The Astra LED light fixture made by Sfiligoi was one of the more attractive and eye-catching fixtures that we saw in the clamp-on light category at InterZoo 2010. The fiber-optic side accent is novel and the profile of the fixture is significantly thinner than many other clamp on LED lights we’ve seen. But all that svelte comes a price and we immediately recognized that the Astra didn’t have near enough heatsinking or mass to properly manage the heat from the Astra’s LEDs to remain in the recommended 50C region. When we brought our concerns to Mr. Sfiligoi he gave us the very candid response that the Astra LEDs were operating in the 65C neighborhood. This temperature should still give the LEDs a lifespan of 15,000 hours instead of 30,000 with the the LED’s optimistically giving three to four years of solid reef light performance. Of course the actual lifespan for an LED light that rides the knife edge of passive cooling will be even more affected by the ambient air temperature of it’s surroundings and we hope that Sfiligoi is clear in it’s marketing of how it is that the Astra LED light is not packing the usual mass or heatsinking and how that will affect it’s realistic long term performance.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.