LED Nicrew as a replacement for Radion? Maybe!

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I have 7 smatfarms across 3 tanks and I am looking for a replacement on one of them. Here is why. The smatfarm lights work great. I have very consistent coral growth and the lights perform great. Here is where they fail.

Across all of my lights I have two different versions of software and I am not sure of any method to update them. They have no ports that would allow a software upgrade. Even with that said I would want to downgrade all the lights to a previous version of the controller software.

The modern version of the lights has a hard set-point where the cooling fan comes on. It is 25% intensity. If you hit 25% intensity on any channel the fan will turn on. Across all of my lights I have 1 or 2 of them that I find the fan noise to be acceptable. I have rotated lights across tanks to keep the lowest noise fans in the most occupied rooms. For this reason alone, I am shopping for swapping out the Smat's on one of my tanks. The rest would probably be rotated out as needed and I have no plans to purchase any more of them.

The Nicrew looks interesting and I may give it a go.
I think I read a review where you can open the light and basically cut the wire to the fan.. according to the guy the heatsink on the lights is enough cooling.. idk if it's something you would try or not..

Kind of makes me wonder if you could maybe replace the fan for a quieter one as a sort of compromise
 

Jposch

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I think I read a review where you can open the light and basically cut the wire to the fan.. according to the guy the heatsink on the lights is enough cooling.. idk if it's something you would try or not..

Kind of makes me wonder if you could maybe replace the fan for a quieter one as a sort of compromise
Replace, yes. I wouldn't run a light without a fan that originally came with one.
 

telegraham

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What do you guys think of using 2 nicrew 50w lights along with 1 xr15 over a 100g 4' tank? Will that be enough light? Will it blend ok with the radion? I do have the nicrew controller too..
Not for me, but the Nicrew will totally blend just fine with the Radion. I have a Sky and two Gen 4 XR30s over a 4' tank.
 

dmsc2fs

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Replace, yes. I wouldn't run a light without a fan that originally came with one.
It might be an option to try since I am thinking about replacing them anyway. I already took one apart after it went swimming. The controller board no longer worked and all the channels had been stuck at 100%. I was digging into it to see if I could control the channels with my reef-pi instead. After accidentally leaving a towel on the LEDs when it was u\on they burned out and it ended my test with that light.
 
It might be an option to try since I am thinking about replacing them anyway. I already took one apart after it went swimming. The controller board no longer worked and all the channels had been stuck at 100%. I was digging into it to see if I could control the channels with my reef-pi instead. After accidentally leaving a towel on the LEDs when it was u\on they burned out and it ended my test with that light.
Here I took a screenshot of what he says
 

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ReeFi

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Here I took a screenshot of what he says
I don't have SMAT lights or have any experience with them. With that said, I would caution where they measured the temperature. Temperature at the heatsink will vary greatly from temperature at LED diode junction. As far as I know, only ReeFi LEDs uses direct thermal path PCB technology, so even if they use aluminum or copper substrate PCB, there must have a dielectric layer between PCB layer and metal substrate layer (to prevent shorts). Typically, the dielectric layer has thermal transfer of only 1-3W/m*K (most likely only 1W/m*K, as cost increase significantly with 2+W/m*K). So if temperature is measured at the heatsink, there will be a huge temperature delta at the LED junction temperature. Just for reference, ReeFi uses copper PCB substrate with direct thermal path PCB which have thermal transfers at over 385 W/m*K. With that said, ReeFi's temperature sensor still measures temp at LEDs, not at the heatsink.
 

luxdium

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Here I took a screenshot of what he says

Tried a Smatfarm. The performance was underwhelming for what was claimed. Not sure if my unit was a one-off unit, but the spectrum never aligned with the advertising, and when tuned to something similar, there was a marked performance penalty.

Some variation is to be expected because although LED wafers should be from a uniform crystal, the cutting, polishing, and deposition processes may introduce imperfections. But these variances are noteworthy. Given the cyan gap between 480 and 500nm, it almost seems the light which shipped lacked the LEDs of the unit which was tested for their advertising.


Smatfarm.png
 

telegraham

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The performance was underwhelming for what was claimed.
...but if accepting the light for what it is, without attempting to align performance with advertising, it's a great small tank budget option. It over a 10/15 tall/20g works quite well. I've kept softies, nems, chalices, and monties under an 85W Smat. I like the Nicrew better, but a tank under the Smat looks nice.
 

luxdium

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...without attempting to align performance with advertising
Budget or premium, all manufacturers are held to their advertising. Not everyone has a PAR meter to check, and even fewer have spectrometers. If I didn't know any better, I'd go by the claims.

...But maybe I'm part of that minority that appreciates accurate advertising.
 
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telegraham

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Budget or premium, all manufacturers are held to their advertising. Not everyone has a PAR meter to check, and even fewer have spectrometers. If I didn't know any better, I'd go by the claims.

...But maybe I'm part of that minority that appreciates accurate advertising.
I have higher expectations from premium manufacturers. You fall into that bucket. I expect nothing from budget suppliers, so I personally test and share.

Ridged expectations limit life. That's ain't my jam.
 
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