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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Review IceCap Spot Pendant


theclearblue

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Here's a review of the new IceCap Spot Pendant I posted in the IceCap forum on RC. Link to the post: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthre...threadid=516719 Click on this link to if you'd like to see pictures. The rest I just cut and paste in here, as I thought it might be of interest to NR people.

 

I’ve been looking for an elegant and practical solution to running metal halide over my 7 gallon minibow, and just as I was about to despair and buy a custom hood to mount a 70w DE, I came across the review of the IceCap Spot Pendant. Little heat, 2-year bulb life, huge PAR values – reefing nirvana!

So I picked up a 70 watt pendant with a 6.5K bulb and a 70 watt ballast and was finally able to hang it up on Thursday afternoon. Rather than creating an IceCap advertisement, I’ve included the good with the bad, so you can make your own judgment.

 

Aesthetics and design:

I really like the design of the pendant, the colors they chose are really attractive, and I hope that they transfer this design into their other pendants. Design consistency is always a good thing. The pendant itself is very rugged, but as this is a first generation, there were a number of small nit-picky problems with mine. However, as I only have one pendant, I can’t say that they’re present on all, it might be worth taking a look at one in person if any of these issues concern you.

 

1) The powder coating does not completely cover the inside portions of the unit. I’m not sure if saltwater exposure would lead to any rust, and I hope that saltwater will never find it’s way up there – but it’s a small lack of attention to detail that was a bit disappointing in a $110 pendant, especially considering my PFO pendant, that cost $100 was flawless in finish.

3) I wish the power cord could have been set up differently. I can understand IceCap’s reasoning in placing the power cord on the rear of the pendant to hide it, but the weight of the power cord causes the pendant to lean backward and raise the front of the pendant if the cord is left to hang behind and isn’t secured above the pendant or to a wall behind. If it were on the side, I don’t think this would cause a problem, but it would also be more obtrusive. This ended up causing quite a bit of frustration, as I was hanging the pendant from the ceiling. If it were hard connected I don’t see this being an issue. If you scroll down you can see that I actually had to run the power cord into the spaces behind blinds, as the tank is in front of a window – stopping me from securing the cord to a wall directly behind the pendant (not very pretty, but it works).

4) Finally, the screw in section of the pendant isn’t seated correctly in the socket, causing the bulb to lean slightly to the right and back. I tried to apply a little pressure to center it, but it doesn’t seem to have corrected the problem.

 

Performance:

I’m extremely impressed by the light generated by this new bulb/pendant combination. It’s incredibly bright for a 70-watt system, and I wouldn’t say that the 6.5K bulb looks yellow. It’s a bright white, with a hint of yellow in it. As was mentioned in an earlier review, it’s a very good representation of the sun’s color. I’ll try the blue bulb when they become available again at Premium Aquatics.

Heat generation is really where this pendant shines. So little heat is directed toward the tank, that after some testing, I feel I can probably run it 6 inches over the tank with minimal effect on the temperature of the tank (and this is a 7 gallon minibow!). I’ve raised the pendant up 14 inches in this picture to show you just how wide of a spread you can get with the pendant elevated.

 

Things I’d like to see:

1) A ballast box of my own! They weren’t available when I purchased mine, but that’s hardly IceCap’s fault, I’m sure these things must be flying off the shelves.

2) Moonlighting built into the outside rim of the pendant. Current USA’s new Outer Orbit is a good example of how they could build moonlighting into the pendant itself.

3) A greater selection of bulbs. I suppose this will come in time as the demand grows, but a bulb in the 14K range would be just what the doctor ordered. In the meantime I’ll order a blue bulb for a test run.

4) A 250-watt version. Can you imagine this pendant in 250 watts? With the trend on PAR being seen, it would knock the socks off of anything else out there.

 

Conclusion:

Even with the small first-run problems I mentioned, this pendant is in a class of its own. As a disclaimer, I didn’t contact IceCap about any of these issues, because I honestly don’t consider them to be that important, but I’m sure if I were concerned they would bend over backwards to correct them, as they’ve always done with their products in the past.

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I'm really surprised that there hasn't been any commentary on this yet. With the punch these bulbs are packing, as well as the low heat output, this could very well open up metal halide to wider applications, especially in nanos.

 

If you'd like any specific pictures, just ask.

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