Tag Archives: AquaRay

TMC AquaRay NUV 410nm LED

AquaRay Logo
Revised 1/7/16

1380542_595504497173285_1626878484_nTMC AquaRay has finally granted the AquaBeam NUV 410nm LED to be released to the US market. The LED was released to Europe back in 2013 and only to the UK, for quantity control issues. The LED has the same design as the rest of the Solid State AquaRay line, with 5 SemiLED x 410nm near-ultra violet (NUV) didoes, 120 beam angle. It has the waterproof rating of IP67, no fan, shimmer, low carbon output/watts, PWM dimming, and the 5 year full replacement warranty.

20160106_122637

At this point of 2016, American Aquarium Products is the only supplier of these LED to the Western hobbyist. The point of a emitter in this range is to enhance the colors of corals, fish, and plants.

TMC States:

This 410nm wavelength will make corals fluoresce (as well as some other critters and fish) and has been shown to improve the red pigment ratio of certain deep water coral species such as Lobophyllia and Trachyphyllia.

“The addition of this wavelength makes LED lighting look even closer to natural sunlight, truly the true to nature lighting solution you can buy!”

Resource: AAP AquaRay NUV LED

AquaRayNUV

Since this lighting spectrum is in the far side of the lighting spectrum, which also dips into the UVB range, limited quantity/amounts of the light is suggested.

TMC rates on strip of 5 emitters to light up to 170gals/650 litres, and is best seen when the tank is extra dark, say at night, when daytime lighting is off. The LEDs can be used during day lighting hours, just the recommendations of one strip per 170gals has to be considered for true coloration and amounts of UVB provided.

There are other Ultra Violet LEDs out in other commercial fixtures to date, but nothing up to TMC standards of quality of build, and also as a stand alone fixture. Some marine fixtures do have a couple NUV emitters in their fixtures, but separate controllability is not an option, which is why a separate fixture is preferred.

TMC does not give a rating on how long to run the fixture, say all the way threw the night, so caution is advised for health in mind. Start slow and work your way up and also know, limit amounts of this lighting type (more to the UVB range) actually reach the Earth surface.

AquaRayNUV2013

TMC NUV with Reef White Combo

Watch your eyes, as it can be quick to try and blind you. UVB is harmful, so consider safety.

The fixture could be considered for reptile use, but keep in mind, it has a purple/blue look and since this is a new technology, reptiles would really need to be watched as far as health, as no reptile UVB LEDs are on the market as of yet.

repitlesunUVB

Standard UVB Fluorescent

NUVSpectrum

NUV Spectrum

Considering the amount of energy used by both fixtures, the NUV could be used as a supplement UVB light, to be ran all day during normal daylight hours for reptiles. For reef tanks, volume of water needs to be considered. The supplement light can be ran all day on 170 gals of water.

Guest Authored By: Devon Trigg

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What to Consider When Choosing Your Aquarium LED Lights

See the In-Depth LED Comparison Chart at the end of this article.
After clicking on it to enlarge, it can be saved to as a picture file for future reference too!

Please also read my more in depth LED article (which has more pictures too):
LED Aquarium Lights, Lighting; How they work
As well please read the many references throughout this article.

spectrum
There are two main reason to have proper lighting over your aquarium. The first is to be able to see our inhabitants and the other reason is to support the life in the tank. Both of these aspects will be addressed in this article.

Lumens
The basic unit of light is lumens (lm). This is a unit of luminous flux, which is a measure of the power of light perceived by the human eye. There are other ways to address this light flux, but for our purposes it can be thought of as the total amount of visible light emitted from a source. The more lumens, the bright the light will appear. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your tank will look brighter, as lumens does not take into account the direction the light is going.

Lux
The lux (lx) is derived from the lumen and is a measure of illuminance. This is the luminous flux hitting the surface. This is important because it is the effectively the amount of useful light. For example 1000 lumens spread over an area 1m2 gives you a figure of 1000 lux; however the same amount of light spread over a 10m2 area gives an illuminance of only 100 lux.

In short, illuminance is more relevant to lighting an aquarium than the luminous flux (lm) because this is a measure of light that can be in part applied to your aquarium. This figure will decrease the further from the source you get, and so when comparing different light sources the measurement should be taken at the same source.
This said, be aware that this standard of “Lux” applies to the visible light spectrum of humans and is thus is even more narrow than PAR.

Reference:
Aquarium Lighting; LUX

Spread
It is important to get a reasonable spread of light in your aquarium. This will allow you to view as much as possible and to get an even lighting effect. This can be affected by the type of reflector or lenses used on a light.

Color Rendition
The color of light used is critical if you want your aquarium to look the best. Reds will wash out under only blue light and similarly blues will not look good under red light. It is important to choose a light that picks out colors that you want to show. If you want luscious green-looking plants in your aquarium then a warmer white light will work well as it has more greens in the light.

Lighting Effects
Although spread is important, light and dark can be used in an aquarium to achieve dramatic effects. Think about varying light levels throughout your aquascape. Perhaps use a spotlight to highlight your favorite coral specimen. Or directed light to cast shadows in your tank. Remember you are making a display so think of it as lighting a stage.

Tips-
Always check the lighting requirements of the animals you are keeping. Some need lots of light to survive, while others prefer shaded spots.

Light to support life

Wavelength and spectrum
Visible light is actually a form of electromagnetic radiation that our eyes are sensitive to. This means that it can be thought of as waves of energy radiating through space. The length of one of those waves defines the color of the light and for visible light it is measured in hundreds of nano meter (nm). For example, violet radiation is about 410nm-440nm, the comes blue at 440-460nm. This continues through all the colors of the rainbow until we get to red at around 700nm. When these wavelengths are combined, different colors can be made.
For example 450nm blue and 700nm red would look like purple light to us, which is also known as CRI. What is worthy of note is that mixing of blue and red does not give you 410nm violet, RATHER the appearance of violet/purple.

When most of the colors are represented in fairly balanced amounts (particularly red, blue, and green), then the human eye will see it as white light. The amount of each color in a light is called it’s spectrum. A good spectrum will be as close to natural sunlight as possible which mean there will be light present from every wavelength throughout the visible spectrum.

PAR/PUR
Photosynthesis is a process that both plants and most corals use to turn light into food. This process allows these organisms to grow and flourish, and without the correct light energy they will die or with some marine animals that use this process for part of their food, they will simply not flourish.

PAR-(Photosynthically Active Radiation) is the measure of light within the range of wavelengths used by photosynthetic organisms (400-700 nm). It is measured in microEinsteins/m2/second. In physics, light is thought of as particles of energy, or photons. An Einstein is one mole of photons, where a mole is the number of carbon atoms in 12g of carbon (6.0221415×10^23).

Like illuminance, PAR measurements will decrease the further from the source you get, and so when comparing different lights the measurement should be taken at the same distance.

So, PAR is basically a measurement of the amount of light that photosynthetic organisms can use, and photosynthetic organisms include the plant and corals in your aquarium. This make it an important factor in choosing our lights. If you are keeping certain species that require a lot of light then you need high PAR levels. These doesn’t necessarily mean getting the brightest light you can, because the quality of the spectrum of light is important.
Some lights can provide broken spectrums which mean that although it is delivering high amounts of light in certain colors, it is lacking in others. The light may still appear to be white, but it may have serious deficiencies. PAR is therefore a partial but not complete indicator of what will work over your aquarium.

PUR stands for Photosynthetically Useable Radiation. This is even more useful than PAR as with PAR is what an organism can use, PUR is what it actually does use. Unfortunately, this is impossible to test for as it differs from species to species. It is worth nothing through that high PAR does not guarantee good results, but light energy within the known “spikes” of PUR is the better guarantee of results with less wasted energy.

Reference:
Aquarium Lighting; PUR
PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting

The above article is MUST read article, since their is so much confusion being spread on the Internet about the importance of PAR and unnecessary PAR readings when PUR is more important

Photoinhibition
Unfortunately it isn’t quite as easy as just putting as much light as possible over your aquarium. There is a point at which light becomes damaging to plants and corals in that it actually reduces the ability to photosynthesise. Plants can get burnt and wither and corals can bleach. It is important that you recognize this when choosing your lighting and make sure you don’t over do it.

Lighting Penetration
As light passes through water it loses energy and is eventually absorbed completely. This means that it is important that the light you use has enough energy to pass through the depth of water for your tank you are trying to light.

Generally speaking this isn’t usually a problem unless you have a deep tank and want to keep animals that need high light levels at the bottom of the tank. Ways to ensure good penetration of light is to use very high power light (this method can be quite wasteful), or to focus the light to make sure that it reaches to where you need it.

Color Temperature
As light is absorbed by water it changes color because the lower wavelengths are absorbed first. This is the one of the reason that deep water can sometime look blue. This means that certain corals are adapted to more blue colored white light. Color temperature is a way to describe the color of white light. It is based on the color that a black body radiator will go as it is heated to very high temperatures and measured in Kelvin (K), which is a unit of temperature used in physics. So, at 3500K the white light is yellowy, like a standard light bulb. Natural daylight on a bright sunny day is considered to be 6500K. The more blue-whites that are good for keeping marine animals are at around 10000-20000K.

Reference:
Aquarium Lighting- Kelvin

Fact-
When changing lighting, you should expect a transition period where the plants and animals are adjusting to the new set-up. This can sometimes take a few weeks.

There are three main types of lighting that can be used on aquaria. Fluorescent, metal halide and LED.

Before the emergence of high power LEDs, the aquarist would have a fairly easy decision to make on whether to use metal halide or fluorescent lighting as they each have very clear and different advantages/disadvantages. LED light is now able to outperform these technologies in most cases, but there are still important considerations to take into account for each type.

Since LEDs are relatively new to aquarium lighting, but has taken the hobby by storm due to it’s longevity and practicality the remainder of this article will focus on different LEDs that are on the market today. If you would like more information on fluorescent or metal halide lighting, please see these additional resources.

Reference:

Aquarium Lighting- Complete facts and Information

If you would like some great in depth information specially about LEDs and their evolution in the aquarium world, please see this trusted source about the topic.

Reference:
LED Aquarium Types

With this aquarium lighting article, a great deal of effort has been put into to finding the best aquarium light on the market today. There is a handful of measures that are taken into account to make something the best. If you would like a great suggestion what what I think is the best light on the market, please take a look at this comparison chart that has been put together. It looks at some real contenders when it comes to aquarium light.
The chart shows pros and cons of each light. LED were the only lights compared in this chart, because as a standard, LEDs are becoming the best for aquarium lighting. Now, figuring out what LED is the best of the LEDs on market is the next step. I believe this chart will help guide many in the right directions.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE CHART TO ENLARGE

AquaRay, Maxspect, EcoTech, Taotronics, Evergrow, Al Sol, Kessil, LEDs; Aquarium Lighting Best LED

Comparison chart to show all pro and cons of major LEDs on the market.

Please note that as per the “true dimming” feature and requirement of fans by many if not most LEDs; this is based on the FACT most Aquarium LEDs still utilize the energy INEFFICIENT and HEAT PRODUCING “Current Reduction” Technology versus the VASTLY SUPERIOR “Pulse Width Modulation” Technology

Reference:
Aquarium Lighting; PWM
Aquarium LED Lights; PWM versus Current Reduction From this website

What is also worth noting is the Warranties, as most of the popular Aquarium LEDs are only warranted for one year, so in the end the bargain may not be a bargain when the LED fails in 3 years.
While a reader might think this is not likely; actual failure caused from excess heat, often the result from fan failure is quite common, since all LEDs but for the TMC require cooling fans due to their excess heat production which is a result of the technology used to drive/control their lights as noted earlier.

Further Suggested Reading:
LED Aquarium Lights, Lighting; How they work

Recommended Online Sellers
Based on product knowledge and up to date models sold (I do NOT recommend Dr. Tims):
AquaRay Lighting
These are the original Reef Capable Aquarium LEDs, with many upgrades since inception and original patents

Copyright 2015 by Steve Allen & Devon Trigg (Comparison Chart)

TMC AquaBeam 2000 HD Ultima NP Review

Last Revised 1/22/2015

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:
PUR versus PAR in Aquarium Lighting
Aquarium Lighting; Complete Information

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).

Specifications:

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 LED PAR
TMC AquaRay Reef White 2000 PAR
Professional 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

Copyright 2015
By Steve Allen