Maxspect G2 230W LED - My impression

Discussion in 'LED Aquarium Lighting' started by SimonSKL, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    Maxspect LED is one of the latest entries into the LED market. This product is made in China. The first generation models G1 were launched in Oct 2009 and the second generation G2 were launched in Feb 2010. I was intrigued by the many features of LED in aquarium use and almost jumped into a DIY project until I heard about the Maxspect brand. After reading and researching about this product, I decided to take the plunge and ordered one from Hong Kong. Here is my initial impression of the product after I received it on 3/19/10. I will let the pictures speak for themselves with a few comments.

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    Maxspect G2 230W LED

    I have a 92g All Glass corner tank and finding a decent light for this tank was difficult so I had one 250W and one 150W HQI MH along with 142W dual actinic.

    Because of the width of the front curved glass (about 51") I decided to use the widest Maxspect model, G2 230W.

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Maxspect whatsoever. I am just a regular reefer who loves my hobby and wants to try out something new with good values and potential.

    It took about 6 days for the unit to be shipped from HK and most of the time were spent in Customs. The unit arrived in great shape with no apparent outside damage. The package weighed about 20lbs and the postage paid was almost $100 USD
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    Inside the package everything was well packaged and nothing was loose. Notice in the upper right hand corner a box marked with "US"
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    Inside the box is the power cord which is compatible with our electrical system. I think this is the same power cord used in PC.
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    The ballast or controller, unlike a MH ballast, is very light (about 2-3 lbs). The top has 4 push buttons to turn on/off 4 different group of lights as well as to program 4 independent timers for the 4 groups of lights. The 4 lights above the buttons indicate which groups of lights are on.

    The display shows alternately a military clock and the temperature of the heatsink in centigrade.
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    One end of the controller has a male end of the multiconnector and a fan that draws air in.
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    The other end of the controller has on/off switch and the receiving end of the power cord from the electrical outlet. The fan on this end of the controller blows air out. I think this is a good feature to have a two fans system to keep the controller cool.
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    This is the cable that connects the controller to the light fixture. I did not measure the length but I think it's about 6 ft. The connectors are made of stainless steel, another plus.
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    More to come about mounting hardware...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2010
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  3. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    Sounds interesting, I'm glad your're doing a write up on an LED system.
     
  4. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    The fixture can be mounted by a rail system or hanging wires, both are included. Each side of the rail has 3 sections. The end sections just slide onto the middle section. The rails are made of 3/4" alumimum stock.

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    Once the width is adjusted and locked by two thumbscrews for the width of your tank the entire fixture can still glide along the middle rail. This makes maintenance work a little easier as you can push the light fixture toward the back and out of the way.
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    I won't be using the hanging wire as I will be placing my unit inside the canopy. The wires are coated with some rubberized plastic to keep corrosion off. The hardware seem to be made of brass.
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    More to come...
     
  5. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    Time to fire up my new LED light!

    This is when I noticed the first QC issue. This group of lights, according to this particular model, has 15 3W blue and 4 3W violet. Notice in the middle of the fixture, one of the blue was actually wired with a white bulb:(. The blue light on the controller indicates the blue lights are on.

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    With just two 30W on (one of the 4 groups), power drawn was 65W on a Kill A Watt meter.
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    With four 30W on, it drew 136W.
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    With all whites on (4x30W, 16x3W), it drew 188W.
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    With everything on (4x30W, 34x3W), it drew 255W. This is really bright and I could not look directly into the lights comfortably:stars:
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    More to come after I open up the fixture...
     
  6. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    The top of the light fixture is covered by an opaqued acrylic sheet about 1/8" thick attached to the heatsink by 14 1.5" screws. Once the cover is removed, you can see the fan and the heatsink. Some owners reported some bent fins but mine looked okay.
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    The two fans are pretty massive relative to the heatsink and much bigger than most pc fans. It looks like the fan can be replaced fairly easy by disconnecting the clip and remove a few screws.
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    Here is the receiving end of the connector from the controller. Well insulated.
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    Looking down into the heatsink I can see the screws and tapped holes where the LED stars are attached on the other side.
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    Here is a good picture on the cross section of the top cover (bottom), heatsink, reflector, and splash guard. The fins on the heatsink is about 1" tall.
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    After removing the splash guard and reflector, here shows the LED configuration and wiring.
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    A close-up shot of the 30W LED. Replacement should be quite easy by unplugging the connectors and remove the 4 screws.
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    A close-up shot of the 3W LED. The LED is socket based for ease of future replacement. I am not quite sure how this is to be removed as the pins seemed to be soldered. On the other hand, I plan to replace them with CREE XP-G after the warranty runs out in 18 months.
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    More to come after I get some before and after tank shots...
     
  7. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    If you don't mind, how much did this fixture set you back and where did you order from?
     
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  9. crank2211

    crank2211 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Nice writup Simon!

    I just received my G2 170W lastnight. Haven't had too much time to mess around with it yet but I was impressed with the quality and light output in the tank. How do you like those 30 watters? When they're running, is it too much white in the tank do you think? I was initially worried about too much white, and bleaching and fading SPS. Any on-tank pics? ;)

    I'm thinking about swapping out the 6 or so purples it comes with to the 3W Cree XRE Royal Blues..
     
  10. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    This is my 92g corner tank. Because of the heat generated from the MH lights, they were placed on top of the canopy. 250W in the middle, 150W on the left. Inside the canopy I have a 78W T5 dual actinic. Sorry for the dust top. If I can't see it, I don't clean it;D
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    All the following pictures were taken at the same time as I was switching the lighting systems. Camera settings were the same: manual mode, ISO 800, f5.0, S 1/30sec, no flash.

    MH 150W on left, 250W center (total 400W) + 142W dual actinic. Note the dark side on right.
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    MH 250W + 142w dual actinic
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    LED all lights are on (230W). This is almost too bright, not yellow. Fish all went hiding.
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    LED (2x30W, 34x3W), more pleasant to the eye. The back corner was a little dark. I made some adjustment after these pictures were taken by tilting the light more toward the back.
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    LED (34x3W white and blue)
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    LED (14x3W blue + 1x3W white + 4x3W violet). The florescent color was just amazing. I have never seen my coral like that.
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    More to come some afterthought...
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Wow

    Great review so far, love the pics, thanks for doing this!

    The comparison photos on the different settings is very helpful. (
    Your tank is beautiful by the way.)

    Interesting note about the extra white LED. Oops. Not a huge deal but a bit annoying I am sure. Sounds like you have a plan to deal with this after the warranty.

    By the way, regarding warranty - where would you need to send this if you have problems?

    How is the fan noise? I now early on there where complaints with the 1st generation of these LED lamps.


    I need a KILL A WATT meter! :)

    matt
     
  12. SimonSKL

    SimonSKL Astrea Snail

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    I have been running the Maxspect G2 230W since last Friday night. Programming the timers initially was a little tricky as the instructions were quite confusing. Once I figured out how to program the first group of lights the rest was easy. Overall I am quite happy with the unit. I think it is well built and good quality. At about 1/3 the cost of a comparable unit built and sold in US, I think it is a good value and gave me an opportunity to try out this new lighting technology. I know I cannot build my own LED lights for the price that I paid for this unit and look this good.

    I don't know how my corals will react to the new light as it is just too early to tell. But so far, the polyps are still extending which is a good sign. I have mostly LPS and softies and a few SPS but I plan to add more SPS with this light.

    Because my lights are inside the canopy, I need to vent the warm air out. I built this panel by using two PC fans and placed it over the opening where my 250W MH was. the noise from these two pc fans is louder than the fans from the LED fixture but the pump noise drowns out all the fan noise.
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    To get more light to the back corner, I use four wooden blocks to tilt the light towards the back. Notice I still have my 78W T5. As I said earlier, when all the lights are on, it was a little too bright/white for my taste. I use two 36" T5 actinic to add more blue to the color.
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    Couple most currently pictures of my tank taken this afternoon:
    2x30W + 34x3W + 78W T5 actinic
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    4x30W + 34x3W + 78W T5 actinic
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    I hope this write-up gives you some additional info about the Maxspect G2 230W. I don't have a PAR meter so I cannot do any PAR comparison or provide any PAR reading.

    Thanks for looking!
     
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