“Fluorescent tube lights are going extinct in this industry,” said Neal Dulaney, co-owner of Lifegard Aquatics. “Halogen lights also going out because of the heat and cost—they are very expensive and they create a lot of heat. LEDs are very energy efficient. It’s changing lighting across all industries.”
“LED fixtures have been the trend for the past three years,” said Mike Elliott, co-owner of Aquatic Life. “Now, the trend in reef lighting is for manufacturers to use better (more efficient) LEDs in the fixtures.”
Savvy consumers are looking at the various features each fixture offers for the price. They are looking for the features that will best fit their particular tanks. Manufacturers are stepping up to satisfy that desire for more features in more affordable products.
“Finnex has seen an increased demand for fixtures that allow users to tailor settings to their particular aquariums’ needs,” said Bryan Lowe, account manager at Finnex. “Gone are days of a simple on/off switch. Consumers are now peaking interest in fixtures that allow the manipulation of colors as well as light intensities.”
“Our new Advanced and Reef lighting systems both have timers and are 25 percent brighter than their predecessors,” said Sean Raines, director of marketing, equipment, at United Pet Group Aquatics. “We were able to keep the pricing at the same great value and upgrade the lights, which should give our retailers a great story as to why they should choose LED.”
UPG also just released a GloFish LED Light Stick. It has two different lighting modes, a blue for a bright, fluorescent look and a white and blue for a tropical tank look. “Both allow you to control your aquarium environment with a flip of a switch,” said Raines
“The Finnex Planted+ Elite LED fixture will offer true 660nm red LEDs,” said Lowe. This light is made for planted tanks, incorporating the Planted+ Elite with the premium true 660nm red LEDs to efficiently maximize photosynthesis activity.
“Putting the Planted+ Elite over the top is its Bluetooth app-controlled feature,” said Lowe.” Controllable via any smart device, users can customize, memorize, and set intensity levels at any given time of day with the downloadable app.”
Both of EcoTech Marine’s new LEDs also feature smart-device controllability via EcoSmart Live, a cloud-based command center. The two new fixtures are the Radion XR15wPro, ideal for smaller or shallow reef aquariums, and the XR15FW for freshwater planted tanks. Both are easy to upgrade and come with UV-generating lights.
Aqueon, a Central Garden & Pet Brand, just launched lines of new LED Strip Lights and LED Full Hoods. “The LED Strip Lights are ideal for general aquarium illumination and provide a lower profile design that can be accomplished with LED’s,” said Scott Rabe, director of marketing at Central. The fixture features a three-way switch that turns it on, off, or to a Lunar Blue light setting perfect for nighttime. “From Coralife we are preparing to launch a new LED AquaLight coming in September,” said Rabe “This is a higher output fixture that can support live plants and corals.”
“Both of these products were created so the LED light modules can be added, interchanged or replaced to increase light intensity or color,” said Rabe. Separate cords allow for adding a timer to control the different rows LED modules.
Lifegard Aquatics offers a brand new line of LEDs in five categories: reef with two rows of lights; reef with three rows; ultraslim marine, which can be used to grow corals in nano tanks; freshwater, which can be used on any fish-only tank and plant for freshwater planted tanks.
“Affordability was one of our key targets,” said Dulaney. “Our LEDS have a touch control to switch from white to blue to all with just a touch of a finger. We don’t include timers because that drives the cost up and the consumer can just add a separate timer.”
“The Elive LED Track Light has been designed to allow consumers to enhance their lighting needs as they grow in the hobby,” said Ernie Katris, managing director at Elive. The consumer can purchase more LED Pods to customize the light output “Easy Change LED Pods can quickly and easily be added, removed and repositioned to achieve your desired light intensity, color and pattern,” said Katris.
Aquatic Life recently launched the Pulse LED Reef Light Fixture. It produces a high PAR that’s good for reef aquariums. “Thermostatically controlled fans keep fixture and power supply cool, and the long 9.5-foot power cord makes it easy to suspend the fixture with a separately sold suspension kit,” said Mike Elliot, co-owner of Aquatic Life. “The built-in computer is easily programmed with one knob to control color LEDs, white LEDs, moonlight and storm functions, and manual on/off storm function means you won’t miss the lightning.”