Marineland Reef LED Strip Light 18-24" Fixture (Mfg# ML90620)
I wanted to replace a very power-hungrey combination blue led ... fluorescent tube ... ballast-driven metal halide system. I wasn't feeling all that confident in the amount of light I'd get from the 48" version of this fixture, but I was (quite happily) wrong.
Not only is it as bright as I could have hoped for, the eight blue moon LEDs are also high powered, illuminating the tank nicely; I'm sure the coral will react to this more than the puny little LEDs in my old fixture.
Interestingly, there is some UV (ultraviolet) light emission from the blue LEDs, and my mushrooms fluoresce a beautiful green color. I don't know what to think of this in terms of good for / not good for the coral, swimmers and crawlers, but it sure is interesting. Looking around on the net didn't really illuminate (sorry) the issue, either. As a side note, UV emission is common with blue leds. With LEDs as powerful as these, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I really hadn't consider it beforehand. So now you know, too.
I like the way the fixture sits close to the tank top glass. Between that, and the fact that the LEDs themselves and their lenses make them fairly directional (downward), there is much less "splash" light from this fixture than my old one. I consider this a significant benefit. It's easier to look into the tank without a lot of glare up above it.
I also appreciate the huge reduction in heat generation -- hopefully that'll change the amount of salt deposition and so forth I get from surface evaporation and splashing, but even if not, the fact that the fixture is easily handled means that it'll be much easier to keep the top glass clean even if the deposition rates are similar. I can't imagine they'd be worse... the MH fixture was HOT!
The fixture itself is very light and easy to handle, and the power supply, although a switching one, does not emit significant RFI, which would have caused me to replace it, as I am a radio operator and require a quiet RF environment. Looks like they spent some money there, for which I am grateful.
The timer came set to usable defaults (although it strikes me as odd that the moonlight is just an hour before and a couple hours after normal light... moon stays up all night sometimes, so... ? But I'm not changing it until I read up on that a bit more.
Setup was a breeze. Unpack, attach to the power supply, set it on the tank, plug power supply in, a short self test runs, and on it came. I set the clock --- trivial -- and was done. Well, if you don't count the work of taking my 40 lb MH/FL/LED combo fixture down. But I can't blame that on this product.
The only thing I would have liked to see was the power cord coming out of the same end of the fixture that the timing controls are located on. Instead, it comes out the opposite end. This means that both ends of your tank now have cords and etc.; previously, I had a "show end" and a "busy end", now I have two busy ends. Oh well. :)
August 12, 2014
I purchased this light strip and it stopped working after about two years. Due to the cost and the short life expectancy, I would not buy this product! It only has a one year warranty.
February 16, 2015