The Angel 1 LED and Angel Pro LED are the first aquarium lights from the nascent Euroquatics aquarium lighting brand. Being backed by Gavita, a large horticulture company based out of Holland, certainly helped Euroquatics leapfrog the entry-level competition to offer a truly compelling LED reef light.
When the Angel 1 and 1 Pro LEDs were first announced, the form factor, LED arrangement and general feel of the fixture felt a little bit “me-too”. Euroquatics took its sweet time bringing the Angel LEDs to market, but they wanted to get the launch of their inaugural product just right. We’ve been using both the Angel 1 and Pro version of their fixtures since early this summer and we are quite impressed with the overall package.
To recap, the Angel 1 LED is Euroquatics entry-level controllable reef aquarium light. It features five colors of LEDs spread over an equal amount of channels to control. The Angel 1 maxes out at about 95 watts with cool white, warm white, two shades of blue plus UV for just $399.
Meanwhile the Angel 1 Pro LED uses the same housing and footprint, but with 150 watts of for seven LED colors spread across seven channels of control for $499. The initial pricing of the Angel LEDs were $150 higher across the board but the new aggressive pricing makes them much more competitive, and compelling given their full feature set of colors and control.
What struck us the most, and first, about both of the Angel LED fixtures is their exquisite craftsmanship. The solid metal construction of the Angel LEDs is one of the most attractive LED lights on the market today. Perhaps being an offshoot of Gavita and horticultural lighting helped to steer Euroquatics into building their LED light from metal. Whatever the case, being made in Holland and the whole fit and finish of the lights lets the user know that they are dealing with a serious reef aquarium light even before it is powered on.
Having active cooling, a rainbow of LED colors and multiple channels of color control are all pretty much par for the course for high end LED reef lights. In this regard Euroquatics had to play catch up to the major players but they also threw in one more feature to help it stand out.
Most completely controllable LED reef lights require some kind of accessory or at least a direct wifi connection to enable wireless control of the fixtures’ features. Like the AI Prime and the newly released AI Hydra HyperDrive LEDs, the Angel LED have a direct connectivity feature that lets users control their lights over just the local area network.
When you first fire up the Angel LEDs, you will have to connect directly to their onboard wireless network. But a few simple presses of the only button on the fixture, and the WPS button of most new wifi routers, and you’re ready to control and fine tune and program the multiple channels of color control of your Angel 1 and Angel 1 Pro LEDs.
One of the best parts of the Angel LEDs is that if you are not that savvy about wireless networking, you can go ahead and enable basic programming of your lights straight from the Euroquatics app. Preset programs are there and ready to hold your hand if you are unsure about what and how to set your lights for some common color combinations. Better yet, some pre-programmed ‘moods’ within the app can also enable special color functions which are limited by a timer that users set when they start one of the mood programs.
We were initially unimpressed by the simple ‘quadrant’ layout of the Angel LED; compared to other manufacturers custom circular LED clusters the Angel LED’s cluster feels a little ‘off-the-shelf’. However this visual difference in the Angel light’s LED layout completely fades away when the light is illuminating a proper reef tank.
We’ve been using both lights, side by side, over one half of a very large 500 gallon reef tank at Unique Corals. We’ve found that together the two lights near-completely cover the 36 by 50 inch surface area, with great brightness to be had even well below 24 inches deep. The color blending at this depth and over this distance is really exceptional with minimal ‘disco ball’ effect that you see with nearly all multicolored LED lights.
The Angel LED is commendable for a first generation LED light, but it’s not without the need for some more refinements. The indicator light of the Angel LED that lets you know the status or mode of the light is tiny and recessed, as well as hard to find if you don’t know where it is supposed to be.
The single hardware programming button of the Angel LED is also quite small so it fades imperceptibly into the design of the light. This is nice for when the light is already up and running, but there’s still more improvements that Euroquatics can do in this aspect of the hardware design.
Additionally, having all the hardware built in to a single LED light is one thing, but it makes no difference if users have a hard time accessing this functionality. The Angel LED’s software package is quite powerful and thorough, but navigating to the functions you want to access, and the instructions to do so could stand to be clarified and improved.
Euroquatics is the first new company to offer a fully featured, controllable LED lighting platform in a really long time. Other industry players were many generations ahead of the Angel 1 and Angel 1 Pro LEDs, so Euroquatics had a lot of ground to cover in terms of hardware, software, controllability and accessories. But there’s no doubt about it, the Angel 1 & Pro LED fixture is a worthy contender in the high end LED lighting space and we can’t wait to see where they take the platform from here. [Euroquatics]
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