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View Full Version : Stumped - Help me choose a lighting option - Mitras vs Aurora


Punchanello
09/06/2017, 07:09 PM
Hi All,

I'd be grateful for your opinions. I'm about to invest in lighting lighting for my 500 litre 5x2x2. It will be a mixed reef tank with a substantial portion of real estate going to SPS corals. I've narrowed my search down to two options: 3 x GHL Mitras Lx7206 or a 4-5 foot Geisemann Aurora Hybrid. Both are obviously relatively high end and made by trusted companies and will do the job. Here's my list of pros and cons:

Mitras Pros

- LED so less issue with heat
- No ongoing costs for new t5s
- Less electricity cost
- Impressive spread when compared to other premium LED products
- Seamless control option with Profilux controller I intend to buy
- Nice form factor

Mitras Cons

- Initially significantly more expensive than Aurora
- Subject to the limitations of LED when compared to T5 use with SPS
- Hanging kit for 3 units is about $350 AUS but at least double that for shipping!
- No local support for product

Aurora Pros

- Much cheaper than Mitras option initially
- All the benefits of T5 and LED
- Very, very nice form factor (to my eyes the single cross tank unit looks better than the 3 pendants, not by much though).
- Some local support for product

Aurora Cons

- Greater heat management requirements than LED
- Less compatibility with Profilux controller I intend to buy
- Ongoing costs T5 bulbs (up to $250 every six months for bulbs)
- Less energy efficient $$$


I really can't split them :debi:

LQT
09/06/2017, 08:13 PM
Go Hybrid. It's cheaper upfront and you have local support. More importantly, for an SPS tank, I think hybrid is the best modern lighting option available at the moment relative to cost and coverage. Depending on how deep your tank is front to back, you'd probably need an additional Mitra fixture, for a total of 4 with the fixtures oriented perpendicularly for better fore to aft coverage.

I actually voted for the GHL Mitras as I initially thought you were comparing it to Giesemann's LED only fixture, the Verve. I got the names confused with the Aurora.

Punchanello
09/06/2017, 08:21 PM
Double post

FirstContact
09/06/2017, 09:12 PM
I just saw the GHL Mitras up close and personal at MACNA along with what Giesemann had to offer. The GHL Mitras appears much more machined/higher end than anything Giesemann had on display. Was very impressed with the Mitras lighting as it looked in person. The other light that caught my attention was Maxspect's Recurve.

mako61
09/06/2017, 09:22 PM
I have Mitras lx7s I like them a lot. You can see them on my homepage vid. Nice thread on them here also.

Cheapreef
09/06/2017, 10:02 PM
After seeing a few tanks with Mitras 100% the way I'd go.

What's this then?

- Subject to the limitations of LED when compared to T5 use with SPS

Punchanello
09/06/2017, 10:11 PM
After seeing a few tanks with Mitras 100% the way I'd go.

What's this then?

- Subject to the limitations of LED when compared to T5 use with SPS

I have no practical personal experience but the consensus seems to be that T5 tends to spread light more evenly than LED with less shading which is beneficial to keeping large colonies of SPS coral.

That said, the way the lights are arranged on the Mitras and the reflective housings of the LED clusters are unlike any other product I have seen so perhaps they go a long way to addressing this.

Thanks for the feedback btw. I'm getting a strong Mitras vibe here.

LQT
09/06/2017, 10:41 PM
With the exception of the Philips CoralCare (which isn't available in the US, not sure about AUS), I think the GHL Mitras 7200s are the most innovative commercial LED offering to date in the aquarium hobby. I got a chance to see them at MACNA too! :D

However, I'm still quite adamant about my points about coverage if you go with them. Each fixture measures about 13 x 8 inches. If you go with 3 fixtures oriented in a parallel manner, that's only a thin strip of lights 8" and two pucks wide to cover the 24" front to back depth. Lots of shadowing still, in the fore to aft dimension. Physically, it's inevitable. That's why I think you'd be better served with 4 fixtures oriented perpendicularly... providing a wider 13" and 3 puck strip of lights along the centerline of your tank.

The Aurora on the other hand is 17.2" wide with T5s to spread the light evenly to alleviate shadows along with the punch and controllability of the LEDs. At 17.2" wide, shadowing across the 24" fore to aft dimension is virtually eliminated.

I know the Mitras are innovative, new and sexy. Practically speaking however, when you compare the costs of the amount of fixtures you'd need to get proper coverage for your 5x2x2 tank, I still believe the Giesemann Aurora wins in terms of cost and performance... and in your case, customer support too.

jda
09/07/2017, 10:23 AM
T5 will also offer spectrum below 400nm and in the gaps of the panel diodes that will help with subtle coral colors. If you think that you are the kid of person who will both notice and care (not everybody notices and not everybody who notices does indeed care), then the Giesemann is for you. Shadows are just one reason that acropora keepers are adding T5s - it probably won't matter that much with Montis, Birdsnest and Poci.

gcarroll
09/07/2017, 01:23 PM
With the exception of the Philips CoralCare (which isn't available in the US, not sure about AUS), I think the GHL Mitras 7200s are the most innovative commercial LED offering to date in the aquarium hobby. I got a chance to see them at MACNA too! :DI'm curious to know what you saw from either of those lights that made you describe them as "the most innovative"?

LQT
09/07/2017, 01:44 PM
I'm curious to know what you saw from either of those lights that made you describe them as "the most innovative"?

For the Philips CoralCare, I'm a big fan of the led "strip arrangement" across the entire panel in conjunction with the frosted glass diffuser to improve color blending and minimize the disco effect of having the laid out LED panel arrangement. Ecotech clearly saw this as worth trying to copy with their plastic diffuser box cover. I also like the passive cooling of the entire fixture having no noise and potential fan failure.

For the GHL Mitras LX7, I like the 6 puck arrangement across the entire fixture coupled with the use of reflectors to try to improve the coverage of the light.

I call these fixtures the most innovative because they attempt to address coverage and shadowing issues that plague traditional puck arrangement point source LED fixtures common in the aquarium hobby today (Radion, Kessil, Hydra). I think these innovations will be adopted in the future fixtures of the big name manufacturers that we see in the hobby moving forward.

RegalAngel
09/07/2017, 04:19 PM
Aurora has been out for a while....the new Genesis is due out soon...and cheaper!
Search Giesemann Genesis

Punchanello
09/07/2017, 08:55 PM
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. Believe it or not it helps!


However, I'm still quite adamant about my points about coverage if you go with them. Each fixture measures about 13 x 8 inches. If you go with 3 fixtures oriented in a parallel manner, that's only a thin strip of lights 8" and two pucks wide to cover the 24" front to back depth. Lots of shadowing still, in the fore to aft dimension. Physically, it's inevitable. That's why I think you'd be better served with 4 fixtures oriented perpendicularly... providing a wider 13" and 3 puck strip of lights along the centerline of your tank.

I'm confident that 3 pendants will be sufficient. GHL lists the coverage as:

Water depth ca. 77 cm / 30.31" Bottom area ca. 82 cm x 55 cm / 32.28" x 21.65"

3 mounted perpendicular on a 150cm tank is probably about right. But as you say shading will be a consideration as corals grow and start to shadow.

So, here's what I'm thinking based on the feedback so far -

This is my first real attempt and the likelihood of me having an acropora garden bursting at the seams in the first couple of years is probably unlikely. Until that happens I think the Mitras will do an excellent job. And you just can't argue with the quality and the build.

Down the track I will probably buy the Geisemann razors and incorporate them in to some kind of canopy with the Mitras.

I think this approach probably gives me the best of both worlds and is a bit more realistic. It also gives me the ability to spec up when I need to for relatively little cost.

Thoughts?

Mark Bianco
09/10/2017, 09:19 AM
Nothing will give you the an even coverage like T5's. I run a Hydra26 on a cube and there are parts of the sps corals that do not get light all around Dont get me wrong I really like the led's. What I am saying is why not get the best of both worlds with a combo fixture. I am currently in the process of making a hood that will incorporate both the Hydra and some t5's. I am positive this will help with the shadowing inherent to led's

MrSkumFrog
09/16/2017, 03:56 AM
I have/had an Aurora. There were things I loved and hated about it.

It was well built. The powder coated finish was tough and the fixture looks very stylish. The combo of T5s and LEDs is always a plus. Geisemann doesn't use lenses on any of their the leds, so it's a dispersed, nonfocused light. The light was blended well with no "disco effect". The PAR was pretty even.

What I disliked was the Bluetooth controlability. I couldn't control it from my phone or ipad; luckily, a Samsung tablet was on sale for $60 and that worked ok. The Geisemann Aurora software had issues, so you had to use the Futura software. This isn't a big deal and perhaps the Aurora software does work now. The app only has 2 preset led preset light settings and no acclimation mode. I heard the German software has many light programs; unfortunately the US app only has 2. Using the setpoints on a tablet are a pain. You can touch the graph and try to drag the setpoints to a specific percentage, but it's difficult to do with precision. It's much easier to adjust the light settings on a computer with a mouse.

Lastly...
The PAR was a little weak for my taste. Some of my acros were doing ok; but I expected more. Anton Post on Youtube has a nice looking reef; however, it's primarily LPS (if I remember right).

I switched to a 6 bulb ATI and my PAR levels increased significantly. Where I was getting 225-250 with my Aurora, I now get 350-400.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz7Oe3qOGUU&t=180s