View Full Version : Lighting Question

04/17/2017, 09:35 AM
As much as I love the Kessil lights they are a tad on the expensive side, looking at the Orbit Marine Pro Led instead.

Anyone used this?

Would it be enough for my Macros?


Ron Reefman
04/20/2017, 04:49 AM
Is this for a display refugium, a sump based refugium or a regular display tank?

I don't think macro algae has the kind of powerful light requirements that corals do, so that fixture probably would work (but that's the opinion of somebody who has very little experience with them). On the other hand, for a refugium, do you need the kind of control that fixture offers? Why not look at a black box led grow light for about $100. Or an led grow light from Lowes with a cheap fixture, mine cost about $35.

04/20/2017, 06:23 AM
This is for a regular display tank

Michael Hoaster
04/20/2017, 11:30 AM
I just read a few reviews. It looks like an amazing setup, with the remote and everything. However, the consensus was that it wasn't quite enough for sps or deeper tanks. I would consider macro tanks about equal to sps tanks' requirements, so the big question is, how tall is your tank?

LEDs are sexy and versatile and all the rage, but I wouldn't call them the best value in lighting at this time. They are awesome, for sure, but to get ENOUGH light, they're not cheap. If you're really looking for the best light for your dollar, consider less in-vogue options.

I've seen some pretty sexy T5 fixtures lately that look very cool, and cost less. Maybe a combination of the non-pro version, so you get that adjustability, with fluorescents could work.

It's a tricky game, trying to save cash in this hobby! Research is key. Good luck!

04/21/2017, 08:07 AM
I used to run T5's and had good success, however I am somewhat addicted to the shimmer that you get with LED's. My tank is not that deep (22 inches) and I plan to stick with stuff like caulurpa down on the sand bed and the reds on my live rock with comes up to within 12 inches of the surface

Michael Hoaster
04/21/2017, 09:43 AM
Ahh, the shimmer! I too am addicted. Got it.

Well, it sounds like you've got options. Sam.basye mentioned another one on my thread you may want to look into. I myself still love my metal halide, which could be another option for you. Sounds like you're dead-set on LEDs. Have you looked on any threads in the equipment forums?

04/21/2017, 10:09 AM
I haven't given much thought to halides, I have a fully enclosed hood and to run halides would mean much more active cooling. The tank is in a "Sitting Room" and so keeping noise down to a minimum is a must. It'll be a bit till I pull the trigger on any lights, so I'm trying to get as much research done as possible.

Michael Hoaster
04/21/2017, 11:14 AM
With the 22" depth, you may be good to go, with the Pro version. I'd keep researching until you are sure.

From what I've read, the high-powered LEDs give off a lot of heat too, though I'm not sure how they compare to metal halide. My hood is fully enclosed as well. I have two silent fans. You often see them marketed alongside metal halide lights. One is mounted low, at one end, and sucks new air in. The other is mounted high, at the other end, and blows hot air out. Works great and is dead silent. I also love the natural look of a single-point light source. It looks like sunlight. I'm attracted to dirt-simple, old school, low-tech stuff.

I must say I am enjoying your journey to affordable LED lighting. With the bewildering selection, it's a real challenge. The cheap ones are a joke, and even some of the premium ones I've seen at my LFS did not impress me. So I'm waiting and watching, on LEDs, for the right price and the right characteristics.

That reminds me, in the aquarium hobby, we often pay a higher price for the same things that are cheaper elsewhere. For example, I saved about $100 on my electronic ballast by buying it from a horticulture site. I would imagine LEDs are a hot item in that area as well, so you may want check 'em out.

Thanks for sharing. This is a subject a lot of us are interested in!

Ron Reefman
04/22/2017, 03:29 AM

This link is to a post that gives a lot of info about the variety of leds fixtures.

And I have to disagree with one think Michael said above, most led fixtures these days run pretty cool. In fact my Reef Breeders Photon V2 has fans that are thermally controlled. The fixture doesn't even get warm until you start to run it at 75% of capacity or more. I run my blues at 90% and whites at 40%, the fixture is hardly more than room temp and the fans don't even come on!

04/22/2017, 08:03 AM
I have a current orbit marine led. I have the regular version but I'd love the pro version I know that's full spectrum. Grows my macro really nice look at my profile picture😍Good luck keep us posted

Michael Hoaster
04/22/2017, 11:49 AM
Great info Ron! It sounds like you've been down this road before…

mzkrista, how deep is your tank? Do you think the pro version is adequate for macros in a 22" deep tank?

Ron Reefman
04/23/2017, 04:28 AM
Great info Ron! It sounds like you've been down this road before…

Let's just say that I have quite a bit of experience with the inexpensive end (and some with the high end) of the led fixture business. It's still one of my main interests as I watch the led market evolve. I've owned 15 different models of led fixtures from 9 different companies over the last 6 years. But part of that is because I have 4 tanks and 2 refugiums.

05/15/2017, 11:29 AM
Just pulled the trigger on a pair of VivarSpectra 165's, they will be here on the 17th