Follow Up: Orphek Osix OR3 LED Bar Smart Dim Controller

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Equipment, Reef, Technology | 0 comments

The OSix Controller for their OR3 LED bars is the latest offering from Orphek. Previously, LED bars were promoted for supplemental lighting. Today, advancements in the design have made them another option to fully light your reef. Full length bars tend to offer more area coverage for some of the standard-sized tanks. It also seems this is the recent trend pushed by the lighting industry. This type of LED lighting system allows multiple lighting combinations; the Osix controller can support up to 6 OR3 LED bars and a color combination of your choice. This is just a sample of what can be applied and not necessarily an optimum color combination. Configure it based on your system, livestock needs, and visual preferences. For more detailed vendor specifications please click on the embedded links in this article to Orphek’s website.

I followed the recommended 10 day light acclimation function before running the Orphek Helius lighting profile. I will now dive a little deeper into the PAR measurements for my 50 gallon lagoon system.

Test Configuration

I received a 4 bar system with one of each of the < 500 nm wavelength bars (Blue Sky, Blue Plus, UV Violet, Violet Reef Day) . Since the initial unboxing article , I have been able to let my test system acclimate to the new OR3 LED fixture installed.

I suspended the Orphek Lighting system with their “Universal Fixing Bracket” kit from the drop ceiling panels.  The bars are 27″ above the bottom of the tank. The water depth, with the flow disabled, is only 7″. The PPFD measurements were taken just below the surface of the water.

Be sure to mount the Power supply and Osix Controller boxes in a well ventilated area away from salt spray.  If you find salt buildup, make sure to wipe the surfaces down with a damp cloth. The cases get warm but not hot to the touch.


The Osix Controller provides the same smooth gradient control via their Icon App as experienced on the Atlantik Icon I reviewed and did a 6 month follow up. This resolution allows for a smoother color mix.  I used the Apogee PQ-510 I reviewed for the PAR measurements. 32 points measured across the 48″x24″ shallow lagoon tank. This is a real world application with a 4 year old system. This is not a clean water / empty tank measurement so some PAR loss maybe due to water clarity.

I connected the bar colors to match the 6 channel colors in the App (channels 3-6).

Livestock Response

The previous fixture was configured to match a “AB+ like” profile for a 12 hour photoperiod (peaking at 100% intensity for SPS). The Osix OR3 Controller supports the “Helius” profile that peaks at 80% max intensity over a 12 hour photoperiod. The existing livestock (zoanthids, anthelia, mushrooms, anemones, acropora, chalices, goniopora, favia, montipora, porities) did not bleach or have any noticeable degradation with the change during the 10 day acclimation.  I have a Magnificent Anemone (Heteractis magnifica) right in the middle that requires high flow/light to be healthy. No issues observed with the Magnificent anemone thus far. They can be a sensitive specimen to maintain.  It actually appears more visually appealing with this OR3-120 LED Bars and remains full each day.

Next Steps:

Unfortunately all I can discuss are my observations of my livestock. I do not have any way to indicate photosynthetic performance. The ultimate deciding factor will be long term color, growth and health. I will revisit this in 6 months as I have done with the Atlantik Icon fixture.

  • Ellery Wong

    Ellery is a mechanical systems engineer at a Fortune 500 technology company. He has automation experience in the automotive, appliance, printing and robotics industries as a product development professional but also has over 35 years of saltwater aquarium experience as a hobbyist. He currently maintains a 9 tank / 540 gallon SPS/LPS/Mixed systems. DIY is his forte!

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