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Unread 07/17/2015, 08:06 AM   #1
kenpau
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Giesemann Aurora Hybrid review

I've just bought one of these units and was trying to find a few reviews on them before I dropped $3500, however there was nothing online in the way of user reviews so I thought I'd just do a couple of write ups about it for anyone interested in getting one.

I was running Hydra52s before the Giesemann:-

IMAG0338 by kenpau01, on Flickr

I found these gave out great PAR but the optical angle was poor so I wasn't getting enough light off the centre line, meaning that my Acropora would grow up but probably wouldn't branch out as much as I'd like.
My options were to add another Hydra52 and switch them 90 degrees into parallel or to add T5, in the end the Giesemann pulled me in! so I bought the 1.5m unit which is the same length as my tank.
The 1.5m unit has 4 LED boards totalling 340w and 4 T5 tubes totalling 320w so 660w all up, something to note for you guys from North America is that I think the maximum wattage for T5 tubes in the US Aurora Hybrid fixture is 54w not 80w as in Australia because of the voltage difference.

Day of arrival......

IMAG0347 (1) by kenpau01, on Flickr

IMAG0348 by kenpau01, on Flickr

IMAG0350 by kenpau01, on Flickr

IMAG0351 by kenpau01, on Flickr


The fixture then sat on my dining table for two days while I tried to figure out the best way of hanging it from my ceiling. The problem being I couldn't find anywhere that gave a definite weight of the light itself. In the end I put a couple of braces across the joists in my ceiling and used 10kg rated spring clips to hold it. Nervous moments when I finally hung it......

IMAG0362 by kenpau01, on Flickr

Using a cardboard box as a control measure Australian style.....she'll be right!!


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Last edited by kenpau; 07/17/2015 at 08:13 AM.
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Unread 07/18/2015, 03:48 AM   #2
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So after the light was hung and didn't look like it was going to fall down I moved on to the setup. Being a German unit the build quality and level of detail is exceptional, this quility carries over into the extremely detailed instructions on how to program the lights...

IMAG0372 by kenpau01, on Flickr

Unfortunately the other thing apart from build quality that you expect from the Germans is that they speak German.....and I don't! I did a search online for Aurora Hybrid instructions and nothing, luckily the technology is taken straight from the Futura LED so I just followed the instructions from there.

Am still playing around with the lights, this was taken this morning with just LEDs at 40%

IMAG0366 by kenpau01, on Flickr

and with LED (80%) and T5 (100%) (little spot the difference between this shot and the previous one....)

IMAG0370 by kenpau01, on Flickr


Thing of beauty.......

IMAG0369 by kenpau01, on Flickr

As amazing as this light is, there are a couple of areas that it falls down

The control interface isn't as user friendly as the Apex for the Hydra52s

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 5.34.43 pm by kenpau01, on Flickr

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.19.49 pm by kenpau01, on Flickr

And it has real time lunar simulation which I was looking forward to, however there is a problem....

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 5.34.53 pm by kenpau01, on Flickr

You can adjust the intensity of the moonlighting up to 100%, well 30% and I was going blind, I regularly sit in a dark room with just the moonlights on relaxing, there is no relaxing at anything over 30% just a whole lot of blue!
I found the maximum I'd want for a full moon is 15%, the problem with this being that the LEDs aren't high enough to turn on for the first 3 days and last 3 days of the cycle. This is a bit annoying because I was happy to not have any moonlighting when it was a new moon outside but to not have it for 6 days a month would suck a bit, I'll keep playing.

That's about as far as I've got so far,

Pros of the Aurora Hybrid:-

Design is stunning
Quality of the build
At 660W its got plenty of punch
Heaps of controllability
Integrates the best of T5 and LED (yes there is shimmer!)

Cons:-

Cost (obviously!)
User interface could be better
Moonlighting needs an improvement
You need to speak German to follow the instructions provided!

The proof in the pudding will be coral growth, I'm picking up a quantum meter tomorrow and it'll be interesting to see the difference between the PAR for the Giesemann and what I had with the Hydra52s.


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Unread 07/18/2015, 07:33 AM   #3
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Thank you for demonstrating your light. Have been going back and forth with the idea of having the Mitras, Futura or Aurora. Will be interesting to see real life PAR readings from the fixture


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Unread 07/18/2015, 10:20 AM   #4
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that fixture looks amazing but that 2k price tag is hard to stomach lol


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Unread 07/18/2015, 11:11 AM   #5
Helfish
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The price of the fixture seems pretty high in compared to the prices here in the Europe. Here the fixture is about 1600 euros, which is about 1700 US dollars and 2350 Australian dollars. Is it taxes, shipping or just distributor margins?


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Unread 07/18/2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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Very nice and this coming from a mostly MH person


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Unread 07/18/2015, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helfish View Post
Is it taxes, shipping or just distributor margins?
Giesemann has always been very expensive in the U.S.. They import and sell very few lights and apparently Coralvue, the U.S. distributor, doesn't have any interest in being competitive with ATI or Pacsun.


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Unread 07/18/2015, 08:20 PM   #8
kenpau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helfish View Post
The price of the fixture seems pretty high in compared to the prices here in the Europe. Here the fixture is about 1600 euros, which is about 1700 US dollars and 2350 Australian dollars. Is it taxes, shipping or just distributor margins?
Australian import taxes are quite high as far as I'm aware. The economy over here is doing fairly well too which could potentially contribute to higher prices.


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Unread 07/19/2015, 03:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefvet View Post
Giesemann has always been very expensive in the U.S.. They import and sell very few lights and apparently Coralvue, the U.S. distributor, doesn't have any interest in being competitive with ATI or Pacsun.
Yeah, it seems so. Shame, as more competition is always good for the consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpau View Post
Australian import taxes are quite high as far as I'm aware. The economy over here is doing fairly well too which could potentially contribute to higher prices.
I have read few times about the price differences in there and usually it is big. Beautiful tank btw


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Unread 07/19/2015, 08:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Helfish View Post
I have read few times about the price differences in there and usually it is big. Beautiful tank btw
Thanks mate, it's got a long way to go, but for 6 months old it's going ok. Still a few things I'm not happy with but moving in the right direction!


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Unread 07/19/2015, 08:12 AM   #11
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So I got hold of a quantum meter tonight and took PAR readings for the Giesemann, the results were a little surprising...

Results are for LEDs and T5 at 100% (smaller readings are at the glass front/back)

IMAG0370 by kenpau01, on Flickr


The PAR wasn't much different from my Hydra52 readings

14k100 by kenpau01, on Flickr

There was a couple of important differences though, with the Hydra52s the maximum PAR I was reading on the front/back glass was 60, with the Aurora I was getting 150 at mid tank level and 170 on the sand bed. This was the light spread I was missing from the Hydra52s and the reason I made the change, the PAR itself directly below the fixture however is comparable.


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Unread 07/19/2015, 09:31 AM   #12
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So the Aurora really do benefit from the more diffuse light spread of the T5's. The LED's in Aurora are also without any optics, so that would affect to the PAR readings aswell. How do you like the shimmer? How noticable it is when runnin T5's 100%? How do you like the color mixing of the LED's? How strong is the discoball effect?

Would be interesting to know PAR readings from LED's only

I'm like a question machine today


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Unread 07/19/2015, 10:23 AM   #13
kenpau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helfish View Post
So the Aurora really do benefit from the more diffuse light spread of the T5's. The LED's in Aurora are also without any optics, so that would affect to the PAR readings aswell. How do you like the shimmer? How noticable it is when runnin T5's 100%? How do you like the color mixing of the LED's? How strong is the discoball effect?

Would be interesting to know PAR readings from LED's only

I'm like a question machine today
It definitely seems that the issues of light spread with LEDs are dealt with by the T5s. There is shimmer, when the T5 is at 100% it's still visible, not like Kessils but just a gentle shimmer.
There is no discoball effect that I've noticed, if it's there then it's very faint, and no chance of it with the T5s running.
I'll get PAR readings of just LED tomorrow.
Questions are good, that's why I started this thread because there was just no information online, there can't be many people running this light (understandable because of the price) because all the reviews I found were from magazines/websites and not end users.


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Unread 07/19/2015, 10:40 AM   #14
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I've seen these at the local elos store they look very nice in person in the white. Online I thought they looked kinda old with the halide type arch(i prefer the thin ati style) but in person a very nice light.his sps with that light looked better than the tank with just aquaillunination led.that being said I still prefer the corals under a 8 bulb t5/led combo for color and growth.


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Unread 07/19/2015, 09:54 PM   #15
kenpau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helfish View Post
Would be interesting to know PAR readings from LED's only
Here you go, PAR readings with LEDs at 100% and no T5s...

IMAG0366 by kenpau01, on Flickr

This show pretty much exactly the same issue as I had with the Hydra52s, the PAR readings are a little lower, which is understandable as each Aurora LED board has 85 watts of power against the 135 watts the Hydra52 has.
The issue I had with the Hydra52s was light spread, I was getting exactly the same PAR at the glass as I did with just LEDs here, about 60 PAR at mid tank level, there is a massive drop off in PAR as you move away from the centre line of the tank which could lead to acropora especially not branching as well as they could because the light simply isn't there.

So I could have possibly got the same kind of results as the Giesemann with LEDs and T5 on by buying 1 or 2 more Hydra52s and mounting them in Parallel to achieve total light spread. The advantage with the Giesemann being that it has 2 types of lighting to aid coral growth and especially that in my case it has proven actinic growth and colouration qualities (depending on the T5 tubes you install).


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Unread 07/20/2015, 07:40 AM   #16
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I just spit out my Mountain Dew when I saw the price tag.

Nice light though!


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Unread 07/20/2015, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefvet View Post
Giesemann has always been very expensive in the U.S.. They import and sell very few lights and apparently Coralvue, the U.S. distributor, doesn't have any interest in being competitive with ATI or Pacsun.
Looking at the Coralvue website the 4' fixture is priced about $500 less than what my boss paid for his 4' Moonlight MH/T10 fixture back in 2000. And Coralvue was not the distributor at that time.


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Unread 07/20/2015, 08:10 AM   #18
kenpau
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Looking at the Coralvue website the 4' fixture is priced about $500 less than what my boss paid for his 4' Moonlight MH/T10 fixture back in 2000. And Coralvue was not the distributor at that time.
That Moonlight fixture is $7000 here in Australia for the 1.5m, I read up about it expecting something amazingly different from any other light....why is it so expensive??


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Unread 07/20/2015, 12:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kenpau View Post
Here you go, PAR readings with LEDs at 100% and no T5s...
Thanks! This definitely confirms to me, that if I'm going to illuminate my tank with LED's only, I need lot more fixture/cover than manufacturers recommend. PAR readings with LED's fade away quite fast when measuring from the middle of the fixture. Was interesting to notice, that the PAR with LED's only was about half, than with everything on 100%. I have tried to dig up information from this fixture also, but only found few videos from YouTube. Then of course there are "reviews" from different blogs, but I don't really believe in them, cos I think they are paid to review-type of articles and without any real-life scenarios.

Does the fixture contain any fans? Did you peek inside and see how the cooling is constructed with the LED panels?

Aurora looks really sleek with the white coating btw.



Last edited by Helfish; 07/20/2015 at 12:11 PM.
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Unread 07/20/2015, 12:09 PM   #20
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Online I thought they looked kinda old with the halide type arch(i prefer the thin ati style) but in person a very nice light.
The Aurora is quite masculine looking light, with all that metal and that heavy look. It really is different when comparing with more recent LED fixture, which are as thin and small as possible.


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Unread 07/20/2015, 12:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpau View Post
That Moonlight fixture is $7000 here in Australia for the 1.5m, I read up about it expecting something amazingly different from any other light....why is it so expensive??
WOW!

The fixture is 15 years old and still working, the lamps get changed every two years. Everything is built into the fixture, so mounting it was very simple and clean. The incandescent lamp used for the moonlight is perfect, versus the LED counter parts. The fact in 2000 it had all controls in the fixture including the moonlight schedule was state of the art. I am guessing it is so expensive is because they don't make that many and retooling just for that fixture is expensive?


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Unread 07/20/2015, 06:43 PM   #22
kenpau
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Does the fixture contain any fans? Did you peek inside and see how the cooling is constructed with the LED panels?.
It has fans hidden inside the unit, it actually runs really cool, you can put your hand on it with no problems after running T5s all day and I've never actually heard the fans running, the fixture itself runs really quietly.


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Unread 07/21/2015, 09:35 AM   #23
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Thanks for the review. This is one of the light fixture that I'm currently looking at if I'm going to LED. Nice looking light and looks to be very capable.
When I was looking at the picture of the tank with just the LED, it seems to me there's spots of different color on the sand or the disco light effect. Now looking back at the picture with the LED and T5, there's still the disco effect but less apparent. Is it just the picture?


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Unread 07/21/2015, 09:44 AM   #24
kenpau
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Originally Posted by this is me View Post
Thanks for the review. This is one of the light fixture that I'm currently looking at if I'm going to LED. Nice looking light and looks to be very capable.
When I was looking at the picture of the tank with just the LED, it seems to me there's spots of different color on the sand or the disco light effect. Now looking back at the picture with the LED and T5, there's still the disco effect but less apparent. Is it just the picture?
I hadn't noticed that before but you're right. It's definitely not noticeable in person though, especially with T5s on. I'll see if I can upload a video if I can work out how to do it!


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Unread 07/22/2015, 02:37 AM   #25
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Nice lights,

to see if it fits with my tank and bracing may I ask?

what are the dimensions of each led board?

what are the dimension from the end of the unit to the center of each led board?

Can the position of the LED panels be changed ( if aluminum spacers are removed)?

On a side note the disco effect may just be a sync issue with camera shutter speed and led drive profiles. Chances are the leds are not being driven by a pure DC feed, but by a square wave etc, so the camera may take a picture when all leds are not on. Just a thought.


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