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NightStar
11-15-2015, 02:19 PM
Ok, so we all know for the top range we have Radions, AI's, and Kessils. Bottom end we have the eBay black box specials. There is a whole section in the middle though. For the mid range I have:

SB Reeflights
RapidLED Onyx

What are some other good midranges?

Levi
11-16-2015, 11:45 AM
Ok, so we all know for the top range we have Radions, AI's, and Kessils. Bottom end we have the eBay black box specials. There is a whole section in the middle though. For the mid range I have:

SB Reeflights
RapidLED Onyx

What are some other good midranges?

midranges for the most part are just rebranded chinese fixtures so that means you get crappy drivers and non standard led batches. Many manufacturers have custom spectrums but they are still with non standard drivers and led batches so why pay more for that?

I think that if you are going mid range, you are better off with DIY fixtures or kits like the RapidLED Aurora puck leds. These use actual ecotech radion optics plates and have full control if using dimmers or a controller.

On the flip side, now that Doyle has the ability to add a crazy awesome controller that is independent of the apex to his color spectrum, I would not think twice about having him build the lights using this controller and his drivers for the best of both worlds. Not overpaying for any Chinese crap, getting a proven color spectrum (Doyle fragged the same coral and put 1 polyp under his lights and 1 under typical led lights, the growth under his spectrum is like 10x that of the other), and with his custom drivers you arent getting super crappy Chinese drivers, and again you are getting an awesome controller that does everything you need plus everything you want lol.

NightStar
11-16-2015, 11:59 AM
midranges for the most part are just rebranded chinese fixtures so that means you get crappy drivers and non standard led batches. Many manufacturers have custom spectrums but they are still with non standard drivers and led batches so why pay more for that?

I think that if you are going mid range, you are better off with DIY fixtures or kits like the RapidLED Aurora puck leds. These use actual ecotech radion optics plates and have full control if using dimmers or a controller.

On the flip side, now that Doyle has the ability to add a crazy awesome controller that is independent of the apex to his color spectrum, I would not think twice about having him build the lights using this controller and his drivers for the best of both worlds. Not overpaying for any Chinese crap, getting a proven color spectrum (Doyle fragged the same coral and put 1 polyp under his lights and 1 under typical led lights, the growth under his spectrum is like 10x that of the other), and with his custom drivers you arent getting super crappy Chinese drivers, and again you are getting an awesome controller that does everything you need plus everything you want lol.

The onyx is RapidLED brand, and runs the Cree leds, so I think it would be quality. I have a set of Doyle LED strips, so what I'm looking at doing is running three full spec LEDs in the middle with the strips alongside them to bring in all the specs. That's what I'm doing over my 120 right now and it's working wonders.

Levi
11-16-2015, 12:57 PM
The onyx is RapidLED brand, and runs the Cree leds, so I think it would be quality. I have a set of Doyle LED strips, so what I'm looking at doing is running three full spec LEDs in the middle with the strips alongside them to bring in all the specs. That's what I'm doing over my 120 right now and it's working wonders.

Like I stated "for the most part". There are exceptions like RapidLED and you pay for those exceptions. For 3 of the onxy, I can guarantee that my fixtures cost less and produce better results with more control. $300 for each fixture, plus you need a bluefish or similar controller to get any control, and its only 90w. My lights are 108w and including the bluefish my price was 600. That was everything and building it myself. The bluefish is 200 itself. So realistically even if you got the rapidled onyx and the bluefish AND then had someone splice it all together because each onyx has 3 inputs and the bluefish only has 6 outputs, you are looking at a minimum of $1100 without paying someone to hook them up correctly. The onyx is an awesome light and it was in my list of considerations but for all of the above reasons I decided to go with MakersLED heatsinks and put it together myself. each unit has 2x 120mm fans for way more cooling than the onyx and I have more power output for way less money.

NightStar
11-16-2015, 01:34 PM
Like I stated "for the most part". There are exceptions like RapidLED and you pay for those exceptions. For 3 of the onxy, I can guarantee that my fixtures cost less and produce better results with more control. $300 for each fixture, plus you need a bluefish or similar controller to get any control, and its only 90w. My lights are 108w and including the bluefish my price was 600. That was everything and building it myself. The bluefish is 200 itself. So realistically even if you got the rapidled onyx and the bluefish AND then had someone splice it all together because each onyx has 3 inputs and the bluefish only has 6 outputs, you are looking at a minimum of $1100 without paying someone to hook them up correctly. The onyx is an awesome light and it was in my list of considerations but for all of the above reasons I decided to go with MakersLED heatsinks and put it together myself. each unit has 2x 120mm fans for way more cooling than the onyx and I have more power output for way less money.

Well, I have wholesale accounts ;) Comparing the onyx to the hydra 26 now. I know a coral shop in Florida who has used both, currently runs 45 hydras, and I've been asking him about comparison.

NightStar
11-16-2015, 01:37 PM
Also in consideration is I don't use a controller. I'll manually adjust if I see a coral off, but otherwise it's set at a level and a simple timer, no ramping. Corals don't seem to mind a bit.

Levi
11-16-2015, 03:04 PM
Well, I have wholesale accounts ;) Comparing the onyx to the hydra 26 now. I know a coral shop in Florida who has used both, currently runs 45 hydras, and I've been asking him about comparison.

I have wholesale accounts with Apex, AI, Ecotech, CoralVue, AquaMedic, etc etc etc so I have the pricing and it was still WAY cheaper to build my own. If you are asking to gain interest to figure out what you want to sell that is one thing but if you are asking about growth for your corals that you want to sell, my vote is to go with what is proven. Just my 2c though, take it or leave it.

Levi
11-16-2015, 03:28 PM
Also in consideration is I don't use a controller. I'll manually adjust if I see a coral off, but otherwise it's set at a level and a simple timer, no ramping. Corals don't seem to mind a bit.

I get that, many reefers still use T5 like world wide corals and they have amazing color and growth. The way I look at it is that the "just because the corals dont mind it" reason is like saying "cars worked fine with lead in the gas, seems ok" doesnt mean that there are not huge benefits to newer technology. Its proven for coral growth and spawning that a "lighting schedule" helps. Taking that lighting schedule a step further with dawn/dusk is just helping the cycle. Having a lunar cycle also is proven to get fish to spawn and if none the less that is free live coral food. I get what you are saying that the controller is not a huge option in your mind, but both of the mid range units you asked for either have a controller or require one to have ANY adjustability or AKA dimming to them.

NightStar
11-16-2015, 03:59 PM
I get that, many reefers still use T5 like world wide corals and they have amazing color and growth. The way I look at it is that the "just because the corals dont mind it" reason is like saying "cars worked fine with lead in the gas, seems ok" doesnt mean that there are not huge benefits to newer technology. Its proven for coral growth and spawning that a "lighting schedule" helps. Taking that lighting schedule a step further with dawn/dusk is just helping the cycle. Having a lunar cycle also is proven to get fish to spawn and if none the less that is free live coral food. I get what you are saying that the controller is not a huge option in your mind, but both of the mid range units you asked for either have a controller or require one to have ANY adjustability or AKA dimming to them.

I consider a light specific "controller" to be part of the light itself. The onyx has three channels, so it's easy to have a stepping on and off. I need to do more research into the hydras before I can really talk about them. It is very easy to set a light schedule using manual timers. As far as why I'm looking, while I'll probably offer whatever I choose for sale, I am looking at which lights to use for my new frag tank. I don't just hold corals for a week or two to flip, I grow a lot of my zoas and this tank will house a lot of my designer grow outs, so a light that not only can support corals, but bring out colors and promote growth is very important to me. My other tanks are doing a good job now, but I'm looking to increase their capabilities. I've looked into building my own and by the time I've added up acquiring everything I'm saving only a minimal amount.

Levi
11-16-2015, 04:35 PM
I consider a light specific "controller" to be part of the light itself. The onyx has three channels, so it's easy to have a stepping on and off. I need to do more research into the hydras before I can really talk about them. It is very easy to set a light schedule using manual timers. As far as why I'm looking, while I'll probably offer whatever I choose for sale, I am looking at which lights to use for my new frag tank. I don't just hold corals for a week or two to flip, I grow a lot of my zoas and this tank will house a lot of my designer grow outs, so a light that not only can support corals, but bring out colors and promote growth is very important to me. My other tanks are doing a good job now, but I'm looking to increase their capabilities. I've looked into building my own and by the time I've added up acquiring everything I'm saving only a minimal amount.

Onyx has 3 channels that are powered with 1 power cord. Each channel needs a signal to dim, without a signal it fires at 100% power so basically without the controller you will have all 3 channels at 100% power at all times. With the new hydra 26 HD they have a built in wifi controller like the AI prime and thats why you are paying the premium for it. If you want my parts list and the power output etc I can get you a quote. I have 432 watts of LED with full control, dusk/dawn, east to west, thunderstorm etc etc etc all from my android or iphone anywhere on the planet for 600. So thats basically 2 onyx units without the controller to do anything with them except 100% on and off, or not even 2 of the hydra 26 HD units.

Levi
11-16-2015, 04:36 PM
http://www.rapidled.com/dimmable-onyx-by-rapid-led/

Look at the image that shows 4 cords out of the end of the unit, this is 1 power cord, and in the description 3 mono audio plugs, each carrying signal from a controller for 1 channel. So without these 3 cords and controller, it powers at full either on or off.

Murfman
11-16-2015, 05:29 PM
I have Maxspect Razors.