Aquarium Lights Equipment

Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light Review

Written by CoralRealm Staff

LED aquarium lighting is now one of the most popular types of lighting available. While fluorescent and metal halide bulbs still have use, the range of functions that LEDs possess make them stand out from the crowd. The Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light is one of these models which has many different features and functions which makes it a brilliant reef tank light. 

The Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light is designed specifically for marine tanks, with the Current USA Satellite designed for freshwater aquaria.

In this unbiased review, we will go through the features that the Current USA Orbit brings to the table, and where it can be improved. 

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Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light
  • BRIGHTER, MORE COLORS- Your aquarium is full of spectacular colors, why not bring them all to life. Introducing the new Orbit Marine LED. Now packed with even more ultra-bright LEDs in a far wider color spectrum, it will make your corals and fish look even more spectacular. And it’s now in the LOOP, providing both light and pump control, taking your aquarium experience to a whole new level.
  • SUPER COLOR- Producing eye-popping color rendition and brilliant shimmer effects, the Orbit Marine produces a limitless number of color spectrums. A higher ratio of actinic blue spectrum LEDs balanced with full spectrum creates the perfect color combination for fish, inverts, live rock and corals to fluoresce and look amazing. Wide angle dispersion lenses evenly spread light over your entire tank while ensuring superior color blending.
  • MULTIPLE MODES- With modes that dim periodically to create cloud cover effects, storm modes that will blow you away complete with lightning strikes and innovative evening modes that include lunar and dusk – it’s sure to add excitement and intrigue to any aquarium.

Key Features of the Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light

The Current USA Orbit Marine LED has some great features which make it a great lighting option for many saltwater tank setups. In this section we will go over the key features of this LED light.

Multiple weather modes

There are six weather modes that are available at the touch of a button on the remote control. There are two cloud cover effects, two lightning storm effects, and two moonlight effects which are available. 

While it might sound a bit gimmicky, the weather effects are actually quite impressive on this model, and are bound to allow you to gain even more enjoyment from your tank. Kids especially will love playing around with the weather effects, and it can also help to stimulate your fish and allow them a more natural environment. After all, storms are very common on coral reefs! 

The pre-installed weather effects are brilliant, but we would like to see the ability to make your own storm. For instance, be able to change the duration, intensity, and coloration of the lightning storms. Be aware that you will only be able to press the button and watch the storm unfold.

Adjustable 24 hour lighting

Perhaps the best feature of the Current USA Orbit Marine LED light is the 24 hour lighting program. This model comes pre-programmed with a 24 hour timer which will see the lighting cycle start at 7 AM with a 90 minute ramp-up period which also includes a lovely bright sunrise. 

After this ramp-up period, the light will emit the bright daylight setting until 6 PM, where a ramp-down period of 90 minutes will run which includes a sunset. After ramp-down, the moonlight setting is displayed for a period of 6 hours, after which the lights turn off for the night. At 7AM the next day the lighting cycle will start over. 

What is brilliant is that this lighting cycle is completely customizable. Not only are you able to control the on/off times of each lighting stage, you are able to customize the light intensity and coloration as well. This gives you full control over how you want your aquarium to look, and be able to customize and tailor the light intensity and spectrum to your specific tank setup. 

Wave pump control

With the LOOP controller, you are able to connect up to three eFlux Wave Pumps to the remote control as well. Circulation is vitally important in reef tanks, and many corals don’t do well at all in tanks with low flow. 

Using the LOOP control you are able to set the wave makers at anything between 0-100% power, and there are also three different flow modes to choose from as well. These flow modes are surge flow, steady stream, and wave pulse. 

Surge flow creates a surge of water movement, reminiscent of the strong surging water currents formed on reefs via wave action. Steady stream generates a steady continuous flow of water throughout the aquarium, while wave pulse aims to mimic the action of crashing waves on the crest of a coral reef. 

There is also another very useful setting; feeding mode. In this setting the wave pumps are turned off for a duration of 10 minutes so that you can easily feed your fish without the circulation carrying away the food. This mode is particularly useful in spot feeding corals and sea anemones. Spot feeding is very difficult if you are being buffeted by waves! 

Light Spectrum and PAR Emitted

The light spectrum and the PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) values emitted from aquarium lights is perhaps the most important aspect to look at when choosing the best lights for your setup. The PAR value describes how much light is available for photosynthesis. Usually lights will give the PAR values for different depths in a tank.

With 445nm blue, 460nm blue, 6000K white, 8000K white, and RGB LEDs, the Current USA Orbit Marine LED light emits a well-balanced color of light which adds great depth to any saltwater tank. This lighting color will enhance the colors of your fish and coral, making them pop! The 445nm and 460nm blue LEDs emit the spectrum required by the photosynthetic zooxanthellae that are found in the tissues of corals. This means that it provides the perfect light spectrum to encourage coral growth. 

The PAR values are 120-70 at 6″-9″, 70-50 at 9″-12″, 50-35 at 12″-15″, 35-20 at 15″-18″, and 20-10 at 18″-21″. These PAR values are reasonable, but aren’t amazing. For FOWLR (fish only with live rock) tank setups PAR values don’t make any difference, so this light is absolutely fine for these aquariums. 

For aquariums needing photosynthetically active radiation, enough PAR is available for low-light SPS corals, LPS corals, soft corals such as Xenia coral, zoanthids, and mushroom coral growth at up to 9″ depth. Note that only very low-light SPS coral can grow – most can’t. At up to 12″ depth, PAR is available for the same except SPS coral, and at 18″ only low-light LPS corals will be able to grow. At 21″ depth there isn’t enough PAR available for LPS coral growth; only soft corals, zoanthids, and mushroom corals can grow successfully. 

Note the low PAR at increasing depth, so if you have a deep tank, maybe another light would be a better fit for a coral tank. 

It should be noted that this model is the most basic that Current USA produces. If you have a tank which needs larger PAR values, then they offer the Current Orbit Marine IC PRO LED Reef Aquarium Dual Light System. This is a model which produces vastly superior PAR values for all LPS and soft coral tanks, and also enables low-light SPS corals to grow.

Installation

Setting up a saltwater tank can be very confusing, and the same can be said of setting up and installing a new LED light. However usually the installation process of LED lights is pretty simple, and the Current USA Orbit Marine LED light makes it very simple indeed.

Included in the box is a set of clear instructions which make the process very clear. Also included are two sliding docking mounts, a LOOP light & wave pump controller and a LOOP light HUB with mounting brackets, the remote control and infrared sensor, and a 12V DC power supply.

What also makes this aquarium LED light very easy to install are the four different sizes available. With the adjustable brackets the smallest light fits aquariums of 18″-24″, the next fits 24″-36″, then 36″-48″, and the largest fits aquariums of 48″-60″ width. Measure your tank to ensure that you get the most appropriate sized unit. Having the adjustable brackets means that the light fits perfectly on any sized tank from 18″-60″. 

With the instruction manual you really can’t install this light wrong! Follow the guidelines and you’ll be up and running in no time, spending time choosing your favorite lighting mode!

Ease of Use

While not the most important factor perhaps, the ease of use is extremely important, especially ongoing. Having a hard to use light for your tank will get extremely frustrating and tiring very quickly!

It’s a very good thing then that the Current USA Orbit Marine LED light is very intuitive and easy to use. The unit is controlled via the infrared control, which is called the LOOP system.

Using this control it is very simple to customize and have full access to all the functionalityIt is simple to customize the 24 hour lighting program to tailor it to your specific timeframe and needs. Also very simple is changing and customizing the color and intensity of the light at each of sunrise, daylight, sunset, and moonlight modes. You are able to set each of the white, blue, red, and green LEDs individually!

Using the LOOP controller you can also easily change and set the power of the wave makers you have connected. It’s very easy to change the mode of these powerheads, and to feed your fish using the feeding mode.

If you wish, you can also purchase the additional bluetooth unit, which enables you to change and set the lighting via an app on your phone! 

Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light Negatives

Maybe the main negative about the Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light is that the light doesn’t penetrate overly far. While if you are running a FOWLR tank setup, or a low-light requiring LPS tank it may be fine, if you have a deep 24 inch SPS dominant tank, this light won’t be able to provide enough PAR at the base of the tank for sufficient growth.

Conclusion

All-in-all, the Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light is a brilliant piece of kit. There are brilliant integrated features such as weather effects and wave pump control. Also integrated is a fully customizable 24 hour biorhythmic lighting cycle which includes sunrise, daylight, sunset, and moonlight modes. In this cycle you are able to set the start times of each mode, and also set the intensity and color of the lighting of each mode. This allows you to truly make the lighting unique to your aquarium setup.

While the PAR values aren’t the highest, this light still offers enough light penetration to grow most corals bar SPS corals. If you have a large deep tank though, a more powerful light is probably more appropriate. 

Overall, the Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light is well worth the money and will make your aquarium look fantastic! If you have this light on your own tank, let us know in the comments.

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CoralRealm Staff

CoralRealm has been around for years. As one of the world's leading online Marine Biology publishers, you're in good hands with our team of experts. For more information, see our CoralRealm list of experts here.

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