Product Review – MoonBeam
(Written in 2000 - product no longer available)
Have you ever pictured in your mind swimming through a moonlit lagoon? Unfortunately many aquarists have not been fortunate enough to experience such an exhilarating experience. Nevertheless, I'm one of those that have been lucky enough to see shimmering moonlight on the underwater reefs and have always wanted to duplicate that vision of intense glitter lines in my reef aquariums. But that has not been possible until now as the intensity, and sometimes the spectrum of available lamps has been somewhat inadequate. MoonBeam now changes that, as it is the first lamp with the intensity to accomplish those shimmering lines, even in fairly deep aquariums.
MoonBeam has a small circular base measuring 2.25 inches in diameter and is backed with a peal-off covering that leaves an adhesive surface so that the unit can be mounted in any position above the aquarium's water surface, or even inside an existing light hood. A narrow 2.25 inch long flexible PVC column attaches its clear cone-shaped lens to its circular base. A twelve-foot lightweight electrical cord snakes through the supporting column and base, and attaches to a small DC transformer. The clear acrylic cone-shaped lens contains a tiny LED lamp that is unique in its design, and spreads the intense light from the LED circuitry.
This state-of-the-art lighting technology doesn't generate any heat, and spectrum of the lamp is available in either an actinic-like blue or a whiter spectrum. The blue LED replicates a spectrum near 470 nanometers, which duplicates actual moonlight. The white lamp, renders a 9500 Kelvin spectrum.
This small yet powerful arc of light, which uses only 3 watts, was intense enough to easily penetrate to the bottom of my aquarium more than 24 inches away from the lamp. Surface water movement duplicated those glitter lines seen on moonlit reefs during the night, except colors such as reds and greens are intensified under this lamp. In fact, under the blue lamp, new white calcium growths are a shimmering intense blue. Even my wife, who's not impressed with aquariums, was delighted with the aquarium's appearance!
I tested a pre-production model, which had a thicker support column and was slightly less flexible than the newer production model. Nevertheless, it worked perfectly and I've endured some late hours to show it off. Of course, MoonBeam is GREAT for reef aquariums, but they would also be delightful over fish-only systems and can also be used over freshwater aquariums. MoonBeam, which is a joint technology venture between BrightLights Technologies LLC and Clarity Plus Inc., is currently available from both companies and will soon be available in local stores. They are also seeking distributors and if interested, contact them.
For further details contact BrightLights Technologies LLC at 47517 Putney Court, Canton, MI 48188 (734) 495-0095, fax (734) 495-3586. Visit BrightLights at http://www.brightlights-tech.com/
But one warning be prepared for some late nights!