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06-20-2010, 9:09 AM #1
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- Mar 2010
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Product Reviews: Assorted Underwater lights
I decided to combine these reviews for comparison purposes and, well, because I'm lazy.
Marineland LED Bubble Wand
**** 4 stars
This one I received free with my Penguin filter. It's actually very well built and has the additional bubbler, but I just can't find a use for it in my tanks. Perhaps a different color would work better, but the landing strip of bright red leds isn't the look I was going for. I even tried two coats of dark blue glass paint over the lenses, but nothing would stop that fierce red, which may be a good thing, depending. I can't complain about the quality, but it may be better suited to a reef tank or some other setup.
"MeasureExplorer" LED lights
* 1 star (for dishonesty)
Have used for: 1 week + 4 days
Made in : China
"Buy It Now" price - $19.85
These are sold on eBay in all sorts of configurations, but without a means to mount them. Nevertheless, it seemed like a good deal so I ordered one with 8 plug-in pigtails of 3 leds each for my 48" tank. The transformer is funky and very lightweight.
At first I just let them dangle in the water at random depths, and it was quite stunning until they all burned out a week later. When I contacted the seller, he told me yes, if the lights get wet, I will have problems. Funny he failed to mention that in the "Underwater Lighting, use for fresh or saltwater aquariums" ads. When I asked why, if I couldn't get them wet, would fresh or saltwater even matter, he had no answer. When I strongly suggested that he rewrite the descriptions he did send me a new kit, however, which I now have duct-taped and zip-tied, sorta pointing downward in my regular lighting fixture. It ain't pretty, but the cobalt/purplish hue is nice. Unfortunately it's not quite as bright as the picture, and I'm not confident it will last very long, even out of the (fresh) water. Call me cynical.
Hydor Aqua Lights
***** 5 stars
Have used for: 6 months
Made in : China
Pros: Completely submersible, small footprint, versatile. Good light output even in larger tanks. Pretty shade of blue. Decent 2 year warranty.
Cons: No on/off switch, but I have it on a timer anyway. When my fluorescent goes off, this goes on.
Other comments: The moonbeam effect of this light extends and and enhances my tank viewing without bothering the fish, and its round shape gives it a more "natural" look than strip lighting, especially from overhead. I do like to move it around when I get tired of one look though, such as uplighting for dramatic effect. Purists might not care for the blue, but the white is said to mimic moonlight even better. I plan on getting a couple for my bigger tank.
The versatility and enjoyment I've gotten from of this little light makes it the clear winner for my money.
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