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Thread: AI SOL LED Review

  1. #1
    Administrator foresteronw's Avatar
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    AI SOL LED Review

    A couple weeks ago I made the jump from Metal Halides to LED's on my display tank.

    Originally I was running two 250W Metal Halide single ended bulb setups with Lumen Bright Mini reflectors and Lumatek 400W/250W Switchable Ballasts with XM 20K bulbs. I replaced them with four AI SOL Blue Modules.

    My first impression was that I made a mistake. I wasn't sure I liked how they looked but decided to keep pressing on with it. Now that I've had them up and running for almost a month I'm happy I made the switch.

    Now for the details.

    Each module has eight pucks containing three 3 watt LED bulbs. The construction is very nice and clean. There is a built in fan on the back side of the heat sink to keep it cool.






    On one side of each module are three ports, one for power and two data ports. Each module needs to be plugged into a driver (that is included) and if you want to control the module the controller gets plugged into the data port. If you want to hook up multiple modules on one tank you only need one controller. The controller is plugged in to one module then you can "daisy chain" the rest, meaning there is a data cable that goes from the first module to the 2nd module and so on. This allows one controller to operate all the modules equally.



    Two screws are threaded into the top of the module through the heat sinks. These are the mounting screws that allow you to mount the module to AI's rail system or a custom rail that you make yourself. The nice thing about their rail system is that you can slide the modules left to right if needed.





    The controller is not all that user friendly but after time it's easy to get the hang of it. The controller allows you to set up to 14 timers. Each timer allows you to individually choose which percentage you want the white, blue, and royal blue LED's to be set at. This allows you to choose the color of your light, in my opinion anywhere from a 6500K to well over a 20,000K with or even pure actinic. It also allwos you to do a ramp up and ramp down. This means that you can set how long it will take to get form 0% to your predetermined setting. So say you have them set for 50% white, 60% blue, and 60% royal blue you can choose a 30 minute ramp up time. This means it will take 30 minutes to get from 0% to the 50%/60%/60%. To me this is one of my favorite things about these lights, it's more realistic to sunset/sunrise. You can get a module to run them through Reefkeeper Elite but I didn't want to be reliant on that to run the lights in the event the Reefkeeper ever fails.



    When I had my metal halide setup I would fluctuate from 78'F to 83'F every day. With the LED's I fluctuate maybe 1/10 of a degree per day according to my Reefkeeper Elite and that could easily be house temp.
    Last edited by foresteronw; 10-12-2011 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator foresteronw's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures of the LED's on my tank with some descriptions. Please keep in mind that the colors may seem distorted, I haven't really messed with taking photos under LED's yet:

    Here is with one LED mounted at 25% White/ 30% Blue/ 30% Royal Blue


    Here is with one LED mounted and all LED's at 100%


    Here is one with two LED's mounted and all LED's at 100%. This shows the type of coverage you can get , I could spread it out more but the way I have them mounted kind of limits that.


    This is with all LED's at 5%


    This is with all LED's at 10%



    This is with all LED's at 15%


    This is with all LED's at 20%



    This is with Whites 40%/Blues 45%/Royal Blue 45%



    This is with all LED's at 100%
    Last edited by foresteronw; 10-12-2011 at 08:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Administrator foresteronw's Avatar
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    I can honestly say so far I have no regrets.

    The LED's shimmer, almost as good as a metal halide but not quite. If the bulb life lasts as long as they say it will then they should pay for themselves compared to metal halides. I'm also only using a fraction of the electricity to run them.

    One thing I did notice, if you get them higher above the tank there seems to be less spotlighting compared to when had them closer.

    A couple other things about the controller:

    You can setup a lunar cycle where the LED's run like moonlights at night off of the actual lunar cycle.

    You can setup storm mode where you choose the chance of storms (in percentage) as well as the number of storms per day. If there is a "storm' it will lower the lights periodically as if there are clouds moving over the tank. It also includes "lightning" where they will flash to simulate a lighting bolt. Now...I personally think this is ridiculous and don't ever see myself using it. My fish already go nuts if I turn a light on in the room I can't imagine the led's above them flashing would be to their liking.
    Last edited by foresteronw; 10-12-2011 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Member madi05's Avatar
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    hmmm, i posted on this about no pics and congrats and now its gone? , still not pics , yeah i was leary as well but i have no regrets , the shimmer is nicer to me but i used 14 k mh so that could be the difference
    V.P.
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    180 reef system , 144 3 w leds with dimmersASM 3 skimmer , RKL running my ATO ,lights , powerheads , Red Sea Max 34 with 24 3w leds , RKL running lights and ATO , turbofloater 500 skimmer ,Polario 7ml , Madis oceanic bio cube 14 with 6 3w leds and 13 baby picassos

  5. #5
    Photobucket MikeFisher's Avatar
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    Another nice thing about them is you can use the different LED light for the moon light.
    You can run all then at 1% or mix it up like a moon cycle that it already has it programmed.
    With the controller you can change the set program and tweak it to your liking
    .
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  6. #6
    Photobucket BlueJawTrigger's Avatar
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    I can't see any pics. From my phone or laptop.
    Treat People as you Want to be treated. Screw me over once and you're done. Unless you are man/woman enough to come and apologize first. If you are a true friend, I'll give you the shirt off my back. I'd rather give you something than sale it to you. If you'll get Joy from it. If I have it and don't need it, you're welcome to it. Just don't take advantage of it. I'm an extremist. All or nothing. If you don't like something, shut up and don't say anything. If you like it, speak up. People need a kind word these days. It will go further than you think.

  7. #7
    Photobucket reefenontheedge's Avatar
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    I don't see any pics either on phone or home computer........what a tease.......
    ReefenOnTheEdge
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    20 gal nano and a 180 not so nano

  8. #8
    Administrator foresteronw's Avatar
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    Can you guys see the pictures now?

  9. #9
    Photobucket BlueJawTrigger's Avatar
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    I can see them now. Very cool!!!
    Treat People as you Want to be treated. Screw me over once and you're done. Unless you are man/woman enough to come and apologize first. If you are a true friend, I'll give you the shirt off my back. I'd rather give you something than sale it to you. If you'll get Joy from it. If I have it and don't need it, you're welcome to it. Just don't take advantage of it. I'm an extremist. All or nothing. If you don't like something, shut up and don't say anything. If you like it, speak up. People need a kind word these days. It will go further than you think.

  10. #10
    Photobucket
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    Those are so cool. Love the control. Unfortunately my wife isn't buying the 'everyone else is getting LED's so we should too' line of thinking. At 100% it looks like a nuclear war has broken out on the surface. Still, wonder if one 1 would be enough over my 40 breeder...

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