The new LED bars Orphek OR3 Blue Sky in the DaniReef LAB – review

How to value these numbers in aquarium?

This is a good question. At first we thought that we could transport these values to the aquarium tout-court. Than we filled the aquarium, insert the probe and redone the measurements. We fazed but, as we have already said in elsewhere, we’re going to talk about this in another article. Basically, while at 20 cm the result is practically the same, as we progressed, thanks to the glass and the water itself reflecting the light, we found even the double of the values measured in air. Obviously this isn’t a detail that can be standardized, so we think that our method of calculation is the most correct, and the best for the comparison of coverages of different ceiling lights.

Power Consumption

The measurement of the consumption was made possible thanks to the useful device RCE PM600 that can also measure the Cos(fi) (or power factor). The result is already given in watt.

Here above there’s the maximum power and below the Cos(fi).

The calculus of the absorbed current, that is the power, is the following one:

Orphek OR3 Blue Sky ceiling light: 62,04 watt. Considering that this ceiling lights at 17 cm has 488 μmol m-2 s-1 in the middle, we can say, in perspective, that it will have a peak value of 7,86 μmol m-2 s-1 w-1 (PAR per watt). This value is hardly comparable with other ceiling lights because it remains constant throughout the length.

The consumption is slightly higher than declared, while the Cos(fi) is very close to 1, the perfect value.

The comparison with other ceiling lights on the market

Recently we started to use the new Quantum Meter MQ-510 by Apogee.

But considering the first celing lights we managed to test we can do an interesting comparison about their produced energy:

AI Hydra 32 HD at 17 cm560.00043090,501.3036.190
AI Hydra 32 HD at 37 cm563.00043090,50 1.3106.224
AI Hydra 32 HD at 57 cm463.00043090,50 1.0765.112
Aqamai LRM at 17 cm643.00046590,881.3827.071
Aqamai LRM at 37 cm722.00046590,881.5527.941
Aqamai LRM at 57 cm616.00046590,881.3266.783
Aqamai LRS at 17 cm276.00028947,599555.797
Aqamai LRS at 37 cm312.00028947,591.0786.547
Aqamai LRS at 57 cm254.00028947,598805.343
Cetus 2 at 17 cm410.00021560,681.9066.756
Cetus 2 at 37 cm 291.00021560,681.3534.793
Cetus 2 at 57 cm 174.00021560,688072.861
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 17 cm323.00018054,691.7945.906
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 37 cm291.000180 54,69 1.6165.321
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 57 cm259.000180 54,69 1.4384.736
Orphek OR3 Blue Sky at 17 cm318.00020062,041.5905.129
Orphek OR3 Blue Sky at 37 cm220.76720062,041.1033.449
Orphek OR3 Blue Sky at 57 cm205.51820062,041.0273.211
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 17 cm255.00018054,691.4184.667
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 37 cm 233.00018054.691.2924.252
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 57 cm 225.00018054.691.2514.117
Philips CoralCare at 17 cm1.859.000749190,502.4819.756
Philips CoralCare at 37 cm 1.341.000749190,50 1.7907.037
Philips CoralCare at 57 cm 933.000749190,50 1.2464.899

The prices in the chart should be revised, because now the OR2 cost more. Apart from that, the values are more or less the same. The OR3 Blue Sky have a higher peak value, but a lower value on the sides. What makes the difference is the spectre, that can easily make this one your favorite bar. I personally like a lot this Blue Sky. Don’t let mislead from the high value of PAR, because having a predominance of blue its behavior is different from the others.

Mantaining costs

The LED bars Orphek OR3 Blue Sky cost 215 euros, and finally in Italy we have a great distributor: AGP.

The absorbed power is 62 watt, so it has a cost/watt ratio of 3,2 euro for each watt. In order to do a comparison with the other ceiling lights you can refer to this chart:

Ceiling light PriceConsumptionEuro per watt ratioReferences
Orphek OR3 120 Blue Sky200 USD62 w3,2 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Orphek OR2 120 Blue Plus 180 USD54.7 w3,3 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Orphek OR2 120 Reef Day Plus180 USD54,7 w3,3 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Cetus 2215 €60,7 w3,5 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Philips Coralcare 2019749 €190 w3,9 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Maxspect Ethereal500 €126 w4,0 euro per wattItalian test
Radion XR30w G2 PRO790 €170 w4,7 euro per wattItalian review
AI Hydra 32 HD430 €90,5 w4,75 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Radion XR30w G4 PRO915 €190 w4,84 euro per wattItalian article
OceanLed Sunrise 600870 €180 w4,8 euro per wattItalian test
Orphek Atlantik V41099 €226 w4,9 euro per wattTest
Radion XR30w G2690 €140 w4,9 euro per wattItalian review
Radion XR30w G4760 €150 w5,1 euro per wattItalian article
Aqamai LRM465 €87,5 w5,1 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Zetlight UFO ZE-8000500 €91,5 w5,5 euro per wattTest
Aqamai LRS289 €47,6 w6,1 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
CEAB Slide & Led2.700 €275 w9,8 euro per wattReview
Sicce GNC 4661.592 €120 w13,3 euro per wattItalian review

As well as we have said for the OR2 Reef Day Plus and Blue Plus, this LED bar is impeccable, very well build. I really like the extruded borders as well as the refinement. There isn’t a programming that assures a simple modality of use, you can also assit it with other bars in other to obtain the power you need. In this contest we have to focus on the measured PAR, given that that’s not possible to do a proper comparison with other ceiling lights. But if you consider the whole energy you have a more realistic picture. So the bars are perfect for breeding corals, but you have to take the bars you need. Do you need twice the PAR? Use two bars. Do you need four times the PAR? Use four, and so on. What else to ask to a LED bar? According to me, 4 LED bars should let us get 600 PAR in a medium aquarium, and with such a value you can breed Acropore of any complexity.

The cost per watt is incredibly low, the lowest among the one we tested, while before we comment the value of PAR per watt we have to test other blue bars. What else we should ask to a LED bar?

Questions and comments, as always, are welcomed.

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