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Chris's Fishes

Wattshine 140W LED Black Box

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Chris's Fishes

Hey! So, I plan to upgrade my 10 gallon into a 20 long within the next few weeks, and have started buying stuff I'll need once I make the transition. The first thing I got was a new light, as one of my old PAR 38's had just burned out and I knew I wouldn't want to deal with a bunch of cumbersome PAR 38's over the tank anyway.


I asked around on R2R, and got some good advice. Originally, I was going to build the light myself. Then, I was going to go a slightly less DIY route, but still build my own fixture using pre-made bulbs. I was researching that when someone recommended that I bite the bullet and look into some black boxes (which I had been avoiding), and that the Wattshine 140W was a great value. After some research, I ordered it, and it came in today.


Right out of the box, I'm impressed. The fixture feels solid, and looks pretty sleek as well. Tons of ventilation slots, and the fan is nearly silent. For $70, it feels pretty unbelievable compared to the Odyssea T5 fixture I had on my first reef tank (my only other experience with iffy fixtures). The hanging kit sucks, like, a lot. But I knew that going into it, and I DIYed a stand out of PVC yesterday, and it's worked out fine. I had to get a bit creative with the hanging kit, and I think I'll eventually re-do the stand with some wood (as there is some bend in the PVC), but this is more than good enough for now.


I got it hung around 8" above the tank, and powered it on - and the light isn't quite what I expected. I was definitely expecting something a bit more in the blue range (12000K+), but it's almost a white-purple color. I messed around with the blues and whites and got it to something I like better, but I'm not in love with the spectrum. That said, it's pretty bright, and my hammer immediately inflated and looks happier than he's been since I got him. So, it must be good for the coral - I'll get used to the spectrum, or add some aftermarket blues if I have to. My RFA is currently extremely pissed and is hiding in the shadows, but it's fluorescing quite a bit as well - so maybe once the tank has more coral in it I'll like the spectrum more. Or, my eyes just need to adjust.


My question is about coverage. See, this is above a standard 10 gallon - 20" long. At 8" above the tank, around 16" are lit very well. 2" on either side are a bit dim. I pulled the fixture up to 12" for a bit, and the entire tank was lit, but, of course, I lost intensity. That's great an all, but I want to use this light on a 30" tank. How high do you guys think I'm going to have to hang this light to get maximum coverage? The optics are 90 degrees, and according to the Amazon page, this should light up to a 24" tank well. Could I swap out some optics to get more coverage, or am I stuck with the 24" max?



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Chris's Fishes

After a chat on R2R with someone who has experience with a similar black box light, it appears the best way to proceed is to just remove the optics off of most of the LEDs (leaving just a few on the blues) and to hang the light between 12"-14" for maximum coverage and an even light spread. I'll probably be tackling that project once the 20 long actually gets here - for now, I'm going to let the light run for a bit to make sure it isn't going to suddenly burn out on me or something. I'll probably be re-doing the stand, although I'm not sure how I want to do it. Very happy with the light so far!

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