60P-Want more light, a second Current Satellite Pro? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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60P-Want more light, a second Current Satellite Pro?

I have a 60P and have had a Current Sat Pro for quite some time. Only recently have I really been back in the hobby and really having the time to take care of my tank. I had a feeling the PAR wasn't up to what I thought and googled it and found it was a fair amount below what I wanted. I also want to hang my light.

At first, I didn't want anything to do with this brand, it seems they advertised about 30-60 PAR more at the substrate level I have (other peoples tests). I do like the control of the lights, which running at 100, doesn't really do much good. The spread is also bad. However, they seem to go for cheap now on more than a few sites, so it would be much cheaper than upgrading to a non adjustable fixture that is of higher quality like Twinstar or ADA. I understand that aftermarket dimmers work on some or all models, but I am just thinking bang for the buck with features. I figure raising it about 6 inches should have better spread and then 2 would get the PAR I would want, I don't need to go crazy. I would probably do a noon burst, which I miss, which I couldn't easily do on other fixtures costing in the realm of these.

Just wondering if I should get another and raise them a bit, or go another route. My first has been reliable, just not flexible enough, but where it is flexible would be great with more output.

-Matt

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 11:43 AM
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My understanding is that due to some bit of physics adding two lights does not double the par at substrate. /shrug

Sounds like you want a different light.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
My understanding is that due to some bit of physics adding two lights does not double the par at substrate. /shrug

Sounds like you want a different light.
I am not looking for double the PAR, I would not be surprised if it was close to double in some places in the tank, I am looking for an increase of 30-50% with better spread. I am also considering hang two, but not likely too high off the tank. The reason for hanging is these lights are wide with two, so maintenance would require me to remove one light for basically everything.

I am curious if anyone is running this. Many people ran 2 Current Satellite Plus (not Pro), and I have also seen a Pro in combination with a regular Satellite on occasion. I don't know if my Satellite Plus had a better spread than my Pro, as it was on a 12 long, I am just looking for an affordable option. I can either spend less than $100 on one (though I may support my LFS at $150), or my next option for a single light jumps to double or more, with the cheapest having less adjustability than these lights have, but one isn't enough output for me to car much about adjustment as I am maxed out at key settings.

I may run a staggered photoperiod for a noon burst, or one for long, one for short for a noon burst. I doubt I would have them both on at exactly the same time as I have come to enjoy the 12 hour photoperiod I can get with this.

My major concern right now is that as my stems reach the top, they color up like crazy but only once they get directly under the light. Stems in the back have some color, but not enough, once they grow forward a few inches, they color up way more. I am wondering if the spread on these are just not good enough, even with two, or that if I raise them, they won't be powerful enough.

-Matt

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 08:09 PM
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Going outside the box a bit here but how about this:
https://current-usa.com/24-inch-true...light-strips/#

For $33 you add 16W of high blue white in a very narrow footprint.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 08:31 PM
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I also have a current led pro plus which gives me 60 par at my substrate when ru ing at 100%. However, stem plants that turn red with high light are only turning red near the surface of the tank. I also get a lot of dust algae on the glass.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Going outside the box a bit here but how about this:
https://current-usa.com/24-inch-true...light-strips/#

For $33 you add 16W of high blue white in a very narrow footprint.
That could definitely work, I can't find much data. I do find that the Sat Pro is definitely on the "blue" side, before you adjust it out, so more blue may not fit my personal aesthetics. Same with the actual look of the light. The do look like they could do the job.

I would rather have identical lights for some appearance reasons. I have had 3 different lights over a bigger tank, and even though raised, it really didn't give me the look I wanted. Even though that was a rimmed tank, it still was open top.


Maybe the better question is, should I look into a new light, like a Twinstar, for slightly more money, without adjustment (seems easy enough) but less features, or just get another one of these, for probably half the price, and I have seen them as low a 3rd. That would be the minimum I feel I need, plenty of more expensive options.

Though the Current adjustments are primitive to some newer lights, they do work for me, and I loved it when I had a different tank, with a different light that was similar, when I could actually up the light. At 100% right now, I really can only tune the spectrum, no intensity, and don't feel I should raise it, though I feel the spread would be better, but two lights may help on both intensity and spread, and raising them may give me even more flexibility besides aesthetics.

I guess what I am saying is I would want the same light (well a Sat + looks similar enough for me, I just think the Pro is a better idea), or just start looking for a new, singular light instead.

-Matt

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
That could definitely work, I can't find much data. I do find that the Sat Pro is definitely on the "blue" side, before you adjust it out, so more blue may not fit my personal aesthetics. Same with the actual look of the light. The do look like they could do the job.

I would rather have identical lights for some appearance reasons. I have had 3 different lights over a bigger tank, and even though raised, it really didn't give me the look I wanted. Even though that was a rimmed tank, it still was open top.


Maybe the better question is, should I look into a new light, like a Twinstar, for slightly more money, without adjustment (seems easy enough) but less features, or just get another one of these, for probably half the price, and I have seen them as low a 3rd. That would be the minimum I feel I need, plenty of more expensive options.

Though the Current adjustments are primitive to some newer lights, they do work for me, and I loved it when I had a different tank, with a different light that was similar, when I could actually up the light. At 100% right now, I really can only tune the spectrum, no intensity, and don't feel I should raise it, though I feel the spread would be better, but two lights may help on both intensity and spread, and raising them may give me even more flexibility besides aesthetics.

I guess what I am saying is I would want the same light (well a Sat + looks similar enough for me, I just think the Pro is a better idea), or just start looking for a new, singular light instead.

Yea aesthetics is an issue....and the hodge podge of different lights.
Your tank is narrow AFAICT (12"?) so you have an issue raising lights and having a pair since there is a fair amount of gap beteen the now 2 rows of diodes..

There is a V2 of the pro using 660nm reds, slightly higher power and 90 degree lenses..


@ 6" your diodes are spreading out in a dia. of about 20"
10" each side..plus "gap"..point isyou can lose a lot of light w/ 2 if not set properly..

tilting them in is an idea but a pia..


I'm sort of surprised one isn't enough though.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:21 PM
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I've got two of them I'll sell you cheap if you want.
They were not cutting it for me on my tank. 24x18x18

If it were me though I'd get the Twinstar S...


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:51 PM
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Maybe the better question is, should I look into a new light, like a Twinstar, for slightly more money, without adjustment (seems easy enough)
New option..


https://www.amazon.com/Chihiros-Aqua...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
add$26.9 0for controller..


$160-ish..

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Yea aesthetics is an issue....and the hodge podge of different lights.
Your tank is narrow AFAICT (12"?) so you have an issue raising lights and having a pair since there is a fair amount of gap beteen the now 2 rows of diodes..

There is a V2 of the pro using 660nm reds, slightly higher power and 90 degree lenses..


@ 6" your diodes are spreading out in a dia. of about 20"
10" each side..plus "gap"..point isyou can lose a lot of light w/ 2 if not set properly..

tilting them in is an idea but a pia..


I'm sort of surprised one isn't enough though.
Yes, tank is about 12 inches. That is actually a concern because the spread visually (or lack of it) is fairly noticeable just moving the light. If in back, the front is noticeably dimmer, and vice versa. More so, I have never had a light where plants shade the bottom so much, so adding anything new almost requires me to cut everything else down or it will be shaded.

I wasn't sure if a second light would help this, or just spread the light outside of the tank. I haven't seen a lot of scientific tests on this light, despite the fact everyone was using this on this size tank 3-4 years ago when I bought it. Going through journals, I see that most of the red plants used that made me feel the light would be enough are plants that color easily (which I am experiencing great reds on certain plants). They have far from the plant mass and shading. It seems in what little I can find is that par is almost half on the sides of the tank if the light is in the middle.

One works fine in the right circumstances, and I have no trouble growing plants, it just isn't something I can get great color until at the top, or the plants are right below (4-8 inches). So, I have to choose my battle with which plants get the best color by light position on the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
I've got two of them I'll sell you cheap if you want.
They were not cutting it for me on my tank. 24x18x18

If it were me though I'd get the Twinstar S...
Do you care to elaborate? Where you running both on that tank? How long was your photoperiod? What intensity?

I was considering a second light as a cheap upgrade but it sounds that I may be going down the wrong path. How does one Twinstar S compare to two of these, if you had them on the same tank.



Furthermore: I can by most Twinstar products locally, one reason I am interested in that brand. I also can get UNS locally in the future, the Titan 1 seems interesting, but at that price, it seems to have some issues I am not fond of (hot, concerns of failure, light spillage, color not as good as cheaper lights, lack of flexibility). ADA lights are also available to me locally but I am not sold on the Aquasky design, which is the only light I would consider from them due to price point.

I am not opposed to buying elsewhere but being in the heart of the Bay Area, CA, I really struggle to support a company like Amazon over the stores I actually rely on.

-Matt

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Yes, tank is about 12 inches. That is actually a concern because the spread visually (or lack of it) is fairly noticeable just moving the light. If in back, the front is noticeably dimmer, and vice versa. More so, I have never had a light where plants shade the bottom so much, so adding anything new almost requires me to cut everything else down or it will be shaded.

Raising what you have will help that.
as to the Twinstar ect.. a PERSONAL rant.. no LEDs should be left controller-less. MINIMUM is AT THE LEAST a dimmer..
It's what they are made for ..sort of..
you'd be better of w/ a twin tube fluorescent..

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:14 PM
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My understanding is that due to some bit of physics adding two lights does not double the par at substrate. /shrug

Sounds like you want a different light.
Does anyone know of a site that explains how much more light, if any, is gained by using two lights? I'm using two photo lights, as much for evenness of cover as anything, but I would like to think I'm getting an intensity benefit by using two over one and would like to think that I'm at the high side of medium lighting.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Yes, tank is about 12 inches. That is actually a concern because the spread visually (or lack of it) is fairly noticeable just moving the light. If in back, the front is noticeably dimmer, and vice versa. More so, I have never had a light where plants shade the bottom so much, so adding anything new almost requires me to cut everything else down or it will be shaded.

I wasn't sure if a second light would help this, or just spread the light outside of the tank. I haven't seen a lot of scientific tests on this light, despite the fact everyone was using this on this size tank 3-4 years ago when I bought it. Going through journals, I see that most of the red plants used that made me feel the light would be enough are plants that color easily (which I am experiencing great reds on certain plants). They have far from the plant mass and shading. It seems in what little I can find is that par is almost half on the sides of the tank if the light is in the middle.

One works fine in the right circumstances, and I have no trouble growing plants, it just isn't something I can get great color until at the top, or the plants are right below (4-8 inches). So, I have to choose my battle with which plants get the best color by light position on the tank.



Do you care to elaborate? Where you running both on that tank? How long was your photoperiod? What intensity?

I was considering a second light as a cheap upgrade but it sounds that I may be going down the wrong path. How does one Twinstar S compare to two of these, if you had them on the same tank.



Furthermore: I can by most Twinstar products locally, one reason I am interested in that brand. I also can get UNS locally in the future, the Titan 1 seems interesting, but at that price, it seems to have some issues I am not fond of (hot, concerns of failure, light spillage, color not as good as cheaper lights, lack of flexibility). ADA lights are also available to me locally but I am not sold on the Aquasky design, which is the only light I would consider from them due to price point.

I am not opposed to buying elsewhere but being in the heart of the Bay Area, CA, I really struggle to support a company like Amazon over the stores I actually rely on.
I was doing a Dutch style at the time and it wasn't enough light and the color was not what I wanted.
18" deep and 18" tall tank meant 1 light couldn't adequately light the stem plants at the surface.
Two lights was okay.. but too many cables and stuff...

My recommendation on the Twinstar S is based off Green Aqua's youtube channel, he preferred it over the E series due to having a bit better red color.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 12:04 PM
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Does anyone know of a site that explains how much more light, if any, is gained by using two lights? I'm using two photo lights, as much for evenness of cover as anything, but I would like to think I'm getting an intensity benefit by using two over one and would like to think that I'm at the high side of medium lighting.
So the answer to this question depends on how badly you want to know.

The gold standard is to use a par meter. You can buy your very own for like 200-300 dollars for a cheap one. Or you can rent one. There are websites that will rent one out to you and your local fish store might have one available for rent as well. Someone once told me that power companies will sometimes have them for rent as well.

Anyway that's your best bet to figure out how much light you actually have.

However, you can fake it a bit by figuring out how many lumens you have, then figuring out how many lux you have then converting the lux to ppfd. That gives you a surface reading of ppfd, then you follow the rough rule of thumb that ppfd drops in half at 18" and you have a very very very rough estimate of ppfd at substrate.

To do that you can look at lumen to lux calculator and lux to ppfd calculator.

Hopefully that is helpful.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Raising what you have will help that.
as to the Twinstar ect.. a PERSONAL rant.. no LEDs should be left controller-less. MINIMUM is AT THE LEAST a dimmer..
It's what they are made for ..sort of..
you'd be better of w/ a twin tube fluorescent..
I agree but people are happy with the light, so it seems. Also, they seemingly are easily dimmable, with an inline dimmer and one person has seemingly used the timer I have on my current successfully for ramp up and a dimmer. Not ideal but it is nice that I can actually see wonderful scapes and how they look under this light locally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
I was doing a Dutch style at the time and it wasn't enough light and the color was not what I wanted.
18" deep and 18" tall tank meant 1 light couldn't adequately light the stem plants at the surface.
Two lights was okay.. but too many cables and stuff...

My recommendation on the Twinstar S is based off Green Aqua's youtube channel, he preferred it over the E series due to having a bit better red color.
Did you find that your color improved with two? Would you have been bothered with 2 Sat Pro's if cables and appearance was not an issue? You just seem to be the only one who has tried this setup, so I am curious if you found any other downsides.

-Matt

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