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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They are a new local company here based in Austin that build custom LED fixtures. They literally just opened up shop a few weeks ago. I had heard of them via a friend at my LFS and showed up one day for a demo one of the owners was giving the guys at Aquatek. I was fairly impressed, coming from a DIY fixture background, that I ordered one of their first 36" units with my own spectrum to try out. Since they are a new company, I can only find one review at the moment online and thought I would help since I've had a pleasant experience with them. More pics and an actual review to follow tomorrow! In the meantime, go to their site and try out the configurator, it's quite fun.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I'm going to review my 12" fixture as it's the easiest to photograph because of it's size.

Here's the build sheet:



What I've learned from my 36" fixture (the first one I ordered) is that despite you really wanting to hit that 480nm and 650nm range you'll end up with a purple light no matter what. So what you have to do is have only a couple of of blues and reds. Further you need to balance out the color more towards the warm range, that's why I used the 4500k and 5900k you see there to achieve something the plants will like and something you don't mind looking at.

For comparison here's my 12" (on the left) and their standard "planted" spectrum:





And 6500k spiral CF bulbs:



Now onto up close pics:







The driver pictured here isn't a final version. They have been updating their equipment over the past couple of weeks since I bought my 36". The CAT-5 connector you see here will be molded into the driver in the final version that's coming in 3 weeks give or take. It connects to the dimmer which is a 10v single analog system I believe. As a result you can connect it to most light controllers.





This is their manual dimmer for those interested:



Waterproof connector:



It's not very big either:



The hanging attachments slide through here:



Standard included hanger:



Ceiling (shelf in my case) mounted option:









On the tank:



Obviously this tank has no plants or anything in it. However my 12g has been running their fixture for 3 weeks as of today. The plants (and algae :S) are responding very well to it.



Now I just need to plant the tank. :)


EDIT- PAR readings:

Right below the fixture under water: 530 PAR
3" below: 390
6" below: 200
12" below: 140
16" below: 90

It's freaking amazing all that comes from that little light!
 

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i met the guys at MACNA this year had a nice conversation regarding RGB setups for freshwater applications. seems like a decent line
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oooooh I left out the part everyone will be interested in- the PAR readings I got off of the light.

Right below the fixture under water: 530 PAR
3" below: 390
6" below: 200
12" below: 140
16" below: 90

It's freaking amazing all that comes from that little light!
 

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I'm going to review my 12" fixture as it's the easiest to photograph because of it's size.

Here's the build sheet:



What I've learned from my 36" fixture (the first one I ordered) is that despite you really wanting to hit that 480nm and 650nm range you'll end up with a purple light no matter what. So what you have to do is have only a couple of of blues and reds. Further you need to balance out the color more towards the warm range, that's why I used the 4500k and 5900k you see there to achieve something the plants will like and something you don't mind looking at.

Right below the fixture under water: 530 PAR
3" below: 390
6" below: 200
12" below: 140
16" below: 90

It's freaking amazing all that comes from that little light!
It is fun.
The next time you stop by ask them if they would incorporate cyan leds into their builds. That part of the spectrum is missing.
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/turquoise-495nm/
Incorporating a cyan leds I feel would improve the CRI. Yellow might also be useful.

With this combo I get a CRI of 91
525nm Green
525nm Green
730nm Far-IR
5000K
6500K
5000K
5000K
6500K
590nm Amber
5700K
660nm Deep Red
6500K
470nm Blue
6500K
625nm Red
 

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Just ordered a 36" fixture from them. Nick seems like a great guy and he was very informative. I will update when i get my light on wednesday.
 

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I just ordered two of the SHOW TANK LIGHTS 48 inches - 75 degree angle. 1 foot above the tank. 150 gallon 6ftx18wx24d Nick is awesome- spent lots of time with me picking the correct lights.
 

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This site forces me to accept how little I know about light :)

Do you think having a couple of UV lights in the mix would help with algae?
 

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Interesting light, but so much PAR. I wonder if I could make one that would give about 100 PAR at substrate level and then mix it with a dimmer. That way you could move between a low tech and high tech setup without having to change out your light. Just increase the intensity.
 

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It is fun.

With this combo I get a CRI of 91
525nm Green
525nm Green
730nm Far-IR
5000K
6500K
5000K
5000K
6500K
590nm Amber
5700K
660nm Deep Red
6500K
470nm Blue
6500K
625nm Red
Yes, it is fun. I'm not sure this is actually better but here is a CRI 92.


and just for the heck of it a CRI93


The problem, of course, is that I have no idea whether this is better or even as good for aquarium plants as the CRI 74 preconfigured setup they have.


I seem to recall a page that showed what light worked with plants but I can't find it.
 
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