- one blue dominant and one red would give me the end result I want without the need for expensive mods and provide that orphek build quality... thanks for listing the diode options. Going to play around with a few different combos on the spectragraph.

Its funny led aquarium lights are just like tvs, phones, and computers- by the time you research them and pick one, a newer model with more features is released!

Was fooling around on the chihiros Facebook page and found a teaser video for yet another upgraded rgb led light- the RGB Vivid. It really kicks it up a notch from even the wrgb.

I dont think its out yet, but the video shows a form factor that looks like a hybrid of the ada rgb solar and ai hydra 52. Its got a comparatively massive aluminum heatsink with a slick looking fan and it comes with a built in 4 channel controller (the wrgb relies on an outside 4 channel controller).

My guess is that the available sizes will be limited much the same as ai hydras, so a 120cm option is unlikely, and I suspect the cost will be significantly higher as a result of the integrated tech and more substantial use of aluminum for the heat sink- but it would appear to resolve any concerns I had about build quality with the wrgb series and (assuming the video isnt doctored) the color rendering is sick!

I am going to try to contact chihiros Malaysia today to see if there is a price point and release date and will share whatever I can find, but between the vivid and x series (same form factor as vivid but light source is one or two multichip cobs for x100, x200, and Nano x300), this company appears to be responding to what aquascapers have been asking for- high quality led lights for planted aquariums with features that had only been available on high end reef lights or ridiculously expensive plant leds like ada and orphek atlantik.

Just an FYI, Ive got nothing to do with chihiros other than really wanting to find the right LEDs for my tank, the search for which keeps leading me to these new chihiros lights. Ive been searching based on features like fan cooled aquarium led or app controlled planted aquarium led and chihiros just keeps popping up- its a little annoying since none of these lights are easily purchased in the USA, and all the ones I really like arent even listed for sale outside of Southeast Asia...

I do think the rgb vivid and x series mark a dramatic upgrade from what has been available to us. There are a ton of videos on the chihiros Facebook page along with photos showing specs for the new lights, so Id love for someone like Jeff to check them out and weigh in on them.

Bump: Found this on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zh6FAT5oOQ

Experience: worked in fishroom of Eddies Aquarium in Albany all through college, 20 years of keeping reef tanks, planted tanks, and dart frog vivariums.

Current/in-progress tanks: 20 gallon hi tech tank in office, 120 gallon nature/tetra aquarium at home.


Philosophy: work with what youve got, and make choices based on the conditions that easiest for you to maintain over time.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-20-2018 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 11:50 PM
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The X300 spectrum is where it's at. Vivid is just meant to copy the ADA RGB for people that want that.

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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah Im pretty sure the x300 cob is made up of daylight white (somewhere around 6000-7000k) and a warm white (around 3500k). It also comes with a built in controller, but its single channel so theres no ability to tweak the spectral output.

It looks like there is an x400 in the works that will have a built in 4 channel controller for the wrgb cobs.

Im looking for a light that will allow me to program a spectral shift over the course of the day from blue bias in the am to red bias in the pm. Im also keen on making sure it has even distribution over the tank because I have a lot of stems in the corners. I think Im going to pull the trigger on the wrgb 120cm with commander 4 controller. It does everything I need it to do, should be powerful enough with a max output of 95w (it will be backed up by two high output led bars @ 126w each that are pure 6500k).

Whatever light I get will be replacing a 4 bulb t5 with two channels (2 bulbs per channel) set up for red bias and blue bias. I only run all four bulbs for a few hours mid day and my current leds max out at 40%. I think the 95w chihiros should be a fine replacement and if anything I may just need to up the output of the 6500k leds.

I know that its not a 1:1 conversion, but Ive found that no matter whether its leds, t5s, or a combination of both, I end up running about 250-280 watts as the max output for 4 hours a day and around 180-200 watts for 2 hours on either side of mid day max output. There is maybe an hour of total ramp up and down at the start and end of the cycle as well... so I shouldnt have any problem hitting those numbers with the 120cm 95w wrgb and the two 126w reefbar pros in 6500k.

Theres a sale on the 120cm wrgb so I can get it with the controller for $290 shipped. I think Im going to pull the trigger on it today. My birthday is coming up and the tariffs are kicking in soon, so its as good a time as any to buy it and I can tell my wife its my birthday present Haha.

I could get two basic sb reef lights for about the same price, which would give me way more output but Id have to wrestle with 4 cords on independent timers and I dont think I need 330 watts of lighting on top of the 252 watts From the 6500k bars.

I spoke with orphek about getting two custom OR bars, but theres no way to dim them (although they said they are going to release a dimmable version soon). Really nice lights though. Theyre pretty new but Im surprised we dont hear about these more given the price. Hope to see more of these in use in the future!

Experience: worked in fishroom of Eddies Aquarium in Albany all through college, 20 years of keeping reef tanks, planted tanks, and dart frog vivariums.

Current/in-progress tanks: 20 gallon hi tech tank in office, 120 gallon nature/tetra aquarium at home.


Philosophy: work with what youve got, and make choices based on the conditions that easiest for you to maintain over time.
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamRT View Post

I spoke with orphek about getting two custom OR bars, but there’s no way to dim them



That's highly unlikely...
120 uses a 35-60V DC constant current driver w/ an output of 1.1a Runs 2 parallel branches of series diodes.
Other sizes use 40-80V constant current DC driver w/ 550mA output.

Maybe "as is" but certainly (95% confidence) dimmable w/ a driver swap..

Meanwell IDLC-45-500 (54-90V) w/ 500ma current would prob. work on the 90 model. 0-10v DC or 10V PWM...
Sacrifice a bit of output.



didn't exactly say it would be easy.
Inventronics , from past digging, has some more "compatible" ranges..

The 120 is a bit more problematic but pretty sure a driver is out there..

for the 120..
Inventronics LUD-060S110DS2
16-78V DC out.. 1050mA default.. boost to 1100
and dimmable..
for the others:
LUD-060S055DS2 550mA 31-156V DC OUT
now finding one....

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 09-20-2018 at 04:58 PM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Jeff, I didnt mean to imply they couldnt be modded... I have no doubt they could be. I was only trying to say there is no way to get a dimmable version of the bar from orphek.

Chihiros finally responded to me with the cost of the rgb vivid (about $300 and I would need 2 of them), so that made the choice a little easier. Decided to go with the 4 wrgb w/ 4 channel Bluetooth controller. It was on sale and I was able to use a few coupons so the final price shipped for controller and light was only $287.

Since I was able to get it for a little less than I was expecting I am going to spend the savings on a 120cm x 14cm aluminum heatsink and a few card fans. I was surprised to see it, but there is actually a video on YouTube of a guy modding a chihiros a series with heatsink and fans. Idk if itll improve performance at all, but it cant hurt and if nothing else it should help extend the life of the diodes. Plan is to slap the heatsink right on top of the existing case with some thermal epoxy and place the fans towards the opposite sides with one pushing and the other pulling. Im hoping this will create decent airflow inbetween the fins and help keep the light cool.

I had heard complaints that the original rgb runs a little hotter than the A series, but the heatsink and fans should be more than enough to offset any increased temps experienced with the wrgb. My understanding is that red diodes in particular perform better at lower temps, so it should be interesting to see how it turns out. Should have the light in the next 1-2 weeks and will post an update when it arrives!

Experience: worked in fishroom of Eddies Aquarium in Albany all through college, 20 years of keeping reef tanks, planted tanks, and dart frog vivariums.

Current/in-progress tanks: 20 gallon hi tech tank in office, 120 gallon nature/tetra aquarium at home.


Philosophy: work with what youve got, and make choices based on the conditions that easiest for you to maintain over time.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 08:53 AM
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Ordered my Chihiros wrgb-45 with bt controller on aliexpress for $126 today. Excited to finally get to play with custom diode controls. About 6 months ago I was delving into building a diode controller myself and boom, here we are with the logical progression in the aqua lighting market! Ditching my old twinstar 45-E series for this hopefully. =)
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 02:40 AM
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So Ive been ruminating on getting a WRGB. Is aliexpress where everyone stateside is ordering from? Looking forward to seeing how folks like these lights.

I think of aquarium keeping as 'meanness insurance.'
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 06:03 PM
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Stateside I would recommend crazy aquatic studio on the bay but the WRGB's have been showing out of stock for a while. Maybe it's been discontinued in favor of the new X series.
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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I received the 4’ wrgb via fedex yesterday. Unfortunately it didn’t come in original packaging, but that’s par for the course when ordering from China. It’s funny the import slip had a description that said “acrylic pvc led light for aquarium, value: $18”.

I assume it was a work around to avoid the aluminum tariffs because the entire body is anodized aluminum. First impression of the light is that it’s very nice. The body is solid, although it could def use a larger heat sink. The chihiros magic app was very easy to download and use. It immediately synced with the controller and performed as described.

I have to say, it’s friggin bright! I love the individual red green and blue diodes- they give off much more colored light than the combo rgb’s used in finnex and corallife fixtures. Running all the colored diodes with the whites off provides a spectrum that is very similar to the ada solar or rgb vivid, although not quite as bright. When the whites are cranked up to 100% the overall effect is stunning. It gives an appearance of being 6500k, but anything that’s green, red, or blue that the light shines on appears to glow or fluoresce almost.

The one major downside for me is that this light doesn’t fit in my damn canopy either? The whole point of getting the light was to replace the t5 fixture that also doesn’t fit in the canopy, so this was a huge disappointment. Thankfully it’s so low profile that I’ll be able to make a small opening on the side of the canopy and slide the light through to rest on the mount I built on the other side. If I am able to size the opening correctly, this will actually be a pretty slick way of mounting the light but it’s still a pia.

I’ll post some pics when I get it mounted over the weekend, but I can already say that it’s def a viable option for anyone looking to light a tank less than 24” tall who is interested in dialing in a specific aesthetic. At $300 for the 4’ light with controller shipped, it’s definitely in a league of its own. There are plenty of higher output/more expensive lights and gobs of cheaper lights with limited or no control functions, but this fills a niche by providing decent output (48” 95w 6800lm), independent 4 Channel timer and intensity controls, and a sleek form factor at a reasonable price point. If you’re willing to upgrade the heatsink, actively cool the light with a fan, or you don’t need to run it passed 75%, I think it’s a solid option.

The wrgb is not being replaced by the x series- totally different form factor and application. X series uses cobs and only the x400 offered rgb controllability. If anything, the rgb vivid may end up doing in the wrgb, but even that light is different enough that I believe there is room for both. Rgb vivid is intended to be an ada solar rgb killer- same output, same configuration, nearly as attractive form factor but 1/3 the cost. I would have needed two to get enough coverage, but they’re not available on aliexpress yet and I didn’t need an additional 260 watts of light lol. Even with all the bells and whistles, the wrgb is still essentially a strip light that was designed to compete with the new fluval 3.0, planted + strips, as well as twinstar strips, and on that front I think it matches or exceeds the competition.

If you’re looking to order the wrgb check out “Jin Yu Aquarium” on aliexpress. They include the controller with purchase and offer free dhl shipping which makes them the cheapest and fastest seller I was able to find on aliexpress..

With coupons I was able to get the 120cm with commander 4 controls for $287 shipped. Closest I could find to that came out to almost $350, so this is a good deal if you don’t care about original packaging on 90cm and above. The 45cm will come in og box.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-05-2018 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for updating the thread and providing a nice review of the unit!


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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 04:10 AM
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Yes agreed, thanks for writing all of that out. I may be sold. Any tips on the coupons?

I think of aquarium keeping as 'meanness insurance.'
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 01:24 PM
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Does your Commander controller increase/decrease light intensity gradually or does it just make large steps between your desired levels? I've been using the Commander 1 to control a Beamswork fixture for a month or so, and it doesn't ramp up/down in instensity -- it just jumps to the next light level at the appropriate time. I'm considering selling it for this reason. I wanted more gradual lighting changes. Perhaps it was intended to only be used with Chihiros fixtures? It could also just be a feature that needs to be programmed into the app.

I'm considering the 90cm WRGB. I should have just bought one when they first posted to aliexpress. The 90cm variant was $160-$170 shipped. Now they're minimum $200, although their prices fluctuate weekly, it seems.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 03:31 AM
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Are Donald Trump's tariffs increasing the prices on our WRGB lights?


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