LED telegraham's lighting tests

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telegraham

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@Potoooooooo ... yep!

So, here we go. My first small-batch, artisanal, craftsman light review. Or rather, lights. These are the ReeFi Uno and Duo Extreme, the brainchild of Daniel Lu from Redmond, WA. ReeFi Lab has been created to combine Daniel's eight years at Intel as a CPU Senior Design Component engineer, and his passion for coral reef keeping. Daniel aims to bring higher-quality LED fixtures to the reefing community. It’s done been brought! I spoke with Daniel, and he’s also focused on value. If you expect more for your money, these lights tick that box.

The pre-game from users went like this…Yo, man. You should test these lights! Have you tested the ReeFi lights yet? I love my ReeFis!

Yep. People love these lights!

One such user, Potoooooooo (aka Potato) over on Humblefish, loves his ReeFis. How much? He sent me $1k worth of his purchased lights just to test. The deal? I pay shipping. That’s it!

Let me pause here. I’d like to say that people’s trust in me is so awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Enough intro. The Duo Extreme is a dual-puck light pulling 171W at spectrum. It has nine individually controlled channels, WiFi, and everything you’d expect from a $750 premium light. Oh, and if you use the code “ReeFiLove,” you get $100 off. $650 for this light is a legit price.

The settings I used were based on the Photo_SPS preset, but I bumped the Lime to 50% and the 400nm to 100%. That gave me a spectrum that I could easily apples-to-apples compare to the Gen 4 XR30 and the Sky.

1632049933654.png


Oh, hey!!! Guess what? ReeFi doesn’t subscribe to the foolish anything violet is UV thing. In the software, the channel is labeled “400nm.”

Wanna talk spectrum? This light does a great job. Given BRS’ testing, most of us know by now what we’re looking for. This light nails it.

1632050245776.png
1632050315729.png


The second is the Duo Extreme at the spectrum above vs the Sky running all channels at 100%. Short story, that's the best the Sky can do vs a detuned Duo Extreme.

Mounting is easy given the INCLUDED hanging kit. If that’s not your thing, adaptors for popular mounts can be purchased from ReeFi.

Spread. Let’s talk spread. My test method is the beloved open-air approach. By testing this way, all tank variables are eliminated, especially the light-improving wet and bare glass tank test. I’m certainly not interested in making the light seem to be better than it is, so I test with the light hanging 24” above the PAR meter with a grid underneath. Here’s what I captured, and the Gen 4 and Sky crowd aren’t going to be happy. At an approximate representation of AB+, the Duo Extreme bests the spread of the Radion and Sky by 3-4% with a higher average PAR than both of the big-name lights. The Duo Extreme throws this spread without the use of lenses, as they utilize “ReeFlectors, a reflector assembly, to spread the light. I’d expect the spread of a Gen 5 Radion will beat the Duo Extreme, but at the cost of PAR. Short story? The Duo Extreme meets, or beats, the big guy’s lights, and it does it for $650.

1632050590706.png


Note that I captured spread with two devices, which helps me understand how the spread is projected. The narrower field of view captured by the MK is a tough test. Keep in mind that the Sky and Gen 4 XR30 both scored 75%. The ReeFi bests them with 78%.

The warranty is worth noting. The Sky and Radion offer a one-year warranty. That’s typical. You’ll hear arguments from the faithful stating that a one-year is typical. That’s what your phone has, so that should be ok with you. The ReeFi lights offer a THREE-year warranty. That’s Black & Decker, Vizio, and automotive (Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Ford, and Jeep) bumper to bumper territory. Oh…that’s for a light that costs $200 less than the one-year warranty lights.

Build quality appears to be solid. Not my lights, so I didn’t fully disassemble, but the magnetically held glass covering the business end of the Duo Extreme pulled off easily. Heat pipe thermal management system with a single fan, solid heat sink, and an internal design that looks intentional. Fan noise exists, but it’s not unreasonable. That was with the light at 100%, so there’s some flexibility there.

I think that’s it! A great light, with great spectrum and spread, at a price that would be very hard to beat. If I was shopping for a used Gen 4 Radion, I’d buy the ReeFi Duo Extreme at $650.

But wait…there’s more!

I mentioned the Uno. Here’s where it gets tricky. The Uno pulls 151W at the same settings as the Duo Extreme. 151W at spectrum!!! Go ahead…check your XR15s. I’ll wait here. Tired of waiting? The Uno crushes the XR15 in terms of power, and the Uno costs $350 to the Radion’s $462.

One of the reasons this light gives the user power and spectrum flexibility is due to its heat sink design. The light uses a modern heat sink that allows the diodes to have direct contact with the most thermally conductive material. That translates to cooler, higher power, diodes.

Want your mind blown? Using the MQ-500 Apogee PAR meter, the Uno scores an 80% spread AND THE SAME AVERAGE PAR AS THE DUO EXTREME! Yep! Same spread and same PAR for 20W less and a smaller form factor. But we all know what that means, right? Using the MK350S Premium spectrometer, with its narrow field of view, the data shows that the smaller form factor results in more narrow spread. That’s expected and can lead to a bit more shadowing than its larger sibling.

1632051004556.png


Using the same settings as the Duo Extreme, the Uno’s spectrum is heavy violet/indigo/blue, which drops is squarely in the Chlorophyll A band (first spectrum). I like the way the corals fluoresce with these settings; but if you like a whiter light (like I do), the channels can be adjusted to dial in the light to your liking (second with settings below). And I like.

1632051471823.png
1632054646237.png


1632054832703.png


Short answer? ReeFi gives you options. To be honest, I don't know which direction I'd go if I had to choose between the Duo Extreme or multiple Unos. I like them both for different reasons. The Uno, at its killer price, gives the buyer more options. Want the light of two XR30 or two Skys? Buy three ($1,050) or four Unos ($1,400), get triple the warranty, and have great spectrum and PAR! The equivalent Radions and Sky’s would run ya $1,781 and $1,740 respectively (before the extra money for the hanging kits). Or you have the Duo Extreme at $650, shaming the big names in terms of spectrum, spread, PAR, price, and warranty. And a hanging kit.

The Uno is a sweet deal, but all things change. Starting 01 Nov, the Uno’s price will go up to $399. Even at $400, it’s still totally a killer light!

Given further adoption, these fixtures disrupt. As I said, when I talk about expecting more for your money, this is it. An elite-level light at a price that makes sense. People like Daniel, and his team, deserve a look. They are giving us options that matter, and they're respecting our money.

#knowingishalfthebattle
 

telegraham

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When @Lexinverts posted the heatsink pics, I knew this light was going to kick ass. I can't wait to see if @ReeFi Comes out with a new model to even blow these away in a few years.
I spoke with Daniel yesterday, shared with him that I hope he continues to make awesome things, and told him I wasn't going to ask what he's working on. He said, "Thank you." :)
 
@Potoooooooo ... yep!

So, here we go. My first small-batch, artisanal, craftsman light review. Or rather, lights. These are the ReeFi Uno and Duo Extreme, the brainchild of Daniel Lu from Redmond, WA. ReeFi Lab has been created to combine Daniel's eight years at Intel as a CPU Senior Design Component engineer, and his passion for coral reef keeping. Daniel aims to bring higher-quality LED fixtures to the reefing community. It’s done been brought! I spoke with Daniel, and he’s also focused on value. If you expect more for your money, these lights tick that box.

The pre-game from users went like this…Yo, man. You should test these lights! Have you tested the ReeFi lights yet? I love my ReeFis!

Yep. People love these lights!

One such user, Potoooooooo (aka Potato) over on Humblefish, loves his ReeFis. How much? He sent me $1k worth of his purchased lights just to test. The deal? I pay shipping. That’s it!

Let me pause here. I’d like to say that people’s trust in me is so awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Enough intro. The Duo Extreme is a dual-puck light pulling 171W at spectrum. It has nine individually controlled channels, WiFi, and everything you’d expect from a $750 premium light. Oh, and if you use the code “ReeFiLove,” you get $100 off. $650 for this light is a legit price.

The settings I used were based on the Photo_SPS preset, but I bumped the Lime to 50% and the 400nm to 100%. That gave me a spectrum that I could easily apples-to-apples compare to the Gen 4 XR30 and the Sky.

View attachment 41277

Oh, hey!!! Guess what? ReeFi doesn’t subscribe to the foolish anything violet is UV thing. In the software, the channel is labeled “400nm.”

Wanna talk spectrum? This light does a great job. Given BRS’ testing, most of us know by now what we’re looking for. This light nails it.

View attachment 41279 View attachment 41280

The second is the Duo Extreme at the spectrum above vs the Sky running all channels at 100%. Short story, that's the best the Sky can do vs a detuned Duo Extreme.

Mounting is easy given the INCLUDED hanging kit. If that’s not your thing, adaptors for popular mounts can be purchased from ReeFi.

Spread. Let’s talk spread. My test method is the beloved open-air approach. By testing this way, all tank variables are eliminated, especially the light-improving wet and bare glass tank test. I’m certainly not interested in making the light seem to be better than it is, so I test with the light hanging 24” above the PAR meter with a grid underneath. Here’s what I captured, and the Gen 4 and Sky crowd aren’t going to be happy. At an approximate representation of AB+, the Duo Extreme bests the spread of the Radion and Sky by 3-4% with a higher average PAR than both of the big-name lights. The Duo Extreme throws this spread without the use of lenses, as they utilize “ReeFlectors, a reflector assembly, to spread the light. I’d expect the spread of a Gen 5 Radion will beat the Duo Extreme, but at the cost of PAR. Short story? The Duo Extreme meets, or beats, the big guy’s lights, and it does it for $650.

View attachment 41281

Note that I captured spread with two devices, which helps me understand how the spread is projected. The narrower field of view captured by the MK is a tough test. Keep in mind that the Sky and Gen 4 XR30 both scored 75%. The ReeFi bests them with 78%.

The warranty is worth noting. The Sky and Radion offer a one-year warranty. That’s typical. You’ll hear arguments from the faithful stating that a one-year is typical. That’s what your phone has, so that should be ok with you. The ReeFi lights offer a THREE-year warranty. That’s Black & Decker, Vizio, and automotive (Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Ford, and Jeep) bumper to bumper territory. Oh…that’s for a light that costs $200 less than the one-year warranty lights.

Build quality appears to be solid. Not my lights, so I didn’t fully disassemble, but the magnetically held glass covering the business end of the Duo Extreme pulled off easily. Heat pipe thermal management system with a single fan, solid heat sink, and an internal design that looks intentional. Fan noise exists, but it’s not unreasonable. That was with the light at 100%, so there’s some flexibility there.

I think that’s it! A great light, with great spectrum and spread, at a price that would be very hard to beat. If I was shopping for a used Gen 4 Radion, I’d buy the ReeFi Duo Extreme at $650.

But wait…there’s more!

I mentioned the Uno. Here’s where it gets tricky. The Uno pulls 151W at the same settings as the Duo Extreme. 151W at spectrum!!! Go ahead…check your XR15s. I’ll wait here. Tired of waiting? The Uno crushes the XR15 in terms of power, and the Uno costs $350 to the Radion’s $462.

One of the reasons this light gives the user power and spectrum flexibility is due to its heat sink design. The light uses a modern heat sink that allows the diodes to have direct contact with the most thermally conductive material. That translates to cooler, higher power, diodes.

Want your mind blown? Using the MQ-500 Apogee PAR meter, the Uno scores an 80% spread AND THE SAME AVERAGE PAR AS THE DUO EXTREME! Yep! Same spread and same PAR for 20W less and a smaller form factor. But we all know what that means, right? Using the MK350S Premium spectrometer, with its narrow field of view, the data shows that the smaller form factor results in more narrow spread. That’s expected and can lead to a bit more shadowing than its larger sibling.

View attachment 41282

Using the same settings as the Duo Extreme, the Uno’s spectrum is heavy violet/indigo/blue, which drops is squarely in the Chlorophyll A band (first spectrum). I like the way the corals fluoresce with these settings; but if you like a whiter light (like I do), the channels can be adjusted to dial in the light to your liking (second with settings below). And I like.

View attachment 41283 View attachment 41288

View attachment 41289

Short answer? ReeFi gives you options. To be honest, I don't know which direction I'd go if I had to choose between the Duo Extreme or multiple Unos. I like them both for different reasons. The Uno, at its killer price, gives the buyer more options. Want the light of two XR30 or two Skys? Buy three ($1,050) or four Unos ($1,400), get triple the warranty, and have great spectrum and PAR! The equivalent Radions and Sky’s would run ya $1,781 and $1,740 respectively (before the extra money for the hanging kits). Or you have the Duo Extreme at $650, shaming the big names in terms of spectrum, spread, PAR, price, and warranty. And a hanging kit.

The Uno is a sweet deal, but all things change. Starting 01 Nov, the Uno’s price will go up to $399. Even at $400, it’s still totally a killer light!

Given further adoption, these fixtures disrupt. As I said, when I talk about expecting more for your money, this is it. An elite-level light at a price that makes sense. People like Daniel, and his team, deserve a look. They are giving us options that matter, and they're respecting our money.

#knowingishalfthebattle
Great review, Jim. Now you all can see why I never shut up about these lights. They are great in pretty much every metric for a reef light, and if they had the name Ecotech, AI, or Neptune on them, I think everyone would be running them.
 

Jposch

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Great review, Jim. Now you all can see why I never shut up about these lights. They are great in pretty much every metric for a reef light, and if they had the name Ecotech, AI, or Neptune on them, I think everyone would be running them.
Definitely. It would be nice to see 395nm UV, but having made diy fixtures several times, I completely understand why they are skipped. I'd be surprised if they lasted the 3 years under warranty. (Nothing against reefi, just the 395nm leds don't last) I have 2 older AI lights, and the uv diodes are burned out, and on every diy fixture, they are also the first to fry.
 

telegraham

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Definitely. It would be nice to see 395nm UV, but having made diy fixtures several times, I completely understand why they are skipped. I'd be surprised if they lasted the 3 years under warranty. (Nothing against reefi, just the 395nm leds don't last) I have 2 older AI lights, and the uv diodes are burned out, and on every diy fixture, they are also the first to fry.
AI's heat sinks aren't a stellar model, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but AI hasn't produced a light with UV. Violet and indigo only, yes?

Given ReeFi's Uno heatsink, they could pull it off. Kessil and GHL having it figured out. No reason why it can't be done.
 

Jposch

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AI's heat sinks aren't a stellar model, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but AI hasn't produced a light with UV. Violet and indigo only, yes?

Given ReeFi's Uno heatsink, they could pull it off. Kessil and GHL having it figured out. No reason why it can't be done.
You are correct. Those are only 415nm it looks like. I know on my diy builds, I have over driven them, but they burnout differently than other diodes. Now, these are 3w chips "sort by lowest price" from eBay, so that's definitely a factor. They don't just quit working, and you can see a tiny gold filament is burned, but rather the whole encasement "shmoo" falls apart. There is a definitely a benefit to coral color when adding in 395nm "UV"
 

OZ_SPS

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@Potoooooooo ... yep!

So, here we go. My first small-batch, artisanal, craftsman light review. Or rather, lights. These are the ReeFi Uno and Duo Extreme, the brainchild of Daniel Lu from Redmond, WA. ReeFi Lab has been created to combine Daniel's eight years at Intel as a CPU Senior Design Component engineer, and his passion for coral reef keeping. Daniel aims to bring higher-quality LED fixtures to the reefing community. It’s done been brought! I spoke with Daniel, and he’s also focused on value. If you expect more for your money, these lights tick that box.

The pre-game from users went like this…Yo, man. You should test these lights! Have you tested the ReeFi lights yet? I love my ReeFis!

Yep. People love these lights!

One such user, Potoooooooo (aka Potato) over on Humblefish, loves his ReeFis. How much? He sent me $1k worth of his purchased lights just to test. The deal? I pay shipping. That’s it!

Let me pause here. I’d like to say that people’s trust in me is so awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Enough intro. The Duo Extreme is a dual-puck light pulling 171W at spectrum. It has nine individually controlled channels, WiFi, and everything you’d expect from a $750 premium light. Oh, and if you use the code “ReeFiLove,” you get $100 off. $650 for this light is a legit price.

The settings I used were based on the Photo_SPS preset, but I bumped the Lime to 50% and the 400nm to 100%. That gave me a spectrum that I could easily apples-to-apples compare to the Gen 4 XR30 and the Sky.

View attachment 41277

Oh, hey!!! Guess what? ReeFi doesn’t subscribe to the foolish anything violet is UV thing. In the software, the channel is labeled “400nm.”

Wanna talk spectrum? This light does a great job. Given BRS’ testing, most of us know by now what we’re looking for. This light nails it.

View attachment 41279 View attachment 41280

The second is the Duo Extreme at the spectrum above vs the Sky running all channels at 100%. Short story, that's the best the Sky can do vs a detuned Duo Extreme.

Mounting is easy given the INCLUDED hanging kit. If that’s not your thing, adaptors for popular mounts can be purchased from ReeFi.

Spread. Let’s talk spread. My test method is the beloved open-air approach. By testing this way, all tank variables are eliminated, especially the light-improving wet and bare glass tank test. I’m certainly not interested in making the light seem to be better than it is, so I test with the light hanging 24” above the PAR meter with a grid underneath. Here’s what I captured, and the Gen 4 and Sky crowd aren’t going to be happy. At an approximate representation of AB+, the Duo Extreme bests the spread of the Radion and Sky by 3-4% with a higher average PAR than both of the big-name lights. The Duo Extreme throws this spread without the use of lenses, as they utilize “ReeFlectors, a reflector assembly, to spread the light. I’d expect the spread of a Gen 5 Radion will beat the Duo Extreme, but at the cost of PAR. Short story? The Duo Extreme meets, or beats, the big guy’s lights, and it does it for $650.

View attachment 41281

Note that I captured spread with two devices, which helps me understand how the spread is projected. The narrower field of view captured by the MK is a tough test. Keep in mind that the Sky and Gen 4 XR30 both scored 75%. The ReeFi bests them with 78%.

The warranty is worth noting. The Sky and Radion offer a one-year warranty. That’s typical. You’ll hear arguments from the faithful stating that a one-year is typical. That’s what your phone has, so that should be ok with you. The ReeFi lights offer a THREE-year warranty. That’s Black & Decker, Vizio, and automotive (Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Ford, and Jeep) bumper to bumper territory. Oh…that’s for a light that costs $200 less than the one-year warranty lights.

Build quality appears to be solid. Not my lights, so I didn’t fully disassemble, but the magnetically held glass covering the business end of the Duo Extreme pulled off easily. Heat pipe thermal management system with a single fan, solid heat sink, and an internal design that looks intentional. Fan noise exists, but it’s not unreasonable. That was with the light at 100%, so there’s some flexibility there.

I think that’s it! A great light, with great spectrum and spread, at a price that would be very hard to beat. If I was shopping for a used Gen 4 Radion, I’d buy the ReeFi Duo Extreme at $650.

But wait…there’s more!

I mentioned the Uno. Here’s where it gets tricky. The Uno pulls 151W at the same settings as the Duo Extreme. 151W at spectrum!!! Go ahead…check your XR15s. I’ll wait here. Tired of waiting? The Uno crushes the XR15 in terms of power, and the Uno costs $350 to the Radion’s $462.

One of the reasons this light gives the user power and spectrum flexibility is due to its heat sink design. The light uses a modern heat sink that allows the diodes to have direct contact with the most thermally conductive material. That translates to cooler, higher power, diodes.

Want your mind blown? Using the MQ-500 Apogee PAR meter, the Uno scores an 80% spread AND THE SAME AVERAGE PAR AS THE DUO EXTREME! Yep! Same spread and same PAR for 20W less and a smaller form factor. But we all know what that means, right? Using the MK350S Premium spectrometer, with its narrow field of view, the data shows that the smaller form factor results in more narrow spread. That’s expected and can lead to a bit more shadowing than its larger sibling.

View attachment 41282

Using the same settings as the Duo Extreme, the Uno’s spectrum is heavy violet/indigo/blue, which drops is squarely in the Chlorophyll A band (first spectrum). I like the way the corals fluoresce with these settings; but if you like a whiter light (like I do), the channels can be adjusted to dial in the light to your liking (second with settings below). And I like.

View attachment 41283 View attachment 41288

View attachment 41289

Short answer? ReeFi gives you options. To be honest, I don't know which direction I'd go if I had to choose between the Duo Extreme or multiple Unos. I like them both for different reasons. The Uno, at its killer price, gives the buyer more options. Want the light of two XR30 or two Skys? Buy three ($1,050) or four Unos ($1,400), get triple the warranty, and have great spectrum and PAR! The equivalent Radions and Sky’s would run ya $1,781 and $1,740 respectively (before the extra money for the hanging kits). Or you have the Duo Extreme at $650, shaming the big names in terms of spectrum, spread, PAR, price, and warranty. And a hanging kit.

The Uno is a sweet deal, but all things change. Starting 01 Nov, the Uno’s price will go up to $399. Even at $400, it’s still totally a killer light!

Given further adoption, these fixtures disrupt. As I said, when I talk about expecting more for your money, this is it. An elite-level light at a price that makes sense. People like Daniel, and his team, deserve a look. They are giving us options that matter, and they're respecting our money.

#knowingishalfthebattle
Well detailed and thought out review. Great job and thank you!
 
Just posted.
Thanks very much for the review! Seeing your settings is helpful to me as I've just started running 3 Unos a week ago. This is one area I think Daniel could improve the user experience - post some more example settings/schedules with corresponding spectrum charts on the website. Similar to what AI has done with it's "Signature Series" page. The only example settings I've had so far came from @Lexinverts.
 
Thanks very much for the review! Seeing your settings is helpful to me as I've just started running 3 Unos a week ago. This is one area I think Daniel could improve the user experience - post some more example settings/schedules with corresponding spectrum charts on the website. Similar to what AI has done with it's "Signature Series" page. The only example settings I've had so far came from @Lexinverts.
You can get setting from users on the Facebook group too.
 

ReeFi

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Definitely. It would be nice to see 395nm UV, but having made diy fixtures several times, I completely understand why they are skipped. I'd be surprised if they lasted the 3 years under warranty. (Nothing against reefi, just the 395nm leds don't last) I have 2 older AI lights, and the uv diodes are burned out, and on every diy fixture, they are also the first to fry.
The LED diodes are binned as 395nm-400nm from the manufacturer. I just labeled them as 400nm. Here's Dana Riddle's spectrum analysis of the 400nm LEDs:

1632075787003.png
 

Jposch

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The LED diodes are binned as 395nm-400nm from the manufacturer. I just labeled them as 400nm. Here's Dana Riddle's spectrum analysis of the 400nm LEDs:

View attachment 41318
Ok. Because @telegraham data showed dipping below that 395nm as well. Sorry, not accustomed to manufacturer's being modest. Ha
 
I was running 3 Duo Extremes on my SPS dominant 120g for six months before the tank came down and now been running 2 over my 75G mixed reef for a year. I love these lights dearly because of the appearance of my fish, corals, the water. I also have mine free floating over my tank without canopy and there is no blinding side glare which is huge. Daniel really took the time to slaughter all aspects of lighting that we need. I gladly would have paid the same prices as the other lights being that these actually perform, are built stout, and have a long warranty.
 

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drawman

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I was running 3 Duo Extremes on my SPS dominant 120g for six months before the tank came down and now been running 2 over my 75G mixed reef for a year. I love these lights dearly because of the appearance of my fish, corals, the water. I also have mine free floating over my tank without canopy and there is no blinding side glare which is huge. Daniel really took the time to slaughter all aspects of lighting that we need. I gladly would have paid the same prices as the other lights being that these actually perform, are built stout, and have a long warranty.
Nice!
 
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