The Quantum LED spotlight from Array Lighting is the first consumer lighting product to feature a nano dot lens to give it that nice old school tungsten feel. Why would we care about a light which intentionally looks like an incandescent light? Well in this case the warm color and color rendition is not coming from the light engine itself, but from a photoreactive material, the likes of which we are destined to see a lot more of in the future.
The 8 watt Quantum LED spotlight is powered by 122 teenie tiny LEDs which are evenly spread across the surface of the business end of the Array LED spotlight. The distributed LEDs help to produce that soft glow of an incandescent, while maximizing the exposure of the quantum dots in the laminated lens to the excitation spectrum of the LEDs.
Without even bothering to share with you what this looks like over a tank, we can tell you that it looks just like an incandescent light would, even worse than natural sunlight with a color temperature of 2700K and the most awful yellow-orange light imaginable. However, the pinks of birdnest corals and pocillopora, the purple of a Cali tort and the red of some Scolies and zoanthids are unbelievable. But the overall tank looks awful with the quantum LED on it’s own.
There’s this huge lack of red spectrum in our frosty colored reefs, the kind which we have grown accustomed to missing in may increasingly blue-out reef tanks. Adding some narrow band red LEDs isn’t going to compare to the broad spectrum red light produced by the quantum dot lens. Although this light is not going to solve all of our coral-related, color rendering issues, it would be truly neat to be able to slap some small prisms of color-shifting to existing LED and halide spots to help bring back the full colors of the reef.