The actively cooled, 40 watt, multicolor LED PAR38 spotlight recently released by Coral Compulsion is one of the first new developments in this LED format in a long time. The New PAR38 spotlight has 16 discrete LEDs arranged in four clusters of four diodes which share a similar cluster lens for directing and blending the light and colors.
With 16 slots to fill, Coral Compulsion is able to carry a few different colors including blue, royal blue, UV and all that blueness is balanced out with just four white LEDs of warm color spectrum. Most manufacturers use cool white LEDs to squeeze out the maximum amount of brightness but the warmer light in the 40 watter does wonders for balancing the blues, and boy does it need it.
The remaining twelve diodes are all blue LEDs, bringing out great color and pop, a whole lot more than we are used to in such a small package. The power density of this particular PAR38 LED spotlight is due in no small part to advancements in the tiny drivers for these lights, with built in power supplies and the teeny tiniest fan.
We tested the Coral Compulsion 40w PAR38 LED at the LFS so it’s hard to say how loud the tiny fan is – it could have a noticeable sound to it, but we actually had to specifically remember that it has a fan, at which point we put our ear to the spotlight to confirm that yes, there is indeed a fan running in there.
The light spread of the 40 watter is pretty dang good, with a 60 degree beam spreading light over a reasonable 18 inch diameter, from a distance of about 18 inches as well. The color definition was excellent for a single LED spotlight, with the warm LEDs bringing out significantly more red and warm coloration than you would expect from cool whites. The color was exemplary in a bleeding apple scolymia which showed great definition to the red and green colors.
The only thing that seemed to be lackluster in this 40 watt cluster of LEDs was the color of the royal blue LEDs, which was indistinguishable from the regular blue diodes. The overall look of corals under this light was pretty good but could have used more representation in the deeper blue end of the spectrum, the UV LEDs notwithstanding.
40 watts of multicolor LED lighting for $119 is an incredible deal. Once upon a time we were happy to get a watt of LED power for $10, then $5 and now with this light we are down to $3 per watt, generally speaking. If you don’t need control but just need a lot of color and power in a small form factor, for displaying a nano or highlighting corals in a large tank, we think the new spotlight from Coral Compulsion is going to a lot of attention. [Coral Compulsion]
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