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Aqua Illumination Modular LED System

Posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 12:57 pm by
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We recently took a closer look at the Aqua Illumination Modular LED System, and are excited to report our results. This LED reef lighting system is comprised of individual units, measuring 11.875″ x 5.375″ x 2.35″, and weighing 4.125 lbs each. Each unit contains 8 triple lenses, 2 whites, and 1 blue, for a total of 24 LEDs (either 38 or 40 degrees optics are used depending on LED color). The modular LED units can be attached to the supplied kit and placed directly on the tank frame, or hung using an optional hanging kit. An excellent benefit of using this system, is that it can grow with you over time, since additional modules can be purchased and attached in-line at any time. One AI Controller can easily support up to 20 modules connected in series, and white and blue bulbs are controlled independently. Each color can range in intensity from 0 to 100. Each Aqua Illumination LED module draws between 70 and 74 watts at full power. The AI modules are rated for over 50,000 hours of operation, which is over 13 years at 10 hours a day :).

We used 2 modules over a 24″ x 24″ x 24″ cube. The unites were mounted on the tank using the supplied kit. We used an Apogee Instruments Quantum Meter to gather our data, and all measurements were taken twice and then averaged. This tank was using a VorTech MP10 was nicely maintaining a wave in this tank during the testing (since we wanted to simulate actual conditions). We measured the tank under 2 conditions:
a. 100% Blue and 50% white
b. 100% Blue and 100% white
Measurements where taken approx 2″ under the module, immediately under the water surface, mid-tank (approx 12″ from the top), and on the sandbed (approx 24″ from the top). Measurements were taken directly under one of the modules.

Our first impression was simply “whoa, that’s bright”. It is very cool to see the color shifting from white, to blue with the twist of a knob. Programming the unit seemed simple enough, and we found ourselves easily playing around the color and intensity without even looking at a manual. Ok, enough of that, let’s get to the PAR numbers:

Distance 100% Blue
50% White
100% Blue
100% White
2″ 1400 3000
under the surface(~3″) 1000 1800
~12″ 850 1200
~24″ 400 600

Well, needless to say, we were very impressed with both the look, and functionality, and intensity of these units. While two Aqua Illumination LED Modules are use roughly half the power consumption of a 250W MH, the intensity of two units far outperforms that of the Metal Halide. There was no noticeable increase in temperature on the tank we looked at, and it is unlikely anyone would need to cool down their tank as a result of using this LED lighting system. We would like to report more long-term results with this module, and are working to gather this information at this time.

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2 Responses to “Aqua Illumination Modular LED System”

  1. Damian says:

    What are your opinions of running one module over a 24Lx24Hx20H tank (Cadlights Artisan 50g)?

    • RT says:

      I believe they recommend one for every 12″ of length, so probably two. Depending on what you’ll have in there, you may be able to raise it and use one. Give them a call.

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