Orphek LED lighting Review
Here is a brief review of the Orphek DIF-100, DIF-30 pendants and T8 bulb.
I ran a single DIF-100 18k and a single DIF-30 Blue side by side with my Maxspect g2 160 for nearly 3
months. 2 weeks ago I hung the additional DIF-100 and DIF-30 plus added a 60″ Orphek T8 UV\Blue for
additional supplemental color.
My experience has overall been very good. The pendants were well designed and put together with quality
fit and finish. Heat appears to be dealt with well by the enormous heatsink bodies of the pendants though I
don’t think it would be recommended in a closed canopy. The ring to secure via a hanging kit is very beefy
and I just bought wire and clamps at HD to make my own hangers.
Light spread is easily 2 x 2 ft. + with the 120 deg lenses. There appears to be adequate coverage by two
pendants in the 63″ x 32″ aquarium and I am able to grow sps 12″ to 14″ from the surface. Some corals do not
get the same amount of light coverage from the pendants as with the multi-led Maxspect fixture. It does
appear that some additional supplemental lighting may be required to adequately light dense coral like
birdsnest or similar structures.
Overall, I prefer the pendants multi-chip and point source led to the spread of the Maxspects multiple
leds. The shimmer is very much like my old metal halides and there aren’t any spotting effects.
I wasn’t sure that the two DIF-30 Blue pendants at 30 watts would be enough to light the whole tank so I
added a 60″ Orphek T8 at the front and it fills the shadowed areas just right. The T8 bulb has many
individual blue and UV leds that together make up approximately 30 watts. I was very pleased with the amount
of light output from such a little area.
The initial wiring of the T8 requires you to use endcaps (or an existing T8 fixture) and some custom
wiring. It was very easy to add but the directions were somewhat poorly done. Make sure to only run one wire
from the pin on one side to the similar pin on the other end of the bulb.
Intense spotlight light source with equal spread (in appearance)
Good color representation, 18k white is similar to some 14k-16k metal halides I have seen
Balances well with the Blue
Great energy efficiency ~ 100 watt vs. the ~ 160 watts of the Maxspect fixture or 250 watts of Metal Halide
Heavy and large in size
Some shadowing can occur from point source (less spread than Metal Halide)
Not as much penetration for dense coral
My tank is not at its best chemistry right now so I can’t gauge growth of coral as well as I’d like too.
Parameters – PH 8.1-8.3, temp 78.0-78.8, KH 8.1, Calc 420, Phosphate > .5 ppm
That said, I have witnessed growth equal to the Maxspect fixture and apparently better at greater depth. The
acros under the side for 3 months have exploded across the area with great coloration at 14+ inches.
There are 3 different lenses you can use with the pendants. 60 deg, 90 deg, and 120 deg. I am using the 120 deg which is the shallowest and widest spread in order to cover the 32″ tank width. I have heard that with the 60 deg. you can light tanks 4ft deep + with ease.
My duncans are doing great on the bottom corner plus I have green birdsnest that peeled off and attached to the rock at the bottom and it is growing like crazy around 20″ deep. I mainly have my sps at 14″ or above and I would imagine it would grow fine deeper, I just can’t say for certain since I don’t have that experience yet. I have placed a number of test birdsnest frags at low depths and different light levels to see how it does.
I picked up 3 of the lights with the summer sale and 1 at full price. I totally understand price being prohibitive. Good luck with the filtration shed, sounds interesting. Looking forward to seeing some posts on it.
Orphek LED lighting Review