The ReefBrite XHO hybrid T5 & LED fixture is a new reef aquarium light with neat features going for it, but housed in an unfortunate looking package. What makes ReefBrite’s new T5 xho hybrid fixture noteworthy is a large, dual parabolic reflector design that maximizes light collection from the two primary high output T5 lamps. With these new deeper parabolic reflector designs, ReefBrite claims that the T5 fluorescent lamps alone can penetrate 24″ deep, with good PAR and spread.
The housing of the XHO Hybrid light is specially designed to be paired up with ReefBrite’s XHO LED striplights, with hardware that allows the strips to be angled towards the tank. The XHO Hybrid light is Apex ready with dimmable T5 and LED lights and the 24″ light carries a retail price of $312, $360 for 36″ long fixtures and $425 for the four foot fixture.
Alas, that price does not include the LED striplights which are sold separately at a whopping $200 for just the 24″ strip. That means that you’d be looking at around $700 for just a dual LED strip version of the ReefBrite XHO Hybrid, before you even add any controllability.
Pricing aside, the XHO Hybrid light might be really efficient with its delivery of photons from the T5 lamps, but it sacrifices nearly all aesthetics to do so. The overall package of the XHO Hybrid looks more like a throwback to the early days of PFO with a sheet-metal style construction that could have easily been released ten years ago.
The current generation of desirable T5 & Hybrid LED lights looks a lot more like the ATI Powermodule hybrid, the NanoBox Reef Unibody Hybrid, both with included dimming and color control. Even Aquactinics had a more compelling design for a hybrid T5 & LED light back at MACNA 2009!
ReefBrite’s XHO LED striplights are some of the most popular in the American reef scene, and they look absolutely gorgeous when paired with creative mounting solutions. But the way the hybridizing of the light from the T5 and LEDs is implemented in the XHO Hybrid greatly separates the light coming from each – not the best option for optimal color blending.
With the pendulum swinging away from purely LED and back towards a mixture of LED and T5 lighting, the time is ripe for ReefBrite’s new hybrid light. However ReefBrite’s latest efforts falls from the mark of modern state of the art lights that have been released in the last few years, including their own full-on LED fixture.