First of all I would like to thank Orphek Reef Aquarium LED Lighting for providing this lighting package for review. This is the first LED Bar lighting system I have ever used. LED light bars have been on the market as supplemental lighting for some time, and recent discussions touted the benefits of better spread and ability to configure the lighting system to your tank’s needs compared to single fixtures. LED bars were primarily used as supplemental additions to a main lighting solution in the past, but I will see how it functions as compared to my existing fixture on a 4’x’2′ lagoon style tank. This controller interfaces with the existing Orphek Icon App I use on my Atlantik Icon fixture, which I reviewed here.
The following hardware was provided for the review. Click on the links below for more vendor specifications on each of their products.
- Osix OR3 Led Bar Icon Smart Dim Controller
- OR3-120 Sky Blue [Amazon Link]
- OR3-120 Blue Plus [Amazon Link]
- OR3-120 UV Violet [Amazon Link]
- OR3-120 Violet Reef Day[Shop Link]
- Universal Fixing Bracket Kit [Amazon Link]
The test system is a 50 gallon 4’x2’x 10″ lagoon tank with a 40B Sump. The existing fixture had a recommended mounting height of 18″ above the water surface and to prevent light spill and the current fixture setup matches a SPS AB+ spectrum and intensity. I re-mounted the Osix OR3 System at the same 18″ height and spaced the mounting bars to be directly under the existing ceiling hooks. The first step is to run the “Acclimation” feature in the Icon App. After 10 days it will default to the Factory Default “Helius” Program.
- Packaging – As a product development engineer I appreciated the high-quality packaging. It is the consumer’s first impression that the vendor cares enough to protect their products.
- Materials Choice – The aluminum extrusion used for the LED bars have good mass to passively cool the electronics.
- Materials Choice – The Osix Controller is contained in a sturdy coated metal enclosure vs. plastic.
- Serviceability – Proper amount of connectors located close to key components for easy isolation and serviceability.
- Included Hardware – Each LED Bar includes free hanging hardware. [Optional Universal Fixing Bracket Kit is more ideal for multiple unit configurations.]
- Spread – This configuration definitely provides full coverage for this size tank.
- Color – With a initial 50% setting on the 4 color channels the corals definitely fluoresce as expected with the ~400-500 nm wavelengths.
- Connectivity and App Setup – Just follow the instructions on the website
- Documentation – The sample Osix Controller I received did not include any printed manuals but they will be included in the launched version. Go to the company webpage for all necessary information here.
- Documentation – Universal Fixing Bracket – maximum LED Bars supported – Inconsistent between the printed manual (5) vs website (7).
- Universal Fixing Bracket – Functional but I was hoping for more positive mounting alignment with the LED bars to keep them from racking.
- LED Bar Arrangement – There was no suggested color bar arrangements (i.e. Do you put the day light closest to the center surrounded by all the lower wavelengths?) so the hope is that the light will blend properly. Unfortunately, without a fancy/expensive spectral analyzer it will be difficult to tell if it matters.
- Tip: Channel Designation: If you have the same 4 color bars (Sky Blue, Blue Plus, UV Violet, and Violet Reef Day) connect them so they align with the Icon App Channel Colors. Channels 3-6 respectively). Unfortunately will not work if you have a different mix of LED bars.
- Tip: Wire Management: For clean wire management purchase velcro cable ties to keep everything tidy and well supported.
- Will run this light for a long term evaluation.
- Spend more time attempting to fine tune the color mix in the Icon App and monitor coral response.