Apparently Hagen has silently given the Fluval Spec line an upgrade. I ordered 2 Spec III's from Petco. With their discount code I paid around $37 for each, which was a steal for me.
When I opened the box, I was very surprised to see boxes that I did not recognize (I own another III and a V). Gone is the classy Apple like design.
I know my photos aren't the best, they were taken with my phone in a dimly lit room late at night.
Here is a photo of the boxes side by side.
I'm going to note a few major differences that I found with the tank. Let me start by saying that the tank really is basically the same, other than aesthetic design. The LED is the major change.
Black Pump Tubing:
Black Silicone instead of clear:
No more pretty "frosted" glass effect. It now has this weird textured spidery webby mesh design. Not sure how I feel about this honestly.
Now lets get to the LED light. It has been MASSIVELY uprated in light output. Like seriously. This thing is BRIGHT. My old LED was a relatively dim. This thing is like a damn Finnex Megaray (not literally.) It casts light all over my room. The light is extremely thin and has many more LED's. They aren't the round kind either, these are the serious square LED's, like you would find on a Finnex light. It is anodized silver even on the black. It now functions with a touch button on top of the light, and has a moonlight function.
The light only has white and blue LED's, and in my opinion is honestly a little bit too blue. I might try to run a light yellow film over my LED to warm it up a bit.
Update: A thread was just posted showing the output of the light. Here
In summary, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this "upgrade". I feel like they stepped far away from the classy look of the Spec. I can't comment on the Spec V as I only ordered Spec III's, so I don't know if the V got updated.
I think the light is now capable of growing higher light plants, but in no tech tanks, I would imagine it would contribute to algae. I also thought the light was much too cool. I don't know why the blue LED's have to run even when the light is running on it's normal mode.
I actually kind of enjoyed my Spec III with a dimmer light, and I'm pretty sure my betta did too. As soon as I mounted the new light and turned it on, he started flaring and swimming all over the tank.