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    Vitrea’s Beautiful LED Light Gets Knocked Off with Zetlight

    We suppose it was only a matter of time for Vitrea Orbital LED fixture to fall victim to copies, but this time it’s from an unknown source–Hong Kong based Zetlight.   Shown above we have the original, Italian designed fixture. Below we have the Zetlight, a newcomer to the LED market. Zetlight is a new manufacturer […]

    We suppose it was only a matter of time for Vitrea Orbital LED fixture to fall victim to copies, but this time it’s from an unknown source–Hong Kong based Zetlight.   Shown above we have the original, Italian designed fixture. Below we have the Zetlight, a newcomer to the LED market.

    Zetlight is a new manufacturer that, per their website, plans to distribute both domestically and internationally.

    From afar they look nearly identical, but on closer inspection there’s no comparison. The materials give away the copy even in photos. The concept of this mounting bracket is great and I suspect we will see more of it from aquarium companies–lets just hope they make it their own. Inspiration is one thing, duplication is another. Still curious about the Vitrea’s ugly twin? See their site at Zetlight.com.

    What do you think about knock off products in the aquarium industry: Are they an economic entry point or an innovation inhibitor?

    12 Comments

    1. nicholassadaka
      February 24, 2010 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

      Personally, knock offs are the only way I can afford to stay in the hobby. As much as I'd love to get the Bubble Kings and ATB's and Elos and ATI's and the list goes on, the prices are just out of this world. I compare aquarium keeping to sports venue tickets-yeah, you can do like the Yankees, Wizards, Giants, etc and load up on luxury seating and ticket prices so high that only corporations can afford them, but in time, you will be turning off youth to your hobby and when that happens, you are in danger of collapsing the team or sport altogether. If there is not affordable equipment for marine hobbyists, you are going to lose blue collar people, college students and others who are shocked when they find out the price to keep a reef aquarium. There's DEFINITELY a place for high end equipment and livestock, but to grow and expand as a hobby, the total cost has to be within the grasp of the common man. I think the industry is already pressing it now. A super high end hobby is almost always going to have very few members. Aquarium keeping spawns too much scientific growth and inspiration to price out the little guy. Sorry this is long…can you tell it hits close to home?:):)

    2. joostsreef
      February 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

      how much does it retail for?

    3. February 24, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

      Nicholas, thanks for chiming in!

    4. nicholassadaka
      February 25, 2010 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

      No problem, Eric…thanks for giving me the opportunity and again, sorry it was so long.

    5. Chase
      February 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

      Excellent comment, Nicholas. Working at a LFS, I have definitely seen a fair share of would-be reefkeepers turned off by the high price of lighting, skimmers and whatnot (not to mention live rock). If it wasn't for hand-me-downs and a store discount, I would likely have stuck with freshwater tanks.

    6. nicholassadaka
      February 25, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Chase. I just know how much reef keeping has inspired me and if I were a younger man, I certainly would've tried to make it a profession. Reefkeeping and aquatics just seems to me to have limitless scientific applications to create opportunities for kids and motivated adults and who knows, the key to saving our world from these dire straits might come from a reefkeeping background, so I think we need to promote and welcome as many as possible and accessibility seems to be one of the keys in doing so. We need to be proud as aquarists (because it really does take work and dedication) and spread our enthusiasm. Skies the limit with aquatics and I am almost giddy when I know someone getting into the hobby that I can help and guide and excite. Thanks for the compliment though, much appreciated!

    7. james
      February 25, 2010 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

      Ofcourse the lower pice is something that we are all after, however Aquarium hobby is not that large of industry.
      Most Innovators are small companies and because of copy shops they do abandon the industry or they change their business model to become a larger company that only sells goods and makes no innovations.
      Ofcourse the bigger companies are only interested in poping out cheap plastic goods that they can sell @ lower price points in chain stores to make large profit.
      So as much the copy shops benefit us in short term, in long term they are only taking away the interest and or ability of the innovators to pay for R&D and invest time to make new products.

    8. ziyaad
      February 26, 2010 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

      nicholas wrapped it up for me. but u should see the prices we pay for knock offs in South Africa. For the same price or less we could buy ATB or BK skimmers for the money that we pay for Reefocto skimmers.

    9. nicholassadaka
      February 26, 2010 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

      I actually do agree with James as well. I do think there is absolutely a need for the higher end products as well for all the reasons he outlines. As someone who looks for the lesser priced items, you do absolutely have to do some research and see what's “snake oil” and what's not as well as having a level of acceptance that you are going to get burned occasionally. Trust me, I've got quite a few pieces of equipment that are just garbage. On the other end, I have quite a few pieces that I still use that I got early on and I've been using for about 8 years. Also, certain things you just can't skimp on. James has very valid points that I would not disagree with at all.

    10. JAMES
      February 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      Ofcourse we should stay away from Crap products, one of the main things that us as a hobbyist have to do is to reduce hobby's caron foot-print. Buying cheap products most likely results in having to upgrade again ,which mean waste of raw material,…….
      However,I guess my main point was that by buying the Knock offs, we are killing the littel companies that are trying to innovate.
      Lets say a German company make s a new product, Chinese company copies in 2 month, product becomes mainstream in 6 months now a large company will start to mass manufacture these products or they go to the copy-shop & muscle them into making large quantities for cheap.
      So within 6 months the inventor looses most of their market.
      You can see companies like Orbitec get a patenet on something that they thought will be a cash cow, although they are not even in this industry or plan to make such products, only because they can afford it.
      For a small German company to pay more than 20000 euro for world-patent is almost impossible so they make a new design or a new product & after 6 months they are out of the market.
      As the industry becomes larger more like fresh water eventually you will see that there are no innovators left.
      Look at the FW market same products same methods for years & the new produscts from small companies will never survive.
      I am using a FW line from KZ, they are successful in SW but in FW they never got anywhere simply because they can not get their products into the large shops, although the product works great & you can cycle a tank in one day.

    11. nicholassadaka
      February 27, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      I hear what you're saying James, but the bottom line is that most can't afford those high end products. That's why I keep saying that yes, most definitely there is a place for them, but without the low end stuff to draw you into the hobby, the customer base will be so small that even the small high-end product companies will not be able to stay afloat. Most new aquarists are staggered by the price of keeping a reef aquarium with the low end products alone…take them out of the equation and most would say “sorry, it'd be nice, but I can buy a car for that much”. Whereas if you get the person involved in any way and they realize how much they love their tank, slowly you have people without a lot of money deciding that they'll save up for the high end stuff. There's a place for both…remove one or the other and you'll have problems sustaining the industry. I, personally have pretty meager funds, but if I find a high end product that really seems to be a big difference maker (I use full zeo on my tank and was actually interested in the freshwater additives, but could find absolutely no description of what product did what-by the retailer or on the Zeovit forum), but there's no way I could stay in the hobby using only high end products. And as Ziyaad, above says-if you're in a country where aquatic popularity is even less, the prices are just out of this world.

    12. Anonymous
      February 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

      I hear what you’re saying James, but the bottom line is that most can’t afford those high end products. That’s why I keep saying that yes, most definitely there is a place for them, but without the low end stuff to draw you into the hobby, the customer base will be so small that even the small high-end product companies will not be able to stay afloat. Most new aquarists are staggered by the price of keeping a reef aquarium with the low end products alone…take them out of the equation and most would say “sorry, it’d be nice, but I can buy a car for that much”. Whereas if you get the person involved in any way and they realize how much they love their tank, slowly you have people without a lot of money deciding that they’ll save up for the high end stuff. There’s a place for both…remove one or the other and you’ll have problems sustaining the industry. I, personally have pretty meager funds, but if I find a high end product that really seems to be a big difference maker (I use full zeo on my tank and was actually interested in the freshwater additives, but could find absolutely no description of what product did what-by the retailer or on the Zeovit forum), but there’s no way I could stay in the hobby using only high end products. And as Ziyaad, above says-if you’re in a country where aquatic popularity is even less, the prices are just out of this world.

    2 Trackbacks

    1. […] this post up I was kept thinking where had I seen similar LED units before — thanks to Eric @ Glassbox-design.com for jogging my memory. The Zetlight range has mirrored what Italian company Vitrea have produced and design […]

    2. […] http://glassbox-design.com/2010/vitr…with-zetlight/ […]

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