Review Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Strip Light

I purchased the Marineland Aquatic Plant LED
Strip Light in the spring of 2016. Honestly, I can’t remember why I chose this
particular lighting unit. I don’t remember looking at Kessil, Finnex,
Fluval or other brands that have a reputation for high quality lighting. So my purchase obviously wasn’t a decision
based on exhaustive research. That being said, I’ve been very happy with
this unit. It easy to use, it’s energy efficient and
provides good lighting for my 25-gallon nature aquarium. The Marineland LED Strip Light is just under
23 inches long and fits aquariums from 24 to 36 inches, using extendable brackets on
either end that rest on the top edge of the aquarium. Out of the box, it’s designed to sit flush
with the top of the tank. It has 23 6500K 1-watt daylight LEDs and 4
RGB Lunar LEDs. The packaging claims it produces 2240 Lumens,
uses 36 watts, and has a lifetime of 10 years at an estimated cost of $12 per year. For those of you that understand PAR values
here’s the chart that appears on the box and here are the specs sent to me by the manufacturer. I don’t know if they match or not. The Marineland Plant Light comes with a built
in timer that allows separate on/off times for the daylight bulbs and the lunar lights. It’s simple to use, but a bit of a hassle
since only two buttons control all the functions, requiring you to scroll through 24 hours and
60 minutes, respectively, ten times. If the power goes off, or the office cleaner
accidentally turns off the outlet strip, you lose all your settings and have to repeat
the process. Not fun! Since the aquarium is located in my office,
I have the RGB lights coming on at 8:00 AM, followed by the daylight bulbs at 9:00. The white lights go off at 5:00 PM and the
blue lights go off at 6:00. In the summer months the aquarium gets several
more hours of indirect light from the windows on the other side of the room. This lighting unit has no adjustment for intensity. That’s a function I didn’t realize I might
need and one that probably should be standard for any light fixture that’s designed specifically
for aquarium plants. I might have avoided my initial algae nightmare
had I been aware such a feature existed and purchased accordingly. After using the Marineland LED Strip Light
for a period of time, I began to feel that having the fixture flush with the top of the
tank produced a lot of intensity in the center of the aquarium, but not enough light was
reaching the front and especially my stem plants in the back. So I bent the supporting rods to raise the
light about 5 inches above the edge. That provided a more consistent pattern of
light dispersion and I haven’t noticed the reduced intensity. All in all, I’ve been very happy with the
Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Strip Light. Once I became familiar with the output of
the light, and made a few adjustments, it’s served me extremely well. It even fell in the water once with no ill
effects. I would confidently recommend it to hobbyists
looking for a quality affordable lighting system.

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