Lighting Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by FishyReef, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I've currently got 2 AI Sol blue units over my tank. I decided awhile ago to add supplemental UV and neutral white leds (3w and come w/ optics) through RapidLEDs plug and play options. Haven't gotten around to actually purchasing the supplies yet to do the addition, but still plan to do so. There is now an option for me to buy a 3rd AI Sol unit (3 months old) from a fellow reefer who recently won the VEGAs and is selling off his units. He wants $275, which is a bit steep but less than what a new unit costs. I'm wondering if I should get it or just do my planned upgrade? Even if I get additional AI Sol unit, I still want to add in at least supplemental UVs to help improve spectrum. I'm leaning towards not adding the third unit, but I really don't get full coverage w/ 2 units so maybe I should get it? North, Fast, others - any ideas or feedback?
     
    FishyReef, Sep 11, 2012
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    AdeptMrSniffles I have a Blue Thumb

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    You could always add a few t5 retrofitss in your canopy, if you have a canopy.
     
    AdeptMrSniffles, Sep 11, 2012
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    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    AI has not forgotten us folks that bought the Sol's. Fully customizable pucks will be available to retro fit our units. It is my understanding that like the Radion, each led in every puck will be fully controllable with the new controller, and it will make the Sols wireless to boot
     
    Northstar24, Sep 11, 2012
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  4. FishyReef

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    I researched every LED out there before deciding to run what I have now. AI Sols only give you an 18" coverage area per unit, so on your 90 gallon tank, you would want to run 3 of these. Now, as far as the missing spectrum (yes, it is missing a shit ton of it), you would be fine doing what your plan is on top of a third fixture. You could also run supplemental T5's to add. The later is what most people do.
     
    fastrd400, Sep 11, 2012
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  5. FishyReef

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    If you have the height above the tank, you can do a 24 inch cube with a Sol. That being said, there is some color missing from the spectrum. I havent had issues with coral growth but some people have reported color rendition issues. I am looking forward to the fully custom LED pucks, as it will basically allow a buyer to add whatever colors they are looking for
     
    Northstar24, Sep 12, 2012
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  6. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    There's a statement from the AI CEO on the website today that mentions (among many other things) the power pucks - they will be $250 for each unit, and you will have to purchase the new wireless Vega controller to get them to work... sounds like a tremendous amount of money to me for a unit I've already paid 900+ for, while I can add supplemental LED lighting to fill in the missing spectrum for a little over $100. I dunno, I'm going to wait for the reviews on the pucks before considering them. And I've looked into T5 supplements, but have decided not to go in that direction - putting together my own ballasts is a fire hazard waiting to happen and I'm attempting to keep this project as low energy cost as possible (the last thing I need is someone crying foul that the VA is paying for energy costs for my fish tank).
     
    FishyReef, Sep 12, 2012
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    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    I am going to wait to pass judgement until some of the new units hit the streets. The retail price of a new Vega looks to be $500. If that is the case, I think the $250 upgrade fee for existing customers is a little steep. It will be interesting to see what color LED's they offer. Hopefully they offer the option to ditch the cool white LED's in favor of at least neutral whites
     
    Northstar24, Sep 12, 2012
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  8. FishyReef

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Looks like initially you will be able to do anything you want with them - who knows whether it will actually pan out that way or not, but here's the info from the release:

    "We will launch the PowerPuck customization website this fall. The price per puck will be $50 for any configuration. Initially, the PowerPucks will need to be purchased directly through us, with the intention of providing dealer availability once common/frequent configurations are determined"

    And for those who want to upgrade their Sols:

    "The conversion from the Sol to Vega will be similar to the first AI module conversion: pretty substantial. The majority of the internal components are replaced, with the exterior looking the same. When the conversion is complete, the performance will be virtually identical to the Vega and allow the use of PowerPucks and any other feature upgrades. A new Controller or Director will be necessary to control the upgraded modules, as previous Controllers cannot be used.

    The price will be $250 per module. Due to this low cost, users who want to upgrade will need have their product registered and provide a serial number for each module to be upgraded."
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
    FishyReef, Sep 12, 2012
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  9. FishyReef

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Yep, I read the same release. You can only use colors they offer though. They had some promo videos originally that showed quite a few colors, and with 20 channels, the sky is basically the limit assuming they offer the various colors that are out and about on the market.

    I think the real issue there though is that we aren't really sure which colors are needed for that missing spectrum for color rendition. There is a strong body of evidence to sugguest that its red/UV based as this is what is naturally present in fluorescent and halide lighting and absent in most LED's (except for Red/UV LED's of course). With the Vega module, 20 channels of control, and the possibility of custom pucks your possibilities really are endless. You can literally play around with various colors to see exactly what kind of combination you need to get the look you want. You have the benefit of T5 bulb choice without the replacement cost or the electric (once you get your colors dialed in)

    As far as a new controller goes, I'm not really against that. The one complaint I have about my current AI setup is the controllers is absolutely terrible
     
    Northstar24, Sep 12, 2012
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