Illuminate Your Reef Aquarium with the SKY

14 May, 2021

After years of R&D, Neptune Systems unveils the new SKY LED Reef Aquarium Light, adding a major and fundamental piece of reef-keeping equipment to the Neptune Systems product lineup.

via Neptune Systems

The SKY is a 200w, LED aquarium light, with patented diffuser technology, that smoothly blends all of its 104 LEDs to create a homogeneous field of coral-health-optimized light — no hotspots, no disco-ball effect, no need to augment it with other lights or add-on diffusers — but best of all, none of the harsh shadowing and fractured spectrum found in most other popular lights.

Diffused light—just like what illuminates planet Earth…

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At A Glance

  • Wired or Wireless – connect to an APEX controller via AquaBus, or wirelessly with an Apple or Android mobile device
  • Quick, Easy Setup
  • 24″ X 30″ coverage for SPS, 30″ X 36″ coverage for lower-light coral communities
  • Spectrum optimized for coral growth and color, including UV LEDs
  • Diffused light with optional shimmer/glitter lines
  • Dedicated blue and white LED moonlights
  • Advanced thermal management with redundancy and built-in failsafes
  • Extremely quiet
  • Lightweight and low profile – 14″ long 10.75″ wide, and 1.75″ high, approximately 4 lbs.
  • Driven by a UL- and CE-certified 200-watt Meanwell power supply
  • Universal four-point mounting system
The new SKY LED reef aquarium light from Neptune Systems. If you don’t like the orange Neptune badge, no worries, you can even swap it out for a gray version!

Diffused, Soft Light—Everywhere

In nature corals are minimally shadowed because they get softened light from horizon to horizon due to the diffusion aspect of the atmosphere. For proper coral growth and health, this is something we attempt to accomplish in our reef aquariums. The SKY has a large surface area of diffused light at the origin which emulates the horizon to horizon effect of the atmosphere and minimizes shadowing.

An illustration depicting the diffusion of light with the SKY vs. competing LED reef lights.

Uniformly-Delivered, Well-Blended Spectrum

Do LED lights grow healthy, colorful corals? Of course. But to be optimal, they must have the right spectral balance of colors, sometimes referred to as “full-spectrum”. Also, and more importantly, that light must be blended and spread uniformly over the entire aquarium.

The SKY has 104 carefully curated LED, split into four controllable channels, spread across a large surface to maximize the area of light origination and minimize shadowing. The result is a well-blended light output, that has the same spectrum, nearly everywhere in the aquarium, with minimal shadowing and no disco-ball-effect.

104 LED emitters and a specialized diffuser with unique non-diffused pass-through portals (called Shimz) bath corals in smooth, luxurious light from all angles with just the right amount of shimmer.

You Control The Glitter Lines

When you put a diffuser in front of LED, as many lights do, it tends to kill off nearly ALL shimmer.  So we designed a hybrid diffuser that has clear covers, called Shimz, over four openings in the diffuser where the white LED can shine through with no diffusion. Then we created an option; diffused Shimz can be swapped in—available as an optional purchase—resulting in less shimmer.

Shimz pass-throughs allow for LED-driven glitter lines, but if the default option is too much for your taste, you can swap them for interchangable diffused Shimz to dial back the shimmer

Easily Approachable Yet Infinitely Controllable

You can connect the SKY to your Apex, or run it wirelessly connected to your mobile device – no Apex necessary. Apex Fusion will ask you a series of questions and show you different “looks” for you to choose from – each one curated to provide a pre-configured light spectrum for the growth and health of your corals. [some preset examples include Neptune Sky, Coral Growth, Photo Mode, SPS AB+, SPS PHX14, ATI Blue Plus].

From there, it can be as simple as choosing when you want the lights to come on and go off. However, there is also access to advanced scheduling features, LED intensity sliders, and an infinite amount of ways to integrate the operation of your SKY with other Apex functions.

The SKY features two cooling fans driven by temperature and power monitoring software to control their speed and alert reef keepers if there is a problem or failure.

Advanced Thermal Management—Quiet and Effective

The SKY has an advanced approach to thermal management that is more than just the two fans you see.

With two fans the SKY can operate them at much lower RPM while keeping the LED cooler. Cooler LEDs mean a longer lifespan for your light. Also, running the fans slower means that the SKY is quieter, in fact, its the quietest actively-cooled LED in its power-class. The SKY puts out just 33dB at one meter and set to 100%. The leading competitor clocks in at >40dB at 100% power.

Along with these fans, a temperature and power monitoring algorithm manages their speed. If one fan were to fail, the other will pick up the slack and still keep the SKY running and safely cooled until a replacement is obtained [you’ll even be notified of the failure via Apex Fusion]. Also, if for some other reason the SKY cannot adequately cool itself, such as excessively high ambient air temperature, it will throttle the power to the LED to keep them safely cool.

Visit Neptune Systems For More

The SKY will begin shipping to dealers in the next 4-6 weeks [mid to late June]. MAP price in the U.S. is $869.95. A black, adjustable wire hanging kit will be available with a MAP price of $34.95.

Be sure to visit the Neptune Systems website for the expansive SKY story. You’ll get even greater details behind the highlights above, as well as further insight into everything from the power supplies and mounting options to moonlights and the economics of running a reef with the SKY overhead. The economics, you ask?

Before the SKY vs. after real world example: capital expenditures halved, power consumption reduced by 55%.

Visit Neptune Systems’ SKY Product Page

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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