ReeFi Duo Extreme LED unboxing and first impressions

SuncrestReef

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Last weekend I hosted my local aquarium club (PNWMAS) monthly meeting at my house to show off my Reefer XL 425 and all my Apex automation. It was a great turnout with about 30 people, and I also spent some quality time grilling up chicken, burgers, and bratwurst on my BBQ for the crowd. Fun times!

But the other highlight of this meeting was a demo of the new ReeFi Duo Extreme LED light system by Daniel Lu. I had only recently learned of ReeFi from Daniel’s posts in our local PNWMAS forum, and knew he had been hard at work for the past year to design and produce the newest product in his successful line of LED lighting systems using his skills and knowledge from years of working at Intel and his extensive engineering college background. A couple other local reefers had nothing but praise for these new lights, and after seeing one on display at my LFS I realized that these were not just some knock-off black box LED.

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As I was planning for the monthly meeting, I learned that Daniel would be back from his overseas trip with a big batch of new lights, so we arranged to do a demo and side-by-side comparison of his new ReeFi Duo Extreme against my Radion XR30w Pro G4. Daniel lives only 20 minutes from my house so he stopped by a few days in advance of the meeting to get his light installed and tuned for my tank. These lights are beautifully designed and professional looking, on par with the major manufacturers in the industry.

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He custom 3D printed an adapter to fit my Radion RMS mount arm perfectly, so it was really easy to pop his light onto my existing mounting arm.

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The first thing I noticed was how the ReeFi had no side glare like my Radion. My aquarium is in my living room, and when you sit on the couch or chairs to watch TV or just relax, the glare from the Radions is always in your face. The ReeFi, on the other hand, has no side glare and all the light is projected straight down into the tank. Here's a shot of the Radion on the left, and the ReeFi on the right:

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Rather than using lenses like the Radion, Daniel invented “ReeFlectors” which are parabolic reflectors surrounding each of the 72 LED diodes that aim the light down without spreading it too far to the sides. This blends the light nicely without the need for diffusers like I have on the Radions and produces a very nice even light spread in the tank without lighting up the rest of the room, and very little disco effect.

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The 72 LED’s are grouped into two 6 x 6 grids and produce a total of 216 watts. There are 9 separate LED channels with a unique combination of colors: 400nm UV, 420nm deep violet, 435nm violet, 450nm royal blue, 470nm blue, lime, amber, 3000K warm white, and 6500K cool white. When you first boot up the ReeFi, it goes through a self-test process and you can see each of the channels light up:


The fit and finish on the lights is amazing, and you simply need to see the mirrored glass panel that covers the bottom of the light fixture in person to appreciate it. The glass is held on by magnets allowing easy access to the LED’s and circuit board if necessary, but the magnets are strong and hold it firmly in place. I have actually knocked my Radion diffusers off a couple of times by mistake while working on the tank from above because the magnets aren’t very strong, but that’s not the case with the ReeFi’s.

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Another really nice touch is the LCD panel on the front that displays the IP address and statistics of the current lighting mode, as well as cooling fan status.

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These lights connect to WiFi and are controlled by any web browser. The user interface is simple and self explanatory, and multiple lights can be grouped together to manage them as a single unit. I’ll admit one thing I’ll probably miss is the ability to manage my Radions through my Apex Fusion console, and I also had just recently set up a custom switch box connected to my Apex breakout box so I could quickly turn on blue lights or white lights with the push of a button. But I think the overall form and function of the ReeFi’s will help me get over that, and it’s pretty easy to change the lighting spectrum from my phone or other web browser when needed.

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For now I have the ReeFi spectrum set as close as possible to what I had on the Radions, and used my PAR meter to make sure the intensity is about the same. Over time, I’ll probably adjust the spectrum a bit to take advantage of the new color channels I have available. Only time will tell to see how my corals respond to the new lights. But overall I’m pretty excited and impressed with my new ReeFi’s. I feel like I’m getting in early on a new successful product in the reefing industry.

Here's a full tank video under the new ReeFi lights:

 
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SuncrestReef

SuncrestReef

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Thanks for taking the time for that great review mate. These look like excellent lights!
How's the disco compared to the Radions with diffuser?

The disco effect is noticeably less with the ReeFi. The diffusers helped on the Radions, but the ReeFi still seems better with more of a smooth shimmer on the sand.
 
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Ron Reefman

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Hi guys. To all who have the ReeFi fixture, at peak intensity, what is the temperature of the air exhaust by the fan?

I had one of the early ReeFi pendants and it was a bit too DIY and I ended up with Reef Breeders Photon V2+ instead. I've had wonderful customer service from ReeFi and Daniel has bent over backwards to help me out when I had some issues with the old fixture.

I'm very happy with my Photon V2+ fixture. It's very slim (great looks), runs super cool (fan barely runs), I get 200 PAR in a 20" deep tank, it has Cree and other quality leds, and it will cover my new 3'x30"x20" tank full of highly fluorescent zoas and Rock Flower anemones.

I think ReeFi (Daniel) has some innovative and cool ideas in the new fixture and the build quality seems to be a HUGE step forward from the old diy pendant. I live in SW Florida and we use A/C 7 to 8 months of the year. I'm not concerned that the ReeFi fixture will overheat, I've seen the special heat sinks and big fan. But how much heat will it be exhausting into my house? This is exactly why I switched from MH to leds in the first place.

Also, how high do you think I'd need to hang this fixture to get 36" x 30" of spread over a 20" deep tank?

Thanks guys. I love the look of the ReeFi Extreme and I'm on the fence. I know you guys know Daniel way better than I do, but in the limited time he and I had dealings related to the old pendant fixture, we got along fine and he was very helpful.
 

danlu_gt

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Hi guys. To all who have the ReeFi fixture, at peak intensity, what is the temperature of the air exhaust by the fan?

I had one of the early ReeFi pendants and it was a bit too DIY and I ended up with Reef Breeders Photon V2+ instead. I've had wonderful customer service from ReeFi and Daniel has bent over backwards to help me out when I had some issues with the old fixture.

I'm very happy with my Photon V2+ fixture. It's very slim (great looks), runs super cool (fan barely runs), I get 200 PAR in a 20" deep tank, it has Cree and other quality leds, and it will cover my new 3'x30"x20" tank full of highly fluorescent zoas and Rock Flower anemones.

I think ReeFi (Daniel) has some innovative and cool ideas in the new fixture and the build quality seems to be a HUGE step forward from the old diy pendant. I live in SW Florida and we use A/C 7 to 8 months of the year. I'm not concerned that the ReeFi fixture will overheat, I've seen the special heat sinks and big fan. But how much heat will it be exhausting into my house? This is exactly why I switched from MH to leds in the first place.

Also, how high do you think I'd need to hang this fixture to get 36" x 30" of spread over a 20" deep tank?

Thanks guys. I love the look of the ReeFi Extreme and I'm on the fence. I know you guys know Daniel way better than I do, but in the limited time he and I had dealings related to the old pendant fixture, we got along fine and he was very helpful.


Interesting question about how much heat is exhausted into the house. I had to do some google research to help answer. Efficiency of MH is about half of LED. Right off the bat, you now use half as much wattage as MH when going with LEDs. LEDs in general are about 50% efficient and using Cree XP-E2 which is 20% more efficient than XP-E. If you run ReeFi Duo Extreme at full power of 216W, about 108W or less will be heat. Average human body produces about 100W of heat or about 300 BTU/hr. Most central home A/C are rated at tens of thousands of BTU and even small window A/C units are rated at 6000 BTU.

With any LED fixtures, If you do not feel heat exhausted when running at full power, then it's either a very low power LEDs or heat is building up in the heatsink which is a design flaw since the LEDs will be getting too hot.

ReeFi Duo Extreme LED's heatsink uses 146 heatsink fins which has 1,216.6 sq-inches or 8.45 sq-ft of active cooling surface area. That's 10x more active cooling surface area than the closest competitor. This allows ReeFi Duo Extreme to quickly transfer heat from the LEDs to the surroundings which can maintain the LED junction temperature under 75C for peak efficiency.

To achieve 200 PAR at the bottom of 20"H tank, this depends on the spectrum you prefer. With ReeFi Duo Extreme 9.5" above the water, you can get 260-300 PAR with 100% power. If you like mostly blue to UV light, then it's roughly 190-210 PAR. The 2 main pucks are 6" apart and the ReeFlectors is about 90deg spread. At 9.5" above the water, I don't think you'll have issue lighting up 36"x30". However, toward the far edges will not be as bright as the center. I believe Dana Riddle's ReeFi Extreme test/review thread may answer some of your PAR and spread questions:
 
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Ron Reefman

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Interesting question about how much heat is exhausted into the house. I had to do some google research to help answer. Efficiency of MH is about half of LED. Right off the bat, you now use half as much wattage as MH when going with LEDs. LEDs in general are about 50% efficient and using Cree XP-E2 which is 20% more efficient than XP-E. If you run ReeFi Duo Extreme at full power of 216W, about 108W or less will be heat. Average human body produces about 100W of heat or about 300 BTU/hr. Most central home A/C are rated at tens of thousands of BTU and even small window A/C units are rated at 6000 BTU.

With any LED fixtures, If you do not feel heat exhausted when running at full power, then it's either a very low power LEDs or heat is building up in the heatsink which is a design flaw since the LEDs will be getting too hot.

ReeFi Duo Extreme LED's heatsink uses 146 heatsink fins which has 1,216.6 sq-inches or 8.45 sq-ft of active cooling surface area. That's 10x more active cooling surface area than the closest competitor. This allows ReeFi Duo Extreme to quickly transfer heat from the LEDs to the surroundings which can maintain the LED junction temperature under 75C for peak efficiency.

To achieve 200 PAR at the bottom of 20"H tank, this depends on the spectrum you prefer. With ReeFi Duo Extreme 9.5" above the water, you can get 260-300 PAR with 100% power. If you like mostly blue to UV light, then it's roughly 190-210 PAR. The 2 main pucks are 6" apart and the ReeFlectors is about 90deg spread. At 9.5" above the water, I don't think you'll have issue lighting up 36"x30". However, toward the far edges will not be as bright as the center. I believe Dana Riddle's ReeFi Extreme test/review thread may answer some of your PAR and spread questions:

Thanks, that's just the kind of answer I was looking for. And I just had a new led fixture mount made that should work. I had 2 of these made at a local shop that does aluminum work on boats. The 2nd photo shows it on the side of my 16g holding tank, but it is meant to be on the back of my new tank. The polished aluminum and the mirrored glass of the ReeFi fixture should look good together!

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Is 12k spectrum on Radion called AB spectrum? When mounted on same height as Radion XR30 G4 with diffusor, ReeFi Duo Extreme can match the AB spectrum with a little more PAR. However, with Extreme, you'll get much better color blending, softer light cast, and no side glare. Also you get additional LED channel between violet and UV that's missing in Radion.
I don’t own either light but knowing what I know of each id imagine a 12k setting on the reef fi to be more powerful than the ab+ setting. Ab+ is closer to 20k. It’s very very very blue. To me it is bluer than the ati
Blue+ bulb alone
 

chicago

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Bpb... i agree the AB setting is a lot of blue... and the reason I am asking is when i check the par and full mid day on the ab setting... with an apogee i am surprised at how low the par is... perhaps the meters have a hard time reading blue spectrum?
 

LARedstickreefer

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Bpb... i agree the AB setting is a lot of blue... and the reason I am asking is when i check the par and full mid day on the ab setting... with an apogee i am surprised at how low the par is... perhaps the meters have a hard time reading blue spectrum?

Which sensor are you using? The older apogee isn’t sensitive to most of the leds on this light.
 
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