Jump to content

Coralife Aqualight Power Center - Dual Timer


Monochrome5

Recommended Posts

Hello reefers! I'd like to throw up a review for the Coralife Aqualight Power Center. These guys come in three versions: a single timer, dual timer, and single digital timer. The following review will be for the dual timer version, which I own.

 

The Pros:

-Very wallet friendly (mine cost $32.99)

-Dual timers allow for actinics and whites to be on separate timers. Easy to set up the timers to simulate a dawn/dusk (we can't all have fancy schmancy dimming LEDs like some people ;) ).

-Has a third "built-in" timer that alternates with the actinic cycle. Great for moonlight LEDs

-2 actinic outlets (timer 1), 2 moonlight outlets (alternate with timer 1) and 3 daylight outlets (timer 2)

-Timer 1 can also be used as an alternating wavemaker, switching between powerheads every 15 minutes.

-Surge protection up to ~2000J

 

The Cons:

-Only one "constant" outlet means you'll probably need another power strip to run pumps, powerheads, fans, etc (this is a huge oversight, IMO)

-Timer sets in intervals of 15mins, so the wavemaker function is kind of pointless (seems like most people who run wavemakers do <1min intervals)

-The stupid little tabs to set the timers are insanely difficult to push down. I highly recommend using a flathead screwdriver to get in there and click them down.

-Doesn't come with any mounting hardware (though it can be mounted)

-Only 8 outlets, which isn't terribly bad, but when you consider 7 of them are on the timers it's quite a nuisance

-Surge protection up to ~2000J

 

The Verdict:

I'm torn when it comes to this product. For the price, it's a really nice light controller. But that's where it ends. I've currently got mine set up to run my nanotuners (shameless plug!) dual actinic PC-R from 8am-8pm and my nanotuners 50/50 PC-R from 9am-7pm. Seems to work just fine for that. I also have it run my heater and moonlights when the actinics click off. Since I run an 8g biocube, having the heater only on at night isn't a problem for me. The lights throw more than enough heat to warm my tank to 80. The constant power outlet runs my MJ606, so I've been able to successfully control my whole tank with this product.

 

That being said, I would only recommend this for small tanks. If you run more than one pump/powerhead, you may want to look elsewhere (or invest in another powerstrip). It will handle Picos and small, compact tanks with ease, but anything more than 8g or so is probably out of the question. I wouldn't suggest using it with controllable LEDs, though. You'd use up the constant power outlet just for the LEDs and then have 7 slots of wasted space. Throw at least 2-4 more constant power outlets on here and beef up the surge protection and it would be a fantastic little controller. Oh, and how hard would it be to throw in 4 little screws? Come on Coralife!!

 

6.5/10

Link to comment

Thanks for the great review. I was considering this timer but may not be able to live with the shortcomings that you mentioned. I may just stick with a few standard timers and a powerstrip for more flexibility. Would be nice to have that all in one unit though.

Link to comment
Thanks for the great review. I was considering this timer but may not be able to live with the shortcomings that you mentioned. I may just stick with a few standard timers and a powerstrip for more flexibility. Would be nice to have that all in one unit though.

 

Just a warning about the digital version....at least the one I wasted my money on. The digital settings are TOTALLY dependent on the little replaceable battery that comes with it. IOW, when the battery is exhausted the timer side is useless. The battery is in use constantly even when the unit is plugged in so you soon lose all your settings, the LCD screen goes blank and until you install a new battery nothing works on the timer side.I gave up on the thing after I came home a third time to a blank LCD screen, and my lights off. Went to the hardware and bought a much cheaper digital timer that has an internal battery that is kept charged while plugged in (DUH) and is only in use as a back up for your settings during power outages.Whoever engineered that coralife POS digital timer should be sent back to 3rd grade.

Link to comment

I have one which works for a little while but every now and again it decides to completely reset itself. It deletes all timer settings and resets the clock to 12:00.

Link to comment
Thanks for the great review. I was considering this timer but may not be able to live with the shortcomings that you mentioned. I may just stick with a few standard timers and a powerstrip for more flexibility. Would be nice to have that all in one unit though.

 

I think what this comes down to is basic reefing law #2 - You get what you pay for.

 

There are some good all-in-ones out there, but they can run up to $100+. If I remember correctly my 115g runs dual GE 12 outlet timer strips (I'd check, but it's currently in Ohio and I'm in South Carolina). They're pretty solid. 4 timed outlets with 8 constants. Only one timer though, so you have to run two for a day/night/dawn/dusk actinic cycle.

 

If you already have the power strips/timers then I'd stay with that. Try to mount them in your stand to help hide the mess.

 

Just a warning about the digital version....at least the one I wasted my money on. The digital settings are TOTALLY dependent on the little replaceable battery that comes with it. IOW, when the battery is exhausted the timer side is useless. The battery is in use constantly even when the unit is plugged in so you soon lose all your settings, the LCD screen goes blank and until you install a new battery nothing works on the timer side.I gave up on the thing after I came home a third time to a blank LCD screen, and my lights off. Went to the hardware and bought a much cheaper digital timer that has an internal battery that is kept charged while plugged in (DUH) and is only in use as a back up for your settings during power outages.Whoever engineered that coralife POS digital timer should be sent back to 3rd grade.

 

I was originally going to get the digital version, but after reading the reviews I decided to stay far away. I'm really baffled that the LCD battery doesn't charge when plugged in... That's just plain stupid. I get the feeling that the same guy who decided to make the LCD battery not charge made the decision to only put one constant power outlet on the dual timer. Idiot.

 

For what it's worth, the single timer has 4 constant power outlets...

Link to comment
I think what this comes down to is basic reefing law #2 - You get what you pay for.

 

There are some good all-in-ones out there, but they can run up to $100+. If I remember correctly my 115g runs dual GE 12 outlet timer strips (I'd check, but it's currently in Ohio and I'm in South Carolina). They're pretty solid. 4 timed outlets with 8 constants. Only one timer though, so you have to run two for a day/night/dawn/dusk actinic cycle.

 

If you already have the power strips/timers then I'd stay with that. Try to mount them in your stand to help hide the mess.

 

 

 

I was originally going to get the digital version, but after reading the reviews I decided to stay far away. I'm really baffled that the LCD battery doesn't charge when plugged in... That's just plain stupid. I get the feeling that the same guy who decided to make the LCD battery not charge made the decision to only put one constant power outlet on the dual timer. Idiot.

 

For what it's worth, the single timer has 4 constant power outlets...

 

 

Yeah its ridiculous. I should have realized the issue and taken it back when the instructions state you MUST install the battery before you can use the LCD screen and enter your settings. You can't just plug it in and use it that way.Now I use it as a very expensive power strip on the uncontrolled side only.Timed outlets are totally unreliable.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I've had my non digital dual timer for about 2 years and wouldn't recommend it. Sometiems the timer "sticks" and doest turn the light on/off. It happend on one of the timer and now the other one is starting to do the same thing. I've come home to find lights have been on for like 18hrs. Unreliable.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

I've used all three of the Coralife timers at one point or another.

 

Digital: Total garbage. I had it given to me for free and I paid too much. Others have mentioned the problems, and there are many. Do not buy.

 

Non-Digital:

 

Nice timers, very useful if you have equipment timed to your photocycle. I used the dual dial on a large f/w planted tank, which had a variety of equipment that came on and off over a 24h period. That strip handled all of it. It does require a second power strip for pumps, filters, etc, but that was acceptable to me. It is a specialized piece of equipment, but if you have need for it, the coralife is a nice solution.

 

Currently using a single dial: 2 day, 2 night, 4 constant, on my 20L. Very happy with it. I never had the sticking problems mentioned above, but I will admit my long term use was on f/w (non-corrosive).

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...