When LEDs really hit the market, many in the reef aquarium hobby in general were ready to all but abandon the previous generation of lighting technology which has served us so well. We were always kind of perplexed that we didn’t see more of a gradual transition between LEDs and T5s, and many more examples of hybrid lights.
Now that the pendulum has swung fully towards the LED side of tech, it seems that the reef aquarium hobby is ready to revisit a more balanced blend of lighting that T5s and LEDs can offer together. Leading the charge towards the best of both worlds, is NanoBox Reef with their new hybrid LED & T5 light which incorporates a whole slew of features that simply are not available from any other lighting company.
First of all, the NBR Hybrid lights are made from an industrial unibody design with the reflectors of the T5 lamps carved right into the sturdy aluminum fixture. The entire aluminum fixture serves as the heatsink for the centrally located LED clusters. Each LED cluster is a carefully selected array of various colors from the best LED manufacturers to create a most balanced light spectrum, and without secondary lenses, they blend near-perfectly on the shallower tanks for which this fixture is intended.
Despite multiple channels of color control, all of the high end LED fixtures, including the NBR Hybrid have a fixed maximum light output, but the new Hybrid light from NanoBox Reef uses T5 lamps which you can select yourself. If you want a bluer tank, feel free to load it up with some super blue tubes or if you want that deeper blue look, you can finally get that true actinic 03 tube in there with the 420nm spectrum peak which is rare and expensive to get from LEDs alone.
If you know you’re aiming for a shallow water SPS reef setup you can opt for brighter white or daylight tubes and really crank out the PAR numbers and lighting intensity. Simply put, between the LED controllability and the flexibility of selecting what T5 lamps you want, the NBR Hybrid light is the most versatile reef lighting system ever offered to reef aquarists.
At the moment NanoBox Reef will only be making the Hybrid light in a 24″ size with options to add more power insane amount of lighting intensity concentrated over what will be an otherwise really posh tank. The stock NBR Hybrid with dual V3 LED arrays and two T5 tubes is priced at $795, you can either double up the T5s or double up the LEDs for $200 more, or for $1250 you can double down on both the T5 tubes and the LEDs.
It goes without saying that this premium price point comes with fully controllable multichannel LED programming, wireless of course, and you can also customize the colors of fixture itself. The NanoBox Reef is not a mass market product, it is hand made and machined in the USA so you can be assured that this light is of the utmost quality and likely to make an impression both above and inside your tank. [NanoBox Reef]