My Review of Orphek Atlantik V4 after 15 Months

sawdonkey

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On my previous builds, I’ve used black box LEds (Ocean Revive) and had a lot of success. When I set my tank back up at the start of last summer, I thought I’d try something of a higher quality to see if I could get even better results. I purchased two Orphek V4s and a gateway directly from Orphek to the tune of nearly $2,000.

My initial impression was that I loved the spectrum, the controllability, and the overall look. I was super happy with the lights for a few months. Then, I noticed that the UV/violet Chanel in one of the fixtures was not lighting up. I emailed with the Orphek guys and they told me to open the fixture and jump each diode with a wire to see which one is bad. So I did and it was a burned out 380nm diode. So the sent one to me and I soldered it in. First, I should not have to solder diodes into $1000 light fixtures, second, every time I take my lights down, it’s a three hour endeavor. So, I soldered it in and it worked....for a while.

Shortly after this , the other fixture did the same thing, so I had to solder in another diode. Shortly after this, the UV channel in first one that went bad went bad again. Also, the blue channel was flickering. I emailed Orphek and they sent me a whole new fixture.

A few months later, and the other fixture’s UV channel is not working again. I emailed Orphek and the sent me a whole new board. I had to take the light apart and put it in. Total pain. Not to mention, the new fixture they just sent a few months ago, now has a partially working UV channel and a flickering blue channel.

So today, I take my lights down and jump diodes with a wire and replace FOUR diodes (I took these from the old board they replaced). Everything was working fine and I put the lights back up. Right now, I’m looking at my tank and one half of it is twice as bright as the other, because half of the blue channel and half of the UV channel aren’t working.

I have a friend that lives close by and he has three fixtures. He has had a very similar experience with all three. So....to sum it up, Orphek has great customer service and the really need it, because their product is flawed. If you’re considering dropping a couple thousand dollars on aquarium lights, I’d look elsewhere. If you like to take your lights down and put them up again over and over, like to solder, and like to talk to customer service, Orphek V4s are for you.
 
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sawdonkey

sawdonkey

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I’m not totally sure, but I would not go Orphek. I’d likely go back to Ocean Revive. They got similar results at 1/3 of the price. They also had issues with diodes burning out from time to time, but at 1/3 the price, my expectations were a lot less. I’d also consider Radions, but to light my tank properly, that would be nearly $3k.
 
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sawdonkey

sawdonkey

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You obviously know how to solder and do electrical. You ever consider building your own led fixture?
I’ve thought about it, but I really just want plug and play. While I’m capable of building my own lights, I just don’t want to do it. I just don’t want to spend my time working on lights. I’d rather a professional company do all of the research and do the work and I’m willing to pay for that. Ideally, they’d figure it out so it doesn’t become my problem.
 
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Sarah24!

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On my previous builds, I’ve used black box LEds (Ocean Revive) and had a lot of success. When I set my tank back up at the start of last summer, I thought I’d try something of a higher quality to see if I could get even better results. I purchased two Orphek V4s and a gateway directly from Orphek to the tune of nearly $2,000.

My initial impression was that I loved the spectrum, the controllability, and the overall look. I was super happy with the lights for a few months. Then, I noticed that the UV/violet Chanel in one of the fixtures was not lighting up. I emailed with the Orphek guys and they told me to open the fixture and jump each diode with a wire to see which one is bad. So I did and it was a burned out 380nm diode. So the sent one to me and I soldered it in. First, I should not have to solder diodes into $1000 light fixtures, second, every time I take my lights down, it’s a three hour endeavor. So, I soldered it in and it worked....for a while.

Shortly after this , the other fixture did the same thing, so I had to solder in another diode. Shortly after this, the UV channel in first one that went bad went bad again. Also, the blue channel was flickering. I emailed Orphek and they sent me a whole new fixture.

A few months later, and the other fixture’s UV channel is not working again. I emailed Orphek and the sent me a whole new board. I had to take the light apart and put it in. Total pain. Not to mention, the new fixture they just sent a few months ago, now has a partially working UV channel and a flickering blue channel.

So today, I take my lights down and jump diodes with a wire and replace FOUR diodes (I took these from the old board they replaced). Everything was working fine and I put the lights back up. Right now, I’m looking at my tank and one half of it is twice as bright as the other, because half of the blue channel and half of the UV channel aren’t working.

I have a friend that lives close by and he has three fixtures. He has had a very similar experience with all three. So....to sum it up, Orphek has great customer service and the really need it, because their product is flawed. If you’re considering dropping a couple thousand dollars on aquarium lights, I’d look elsewhere. If you like to take your lights down and put them up again over and over, like to solder, and like to talk to customer service, Orphek V4s are for you.
Hello,

First sorry you have had so many issues, when tanks run normally it’s a head ache. I get made fun of or called dumb ignorant (pick an option), because I have always said that, “ just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s great”.

I was similar to you and I use the current marine pros 4117 and they have been great. The customer service is just superb. Now I havnt had any issues that were per say their fault. I did drop a light in my tank and out of warranty, and they sent me a new one.

Come to find out years later and me being dumb I had three wave makers go bad. Coincidentally after I soaked them in vinegar all night. Current couldn’t figure it out so they sent me new ones for free. They did tests and sure enough the vinegar made them swell, and affected the magnet and plastic. Again my fault but they replaced them.

Needless to say I’m terribly sorry for your experience but my advice is to keep what is working for you. After doing a lot of research, a lot of these higher end light companies get all their leds and boards from the same company but have different specs. I’m curious if you will go back to your ocean revives?

If not I sure hope your issues go away and have better luck with your lights since it’s kind of important.
 
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sawdonkey

sawdonkey

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Hello,

First sorry you have had so many issues, when tanks run normally it’s a head ache. I get made fun of or called dumb ignorant (pick an option), because I have always said that, “ just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s great”.

I was similar to you and I use the current marine pros 4117 and they have been great. The customer service is just superb. Now I havnt had any issues that were per say their fault. I did drop a light in my tank and out of warranty, and they sent me a new one.

Come to find out years later and me being dumb I had three wave makers go bad. Coincidentally after I soaked them in vinegar all night. Current couldn’t figure it out so they sent me new ones for free. They did tests and sure enough the vinegar made them swell, and affected the magnet and plastic. Again my fault but they replaced them.

Needless to say I’m terribly sorry for your experience but my advice is to keep what is working for you. After doing a lot of research, a lot of these higher end light companies get all their leds and boards from the same company but have different specs. I’m curious if you will go back to your ocean revives?

If not I sure hope your issues go away and have better luck with your lights since it’s kind of important.
Thanks, I’m going to try to limp these along because I have too much money in them to throw them in the garbage. I jut know now that my life involves taking these down and working on them once per month. Also, the spectrum will be off a little as I have to solder in slightly different nm LEDs. I know the 380 and 420 nm diodes burn out easily, so I won’t put those back in.

I’m curious if other Orphek owners here have had the same issues? Of the three people know that have these with a total of eight fixtures, 100% have had similar issues. Orphek denies that this is a problem with their product and acts like this is the first they’ve ever heard of it when I complain and ask if this is a recurring problem for them. So, do any other Orphek Atlantik users here have problems with LEDs burning out?
 

90's reefer

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Wow! I was considering the light bars by them. May want to rethink this. The bars are alot less money but I want plug and play too.
Thats why I run t5's.
Best lfs in my area run all radions. Thier 550g display tank runs them with t5's but all frag tanks are radions.
They sunk alot of $'s into radions but they look and work great.
 

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I have two full size G4’s. One for going on three years that I upgraded to a version 2 when I upgraded to a 110 and added a 2nd fixture. I have not had any issues with diodes burning out or channels flickering. It makes me wonder if there’s an issue with the driver overpowering the LEDs but I don’t have enough knowledge to say that one way or another. Either way I know how frustrated you must be always having to mess with something light related.

My lone experience with customer service was also very good.
 

315wall

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Wow I was looking at these and the fixtures looked great. I keep wondering why LED fixtures are so expensive and the physical pieces are so cheap. I mean the price should go down with mass production and an LED is very low cost to produce say compared to a CPU, GPU, etc. I am running black boxes and must say they have been very dependable for the most part they just lake some of the features of the high end lights.
 

90's reefer

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Wow I was looking at these and the fixtures looked great. I keep wondering why LED fixtures are so expensive and the physical pieces are so cheap. I mean the price should go down with mass production and an LED is very low cost to produce say compared to a CPU, GPU, etc. I am running black boxes and must say they have been very dependable for the most part they just lake some of the features of the high end lights.
Yep. I have ran a cheap black box on my nano for 2 years. No problems and it grows coral just fine. 80% blue 10% white.
Radions are cool looking though!
 
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sawdonkey

sawdonkey

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Wow! I was considering the light bars by them. May want to rethink this. The bars are alot less money but I want plug and play too.
Thats why I run t5's.
Best lfs in my area run all radions. Thier 550g display tank runs them with t5's but all frag tanks are radions.
They sunk alot of $'s into radions but they look and work great.
I have two Orphek light bars and LOVE them. It’s just the Atlantiks that are giving me trouble.
 
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sawdonkey

sawdonkey

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I have two full size G4’s. One for going on three years that I upgraded to a version 2 when I upgraded to a 110 and added a 2nd fixture. I have not had any issues with diodes burning out or channels flickering. It makes me wonder if there’s an issue with the driver overpowering the LEDs but I don’t have enough knowledge to say that one way or another. Either way I know how frustrated you must be always having to mess with something light related.

My lone experience with customer service was also very good.
The problem seems to be very specific LEDs that are burning out. It’s the 380s and the 420s. The 380s are the UV LEDs and I believe they are new to the V4? Not sure on the 420s, but I’ve had a few of them burn out and a few actually turn the lens black.

Yes, customer service is great. I’m literally on a first name basis with all of them. BUT, no amount of customer service can fix a flawed product. Keep in mind, every time I call them, I lose three hours of my life taking my lights down and opening them up. Not ideal for a $1000 light.
 

biecacka

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I bought some used v2 that were upgraded to v4.2 lights. The UV appears to be out on one unit. It appears to be that way upon me purchasing them. I’m not looking forward to soldering the new ones in place. Not one bit. I don’t have the skills or the tools to do so.

Corey
 
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scriptmonkey

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Ah crap. I just dropped money on 3 of the compacts and I am in the process of designing a light rack for them, guess I need to consider ease of maintenance now. Following along to see how this evolves or devolves whichever the direction this goes.
 
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sawdonkey

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I bought some used v2 that were upgraded to v4.2 lights. The UV appears to be out on one unit. It appears to be that way upon me purchasing them. I’m not looking forward to soldering the new ones in place. Not one bit. I don’t have the skills or the tools to do so.

Corey
Well, the good news is that soldering LEFs is super easy and a soldering iron costs about $10. What is V4.2? I’m not familiar with the .2


Ah crap. I just dropped money on 3 of the compacts and I am in the process of designing a light rack for them, guess I need to consider ease of maintenance now. Following along to see how this evolves or devolves whichever the direction this goes.
I have my fixtures mounted too and to work on one, I have to take both down. Orphek tried telling me that my problems are due to my lights being in a compound. Well, I have a six inch fan pushing air into the side of my canopy and another two six inch fans pushing air out the top, directly above the lights. Plus, the other two guys I know that have had problems don’t have their lights in a canopy.

A guy I know locally has four compacts and they’ve been a nightmare for him.
 

Graham hunt

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Well, the good news is that soldering LEFs is super easy and a soldering iron costs about $10. What is V4.2? I’m not familiar with the .2




I have my fixtures mounted too and to work on one, I have to take both down. Orphek tried telling me that my problems are due to my lights being in a compound. Well, I have a six inch fan pushing air into the side of my canopy and another two six inch fans pushing air out the top, directly above the lights. Plus, the other two guys I know that have had problems don’t have their lights in a canopy.

A guy I know locally has four compacts and they’ve been a nightmare for him.
Hi sawdonkey,I have had three v3+ for nearly four years now,first year was ok,then leds started to go
All three lost the third violet channels,took them apart and found the leds had blown and splattered the lenses,cleaned them up and thought I could live with it.
Slowly over the reamaining time par has dropped colour has changed,spoke to orphek they were surprised as had not been reported before!
Out of warranty so-new v4s change the guts to v4s or buy a light bar to enhance v3+ did that with one bar initially thought it did the job but the bar started to work intermittently got fed up Loking at tank and sps looked crap so took them all down and put my 400w halides back up ok but miss led ramp and pop.
My pal has radian g4 which makes my tank look like a waste of time he has a smaller red sea so only has two g4s mine is 8 ftx2 ftx2ft.
So worked out ridicules with hangers 6 or 8 g4,and reef link got fed up and bought two three foot ati WiFi hybrids for what seems like a “reasonable” cost ,leds are incomparable to orphek ,t5s are old freinds
So all is good now for a while I hope!
But it is a minefield and very stressful ,won’t go back to orphek again and cannot sell them with a clear conscience,not even sure I could give them away -the hype is never ending.
Hope you get through your trouble this just to let you know that there are others out there.
 

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How are these leds mounted? Are they chip type, soldered via reflow method? If so, using a soldering iron to remove and replace probably is damaging them.

LEDs need to be heatsinked properly as well. How are they heatsinked?
 

PhilSD211

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I've ran a Orphek V4 compact for since Nov2017 and I've experienced the same blue/uv LED's burning out and having to get them to send me new diodes to solder in myself. They claim the newer diodes are better and "upgraded" so the same problem shouldn't happen again. So far so good... but I'll probably take a closer look tonight to see if anything burnt out.

If i were to do it over again, I'd probably go with Radions or main T5's with LED bars as supplement.
 
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