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ATI dimmable T5 lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tom Barr, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I did some energy calculations and then some cost different for the initial purchase and decided to get these lights instead of LED's, perhaps later, the LED will surpass T5's but these are really a winning fixture. Warning, they are not cheap.

    I am using some on my 70 Gal manzigumi.

    It took me awhile to figure the controller, but once I did and got that dialed in good and the bulbs burned in for about 50 hours, this light works like no other I've had. I also did some measurements vs the Tek, and it's basically 25-50% more light. I confirmed it with the PAR meter.

    Usually I am highly skeptical of such marketing talk, and rightly so, I will say it's correct in this case.

    So why was I really interested in this fixture?
    1. Reef folks have been hounding me.
    2. Is the light that much higher vs the other decent T5 brands?
    3. The dimming option.

    The dimming option is really cool and ends up costing you much less and is far more natural and you can vary things around a great deal. It has 2 channels, so say you just want 2 or 4 bulbs on initially, and have then come on at say 8 am and then run up to say 50% power at 10am, then from 10am till say 12, have the other bank of 2 or 4 come on and run up from 0-50% in the next 2 hours, then all the lights from 12-2 pm from 50-100%, then from 2 to 4- back down to 50%, and then 4-6pm, down to 0%.

    You can split the channels up anyway you chose, but by using only low dimmed light the first and last parts of the light cycle, you can crank up the middle portion, but also still have plenty of time before/after work to see the tank.

    I use about 20% less energy using this fixture than the LED option with similar PAR over 10 hours. Peak lighting is about 100 umol higher also.
    55d80b95.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
  2. oldpunk

    oldpunk Guru Class Expert

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    Those powermodules are sweet. I'm glad to here they actually do put out more light. (Opposed to just costing an arm and a leg.)
     
  3. Mark Lem

    Mark Lem Guru Class Expert

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    Sold on them but what to do for a 6 ft tank
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    2 X 36" fixtures end to end...........
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yep, 2x 36" fixtures is about the only way, be nice if they sold a nice little connector set to screw both together.
     
  6. Mark Lem

    Mark Lem Guru Class Expert

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    sounds good
     
  7. 2wheelsx2

    2wheelsx2 Lifetime Members
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    This is a very interesting option. I was going to go all LED, but maybe this is the way to go for my lower light setups that I'm supplementing with T5NO's.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Yes, I was thinking that a metal fabricator may be able to come up with something elegant...Or I could DIY something ugly yet effective :)

    I really like the dimmer and timers and the way they seem to interact...

    Question:

    So if going from 4-6 pm (lights out) you can say go from 50% power to 0% and it will AUTOMATICALLY reduce the pct over those two hours until completely OFF. And the reverse?

    *********************

    I don't need a new light (I have a good one plus a spare) but this feature alone would be worth a lot to me. No need to adjust the fixture height to adjust PAR.. Also the lower % will allow for more viewing time as the lowest I can go now is 8x39....It seems that I would have greater control over the timers themselves than my current unit.

    I am going to check these out for sure. No rush for me but I think I may go this route....in the near future..

    Off to find the owners manual online so I can check them out.

    Update:

    I see that Marine Depot has the 36" 6x39w for $470. The width is 13.4" as opposed to 12" for my current 8x39 unit. So less bulbs but the same POSSIBLE spread? hard to say/know for sure w/o buying and testing, but that is a lot of $ if I don't think they were worth it :) I would need 2 units, BTW, so the cost is considerable...

    *****************

    Thanks for posting this Tom. Good info backed up by the PAR meter as well as experience with other T5 fixtures and other lighting types...
     
    #8 Gerryd, Dec 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2011
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, it reduces the power and more smoothly than any LED can.
    And it does the same thing in the AM when the lights come on.

    So those 2 hours(time for this is arbitrary, but the user can use whatever, I just use this as an example) are low light...........then you get say 2 hours of mod light and then 2-4 of high and then reverse and taper off again.
    No one sells something like this really I know of in this market.

    You also can add additional color temps and bulb types this way rather than 2-3 -4, you can add 4-8 etc.

    Make sure the ATI is the dimmable version with controller.

    I would bet you'll get the same PAR with less bulbs, maybe more.

    Given the width of your tank, 8x 39W might be a better option.
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Tom,

    Can you elaborate here please? I get we can mix and match k temps on bulbs, but what do you mean by 2-3-4 or 4-8?

    Yes, got that now. Quite a price difference!

    Well, I see the 6x39 has the same width as my 8x39 and it is less expensive for the 6 bulb model..times 2 fixtures I though I may be able to use the lesser bulb fixture..I am okay getting the 8x39 though...just to be safe.

    New questions please:

    1. How quiet is it? Compared to say a nice quiet canister. My fixture you can definitely hear the fans when the unit is ON....and are for sure louder than my eheim canisters :)

    2. Do ALL bulbs per ballast need to be installed for ANY in that zone to work? My current fixture is like that and NO bulbs can be left out. My other fixture with an older ballast allows this. This is a flexibility issue.

    3. How many actual power cords, etc that need to be hooked up? One power cord per ballast along with the controller wire? That is 2-3 wires per fixture.

    I see 3 cords in the first pic???

    Thanks in advance!

    Gerry.
     
    #10 Gerryd, Dec 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2011
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Virtually silent in terms of noise.
    I cannot hear it, maybe I could next to my bed with no other things running, just the fans.

    1 power cord per fixture. Controller does the rest.

    Not sure about bulb outages vs removing a bulb.

    Suspension design only. No legs.
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I can hear my fixture fans from the viewing position where the canisters/vortech/etc are silent...Would be nice to think the ATI fans are quieter but no way to tell for sure...

    I will contact a dist or the mfg re the bulb outage questions....

    It makes a difference in configuration/PAR if you can selectively add/remove single tubes.. Nice to have more tubes over section A vs B for example...
     
  13. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have both tek and giessman fixtures cscdc
     
  14. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    sorry for the wrong thread,
    i have both tek and Giessman fixtures, i made them both dimmable, i belive all manufacture uses the same ballast Phillips Mark 10 BALLAST, i control both of them with a Profilux dimmable power bar.
    these ballast will give some humm when you set them at 1-10% roughly above that the humm will disapear.
    i never compared the fixture with normal and dimmable ballast (which are way more$) to see if the ballast making the diffrence in the output, most manufacures uses a german made reflectors.
    thanks
    hani
     
  15. Mark Lem

    Mark Lem Guru Class Expert

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    If I put two end to end, what about the fan exhaust...will one unit block the exhaust of the other?
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    If you check the ATI website, I see no vents on the one end. I see the fans on top and BELIEVE this is also where the vents are located. I think this will be fine.

    Tom can confirm but I know my current fixture has the vents/fans on top as well.

    It makes more sense for them to be placed here anyway as hot air rises, yes?

    http://www.atiaquaristik.com/en/powermodule
     
  17. Daddy-o

    Daddy-o Junior Poster

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    Hi Gerry,

    You are correct. Fans are on top and vent openings are on one end only.

    Would be simple to flip one around and mount two next to one another.

    Received mine a couple of weeks ago and am really impressed. Dimming through the Apex is pretty cool.

    Wasn't happy with the Marineland LED's on my 80 gallon bowfront. Thought I would take the opportunity while stripping the tank to drill for a Glass Holes overflow. The back wasn't 'supposed' to be tempered... not pretty!

    Now I need to save some ka-ching for a new tank!!!

    Mike
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With the DIY, this will add about 250-300$, and the nice thing with the ATI, it's already internal and only one cord is coming off of the unit.
    Makes every nice, simple and integrated.

    So a Tek fix that runs 250-350$, add another 250-300$, well, now I might as well have gotten an ATI, some of the ATI's will run more than this, but I do get better PAR readings fom the ATI, although it will take a lot of years to recoup that electric bill difference.

    The short story is that the economics are not that much better etc............but the unit itself is nice.
    Compared to ADA's fixtures, these are quite reasonable however, but to a 14 year old kid in India with no job.........??
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, funny how we justify such expenses often times.

    I got another one for my 120 Gal, but I think I can reduce some issues and get more out of the garden using this fixture.
    I also am selling the Tek's and the LED's, so I'll recoup some of the $.
     
  20. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes it better if you go ATI, but if you already have fixture it can be done, with the profilux no extra wires needed if you get the dimmable bar,you just plug it in.
     
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