We finally tested the Black Box LED... Compare notes? | BRStv Investigates

There were so many requests to test the Black Box LED that Ryan finally had to bring one in and test it. We can't wait to see where this thread...
  1. killerkukoo

    killerkukoo Active Member

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    what Lights are you using?
     

  2. Mauricio M. Jr.

    Mauricio M. Jr. New Member

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    At that time it was BB with Bridgelux led only with White and Blue and without lens. I believe that only in White led is already all aspectrum colors, then like to use only LEDs White with Blue leds.
     
  3. Mauricio M. Jr.

    Mauricio M. Jr. New Member

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    It was a simples box like this.

    images (3).jpeg
     
  4. happyhourhero

    happyhourhero Valuable Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    SB Reef lights.
     
  5. mandi29221

    mandi29221 Active Member

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    What light did you purchase I love the t5 and mh
     
  6. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    I think I'm going with a mix of Reef Breeders LEDs and Maxspect Celestials for my smaller tanks. With a few AI Hydras thrown into the mix. I have a lot of tanks that need lights, so going back to old school lighting would run up my electric bill too much. ;)
     
  7. trickyrich

    trickyrich Active Member

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    A big point I think that is overlooked is the different individual and there expectation. If your lookin to have a sps tank with thousands of dollars invested in corals with the absolute best color go with higher end stuff. If your running a soft mixed reef or mostly fish as most beginners are go cheap as the cheaper lights will meet your needs. If you decide to advance in the hobby the 100 bucks you blow on cheap lights for a year and a half really is nothing in the long run. I personally have had great success with led lights and I believe water quality and experience in the hobby is very important as my most expensive led I had when I first started I had the worst sps success as I upgraded tank size and couldn’t afford more than one of the high end lights. I went with something in the middle had amazing success then when I got my current even larger tank I went with mars aqua 5 of them still to new to know how they will do but so far looks good. These were all grown from small frags on led lights. I also did some diy and and have my mars aqua fully controlled through my apex loving it so far placed high off my tank at 20 inches A26AC8D5-1EE8-4653-92F9-2D087D1E73E4.png DE694196-E67E-44E4-A441-7C86D796B390.png C4EF04BD-A7DC-496B-AC0D-7D2BAD1A9739.png
     
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  8. Smoke12

    Smoke12 New Member

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  9. denierlexiese

    denierlexiese Active Member

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    Why can't i find that power supply listed on any sites when searched on google?
     
  10. madweazl

    madweazl Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    First one that popped up on Google for me.
     
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  11. denierlexiese

    denierlexiese Active Member

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    Excellent. Thank you.
     
  12. Crimsondrago

    Crimsondrago Member

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    This is awesome!
     
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  13. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    For me personally I would not hook up 110 or 220 VAC powersupply that was not UL/CE Listed...

    Especially over a salt water /salt air environment.

    I've said it many times... Be careful of electrical components that do not have a serial number and or UL/CE Listing.

    With a little bit of homework and experiment DIY LED Lighting is easier than assembling a Lego Millenium Falcon... Well Much Easier...

    We've been doing LEDs since PFO Back in the day... That was a thousand dollar fixture using Cree XR-E LEDs. Dated by today's standard...For Sure...

    Personally I would not trust most low cost fixtures coming from Mainland China for the following reasons:

    -Possibility of counterfeit "Cree" LEDs...
    -Non UL/CE Listed Components...
    -No Serial Number or Part Number listed on major components...
    -Inexpensive optics which can lose about 20% of the emitted light from the diode...

    There are a lot more reasons like third party retailers with little reputation but one thing I would like to suggest is to find a fixture with these qualities.

    -Mean Well LDD Drivers.
    --These dim down to 0% and offer close to 97% Efficiency....Efficiency is also less heat.
    --LDD Drivers are becoming the standard and are UR/CE Listed

    -Quality External Powersupply...
    --More efficiency means less heat and more electricity...Also the cooler it runs the longer it lasts...
    --Away from Salt Water for safety... 24VDC meets EU Class II electrical standards...
    --UL/CE Listed...

    -Binned LEDs...
    --This is a topic for another posts but why settle for 465nm Royal blue or Yellow Whites...
    --Also intensity variations...Huge difference between a Cree R2 and R5 in intensity /efficiency...
    --Food for thought / research.

    -Thermal Management....
    --The cooler fixture or any electrical component runs, the longer it lasts.
    --Many sacrifice thermal management for either cost or looks... The result is a fixture that will not last long.

    -Quality optics...
    --Many cheap optics loose 15% off the bat
    --LED Spread is not optimized and a lot of quality light is spilled or wasted on the carpet.

    If your looking for DIY or USA Manufactured LED Fixtures please visit our website... Cheap Black Boxes do grow coral. We've grown SPS under only Cree Royal Blue LEDs...

    Spectrum Matters for looks and having the ability to tweak the looks while providing enough intense light is a viable asset.

    Cheers

    Bill
     
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  14. DesertReefT4r

    DesertReefT4r Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Lots of good info here and good points. To me UL rating is great to have but not a deal breaker. I would bet half of the electronics in most homes do not have a UL listing. The QC on the $100 BB fixtures is well know to be sub par. It is also well known that they are proven to grow coral even light loving sps like acropora. To each their own. I have no pony in this race, I have been a long time MH user. Sadly the support for MH is almost dead with the rise of the LED and its getting harder to be a MH user. With less MH fixtures being made, most discontinued, its getting harder to be a MH user. I feel in the next 2 years I will be forced into LED due to dieing support for MH. The price point for the BB LED fixtures and mid teir like RB is very appealing. Most people dont have thousands to spend on lighting so a light that would support a 4-6ft reef tank at a $200-$300 price point with controllability, quality parts and LED chips would be very appealing to most reefers. I agree that large diffused pannel LED lighting is the future and the smaller pendant style is more of a stepping stone. That said if I had the expendable income I would have 2 Gen 4 XR-30 Pro lights over my tank. For me though AI or Reef Breeders are the upper limit of my budget and I would need to save for a while and generate some extra income.
    @Ryanbrs I really enjoy your informative videos? You and your team at BRS are going the hobby a real service with all the info you work so hard at to share with a hoobyists eyes and in an unbiased way. BRS is my go to online vendor for anything reef related and I could not have built my tank without them. Thank you and keep up the great work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  15. WVNed

    WVNed Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    1 black box ins't as good. So I got 2.
    No fires yet.
     
  16. Sarah24!

    Sarah24! Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    After reading the whole thread yes yes yes I’ll chime in. From the research I have done, of all the lights out there and I mean all of the lights. Of all the aquariums I have volunteered in and studied with, the black boxes are the lights they have the most. I can maybe count on one hand how many hydras or radions they use. As a point of fact, I the only time I saw a Radion was in a aquarium in California and it was siting in the shelf collecting dust. I have seen more hydras and way way more Kessills than hydras. Above those I have seen lots of the currents and also I still see quite a few t5 and mh. But number one spot by a huge huge amount is the black boxes.

    Point being is, cost is really relative when it comes to nature. As long as they get the proper nutrients and living environment anything will grow. Let’s also mention most natural reefs are not as brilliant as ours. I would have no problem using the sb reef brites on one of my tanks. I’m not a fan of switch lights ever from one tank to another. Example if one of my currents goes up in smoke etc then I will try and replace it with the same light. The reason is, my corals are use to it, and well I don’t want to stress them out more.

    The video was really good, but I agree with others, if they knew they didn’t have the best black box, why test the best Radion? If this did anything, it made Radion look even worse because even the lowest of the low lol black boxes stayed right with them. Maybe that’s why they did what they did in the video. If the cheapest of the black boxes can do that, gosh what would the better ones do?

    What also matters the most is not the cost, or the name or how neat the box is. It matters more if the person who buys them likes them. They have to be happy with it, and I’d they make their tank look gorgeous and they are happy let them be. Too many people have made fun of me or put me down because I don’t run radions. Yet they always seem to have problems with their corals or something. But most of all to me my currents make my tank look super pretty. If a person has a light from Kmart on there so what. We should be happy they took up this amazing adventure. One would be surprised on how creative people can be when they don’t have much money to work with. Please don’t throw eggs at me :).
     
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  17. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Not at all Sarah, one of the issues I had with the way BRS did the video was they painted a picture that since there wasn’t any UL listing and one reported fire (that wasn’t even remotely close to the current black box design sold nowadays and the unit they tested and didn’t even name the manufacturer) that you could burn your house down! Without any data to back up their claims, the whole video came off one sided and un-factual. Wasn’t the standard I’ve been use to with BRS. I’ve been extremely happy with my modded Mars Aquas now for two years.
     
  18. Sarah24!

    Sarah24! Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with you, I just didn’t mention that part because everyone else kinda ganged up on it. Lol my post was to try and hit on some aspects not covered yet. In regards to those lights, like I said 95% of the time aquariums use them and prefer them. If major aquariums are using these, that’s good enough for me. They thrive to make their reefs gorgeous to make people wanna come see them. I was hoping to make that point. But not having all the facts and the part in my post of me saying they used the lowest of the low against the highest possible light, basically snowballs Radion. You pay 800 for a light, yet 100 dollar light is keeping up with it. Which one are newbies, lower class, and middle class going to buy? They will buy the light you swear by and love, before the Radion, which is a good thing.
     
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  19. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Spectrum Matters as Does Safety...

    A Top Tier LED Diode is about 3 bucks retail... 36-45 of these driven at 700-1000mA with quality optics is the PAR equivalent of a 400 watt MH.

    Personally I will never risk my family with a Fixture using non UL/CE listed parts...

    Many disagree but the cost is not much more. Cheap BB Fixtures should be a No Go... Yes their are better ones but are they using binned LEDs or just the bottom tier Bins?... It Matters both in spectrum and efficiency... As much as 30% for Cree LEDs...

    Counterfeits and Chinese Products are Synominis... The only way you will know is with a PAR Meter and a Kilowatt Meter... And then there are small nuances in spectrum. Corals love the 400-455nm... Many of these fixtures are very weak in the <450nm Spectrum...

    Don't forget the very important longevity of the Diode and its Driver/Powersupply...

    Why trust a Chinese Product that says very safe long life... When you could easily build a fixture with Binned Cree LEDs and Mean Well LDD Drivers...

    Just some food for thought.

    Cheers
     
  20. dz6t

    dz6t Active Member

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    Some BB led have UL list power supply, many if not all have CE mark.
    The UL is for the powersupply, not the entire fixture.
     
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