Unboxed: Arcadia EcoAqua 30watt LED Spotlight

Already proven to yield good results over a range of small hobbyist and retailer reef systems, we’ve been keen to get our hands on one of these units since we first saw them in operation back at Aqua2011. As fate would have it, an opportunity to incorporate one came up recently when we were planning our new test system. Although not in the situation we had perhaps originally planned, we jumped at the chance and ordered a unit from Arcadia immediately.

Although we couldn’t really consider this unit for lighting our main reef (as this will be provided by an Arcadia OT2 LED system), we suddenly realised that it could be included, being an excellent candidate for lighting the Chaetomorpha section of our sump. Being energy efficient, cool running, compact and not requiring a cumbersome reflector, it fitted the bill perfectly. It’s also available in several different colour temperatures and actually, for the purpose intended, it was the 5000k ‘freshwater’ model which we were particularly interested in. Marine blue or white models are better candidates for coral growth of course, but this warm white light promises to get our macroalgae thriving, and hopefully soaking up Nitrates efficiently. On the subject of bulbs, this unit packs 12 CREE bulbs into a central radial array -eight ‘white’ 6500k XP-Gs, plus two ‘blue’ 460nm and two ‘red’ 620nm XP-Es in our unit specifically.

So, on opening the box, the first thing that grabbed us about this light was the obvious quality of the die cast aluminium housing. It’s surprisingly heavy (but not overly so) and feels solid and well crafted. The fins incorporated into the design facilitate passive cooling and overall we love the look these give to the unit. The finish is also beautiful, almost to the point where it’ll be a shame to have it hidden in our cabinet! Take note that this light is also rated to IP67, which is great for your peace of mind wherever you are running it. Coming with a mounting arm and bracket the unit was a synch to assemble and we can’t see how we could have any problems mounting it to our sump. The joint between the light and the bracket doesn’t allow for too much adjustment but again we can’t see this being a problem in this situation (or if using it on a display for that matter). For lighting our sump we’ve gone for the widest angle lens option at 120 degrees as the unit will be quite close to the water surface. Note however that other lenses are available and we’d recommend investigating narrower beams where coral growth is desired (as do Arcadia themselves). Controllability isn’t an issue of course in this situation, indeed we’ll be running it either 24/7, or simply on a reverse cycle with the use of a timer.

So, first impressions are extremely positive! Keep your eyes open for updates in the coming weeks as we take our test into ‘phase 2’ by installing and initiating the system. If you want to join in the experiment and get hold of your own unit, detailed information can be viewed on Arcadia’s website.

Leave a Reply