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Old 01/13/2018, 06:09 PM   #1
Emma1234
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Reef Breeders Photon 32-V2 versus Kessil AP700

Hi Everyone,

I am going to buy new lights for my 55 gallon mix reef tank. 18 inches deep and 36 inches left to right and 18 inches front to back.

The tank is in my living room. So my wife has to approve. Anything hanging from the ceiling won't fly. And we wouldn't want the light so bright coming around the tank or between the light and the tank that it would be blinding or distracting. And the "disco" effect, I've heard raised with LEDs, is something that I'm concerned about. And I'd love to have something that provides shimmer.

The Photon V2 and Kessil AP700 both look attractive.

Anyone have any insights on either of these two lights or maybe another recommendations given our needs.

Thanks!


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Old 01/13/2018, 06:25 PM   #2
mrsixstrings12
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I just got a photon 48 on black friday. I have a verrry slight issue with 2 specific LEDS (both purple) not blending in on my photon but it is only problematic on certain channel intensities. The rock is definitely a different color where it is shining but it is cured once my other channels ramp up. I have minimal shimmer. The light itself is very nice looking and I would think it would look nice hanging by itself. I am restricted by my canopy so it is hanging a little too close to the water than I want. I think once I raise it, my blending issue will 100% go away. I'm sure if I had more surface agitation, I would be getting shimmer, but I'm not much of a shimmer fan.


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Old 01/13/2018, 06:50 PM   #3
Emma1234
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Thanks Mr Sixstrings.

How far off the water do you have the lights? I didn't see anything about recommended distance between the water and the lights for the Photon.

Just curious. Why don't you like the shimmer?


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Old 01/13/2018, 11:25 PM   #4
zooman72
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If you are concerned with "disco" (i.e. color separation from individual diodes exacerbated with surface agitation), the ReefBreeders (which is currently out of stock in the 32" size, which is $500) would carry the greatest risk, as the diodes are widely spaced apart - good for coverage, but not for color blending (at least at the height it would be with the mounting legs - less an issue if used higher and hung). Comes with mounting legs. I have used this light in the 24" size, but replaced it with a Maxspect (see below).

The Kessil AP700 would not have an issue with color blending as the diodes are tightly spaced and under one lens (two clusters). It can be mounted with a pair of accessory arms, but now the total cost is over $900 (and that is with the recent discount on the unit itself). I am one of those aquarist that finds the overall color rendition of Kessil lighting a bit bland, but that is a personal view - others love it. Well known for appealing shimmer. However, not sure if wifi app has been improved - was a source of frustration initially and for some time after. I have not used this light, but have seen it in person over multiple aquariums owned by acquaintances and retailers.

Another option to consider would be the Maxspect Razor X 150 (between $520 and $530 depending on vendor) - three clusters with reflectors, not lenses (reduces "disco"), can be controlled via onboard controller or add-on hub (if one wants remote app programming). Brand new light, but an upgrade on the previous generation (full disclosure, I use three of the first gen, and love them). Also comes with mounting legs. Shimmer would be mild, but better than ReefBreeders (not as good as the Kessil).

You would need multiples of other common fixtures, but a pair of EcoTech Radion XR15's would also be a good option, but again pricey - figure around $1000 for the lights and mounts. I have not used the Gen 4 model, but currently use a Gen 3 Pro XR30 - very nice light, but pricey.

I believe the Maxspect delivers the most "bang for the buck" for a mixed reef. There are also cheaper "black box" options, but their quality and color rendition leaves much to be desired IMO.


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Old 01/14/2018, 12:48 AM   #5
hijinks
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I'd take a look at the https://www.reefbreeders.com/aquasanrise-plus/

to compare to the ap700. Its a bit more compact with the LED layout but not as good as a kessil with how dense they can pack the LEDs. Putting the light further or closer to the water won't really help the disco effect.. If you put it too high off to mask it then you lose a lot of PAR and have a lot of bleed over. Basically anyone sitting down and looks at the tank will be blinded by bleed over.


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Old 01/14/2018, 08:47 AM   #6
Ron Reefman
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One point to consider is that most of the 'disco effect' is caused by just the red and green leds. It's because there are so few, and as stated by zooman above, because they are spread so far apart.

But in my Photon V2 there are only 4 reds and 4 greens out of 88 leds and half the blue and all the whites are 5 watts rater than 3 watts. The red and green leds may or may not have some effect on the coral, it's still very questionable in my mind. Since white light has a mix of spectrum so there is already red and green in the total mix. Therefore, I turn the red and green leds off except during the brightest midday 4 or 5 hours and they really don't have much disco effect then. During the 4 hour sunrise and 5 hour sunset I don't use the red or green and there is NO disco effect at all.

I have some shimmer, but it is not as much as leds with pucks. But then leds with pucks have more issues with shadows being darker and the undersides of branching sps corals not doing as well. The V2 has the same issue, just not nearly as bad.

IMHO the V2 is about as good looking as a fixture can get.

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Old 01/14/2018, 12:04 PM   #7
zooman72
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RR is correct - most "disco" is from distinct red and green diodes spaced too far apart, but notice I said most. I have noticed it even with white and blue diodes alone. Unfortunately, the individual red/green diodes are there for a reason - some aquarists prefer the bump in color rendition they give.

RR is also correct with regards to shadows, to a point - fixtures with pucks can result in greater shadowing, but this can be mitigated through various means (height, lens removed/ not used, multiple pucks/ fixtures, T5 supplementation, etc.)

I will disagree with RR on one point - IMO, the Razor is much more aesthetically pleasing...


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Old 01/14/2018, 01:33 PM   #8
Johnnybgood74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma1234 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I am going to buy new lights for my 55 gallon mix reef tank. 18 inches deep and 36 inches left to right and 18 inches front to back.

The tank is in my living room. So my wife has to approve. Anything hanging from the ceiling won't fly. And we wouldn't want the light so bright coming around the tank or between the light and the tank that it would be blinding or distracting. And the "disco" effect, I've heard raised with LEDs, is something that I'm concerned about. And I'd love to have something that provides shimmer.

The Photon V2 and Kessil AP700 both look attractive.

Anyone have any insights on either of these two lights or maybe another recommendations given our needs.

Thanks!
I have the reef breeder 50"v2 and if I keep the red and green diodes under 5% I get no rainbow shimmer...but it does shimmer like natural sun....I had it hanging 10" from the top of the water over a 6ft 220g tank with almost no spill over...
I have since taken that tank down and I am in the process of setting up a reefer 450...I'm not hanging the light this time I'm using the stand that came with the light...with no water in the tank there doesn't seem to be too much spill over....
But for the money the reef breeder brand is an excellent choice...

Hope this helps

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk


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Old 01/14/2018, 06:25 PM   #9
Emma1234
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Thanks everyone.

Great information!

I'll let you know what I buy and want I think of it once I get it over the tank.


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Old 01/16/2018, 03:43 PM   #10
mrsixstrings12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma1234 View Post
Thanks Mr Sixstrings.

How far off the water do you have the lights? I didn't see anything about recommended distance between the water and the lights for the Photon.

Just curious. Why don't you like the shimmer?
Due to my canopy and the design of the included hanging hardware, mine is hanging around 5" from the water line. I'd like to get it higher, say around 8". Just need to figure out a cheap easy modification.

As far as shimmer, I'm just not a big fan. Too distracting maybe, but I feel like I'm in the minority on that one



Last edited by mrsixstrings12; 01/16/2018 at 03:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01/16/2018, 06:10 PM   #11
Emma1234
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Thanks for letting me know that about the shimmer. I was wondering if that was the issue - distraction. Maybe I'll do a quick poll to see what people say.


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