ATI t5/LED Powermodule Review

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by Servillius, May 2, 2013.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    Houston, Texas.
    Think of this as a living document. I'll try to keep it updated as my experience with the light grows.

    [​IMG]

    PURCHASE AND UNPACKING

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I purchased the 24" 8 bulb model which fits nicely over my tank. I bought the light from Reef Geek. I received the light on Thursday and immediately set about playing with it. I put the bulbs in, turned it on, and went through demo mode. The bad news, the LED module was not working. After working with Reef Geek, we decided to get a replacement out. Being the impatient sort, I paid for overnight shipping of the replacement and my second light arrived on Saturday. While I can wish Reef Geek didn't need to charge my credit card for two lights (they will refund one when they receive the returned light) when the defective light had been in my possession for 30 minutes, they were friendly and helpful and I now have a working light.

    INSTALLATION

    [​IMG]

    I installed it in my canopy (I removed the lid as superfluous to keep the heat down, so it’s really an open top brow now rather than a canopy). ATI uses the same suspension system on all their lights to the best of my knowledge, and I used the suspension loops to hang it from hooks. The light looks amazing. With the LEDs on, you can make out the cone of light that saturates the bottom of the tank nicely. My tank is 30" deep and penetration was a concern for me. The combo unit seemed like a good solution and it appears to do the trick. With the t5 bulbs on, there is no spotlighting. While I currently only have the LEDs at 20%, there is already just a hint of shimmer.

    PROGRAMMING

    [​IMG]

    Programming is not intuitive. Once you understand it however, it has its advantages. Rather than programming each color channel independently, you program the light intensity as if it is a third bank of t5s (remember the t5s are dimmable, so they are also programmed). Now imagine you had three banks of t5s. Each would need to be programmed as to when to come on, and when to change intensity until it finally goes off. For example it may ramp from 0 to 20 percent from 9am to 9:30, then from 20 to 100 from 9:30 to 10, then back down to 20 from 6:00 to 6:30, and perhaps from 20 to 0 from 6:30 to 8. You wouldn’t mess with colors since you have bulbs that decide your color for you.

    The LEDs work the same way. You decide when the LED Light comes on, you decide when the LED Light changes intensity, and you decide when the LED Light goes off. You control the color by selecting one of a range of preset color settings, or by programing a custom color setting. Fortunately, ATI was kind enough to preset Super Blue, AquaBlue Plus, Coral Plus, Purple Plus, and "Aqua and SuperBlue." The LED can, in effect, emulate any of the ATI bulbs and one of their popular combinations.

    Once you get past the fact that you're not directly controlling the lights independently (you can accomplish the same effect by setting up custom settings and you can change color settings from one timer to the next), there are advantages of this method. For me, with the LED jitters, I get to eliminate any doubts about how to get the color right. Having just one variable – intensity - to play with limits the risk of me harming my corals by programming the light badly.

    The light is programmable from a computer, but I have yet to use this feature. This may improve the programming experience markedly.

    CONSTRUCTION

    There isn't much to say here. The thing is beautiful, solid, well built, and the light makes any other t5 look dim. I read somewhere hiding an ATI light is like owning a Ferrari in Alaska. The comment is truer than I realized. I've looked long and hard for a light that looks great over a rimless tank and as soon as I left the rimless tank world, I found the aesthetically perfect light.

    CONCLUSION

    I'm very happy with this light right now. I had some issues in the beginning and an expensive light was made unnecessarily more so by faulty equipment. I also had some learning to do to get the programming right (although, confession, I ended up using the factory preset with very slight adjustment). I've always been a believer in getting the user friendliness right. This light misses slightly in that regard; it’s just so good at its actual job, or has been so far, that I've forgiven it and then some.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Click Here!

  3. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    7,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    That sure is a beast of a light. Thank you for sharing the information in the step by step fashion. I'm glad you plan on updating and you go.
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Best review I have read in a while. :smoke:

    Very interesting observations about programming and the choices ATI made there.

    I look forward to more updates as well.

    Great write up.

    matt
     
  5. dowtish

    dowtish Horrid Stonefish

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,062
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Thanks for posting! This is something that makes me jealous! Please keep us updated as the tank progresses.
     
  6. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    Houston, Texas.
    Thanks Matt!
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Have you tried the software yet?
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. pgoodsell

    pgoodsell Horrid Stonefish

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    Sparks, Nv
    Great review. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. :)
     
  10. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    Houston, Texas.
    Not yet. If I have the time, I'll look into it this weekend.
     
  11. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    Houston, Texas.
    Thank you!
     
  12. gcarroll

    gcarroll Zoanthid

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    Anaheim Hills, CA
    Glad you posted this. I was just taking with the owner of Reefgeek about getting one.