For me, one of the most exciting products at MACNA was Nano Custom’s PAR38 LED lamp. These lamps screw into your standard E26 household socket, but unlike traditional spotlights the Nano Customs PAR 38 unit is powered by 5 CREE XR-E LEDs driven at ~750mA for roughly 15w of electric consumption. For the first time […]
For me, one of the most exciting products at MACNA was Nano Custom’s PAR38 LED lamp. These lamps screw into your standard E26 household socket, but unlike traditional spotlights the Nano Customs PAR 38 unit is powered by 5 CREE XR-E LEDs driven at ~750mA for roughly 15w of electric consumption. For the first time true spotlights for reefs may become a reality in North America.
The lights currently retail for $119.95 and come in two versions–12K & 20K. The 12k is comprised of (3) white XREs and (2) royal blue XREs, while the 20K uses (2) whites and (3) royal blues. At roughly 20″ the 12K lamps was hitting over 220 PAR–Not included in those numbers is the incredible colors that royal blue LEDs can bring out in corals.
The optics had a fairly tight spread, I would guess 30-40 degrees based on the height they had them mounted. However, Clive (evilc66) of Nano Customs hinted that optics as tight as 8 degrees were available for those wanting a more focused and higher intensity light.
The high intensity of the LEDs makes it difficult for camera’s to capture their true color–shown below is a 12K lamp with 3 white and 2 royal blue LEDs.
Nano Customs PAR38 LED Spotlight is a simple plug-n-play reality that can be universally applied to nearly all reef aquariums. Clamp on lights, track lighting, even desk fixtures can be converted into a simple direct-able and energy efficient light source for your reef tank.
I have personally tried over 10 different types of LED spotlights ranging from 5mm LEDs to Cree XREs in Cast and Machined aluminum heat-sinks from the U.S., China and everywhere in between. Based on what we saw at MACNA, I would rank Chris and Clive’s Par 38 Spotlight ranks very high. I cannot make any direct comparisons yet, but we have a feeling these lights will outperform similar LED spotlight models currently available. Many other LEDs are plagued by wiring issues and poor quality LEDs, if Nano Custom’s can overcome this they will have a very popular and useful light for the masses.
For all, but the tiniest pico reefs these lights will be for supplemental purposes, but that does not make them any less significant. I strongly believe that coral specific lighting is the future of reef aquarium lighting. With mixed reefs, this will require the use of spotlights. For more information on utilizing LED spotlights see one of our past articles here: LED Spotlights and Reef Aquariums.