In the first two segments of my LED lighting blogs, I discussed the Ecoxotic and Marineland lines of new LED products. This third entry will cover an interesting new line of products from Ice Cap Inc. Ice Cap has long been associated with quality, high standard, aquarium lighting products. The Ice Cap 430 and 660 electronic ballasts set the bar for performance in fluorescent lighting ballasts.
Ice Cap has recently ventured into the rapidly evolving world of LED aquarium lighting, with its new line of Reef Illuminations fixtures and LunarLite retrofit systems. Unlike the other LED fixtures discussed in the earlier blogs, the Reef Illuminations fixtures are not a pure LED lighting system, they are a hybrid system of both LED and conventional lighting types. The Reef Illuminations fixtures are available in two formats; An LED/T5 configuration, and an LED/T5/Metal Halide version. One of the coolest benefits of using LED lighting on reef aquariums, is the amazing color enhancement, and fluorescence that the actinic LED lights brings out in corals, fish and anemones. It is this element of LED performance that Ice Cap was after in the design of their Reef Illuminations fixtures, with each model containing a unique form of actinic LED, dubbed the LunarLite.
The LunarLite tube enhances the T5 and/or MH bulbs in each respective fixture (details on each fixture below), these LED arrays look much like a T5 tube, and actually mount inside the fixture using standard T5 endcaps. The tube is sealed to protect the LED circuit boards from the harsh aquarium environment, and is also part aluminum heat sink to keep the LED emitters cool. Both fixtures are available in a silver 4’ version only at this time, with other sizes and black models available later in 2010. The LunarLite LED tubes are also available as stand alone retrofit units, that are available in two, three, and four foot lengths.
The T5/LED Reef Illuminations hybrid fixture features four LunarLite LED arrays. Each individual array contains 75 individual 460nm LED emitters, for a total of 7.5 watts each. The fixture also holds four 54watt HO T5 bulbs, which are not included in the fixture, this allows you to customize the lights with your choice of T5 bulbs. Ice Cap sells their HO T5 bulbs in five different color spectrums; 420nm Actinic, 460nm Twilight, 10000K Reef Crest, 12000K Midwater and 14000K Deepwater. Each unit has three separate power cords for the daylight T5, actinic T5, and LED LunarLite for complete control. The T5 ballasts are internal electronic, and the LED lights have an external DC converter. Each unit also comes with adjustable mounting legs for sitting the unit directly on the aquarium, as well as suspension hardware for hanging the fixture if you choose. The fixture is currently available in a 4’ silver version only, but two and three foot versions will be available later in 2010, as well as black versions. The fixture retails for $649.99.
The MH/T5/LED Reef Illuminations hybrid fixture, features two of the same LED LunarLite arrays as the first fixture, and also houses two 54watt HO T5 bulbs, and two 250watt HQI metal Halide bulbs. The T5 and HQI bulbs are not included in the fixture, choose the spectrum bulbs of your choice. The fixture features two cooling fans, one blowing in, one blowing out, and internal electronic ballasts for both the T5 an HQI lights, each with separate power cords for control. Adjustable mounting legs, and suspension hardware are both included for convenience. The fixture is only available in a silver 4’ version at this time, but will be available in three, four and six foot versions later in 2010, as well as black models. This fixture retails for $999.99
LED fixtures are coming out of the woodwork these days, keep checking in with the blog to see what is new, some really cool stuff is going to come out in the near future. As we get our hands on it here at TFP, we will bring it to you.
Until next blog
I’m not to familiar in the reef keeping field but as many other aquarists as myself would like to know if there would be some type of LED fixture made for the planted aquarium hobyists? I also have a tank that is 24″ in depth will this light be able to illuminate my plants at the foreground part of the tank as well as some plants that need higher outputs of light to keep them surviving? I’m pretty sure more aqua scaping people will chime in if you go in this route as well as the reef keeper’s fixtures. Just thought I might add this to make sure no one is left out in the cold.
Pose1, The Ice Cap fixtures can easily be set up for freshwater use, the T5 and/or Metal Halide bulbs are sold seperately in these fixtures, you can choose the spectrum of light yourself. I Think that you will start to see LED fixtures available for freshwater live plant enthusiasts also, LED lights are starting to be used commercially to replace HID fixtures. The Marineland fixtures can be used in shallow freshwater plant tanks, and there will be some higher output Marineland fixtures that hit the shelves later this year, the actinic lights in these fixtures will give your fish very nice color, and night time viewing.