RSS Coralife LED Aqualight S review

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    The Coralife LED Aqualight S is a new aquarium LED light with an elegant form factor and many desirable features. The simple sleek LED Aqualight S shares a lot in common with the Aqueon OptiBright Plus LED including the same housing, three channels of LEDs and colors and most importantly, the multi-purpose remote control.

    When we first pulled the Coralife LED Aqualight S from its packaging, especially after reviewing the Aqueon Optibright Plus, we were immediately reminded of the Marineland Double Bright LED. More specifically, the changes that Marineland made between the Double Bright and the Reef Capable LED striplights.

    Where the Aqueon Optibright has a plastic housing, the Coralife LED Aqualight S has a very nice metal housing for better heat management and dissipation. The finish on the housing of the Coralife LED Aqualight S is particularly attractive with a matte gunmetal color that we’d love to see on more aquarium lighting fixtures.

    Like so many LED striplights the LED Aqualight S has extendable mounting legs that allow the fixtures to fit a variety of tank sizes. The low profile and lack of any physical buttons on the Coralife LED makes it blend in with the tank and top allowing users to focus on the aquarium beneath the light.

    The Coralife LED Aqualight S has three channels of LED colors, including white, blue and a central RGB channel with its own three colors of red, green and blue. All the LED channels and colors are adjustable with the included remote control which also handles timing functions for the entire fixture.

    We tested the 48″ Coralife LED Aqualight S over a 75 gallon aquarium and found that it lived up to the claims of roughly 40 umols of PAR at 12 inches underwater. Since 55 and 75 gallon tanks are 18 inches deep, you’ll get lower light levels beyond 12 inches so with a single fixture you’ll manage to grow coralline algae but on shallower tanks you could conceivably keep and grow low light corals.

    It’s no surprise that you won’t be breaking any light intensity records with the 36 watt output of the 48″ Coralife LED Aqualight S but that metal housing really got our gears turning about what Coralife could do with it in the future. We let the fixture run for several hours at full power and found the metal housing was hardly warm to the touch. It is conceivable that a future version of the Coralife LED Aqualight S could see a ‘plus’ or ‘pro’ upgrade using the same housing but stronger LEDs in the future, but this is merely speculation on our part.

    Although not too bright, the lower light levels of the LED Aqualight S will actually protect users from algae outbreaks which can discourage saltwater aquarium beginners, and the handy remote control with timer means that there’s nothing else to buy for 24/7 function of this light. Topping out at $135 for the 48 inch fixture, the Coralife LED Aqualight S has a lot going for it and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for beginner reefers, and general illumination purposes.

    FTC regulations require that we inform you that we were given this product for review, but our opinion of a product is never affected by how we acquire them.

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