Category Archives: Aquarium Lighting

TMC AquaBeam 2000 HD Ultima NP Review

Last Revised 1/7/2019

TMC has released their newest high end offering of LED Lighting.

The picture to the left demonstrates the difference between the 2012 Reef White 1000 and the new Reef White 2000.

This Reef White 2000 borrows much from the Ocean Blue NP 1500 in that it uses the same exact emitters with one important difference. These emitters are lensed which make them focused for more depth penetration.
This is kept from the 1000 series tiles which the 2000 series is set to replace.

The 1500 series are meant to have a wider footprint of 24 inches by 24 inches from an 8 x 8 tile. The 2000s project a 18″ x 18″ light footprint from a standard/common mounting height of about 6 to 8 inches above the water.

As before with the 1000 series and this Reef White NP 2000, it’s the better choice for for a deeper aquarium over the Ocean Blue NP 1500.
As a generalization, the Ocean Blue NP 1500 would be the choice for wide light spread or an aquarium under 20 inches. The Reef White NP 2000 would be suggested for any depth where very concentrated light is needed, such as a high light requiring sps coral or in a general reef aquarium from 20 to 30 inches or even much deeper with correct specimen placement.

Osram Oslon NP Blue emitter SpectrographTo the left is the Osram Oslon “Nature Perfect” blue reef emitter spectrograph.

One important feature the 2000 borrows from the 1500 Ocean Blue is the Osram Oslon NP Blue emitters.
These are the first emitters developed specifically for the use in Reef aquariums which provide the best over all PUR for your reef inhabitants. Early results also have shown less undesirable algae growth with the use of the Osram Oslon NP Blue emitters too.

It’s important that I noted PUR and not PAR as PUR is the photosynthetically useful radiation (useful light) versus PAR which can still have plenty of useless light energy, especially if yellow, green, or warm white emitters are used (& to a lessor degree, cool white emitters).
This is common with most aquarium LED fixtures since while they utilize Cree and other quality emitters, these are still from common general emitter bins that are not specifically designed for aquarium use. In fact aquarium use is but a minor use of these emitter bins and why multiple color emitters are required in a shotgun approach to achieve a good color balance. This results in wasted light energy in nanometers that are not of optimum PUR.

This is the case in some of the more popular but often over rated LEDs on the market.
Please reference these articles:

PUR versus PAR in Aquarium Lighting
Aquarium Lighting; Complete Information

QUOTE from the first article:
“Here are three examples using PAR reading directly under the lights:

* SB Reef Light PRO 32. This is rated at 363 watts input energy with a PAR of approximately 881 (100%) at 400mm of air.
This comes to .41 watts of input energy per 1 PAR

* Kessil A150. This is rated at 90 watts input energy with a PAR of approximately 325 (100%) at 400mm of air.
This comes to .27 watts of input energy per 1 PAR

* AquaRay Reef White NP 2000. This is rated at 30 watts input energy with a PAR of 380 at 400mm of air.
This comes to .08 watts of input energy per 1 PAR

* Finnex Planted 24/7 20 inch model. This is rated at 15 watts input energy with a PAR of 61 at 400mm of air.
This comes to .24 watts of input energy per 1 PAR”

What TMC also now doing as far as construction of their LEDs is standardization of lighting types and dropping a few less popular lights such as the Marine White 1000.
TMC’s reason stated by people I know in the industry, is lower prices while still maintaining the quality of the world leader in LED aquarium lights.

As well, TMC is continuing to utilize the best possible drivers and PWM (“pulse width modulation”) technology which is superior to “current reduction” which most all other LED controllers use.
With PWM, there is NO change to the spectral output when changing voltage either up or down (dimming or ramping up your LEDs).


Please note that these specs are preliminary. As of the time of posting this article, I will update this article should there be any more changes.

  • Utilizes these emitters
    • (4) x 9,000K extremely high output NEW patented Ocean White XT-E LED
    • (2) x “Fiji Blue” XT-E LEDS (deep blue),
    • (4) x NEW “patent pending” NP full spectrum Blue (“Nature Perfect” from Osram Oslon) LED emitters
  • PAR 380 uEinsteins/sec/m2 @15 inches
  • Overall Color Temperature 20,000 K
  • Total Power Consumption 30 watts @ 700 mA

TMC AquaRay Reef White 2000 PAR
Professionals say you only need 150 PAR with high PUR LED lighting. Keep clams, grow sticks, SPS… Grow anything you want! Plug and play right out of the box with no adjustments.

PAR ratings were taken from Pacific Northwest Marine Aquarium Society Forum (PNWMAS) official PAR tool.

The difference from PAR vs. PUR

The ONLY ONLINE FULL SERVICE Seller of this industry leading LED (beware of a clearance seller out of a home with an official sounding name and URL):
Reef White 2000 LED from AAP


*Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance
*Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums
*How UV Sterilizers Work in Aquariums & Ponds
*Aquarium Sponge Filters
*Premium Reverse Osmosis Aquarium Filter; AAP RO System, TDS Meter

Copyright 2019
By Steve Allen


TMC Ocean Blue NP Ultima Reef LED Light

Last Revised 1/8/2019

The “TMC Ocean Blue NP Ultima” is one of the newer offerings from Tropic Marine Centre of the UK.
See Authorized Product Link: TMC Ocean Blue NP 1500
This is the retailer in North America I recommend to purchase this product from, with the most experience in selling this product, along with the best customer service and free information to back up the product (beware of a parasite retailer selling clearance product out of a home with an official looking name & website)!

This new LED features the newest patented Cree XT-E emitters in the Ocean White, Fiji Blue as well as the incredible Osram Oslon (patent pending) “NP Blue” emitter.

This is a non-lensed LED fixture and therefore even with the deep blue “Fiji Blue” emitters, I would not recommend it for aquarium depth penetration beyond 22 inches of water.

What is incredible about this new LED fixture, and what sets it apart, is that it includes the new NP Blue emitters from Osram Oslon. I should note that Osram Oslon is a lesser known company located in Sunnyvale California, but also has German designers in their location in Regensburg, Germany.

Back to the NP Blue, AKA the “Nature Blue” emitter, it is a very unique blue WITH A FULL SPECTRUM PAR that also includes some red and other colors besides the complete 410-500 nanometer blue range.
The appearance is somewhat of a “sky blue” because of this, the light “Color” may fool some who are not familiar with the science of photosynthetic reef life lighting who only go by what they see.
But more what is important, despite the popularity of many deep blue emitters, this is a very natural PAR/PUR light that is exactly what photosynthetic marine life needs, not what appeals to our senses.

The picture below shows how the four NP Blue emitters actually produce a full spectrum Reef PUR light, not the more blue that may appear to our eyes!!
Aquarium LED Lighting Review, TMC AquaBeam Ocean Blue 1500 NP

I expect, if only for this emitter, that this LED becomes one of the most popular LED fixtures on the market. Even if only among my professional aquarium design and maintenance friends!!

Another aspect of the fixture and the NP Blue emitter that I really like is the fact that one channel has a mix of only NP & Fiji Blues and this make a MUCH more accurate channel to dim for moon lighting effects due to the fact that moon light is not actually blue, and with the NP blues, one can obtain a more accurate moon light spectrum while still maintaining a nice blue light that is more pleasing to us as humans for our moon lighting.


Below is a graph showing the wave length output of this new Osram Oslon emitter.
It would be misleading to give a peak wavelength for this product as it is not a narrow bandwidth. This LED has a little phosphor on there to enable it to emit light across the whole visible spectrum. It’s spectrum actually looks like the below (the dotted line is the human eye response curve).
What this means is that the effect of the LED is not only a more natural looking moonlight, but also a more natural overall spectrum.
Osram Oslon NP Blue Wave Length Graph

Here are a few specifics for the “TMC Ocean Light NP Ultima Reef LED Light”:

  • Contains these emitters;
    • 2 x Cree Patented XT-E Fiji Blue
    • 4 x Cree Patented XT-E Ocean White
    • 4 x Osram Oslon NP Blue
  • Beam Angle 120 degrees
  • Overall Color Temperature 20000 K
  • PAR @ 400 mm in Air 142 µEinsteins/sec/m2
  • Total Luminous Flux 1965 lumens
  • Total Power Consumption 30 watts @ 700 mA
  • Efficiency 66 lm/W

Keep in mind that this LED fixture uses the same exact emitters as the TMC Reef White NP 2000, YET has a lower PAR rating at 400mm.
WHY is this?
This is why comparing PAR between different lights, even from the same manufacturer is like comparing apples to oranges.
The TMC Reef White NP 2000 as very focused emitters that allow very high PAR ratings much deeper, BUT this does not necessarily make this the better LED light for all applications.
For instance a standard 70 gallon that is 48 inches long by 18 wide, by 18 deep (high) is would be better served by the TMC Ocean Blue with its wide foot print, but less depth penetration since this i not a deep tank.

Please reference my other article:
TMC AquaBeam 2000 HD Ultima NP Review

PAR vs PUR AquaRay Readings


TMC Ocean Blue NP Ultima Premium LED Fixture

See this picture for more, including some custom spectrograms of this Reef Aquarium LED Light.
(Picture enlarges when clicked on)

In Summary;

As more hard core use of Ocean Blue NP Ultima Reef LED Light comes forward, I will add to this article, as I do with the majority of my articles.

Based on my tests as well as feedback from many I trust who maintain aquariums and sell reef inhabitants for a living, what I can say is are these points:

  • This is an excellent Reef LED for ANY Reef or even Marine Fish only aquarium under 22 inches of depth penetration.
  • Generally not for freshwater use
  • The foot print is approximately 24 x 24 inches
  • For deeper tanks, this awesome LED light can still be practical, however with tanks in the 24-32 inch depth range I would suggest a mix of 50/50 with the TMC Reef White NP 2000 Ultima.
    Another suggestion for deeper tanks is mix of 2 Reef White 2000s with 1 Ocean Blue Ultima, and 1 Reef Blue 600.

Please Read this excellent article too, I find it is updated often to keep current with very accurate Aquarium Lighting Information:
Complete Aquarium Light Information

Another Recommended Read:
PUR, PAS, PAR in Aquarium Reef/Planted Lighting

Copyright 2019
By Steve Allen

New TMC AquaBeam 600 Ultima Aquarium LED Light

TMC has a newer series of 600 series LED Aquarium Lights;

The AAP AquaBeam 600 Ultima LED from TMC

Revised 1-8-19

A friend loaned me one for testing and while this article is based on preliminary results, I am now quite happy with the results as of the latest update.

Here is List of Specifications along with some editorial comment:

  • FOR THE REEF WHITE: (4) Blue 465nm and (4) Ocean White 10K patented Cree ML-E emitters
  • 18K overall color temperature
  • Approximate max PAR depth penetration for high light need specimens; 400mm (16 inches)
    Editorial: This LED fixture should be OK for 24 inch deep aquariums, however specimen placement for high light specimens should be 16 inches or less
  • 120 degree lens.
    Editorial: Similar Light spread to XP-E and XP-G Cree emitters, which also are not best past 24 inches of water)
  • Utilizes new Cree ML-E emitters rated at 1.6 watts per emitter. These emitters allow for more voltage variance with high energy output per watt used.
    Editorial: These new emitters seem to run even cooler than earlier emitters with a voltage variance that likely will be less sensitive to voltage spikes that moisture in an aquatic environment can cause.
    These may be the answer to the occasional failure of the first emitter in about 5% of previous versions of the #600
  • Utilizes standard TMC Mounting Options except for female Teflon screw/bolt receptacle.
    Editorial: While there are many TMC and DIY mounting options available, most without additional purchases of parts, I disagree with the elimination of this one option by TMC

Here is a simple picture that essentially show light energy penetration through two layers of white computer paper.

One shows the AquaBeam 600 XR-E Reef White with proven excellent results against the new AquaBeam 600 Ultra ML-E Reef White.
This is the exact color difference utilizing a Reef White 600 and a Reef White 600 Ultima; each wrapped with two layers of computer paper, then placed the maximum optimum PAR distance (400mm) over more computer paper.

AquaBeam 600 XR-E Reef White versus Ultima ML-E

What I find interesting & did not expect is the new “600 Ultra ML-E Reef White” produced slightly more brighter white light with a higher percentage of blue emitters than the previous model.

The new 600 Ultima ML-E series is different from the previous series.

*The Marine White now utilizes (2) Blue ML-E along with (6) 10K ML-E Daylight (Ocean White) to obtain the 14K the previous version produces with only 14K XR-E emitters.

*The new Marine Blue has only (2) 10K ML-E emitters with (6) Blue ML-E emitters to produce approximately 20K

See this picture to the left for TMC published Spectrographs and information (click to enlarge).


In Summary;
These are early test results, I will test these lights further and more importantly, continue to consult with aquarium maintenance professionals and their experiences with these new LED Lights, as I do for ALL my articles.
These results will be posted as time goes on via future updates.

For further in depth Aquarium Light Information:
Aquarium Lighting Information

For those interested in aquarium disease prevention, this is the best article on the subject of the use of Aquarium UV Sterilizers:
UV Sterilizer Use; Aquarium or Pond

Copyright 2019
By Steve Allen