Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by Coral Realm
The right lighting is an essential aspect of an aquarium. Tanks are often situated in the corner of a room, away from natural light. To counter this, and give the tank enough light to look great and to keep the plants and freshwater fish healthy, you need to get some lights. Some of the best on the market are aquarium LED lights, and the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus is among the best of those.
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Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Review
2 Different Models To Choose From
It can be a little confusing when taking about the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus. This model is the step up from the basic Satellite Freshwater LED Light from Current USA, but isn’t as good as the PRO model. So the Plus is a happy middle ground.
That out of the way, there are also two models of the Plus available; one with color control and one with timer control. There are a few major differences, but the general gist is that the timer control has more functionality. As we breakdown and review these lights we will highlight the differences between the two models.
As you can see below, for the same size of model, the timer control model is a little more expensive, as it does have slightly more function.
There are a range of size options available with this aquarium LED light which gives you the opportunity to purchase the correct size for your fish tank. As there are two options available we will run down both of these. Both options have 4 available sizes, which all have adjustable mounting brackets. These adjustable mounting brackets can add an extra 6 inches of length either side of the light. This is really very useful!
All the lights have the same width of 1.5 inches.
The sizes available with the color control model are 18″, 24″, 36″, and 48″.
The sizes available with the color control model are , 24″, 36″, 48″, and 72″.
As the lights are only 1.5″ wide, if you have a tank that is on the larger side you may need to consider buying two lights to provide full coverage. But in the vast majority of cases one is fine.
The brightness of these lights varies between the color control and timer control models. The color control model has a lower brightness than the timer control model.
Brightness is measured in lumen, and the lumen range of the color control model varies between 600-2000.
While the lumen range of the timer control model ranges between 2250-4500.
This greater lumen range means the light from the timer control model will penetrate deeper into the water, so is more appropriate for deeper tanks. It also means that this model will be more appropriate for medium light plants, while the color control model is good with low light plants.
Full Spectrum Lighting
Sunlight is comprised of various wavelengths of colored light. Regular lights such as fluorescent lights do not produce the same wavelengths of light as sunlight, so do not give the benefits of sunlight to the organisms in the tank.
However this product emits a full spectrum of light with both models having both 6500K white LEDs and specialist RGB (red, green, and blue) LEDs. The rich 445nm Blue LED’s produce an incredible color! In the timer model you also get IC LED lights as well. Being freshwater optimized, the color spectrum produced has been carefully set so that it best help plants and fish in freshwater tanks be healthy and look their best.
The color control model has a color spectrum of 5500K-8000K while the timer control model has a spectrum of 5500K-10000K. The higher spectrum available on the timer models just means that the light is a little brighter.
The Satellite LED plus color control model features 6 freshwater-optimized, color pre-sets effects which benefit freshwater plants and tanks. Plus each color is individually adjustable for endless custom color blends.
You also have full control over adjusting each color in the timer control model as well. So you can play around and find the best color for your aquarium!
Both the color control and timer control models enable you to have complete control through different dynamic lighting effects. Again there are differences in the effects offered on the two models.
The color control model has 12 dynamic lighting effects. There are 3 different moon lighting effects which mimic the different lightings you find with different moon phases. A sunrise/sunset effect creates very gentle fades with slight cloud cover. There are 4 different cloud cover effects, which go between white, blue, and red lightings with different levels of cloud cover. Three storms settings offer varying degrees of lightning strikes and stormy weather in all color spectrums, while the final effect gently fades through all color spectrums.
The timer control model offers 6 main dynamic lighting effects which include rolling clouds and lightning storms. There are also different color fades on offer which utilize the IC LED lights, as well as RGB fades.
Fully adjustable 24 hour lighting program
If you choose to go for the timer control model of the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus light you will be able to choose between two adjustable timer modes. The first timer mode is a simple dynamic on and off mode. You set both the on and off times, and the light will shine during these times.
The second timer mode is where it gets exciting. It is a 24 hour circadian rhythm timer mode. You again set the on and off times, except some magic happens now! At the on time, there is a 90 minute ramp-up period which includes a slow sunrise setting. After this 90 minute sunrise program has finished the light will give you the daylight setting until the set off time. At the off time a 90 minute ramp-down period will begin.
During this ramp-down period you will be given a nice sunset display. After the ramp-down a moonlight display will play for six hours before the lights will turn off, before turning themselves on again the next day at the on time.
Extras: Audio and Background light
The timer control model also allows you to connect speakers to the system, where you can choose between four sounds.
These sounds are stream, stargaze, rainstorm, and forest. This can really enhance the natural feel of your tank, as you can enjoy the sounds of nature.
With the timer model you can also attach background LEDs which you can control via the remote as well.
Design and Ease Of Use
In both models the light casing is an aluminum fixture which efficiently dissipates heat and allows the lights to run cool and quietly. The LEDs are covered with an acrylic lens which offers IP 65 protection. Therefore the design can’t be faulted.
Both are complete with their own wireless remote control. You can have full control without moving more than a finger! You can program the control to save your favorite settings. Trust me this is a lifesaver!!
What is very handy is that with the color control model you also get a manual control, as well as flash protection. Flash protection is an integrated memory with saves all your setting in case of a power surge.
The Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus is a very good LED light which has many great features. First and foremost, it is designed for freshwater tanks and offers a light spectrum which will enable your aquarium plants and fish to grow and be healthy. And with the variable color intensities available they are suitable for both low light plants such as Java Fern, and high light plants.
Using the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus in conjunction with a good HOB filter or canister filter such as the Fluval FX6 will give your fish and plants the perfect environment in which to thrive.
With two different Satellite plus models there many different lighting settings on offer so choose the one most suited to your tank.
These options will allow you to have greater enjoyment from your tank. Features such as lightning storms are really eye-catching! Overall, either of the Satellite Plus models are brilliant options for your freshwater tank.
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