Aquaray Grobeam Tiles or Twinstar Light

maj74

Member
Trying to decide on lights for my new tank.

80 x 40 x 45 cm

Will be going into a custom made oak hood, so no legs or hanging equipment required.

Want something with plenty of capacity. Will use controller to fine tune levels. Want to grow a good carpet, so don’t want something that’s not really bright enough.

So should I go for 2 x aquaray grobeam 1500 tiles, or a twinstar 600?

Thoughts appreciated.
 

SRP3006

Member
I struggled to get anything growing with the TMCs (could be me) so I'd definitely go with the Twinstar. The TMC lack power and the shimmer is quite intense.
Twinstar would be a good choice, or even chihiros vivid.
 

alto

Member
I’d likely choose the TMCs as they will give more even light distribution

(& I’m not keen on Twinstar S color spectrum - fanatical reds and yellow tinted greens ;) ... though obviously loads of people like this just fine :cool: )

Some past journals with TMC tiles

George's One-Pot Iwagumi Challenge

George's TMC Signature

[IWAGUMI] Project Scree - New plants and lights

[IWAGUMI] Scree Evolution - The End

George's Hillside (new Signature layout)

Brandis Edge (Flamingo)

Going Dutch Tropica 1-2 Grow Style
 

alto

Member
In contrast @SRP3006 journal
:)sorry: if I’ve made the wrong assumption here)
(a 60cm deep aquarium places quite different constraints on lighting choices, also 60cm width ... I’d have run those tiles on 100% intensity (PAR/PUR and light distribution would all be significantly reduced at lower intensity)

48x24x24 high tech dirted
 

alto

Member
TMC tiles may be somewhat old fashioned these days, but no other manufacturers seems to have thought quite as much about PAR vs PUR (as did TMC when designing these lights)
 

maj74

Member
So that's one vote for TMC Aquaray, and one vote for Twinstar...

There is a saying in beekeeping: 'Ask 3 beekeepers a question and you will get 4 different answers...'

I fear aquascaping is much the same!

Anyone else with thoughts?

I already have an aquaray controller (which are expensive), however the controller for the Twinstar is pretty cheap, so not much of a decider...
 

SRP3006

Member
In contrast @SRP3006 journal
:)sorry: if I’ve made the wrong assumption here)
(a 60cm deep aquarium places quite different constraints on lighting choices, also 60cm width ... I’d have run those tiles on 100% intensity (PAR/PUR and light distribution would all be significantly reduced at lower intensity)

48x24x24 high tech dirted
Fair point ,@maj74 to be honest I'd try the tmcs if you already have the controller. They can be picked up relatively cheaply on ebay, just be a little mindful of the heat generated from the top of the light if you are planning on mounting inside the hood.
You will probably need 2 1500 tiles for that footprint.
 

maj74

Member
Thanks for the thoughts.

They're going to drop into routed openings in a solid oak worktop lid that will be hinged at the back to simply lift out of the way of an open topped tank.

Therefore the heat sinks will be completely open.

So from a practical point of view between these or the Twinstar - it's just a case of routing a different shaped opening.


Fair point ,@maj74 to be honest I'd try the tmcs if you already have the controller. They can be picked up relatively cheaply on ebay, just be a little mindful of the heat generated from the top of the light if you are planning on mounting inside the hood.
You will probably need 2 1500 tiles for that footprint.
 

SRP3006

Member
Good price, you may find 3 to be a bit overkill due to the overlap, they advertise 24in by 24 but in reality it's more like 18in by 18in. Depending on your scape I'd probably be inclined to put the colour plus tile in the centre
 

maj74

Member
Good price, you may find 3 to be a bit overkill due to the overlap, they advertise 24in by 24 but in reality it's more like 18in by 18in. Depending on your scape I'd probably be inclined to put the colour plus tile in the centre

I was going to use the 2 x ND tiles, and sell the colour one - As I think the 8 channel controller can only run 2 tiles anyway, and I'm certainly not in the market for another aquaray controller!
 

SRP3006

Member
I was going to use the 2 x ND tiles, and sell the colour one - As I think the 8 channel controller can only run 2 tiles anyway, and I'm certainly not in the market for another aquaray controller!
The 8 channel can control up to 4 tiles as I used to have 4 on one controller. I would keep it just in case as the colour rendition is good on the colour plus and you may need it.
 

X3NiTH

Member
The 8-way controller can control 4 1500 tiles and 8 400 tiles!

There are two controllable channels on the 8-way controller six on one and two on the other, because the 1500 tiles use two connectors for the two LED arrays onboard you can split two tiles between two channels so one tile can run two lighting schedules. This would be handy to use on the colour channel on the colour plus tile (I don’t have the colour plus so I am assuming white and colour are on separate arrays) then you can introduce sunrise sunset colouration without interfering with main light output.

:)
 
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maj74

Member
The 8 channel can control up to 4 tiles as I used to have 4 on one controller. I would keep it just in case as the colour rendition is good on the colour plus and you may need it.

Ah ok that's useful to know.

I'll see what they look like. Because I'm routing openings in the hood (solid oak worktop) I can't be changing my mind once I've done it!
 

maj74

Member
I could use all 3 at a lower intensity. There won't be much wood left in the hood!

It's being made from 2 layers of oak worktop bonded together - I'm already planning to rout slots for aluminium bars between the two layers before bonding to try and prevent any warping.
 
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X3NiTH

Member
The temps on these tiles don’t get very high @20% the 1500ND with only one array lit to balance the light to fit the 400 tile below are currently sitting at 25c.

E48391F2-B946-4802-A4A4-A28D28F44DE2.jpeg


These four Marine and one 600ND bars below @45% are running around 34c.

B0B728E9-F78F-478F-955F-C0B8F2546F59.jpeg


As you can see they are not in an ideal configuration with zero ventilation, the unheated culture vessels directly below are sitting at 22c. During the heatwave in the summer I had been running them at 100% and in that cramped configuration they got toasty above 50c (warmed the chipboard shelf above that it was attached to), culture vessels below sat around 28c.

Again because I’m only running one channel on the 1500 I’ve got one channel spare on the controller so I can add another 400 or 600 somewhere!

:)
 

X3NiTH

Member
Just to say I’m on the original 8-way controller, new one is slightly different setup between the channels.
 
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