Ecoxotic’s second generation Panorama Pro LED is packing more power, better color, a lower profile and it comes in a little bit cheaper than their initial offering. The Panorama Pro has the same overall form factor as the original Panorama LED module but in addition to being cheaper with a more refined looking heatsink, the switch from 12 watts of high output LEDs in favor slightly less efficient yet better color rendering Surface Mount Technology (SMT) LEDs.
We took three colors of the new Panorama Pro LED for a spin on a couple different reef tanks and we’ve gathered some thoughts on the RGB, Royal Blue/Magenta and 12,000K versions. Already it’s pretty clear that the next generation of Ecoxotic striplights is not simple spec bump but it represents a major shift in technology and expectations for LED striplights of this category in the future. Lots of hands on pictures of the gear and action shots after the break.
The SMT LEDs of the Panorama Pro have no lenses but they are fully potted in resin, waterproof and most of all they seem to be more suited to producing colors other than blue and white. Although the SMT LEDs of the Panorama Pro have an even distribution with light shining more or less equally in all directions from the diode, an optional reflector from Ecoxotic can help to focus most of that light into your reef tank without creating hotspots of light intensity like lenses can. We haven’t yet tested out the common reflector for the Panorama Pro LED modules but the appearance of the light is very balanced with none of the weird color wheel effects that can happen with narrow angle LED lenses and ripples.
Simply put a wide range of corals look great under the Panorama Pro LED: SPS, LPS, Acros Montis and zoanthids all truly shine under the great color rendition of these SMT LEDs. At 19 watts each the Panorama Pro LED strips can definitely be piggybacked to get high enough PAR numbers to grow even light hungry corals in nano and medium sized tanks but real long term performance remains to be seen.
The only thing really missing from the Panorama Pro LED equation is the ability to elegantly mount them over an aquarium. These striplights are easy enough to mount into existing hoods and canopies but a standalone side mounted solution like a Panorama Pro LED fixture or side mounted arm like the EcoPico remains to be seen. There’s a good chance we’ll see a professional mounting solution for the Panorama Pro strips from Ecoxotic at MACNA in a month.
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