Friday, November 22, 2013

Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light Product Review

Being absolutely fascinated about everything related to marine fish and reef aquariums, we get just as excited about a $1,000 skimmer as a $14.99 algae magnet. Coming across our office this week is one of those products that get makes us go, “Why didn’t someone come out with this earlier?” 

The new Orbit Marine LED aquarium light from Current USA is a great LED light that packs a ton of great features at a very affordable price.
Never before has an LED light packing this many spectrums with so many features been offered at such a great price: starting at $159.99 for the 18”-24” fixture!
Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was how sleek this fixture looks. At just 0.5”, this fixture is razor thin. The 18” fixture tested here also has leg supports that stretch to accommodate aquariums up to 24” long. Other sizes include: 24"-36", 36"-48" and 48"-60". This sleek LED fixture also comes with Current USA’s new Ramp Timer Pro LED Controller, as well as a wireless remote. 

I decided to give this light a test run on a 34 gallon Solana: measuring 20” x 20” x 20”. Seeing the diminutive size of this light, my expectations were not very high. Once plugged in, I was pleasantly surprised that this little LED strip fully, and brightly, lit up the entire aquarium.

The wireless remote allowed me to quickly and easily adjust the color to my exact liking. The cloud simulation and thunderstorm buttons were also very nice features that are typically found only in high-end fixtures. Although these features may not make the corals grow quicker, they definitely made looking at the aquarium more fun.


Intensity-wise, one LED fixture is perfect for a fish-only system. Being much brighter than I expected, I would think that low-light corals such as mushrooms and leather corals would do well under a single fixture as well. For a mixed reef aquarium, a second LED fixture would definitely be required.

While most LED fixtures in this price range include only two LED colors, the Orbit Marine went a step above by including 4 different colors of LEDs: dual-daylight (8000K / 12000K) and dual-actinic (445mn / 460nm). The broader spectrum and the larger variety of LEDs definitely made the colors of the fish and corals nicer and more natural.
I did not test out the included Ramp Timer Pro extensively. Hopefully, I will have an opportunity to do so at a later time. My initial impressions are definitely favorable. The dawn/dusk features and the pre-set programs are easy to set and the moonlight feature is a real plus.
I wanted to finish off my test by seeing how much area this light can cover. Placing the fixture on one end of my larger 150-gallon reef tank, this little 18" fixture easily illuminated a 24" x 24" area. If you have been wanting to upgrade the fluorescent fixture on your fish-only or low-light reef aquarium, this would be an excellent choice.
In conclusion, I am very impressed by this new Orbit Marine LED fixture. Offering great features and providing superb performance at a budget-friendly price definitely puts it at the head of its class.