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Aqua Illumination (AI) Sol Blue vs. White


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  1. #1
    Heidi - Reefkeeper
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    Default Aqua Illumination (AI) Sol Blue vs. White

    So, as many of you know I am going to do this LED thing. I have read and read.... and read. Now that I have chosen my fixture I am stuck with 2 choices. The AI Sol Super Blue or the AI SOL Super white. I am sick of sifting through posts at reef central so... lets bring more of this discussion over to Captive Reefs!

    I am reading about people modifying the Sol Blue because it is too white for their taste. I started my tank back in November with a "20K" MH lamp that was cheap and looked a lot like a 12K or so. I have been getting accustom to my new T5 set up which looks closer to a 14K or even really 20K. I think it is a bit too blue and so I have some "fiji purple" in there to make it a bit warmer. I love the all actinic look SOMETIMES, like maybe for the night or first thing in the morning. This is pulling me towards the Sol BLue. However, I am reading people are adding "warm white leds" because it is just too blue and washes out their reds and yellows. This is pulling me to the Sol White. WHY WHY WHY is there no happy medium? I wish AI would make it so you could order a "sol Blue" with like 1/2 the royal blues and half warm white.
    So here I am conflicted. I need pictures and videos... Tom (CalmSeasQuest) has been very helpful thus far but below I have linked his side by side shot of both... I think the white is too warm . . . and the blue is way too blue. I know you can like super control these fixtures to make them look warm to cold.. but how do you pick between the two? The whites have more par... but the blues have more par deeper . . . I want to look at my tank and say, wow that looks like the ocean only a "tad" bluer. Not wow that looks like a smurf dissolved in the water...or who that looks like I am blasting the tank with m mag light lol.
    Help me please, am I over-thinking this? I am a woman so that is possible.
    Biggest thing is I don't want to pay 1200$ for my 2 fixtures (and stuff they need to run) and then have to fork out more money to "Mod" it so I can stand looking at them. That would be SO NOT COOL.
    Any and ALL input is welcome here, we need a good long LED thread CR! Bring it.

    Heidi

    Pic as promised, Tom if you don't like that I linked your photo tell me and I will nix it, hope its ok though. AI SWSB100 - Aqua Illumination (AI) Sol Blue vs. White

  2. #2
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    I vote for blue.

  3. #3
    CalmSeasQuest - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Having owned both, for me the spectrum added by the Royal Blue LEDs is clearly superior. The beauty of the AIs is the advanced features of the controller. You can control all three colors individually, creating any coloration desired with the turn of a dial and create custom sunrise/sunset/mid-day PAR increases with or without a separate controller.

    Also note there is very little difference in PAR output in fact - Due to the spectrum, the SOL Blues actually deliver slightly more PAR to depth then the Whites.

    I have added a couple of 403nm stunner strips to my setup to see what if any impact the addition of the near-UV spectrum would have. It provides a bit more fluorescent pop in the golds and yellow, but I've noted no change in overall coral coloration.

    You will LOVE the impact of the Royal Blue LEDs for sunrise/sunset. It far exceeds any coloration I've seen using T5s - It's just spectacular.

    I posted a lot more information and photos at varying power that might be of value at http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/li...urements-8268/
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

  4. #4
    Heidi - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalmSeasQuest View Post

    You will LOVE the impact of the Royal Blue LEDs for sunrise/sunset. It far exceeds any coloration I've seen using T5s - It's just spectacular.

    I posted a lot more information and photos at varying power that might be of value at http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/li...urements-8268/
    Wow yeah these pictures are/were exactly what I was looking for! Seeing the Sol blues and whites next to each other with white @ 100% sells me on the blues. The only difference I can see is the Whites look brighter by a tad. The color is the same and with the Sol Blues the actinic look w/ the R/Bs is so much richer. really when it all comes down to it par is not really a factor for most tanks but with my 36x36 I am wanting to mount 2 higher so I get a bit more spread, and because of the deeper perpetrating PAR of the blues I am this might be a kick over the edge. I guess I just got a bit worried when I read this thread on RC: AI Sol Blue Color Modification - Reef Central Online Community
    What do you think this guys problem was he just didn't understand how to adjust the controller?
    Heidi

  5. #5
    CalmSeasQuest - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    I guess I just got a bit worried when I read this thread on RC: AI Sol Blue Color Modification - Reef Central Online Community
    What do you think this guys problem was he just didn't understand how to adjust the controller?
    Heidi
    LOL Cold, very cold - In my defense, as an early adopter, there were virtually no LED resources available when I made the switch to LEDs. That coupled with my initial lack of a PAR meter was a recipe for disaster.
    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

  6. #6
    evilc66 - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    You aren't crazy, or over thinking things. There has been a big shift in the DIY community towards warmer color temperatures in white LEDs to help with color rendering. Cool whites are used for their PAR values by a lot of companies, including AI. They got a major foothold in the DIY side of things for years, as they were the only readily available color temps that were worth a damn. They work, but you miss the warmer tones produced by more red light. Not saying that cool white LEDs can't work, but there is definitely something missing especially when compared to T5 setups. Not all colors on all corals have issue with cool whites though. I'm still running primarily cool white LEDs on my tanks, and I don't have many issues with color rendering.

    Don't be too concerned about buying an AI setup though. It's still a fantastic setup, and overall looks will still be good. Chances are, after AI tests things a little more (and if there is enough customer feedback), they will come out with an upgrade kit with a warmer white LED for those wanting a little better color rendition. In AI's defense, there is not one manufacturer of commercial fixtures using neutral white LEDs.

  7. #7
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    If you would like,I am expecting my AI's at the end of this week and will put pictures up at diffrent percentages of white and blue combo's along with par reading's.I spoke to AI about reflector choices and they are willing to mix them for you upon request but it will take longer to get your unit tho.I'm assumeing you could make bulb changes also.LMK. I can't wait to get these puppies up and running.

  8. #8
    Corvette Reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    i dont know too much about leds but i would vote blue.
    The names Vette, Corvette. . .

  9. #9
    CR Member
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    Have you looked at other LEDS besides the AI?I just put some LEDS on my 60 cube from Reef Filtration he sponsers on Reef2Reef.They are a 120 watt fixture that uses 55 2 watt LEDS and 10 watts for the fans.I looked at AI and the Acan LEDS but i did not want to spend 600 to 800 for lights.These have 2 plugs one for the blues and one for the whites.So far i love them no extra heat,no bulbs to replace yearly.With just the blues on the corals really pop like no other actinic.

  10. #10

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    I have a single AI unit over my 60g NPS tank. I love it! I have the older more white version, bought it over a year ago. It has 2 whites and 1 blue (not royal blue) per puck. I am considering ordering all new pucks (with the royal blue) from AI.

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