We are ready to test the new Orphek OR2 Blue Plus, it’s the second LED bar we’ve ever had, and we expect to get even more in the future.

The bars are beautiful, solid, and seem very well made. They can’t be dimmed, but Orphek plans to release a dimmer soon. Right now the bars have a switch that can be connected to a timer.

Technical characteristics of the Orphek OR2 Blue Plus LED bars:

  • Driver: external;
  • Input Voltage: 100-240VAC;
  • Frequency: 50-60Hz;
  • Consumption: 60 watts;
  • Cos(phi) > 0.95;
  • Input current (Amps) 0.55;
  • Length: 123.5 cm;
  • Width: 5 cm;
  • Height: 3.6 cm;
  • Weight: 2.3 kg;
  • LED used: 4x410nm, 4x420nm, 4x430nm, 4x440nm, 11x460nm, 5x470nm, 4x480nm.
  • Price to the public: 180 euro ($204 US).

The bars are sold with a kit for hanging. Also on Orphek‘s site is a hooking system. The Orphek OR2 Blue Plus bars are built excellently. The refinement, maybe aluminum, is also a heat sink and the assembling is perfect.

The Programming

LED bars usually can’t be programmed, and the same goes for the Orphek OR2. But some bars from competitors are equipped with a controller for dimming or the controller is sold separately. Orphek announced that this dimmer is coming, but it’s not available yet.

Le barre a LED Orphek OR2 Blue Plus testate a fondo nel DaniReef LAB

Unlike other times, we can’t give you the values and the consumption of the LED channels because they all switch on at the same time.

Our new DaniReef LAB for PAR measurement method

During the long nights spent on our forum we always wondered how we could compare PAR from different ceiling lights. Even though we had the perfect device, the Quantum Meter MQ-510 di Apogee, we only looked at the value measured at the center, at 20 cm of distance, more or less.

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The Quantum Meter MQ-510 measures the PAR, expressed in PFFD, which is photosynthetic photon flux density, in μmol m-2 s-1. This device is calibrated to work underwater, so if it’s in air the measured value has to be divided by 1.32, the dive factor. We have to do the conversion. The values you’re going to see are correct.

We decided to make a square base of 70×70 cm, we set 17 fiducial points where we placed the Quantum Meter MQ-510 sensor and we also made 3 lifts of 20, 40 and 60 cm for the ceiling light, in order to have the same distance from the sensor. This will allow us to create the curves which can be compared to other ceiling lights, all tested at the same distances. This distance is measured from the base of the sensor to the ceiling light. In reality it should be decreased by 3.5 cm which is the height of the measurement cylinder and increased by 0.5 cm which is the dimension of the spacers that lift the ceiling light.

In total the three measurements are made at 17, 37 and 57 cm. Because they’re done in air they will be corrected.

In truth, the bars gave us other problems, because we had to distance the spacers in order to consider the light coming from the external LED.

PAR measurement at 17 cm away

Pictured above is the setup. At the bottom is the chart and the device, and at the top you can glimpse the bar placed on the spacers.

These are the values:

Below is the corresponding chart, we came back to our classical scale in order to compare similar ceiling lights, but as it is an LED bar, we lowered the maximum scale. With future bars you will find the same evaluation scale.

As you can see the bar created a curve that looks like a tent, with the spacial differences due to the kind of LED. Unlike the classic ceiling lights the decay is very linear, at 30 cm from the light source.

Here are the two charts of the two LED bars:

Surprisingly, the PAR are higher in the Blue Plus version. The scale, obviously, is the same.

PAR measurement at 37 cm

Pictured above is the setup. At the bottom is the chart and the device, and at the top you can glimpse the bar placed on the spacers.

Here are the results:

And the corresponding chart.

A bigger space between ceiling lights and sensor decreases the difference between PAR in the middle and on the sides. The light spreads, but the central value decreases from 459 to 207 μmol m-2 s-1, measured in the brighter spots.

Notice that the coverage is wider.

As we expected, the Blue Plus bar shows a higher number of PAR. Moreover, using LED with comparable wavelengths the charts are much more linear.

PAR measurement at 57 cm

Pictured above is the setup. At the bottom is the chart and the device (from this distance the device is very visible), and at the top you can see the bar placed on the spacers. Even visually the illuminated area is wider, so the specific power per cm decreases.

Here are the values:

And the corresponding chart:

When further increasing the space between ceiling light and sensor, the difference between the PAR in the middle and on the sides doesn’t decrease as we expected but instead increases. The value in the middle decreases again from 459 to 207 to 130 μmol m-2 s-1.

The difference between the coverage of the two bars increases even more, especially in the middle, while on the sides it’s pretty much the same.

The PAR in the middle in the different configurations

Let’s continue with our technical measurements. In the chart below, we can see how the PAR collected in the middle decreases with the three different distances of the tests.

Energy variation of the Orphek OR2 Blue Plus LED bars depending on the distance

This is the most significant and easy to compare data. The energy variation. We calculated the volumes of the three surfaces seen above. It’s obvious that moving away from the ceiling light, the PAR decreases, and the light illuminates a wider space. We try to consider all the light energy in this 60 cm square under the bar. And we see that the three values of 323,000, 291,000, and 259,000 assume a different connotation compared to the values in the middle. When the first ones decrease because the distances increase, the subtended area, that is the energy, decreases very slowly. The three areas are relatively similar. Little energy is lost over the area.

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Considering the values of the three curves you can see that on the sides there’s more light at 57 cm than at 37.

What are these values in the aquarium?

This is a good question. At first we thought that we could transport these values to the aquarium tout-court. We filled the aquarium, inserted the probe, and redid the measurements. 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 the values almost doubled those 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 watts.

Above is the maximum power and below is the Cos(fi).

The calculation of the absorbed current, which is the power, is as follows:

Orphek OR2 Blue Plus ceiling light: 54.69 watts. Considering that this ceiling light at 17 cm has 459 μmol m-2 s-1 in the middle, we can see that it will have a peak value of 8.39 μmol m-2 s-1 w-1 (PAR per watt). This value isn’t really comparable with other ceiling lights because it remains constant throughout the length.

The comparison with other ceiling lights on the market

Recently we started to use the new Apogee Quantum Meter MQ-510. For this we can’t completely compare the data of other ceiling lights because we used to use the Seneye probe.

But considering the first ceiling lights we tested we can do an interesting comparison about their produced energy:

EnergyCostConsumptionEnergy/€Energy/w
AI Hydra 32 HD at 17 cm560.00043090,501.3036.190
AI Hydra 32 HD at 37 cm563.00043090,501.3106.224
AI Hydra 32 HD at 57 cm463.00043090,501.0765.112
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 cm291.00021560,681.3534.793
Cetus 2 at 57 cm174.00021560,688072.861
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 17 cm323.00018054,691.7945.906
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 37 cm291.000180 54,691.6165.321
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus 120 cm at 57 cm259.000180 54,691.4384.736
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 17 cm255.00018054,691.4184.667
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 37 cm233.00018054.691.2924.252
Orphek OR2 Reef Day Plus 120 cm at 57 cm225.00018054.691.2514.117
Philips CoralCare at 17 cm1.859.000749190,502.4819.756
Philips CoralCare at 37 cm1.341.000749190,501.7907.037
Philips CoralCare at 57 cm933.000749190,501.2464.899

The produced energy per watt is constant at the different distances. This linear behavior is typical of LED bars. Now we have to test other bars and do proper comparisons. Don’t be deceived by the higher PAR of other ceiling lights, because it has a prevalence of blue and it behaves differently, so it can’t be compared tout-court.

Costs

The Orphek OR2 Blue Plus LED bars costs 180 euros ($204 US), and we have to add tax because there isn’t a national distributor. But considering also the exchange rate, we could still buy it for 180 euro. Delivery included.

The absorbed power is 54.69 watt, so it has a relationship cost/watt of 3,3 euro per watt ($3.70 US). In order to do a comparison with the other ceiling lights you can refer to this chart:

Ceiling lightPriceConsuptionRelationship euro per wattReferences
Orphek OR2 Blue Plus180 USD54.7 w3,3 euro per wattDaniReef LAB
Orphek OR2 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 PRO
790 €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 LRM
465 €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 we have said, the ceiling light is very well built, solid and well assembled. I really like the extruded borders as well as the refinement. It isn’t programmable, and you can add other bars in other to obtain the power you need. 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 overall energy you have a more realistic picture. The bars are perfect for breeding corals, but you have to ask yourself a couple of questions: Do you need twice the PAR? Use two bars. Do you need four times the PAR? Use four, and so on. The cost per watt is incredibly low, the lowest among the ones we have tested, while before comment the value of PAR per watt we have to test other blue bars. What else can you ask of an LED bar?

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Questions and comments, as always, are welcomed.

[Translated by Agnese Poggi]

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