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ATI Straton LED Light - Comments, Review, PAR, Coverage, Discuss...

Reef-Engineer

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Hi All,

I purchased two pre-embargo ATI Straton units for testing and feedback. The two units were replacing an 8-Bulb 48" ATI Powermodule over half of my new ~340g SPS reef. I wanted to document my findings and comparison on PAR, heat, sound (none!), look, build quality, coverage, and so on. ATI didn't give me the units, and I am speaking without any obligation to them.

I will also be putting up a youtube video when I get a chance with unboxing, details on the User Interface, and such. I'll link it here when I do

Appearance:
  • Extremely sleek, about 9lbs, 18.5"x18.5"x0.5", the rest of the tech specs are here (ATI Straton Webpage)
  • New, smaller hanging kit, very similar to classic units. I had a minor issue with one of them, but I think I was using the wrong hanging wire at the time (new units use SMALLER diameter hanging wire, they come with it)
  • Power supply is a industrial Meanwell Driver shown below
  • Wireless module is in-line, small, and allows pretty easy setup, it has an ethernet port too if you dont have wifi
  • Reset hole (common design) is located on the wireless module for resetting unit
  • They made their own light power cable, which is clear/white this helps it blend in MUCH better than a black cable

4Straton.jpg

Compare to Previous T5 Lighting:
t5lights.JPG


Some shots of the hanging kit, with a quarter for size comparison:
quarterhangingkit.jpg


Heat:
  • The Straton limits power to the LEDs if the fixture reaches 58C.
  • When I first received the unit, I ran it with all LEDs at 100 percent for 8 hours in a house at about 24C (75F)
    • The units reached a MAX temp of 46C, which I still have not seen them surpass. You can track their temperature live on the UI (user interface)
    • Example:
      1601404647591.png
  • I know there will be heat concerns since the unit is passively cooled, I am telling you that I do not think this will be an issue, for anyone.
    • Even in a closed canopy, with ventilation, I believe they will be fine. They don't even feel hot to the touch, just warm on top.
    • My 8 bulb powermodule cranks out WAY more heat.
  • Worth noting, much less power is being lost to heat here than with a MH or T5
Power:
  • My units pull a maximum of 215W (advertised is 230W)
    • This is likely due to the units being designed for 220V power (Europe) and using them in the USA (110V), higher restive losses due to higher current is my hypothesis
  • To match the PAR of my 8 bulb powermodule, I had the units drawing 145W EACH, so a total of 290W.
    • I need to stress that. The 48" Powermodule draws 550W (Apex power monitoring) and to match that coverage and PAR, I am now using only 290W
Coverage/PAR:
  • The diffuser plate does an excellent job of eliminating the disco effect, and you still get some shimmer (not MH levels, but way better than flat T5 light)
  • You can control THREE SEGMENTS of the light SEPARATELY
    • Separate Spectrum, PAR, Timing on:
      • Front
      • Middle
      • Back
      • You can group all the fixtures Fronts, or all the middles or Backs in one group, or tune them all separately
      • So if you want lots of PAR in front and less in back? No problem.
      • Want to get sunset/sunrise effect? No problem.
      • This is a pretty awesome feature.
  • I initially mounted 2 Stratons over the 8 foot tank beside an 8-Bulb powermodule, and then recorded PAR measurements at 0.5", 6", 12", 18", 24" deep at several locations under each light
  • I will show those plots in the next post for:
    • Comparison 1: Full power all LEDs, T5 at full power.
    • Comparison 2: SPS/LPS spectrum used (closer to my ATI T5 spectrum), Stratons at full power (but some LEDs are turned down to achieve spectrum), T5 at full power
  • Findings Summary:
    • Straton (as expected due to size) has excellent coverage, and easily achieves high PAR levels even low in the tank, very similar to the T5, but with higher PAR (can be turned down)

Cost/Value:
  • MSRP is $1100 each
  • They say the unit will cover 30"x30" space, I can verify that. If hung higher, it would cover more just fine.
  • One could probably cover an 8 foot tank with three, but I opted for 4 in the end so that I could hang lower to minimize light spillage
  • For comparison, to get the same coverage, I would use 4-6 Radions (I would go with 6 radions since I hate shadowing), or 4 CoralCare Units
    • 6x Radion G5 XR30 ($840 each) = $5040
    • 4x G2 Coralcare ($900 each, plus $150 controller) = $3750
    • 4x ATI Straton ($1100 each) = $4400
  • So they are above Radion and Coralcare in per-unit price, but I consider them to be a solid value since they are silent, attractive (to me), and significantly more powerful than the G2 CoralCare.

UI/Setup:
  • The units come well packaged, the power cable from light to WiFi box is about 6", then another 1" to the Power supply, then a standard computer power cable to the wall
  • The units come with a standard hanging kit (like current ATI but smaller)
  • When you power the unit on, it puts out a wireless network, you just hop on that, teach it your network name/password, and then it hops on your network and you can then access it via its IP address [pretty standard]
  • No Bluetooth [I kind of hate bluetooth so this isn't a drawback for me but may be for some]
  • When you set up additional units in the same fashion on the same network, you can access ALL by accessing one (via its IP address)
  • Here is a snapshot of the UI:
  • 1601406005120.png
  • So you can see here I have 4 units now, their temperatures, the dots on the plot show the spectrum and power at each point.
  • You can use their pre-programmed spectrums, or create your own (shown here):
  • 1601406130770.png
  • Here is an example of how to group the segments of each light (it does it this way automatically):
  • 1601406181099.png
  • Then Finally you can set the time zone, wifi details, login/password (default is admin/admin), firmware update, name the light, and see the cool demo
  • 1601406333079.png
 
Lazys Coral House
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Reef-Engineer

Reef-Engineer

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Here are some of the coverage/PAR plots, a few important disclaimers/bits of info:

  1. I am not @Bulk Reef Supply , those guys are set up WAY better to do these comparison, and I am sure that they will, but for example I had rock in the tank so couldn't take measurements in back (instead mirrored the front numbers in back, which I believe is a valid assumption)
  2. T5 Bulb Combo is Front to Back, B+, Actinic, B+, B+, P+, B+, B+, B+ (bulbs about 9 months old)
  3. Tank dimensions are 96"x30"x27"
  4. Measurements taken 6" from each side, 18" from each side, 24" from each side, and 36" from each side.
    1. This was done to get levels on each side of LED units and underneath them, T5 is pretty much solid levels all the way across)
The Setup:
1601406996073.png


So, PAR/Coverage Comparison 1, full power, all LEDs, I dont think anyone will run them like this, but why not:

1601407183885.png

1601407158759.png

1601407222079.png

1601407234040.png

1601407244802.png


My conclusions here:
  1. Man T5 Powermodule is great at even, distributed light with few if any hot spots
  2. Once you get 6" down or more, the Straton is pretty well spread out too and not super peaky
  3. This test showed PAR levels under the LEDs at 300-400 on the bottom. So obviously a bit more juice than most folks would want, but I wanted to show what MAX power looked like.
  4. Again here, LEDs reached max of 46C, and the T5 unit, actively cooled, reached 42C
  5. Power draw on T5 was 550W, Power draw of each Straton was ~215W
  6. So yeah, you can light 30"x30" no problem, and if I mounted them higher, probably more.
  7. On a 4' tank I think that you would still want 2 Stratons
 
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Reef-Engineer

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PAR/Coverage Comparison 2: SPS/LPS spectrum (closer to 20K look that US folks like, and closer to matching the T5 spectrum I am set up for), and turned up to 100% on Stratons, and 100% on 8 bulb T5 Powermodule:

- Note, now since not all LEDs are being pushed hard, the Stratons use 145W each instead of 215W each

The Plots:
1601407671260.png

1601407683748.png

1601407694650.png

1601407715126.png

1601407733019.png


My Conclusions:
  1. you can see the peaky nature right at the surface, but even just 6" down the PAR from directly under the fixtures to between them is much more even.
  2. Spread is excellent and covers tank no problem
  3. Most folks would probably still turn it down a bit from this, I think that I am running this spectrum but at 90% right now
  4. T5 Max temp (actively cooled) is 42C, LEDs reached a max of 40C during this test.
 
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Reef-Engineer

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Two things worth noting:
1. There is no tank mount, just hanging options, so that is a bit of a bummer for some
2. On all of the PAR/Coverage tests I was running the Straton Segments (front/middle/back) the same, so no tuning there.


Oliver from ATI said that they are all 5W emitters, being driven at a max of about 1.5W or 30% (hence the ~215W or ~230W Max power draw). So that means long LED life since they are not being pushed to 100%

One piece of data that I do not have is which LED emitters they use, for each color frequency, that would be cool to know.
 
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Maximus

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Thank you for the excellent review! How long have you had them? Is the wifi connection buggy at all or is it pretty smooth? Looks like I found my next light!
 
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Thank you for the excellent review! How long have you had them? Is the wifi connection buggy at all or is it pretty smooth? Looks like I found my next light!
Hello Maximus, The Wifi has been 100% solid thus far. That is one of the reasons I was stoked they went with Wifi over bluetooth, bluetooth seems so prone to drops, or issues with pairing, these just hop on your home network, and stay there ready to communicate any time.

I have had the two that I got advanced from ATI for about 4 weeks maybe? Then the other two I purchased through a local coral business that I do part time work at (they aren't shipping to end customers until Oct 1 I believe).'

One thing that you would need to do once they are on your network is open up your router page (usually 192.168.1.1) and then look at "wireless connections" and it will show your Stratons connected and you can put in any of their individual IP addresses to access them all. Shown here (as you can see I changed their names to match their locations, you do that from the "settings" menu:

1601426182029.png


Their included directions really are quite good too.

Also, if you dont have a wireless network, when the Straton boots up, it puts out it's own network, which you just select with your computer/phone and then type the below IP address into your browser to configure (192.168.100.1).

Oh and as promised, here are shots of the wireless module and the driver.
LED Driver.jpg

Wirelessmodule.jpg
 
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Lazys Coral House
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Reef-Engineer

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I wanted to mention one other thing, since I am sure some folks are saying "BUT HOW DO THE CORAL LIKE IT?!?!"

Well, it is over a tank finishing its cycle and kicking the uglies right now, the algae on the rocks is melting away but I have not moved the SPS over in full yet.

BUT in a vote of massive confidence, I put a 6" colony of TGC Cherry Bomb in there to see how it liked the light. Well, it is growing fast and you can judge for yourself how happy it is:
cb.jpg
 

saf1

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Straton and Coral Care Gen 2 both have the passive heat sink going for them. That is without a doubt the right direction. I give a point/nod to Philips Coral Care Gen 2 for the integrated power supply clearing up power brick clutter. If I am reading this correctly Straton would get a point/nod for integrated wireless.

Great job on outlining the rough price. That is worth noting as is unboxing. Not trying to ding one of the manufactures you listed but their launch didn't go as smooth but support has done amazing. I think anyone buying this generation of lighting price and coverage is first. Par is not as critical but it is worth comparing.

Edit: forgot to add nice job on the power use. Bulbs vs LED and the reduction of power. That is key in today's world for some people. Not on the crazy side of things but the situational awareness of talking about it, saying the difference, and showing how you are improving while lowering I thought was a nice touch.

Great job and keep up the great work. Sounds like they are working out great for you!
 

Punchanello

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I will not buy an ATI product with LEDs in it. My hybrid had multiple failures all related to the LEDs and drivers. I spent hundreds on replacement parts and shipping which should have been under warranty and the service was abysmal. 2.5 years later it sits in my garage because it doesn't work and I don't have the heart to throw $3000 in the bin.

I might have been unlucky and got a dud, but if you are in a market that does not have full, local service, support and parts, think twice.
 
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Reef-Engineer

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Straton and Coral Care Gen 2 both have the passive heat sink going for them. That is without a doubt the right direction. I give a point/nod to Philips Coral Care Gen 2 for the integrated power supply clearing up power brick clutter. If I am reading this correctly Straton would get a point/nod for integrated wireless.

Great job on outlining the rough price. That is worth noting as is unboxing. Not trying to ding one of the manufactures you listed but their launch didn't go as smooth but support has done amazing. I think anyone buying this generation of lighting price and coverage is first. Par is not as critical but it is worth comparing.

Edit: forgot to add nice job on the power use. Bulbs vs LED and the reduction of power. That is key in today's world for some people. Not on the crazy side of things but the situational awareness of talking about it, saying the difference, and showing how you are improving while lowering I thought was a nice touch.

Great job and keep up the great work. Sounds like they are working out great for you!
Thanks! I agree, integrated power would be great, but I think they made that sacrifice to maintain aesthetics of the fixture. I totally agree too on coverage being paramount, moreso than PAR. I kind of like the sports-car route, where you buy a car that CAN go super fast but dont use it at the redline too often.
 
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Reef-Engineer

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I will not buy an ATI product with LEDs in it. My hybrid had multiple failures all related to the LEDs and drivers. I spent hundreds on replacement parts and shipping which should have been under warranty and the service was abysmal. 2.5 years later it sits in my garage because it doesn't work and I don't have the heart to throw $3000 in the bin.

I might have been unlucky and got a dud, but if you are in a market that does not have full, local service, support and parts, think twice.
Yikes! Sounds like a nightmare there. I hope that these aren't like that! With the LEDs being driven gently and the driver being an off the shelf unit by Meanwell, I hope there will be solid reliability here.
 

nornicle

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Interesting, in Australia it is quite common to blast 500-750 PAR onto SPS. The SPS/LPS setting at 100% seems the goods... and passive cooling no fan is a huge plus. The spread also seems amazing.
 
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Interesting, in Australia it is quite common to blast 500-750 PAR onto SPS. The SPS/LPS setting at 100% seems the goods... and passive cooling no fan is a huge plus. The spread also seems amazing.
I have seen that too! So full disclosure my fully established SPS reef gets 550PAR at the upper end, so I am no stranger to using a lot of light. But then I watched a few of Dana Riddle's talks on photoinhibition, where he describes corals shutting down when PAR gets over 300 or so, and started to question just how much light is useful for my coral.

Nowadays, I want PAR between 200-550 across as much of the tank as possible, and then I just scoot corals around until I find their happy place.
 
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