Tag Archives: Aquarium Lighting

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.

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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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New TMC AquaBeam 600 Ultima Aquarium LED Light

TMC has a new series of LED Aquarium Lights coming out in 2013;
The TMC AquaBeam 600 Ultima LED
Expected availability; early 2013

A friend loaned me one for testing and while these are preliminary results, I am quite happy with their potential.

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 Sterilization; Aquarium or Pond

Copyright 2013
By Steve Allen

T2 Subminiature Aquarium Lights; Review, Planted, Reef, Fish

Revised; 11/3/14

T2 Aquarium Lights; Review

Although not as well known as their larger T5 and T12 cousins, the T2 subminiature aquarium light offers a unique small yet higher output of PUR per watt of electricity used over their larger cousins.
Information Source: Aquarium Lighting, PUR, Useful Light Energy


Despite what others such as a misinformed member at Aquatic Plant Central said (Niko), these are not just “to mount under kitchen cabinets”.
Yes, the original T2 Light fixtures were just that; for high light in a small space, generally storage, cabinets and similar. But the same can be said for almost all other aquarium lighting from T8, T5, to LEDs; these all got their start for other lighting applications and then correct Kelvin, reflectors, etc. were added to make these work for aquatic applications.

What is unfortunately missed by anecdotal comments such as those made at Aquatic Plant Central (admittedly this post is almost two years old, but others still read this when searching for answers), is that the aquarium industry as a whole is but a needle in a haystack and that much of the equipment, treatments, even quality fish foods have been developed in other industries since there is little development funding in the aquarium industry due to its size.

Please see the above/left planted 60 gallon aquarium that is lighted with (6) 13 Watt 6400k T2 Lights.

Planted 10 gallon Aquarium with T2 6400l lighting, lightsOr see the picture to the left for a 10 gallon planted aquarium with only two 11 Watt T2 Lights.

Neither tanks are using supplemental CO2 other than Flourish Excel.
Product Source: Flourish Excel from American Aquarium

Both pictures can be enlarged by clicking on.

 
 

Back to Aquarium T2 Lights:
With the new rotating focusing lens and the Tropical Noon 6400K daylight lamps, the T2 is viable alternative T5s and especially T8s and CFL lights.
The lumen output is 73 lumens per watt (better than any CFL), with a slightly higher blue content (with slightly less useless green/yellow light energy) than comparable CFLs.
The bottom line is; the best 6400K T2 lights with their high lumen per watt and PUR output require as little as 1 to 1.25 watts per gallon for a planted aquarium!

The picture above left shows the underside of an old Bio Cube Aquarium hood with two new CFL 6500K Daylight Bulbs (one 13 watt and one 15 watt) plus the addition of just an 8 Watt 6400K T2 Retrofit!

Recommended Product Source: T2 Aquarium Lights

The Picture below is this same 14 gallon Bio Cube showing the light differences in the aquarium. It is noteworthy that the T2 is more forward in the hood, so when only the T2 is on the back of the aquarium is slightly dark. This said, it is still obvious that the One 8 Watt T2 completes quite well with Two CFL lights of approximately 75% higher wattage.
The reader should also note that the T2 produces a slightly more crisp light.
(Both pictures can be clicked on to enlarge)

Below is a top view of just many ways to mount these VERY versatile lights, which can be simply placed on top with spacers, mounted into a hood, mounted into a shelf above, mounted into a wall or board behind the tank, or many other ways anyone with just a small amount of creative skills can think of!!
This picture shows a creative way two of these lights can be tied together using included parts so as to make a double light for placement on a smaller high light requiring planted aquarium:
t2 Aquarium Lighted top view mounting

For marine aquariums, the T2 fall short for applications much over 12 inches in part due to the fact they are currently available in 6400K daylight (which is generally the most PAR/PUR optimized kelvin temperature), however higher kelvin temperatures of 9000K to 14000k are necessary for increasingly deeper aquariums.
This said, the T2 can still be used in a marine/reef aquarium lighting mix with T5, LED, etc of higher Daylight Kelvin as well as blue/actinic.
Also the T2 6400K daylight is excellent for many Reef Aquarium Refugium and/or sump applications.

Information Source: Marine Aquarium Care

Back to Planted Freshwater or Fish only freshwater, these T2 lights are unbeatable for the light output in a small space, with exceptional plant growth to prove it.
This is based personal use as well as a many friends in the aquarium industry now using these lights. In fact one friend told me that he knows of a client from NASA who has purchased several on many occasions (what he used the lights for, I do not know).

Information Source: Planted Aquarium Care

Probably the biggest draw back as I see it for the T2 Light is the fragile size of the lamp, but even here I have seen few difficulties other than the very small contact area between the lamp and the fixture which is easy to move the lamp “out of place”, resulting in the lamp not functioning.
This is one reason the T2 Aquarium Light is not available in sizes over 21 inches; however this too is overcome with the nice linkable feature that each fixture comes standard with which basically makes each light fixture into a larger one.

Copyright 2014; Steve Allen

Further References:


Aquarium Lighting

Or for the best in premium hot cathode replacement UV Bulbs for aquarium or pond UV Sterilization, please follow these two resource links:
*Premium UV Bulb, Lamps, Lights
*UV Sterilization; How Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilizers Work