Rolf C Hagen has added a new, shorter model to its range of Marine 3.0 Bluetooth LED lights. The slimline fixture can fit marine aquaria as short as 15” in length, but can also stretch to 24” due to its inbuilt adjustable mounting arms. It’s only 2.5” wide and 0.63” thick, but boasts five-channel color control via the app as well as a single touch button on the top to manually flick the spectrum to blue.
The bar uses 22 watts to light 99, 120 degree LEDs which combine to achieve a maximum PAR of 370 just underneath, a respectable 181 at six inches water depth, dropping to 65 PAR at 12”. Individual channels consist of pink, cyan, blue, purple, and cold white, which can all be controlled independently, and incorporated into a 24 hour programmable light cycle. It’s made in Germany, not China has an IP67 waterproof safety rating and a three-year warranty.
Nano reef suitability
Lighting bars are all the rage with reefers right now, both for providing supplemental coral pop as well as evening-out light spread from spotlight or lensed LEDs. This new additional Fluval model caught our eye as being one of the smallest available, which is going to make it suitable for providing supplemental lighting on nano reefs like Waterbox’s Cube 20, and the Red Sea Max Nano, not to mention Fluval’s own Evo.
It does mount very close to the surface versus other bars though, so risks actually shading some tank-mounted modular lights on narrow tanks, towering up 8” high behind it. A suspension kit is available separately, however, and that IP rating even makes it suitable for use under closed hoods. It can’t be angle-adjusted like the new mount for the Reef Flare bar but it does come fully controllable, and Bluetooth offers such quick connection versus increasingly crowded home Wi-Fi.
So many diodes clustered together offer well-blended, even light spread and this kind of light would of course be suitable as the sole light source for fish-only tanks too. Such a wide, 120-degree spread does sacrifice depth penetration however and if you crave a bar that can offer extra led punch at low levels, a unit with individually lensed 3-watt diodes may be more up your street.
Although Fluval doesn’t rank in the top of most reefkeeper’s lighting lists, they do provide sound, entry-level marine products and are responsible for recruiting a huge portion of new fishkeepers every year. The Marine 3.0 is a feature-rich light, however, with features that are capable of embarrassing some premium manufacturer’s light bars, that come decidedly lacking in any form of control, or mounting options straight out the box. And now, thankfully, the nano reef community gets to play with supplemental lighting bars too.