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  1. Figster

    BlueAcro Acrostar LED Review

    Hey all, I was noticing that there seems to be very little forum post about BlueAcro, so I thought I would add my two cents and share my experience with their products. I decided to take the plunge and try their led's since I've been a little dissatisfied with Par38 lights, not that they didn't grow corals, but the corals never had good color since I had to sell my AI Prime (awesome light BTW) and I never really liked the spectrum (tried CoralCompulsion and a cheap Lumentek par38 from amazon). Plus not having control over intensity is a real draw back, especially the coral compulsion 24w 22k model over my 10g tank, I almost bleached my rockflower nem, had to remove the reflectors to fix that, plus I hated the disco ball effect. Now i'm not saying that Par38 lights are junk, they did the job and they grew corals, but they didn't satisfy my needs or wants. Now onto my review of BlueAcro The Good: This Led chip is the BEST I've used so far, my corals and I love the spectrum that this led provides. I can say this confidently because they are coloring up like the used to be under the AI Prime and are super lush ( if I can use that expression ). And the shimmer from this chip, by far the best shimmer I've every seen yet from a DIY led, almost like a kessil, not quite there but close. Color blending was exceptional (except when your using the their reflector, I'll get into that in the UGLY section), the blending was crisp and there was not a hint of disco ball affect, none that my eye's could see anyway. The chip itself is very small and compact, very impressed that those tiny diodes can throw out so much light, it also fit perfectly on the a Par38 heatsink that I retro fitted the Acrostar into. I also got their 2 channel driver, that thing was also tiny and worked very well with Manually adjusting the current to the channels, plus when I got the Coralux storm controller they just worked great with each other. The Bad: I hate to add this to my review but I felt it was worth mentioning, while the products were great the customer service is lacking. When I had made my order, which was fine, I had waited two weeks and had not received my order or got a shipping confirmation. I thought they had a lot of orders and were making more chips, but I didn't hear anything from them, so I emailed them what was the status of my order. I was emailed back three days later ( 3 days is just too long) and was informed that they some how missed the order and marked it shipped in their system. They apologized and refunded my shipping, which was $4 dollars. I got my order a few days later and when I had opened the box, they forgot to send the thermal paste I had bought (its $0.50, so I was not crying over this) and they forgot to send a wire disconnect tool that their video says is shipped with all their products, now these things are not the end of the world, I modified a paperclip so I could release the wires from their chips, but I was starting to become annoyed with the mistakes. The last thing is instructions for their products, there is almost nothing online and nothing was shipped with my order. Now the chips are not complicated and led was easy to figure out, but their driver took more guess work, particularly when hooking up the storm 5v PWM controller. There are 4 input connectors on the driver: Vin, Ground, Dim 1 and Dim 2. There was no information on were to hook up the pwm Ground wire, and being a poor man in a rich mans hobby, I didn't want to hook up the brand new controller wrong and fry it. I again emailed them and they took 2 days to get back to me, in which apparently the p/s ground and pwm ground are shared. I think this would have been important to give instructions for, because every driver I've seen online that take pwm signals have a separate ground from the power supply. Now I'm not trying to bash BlueAcro, maybe they have great customer service and I got the short end of the stick, but I didn't like the short end of the stick and I hope they read this review, make needed adjustments and be great company, because they make a great products. The Ugly: There only one thing I want to add here and it is the reflector that you can buy with the chip. I bought the 1/2 Acrostar and added the reflector/ diffuser to my order, the reflector seemed like a great idea to give the light more versatility on what corals I might want to have, but when I attached it to the chip it made half of my tank blue and the other half white. Now the reflector has these pegs sticking out of it and it can only fit flush with the led chip in only two positions, I tried both position and still my tank color all over the place. It seems that for whatever reason the reflector was ruining the color blending of the chip, even when I tried the diffuser and color blending was just bad. Maybe reflector was defective, but didn't feel like emailing them and waiting again. Conclusion: blueAcro makes great led chip and I would totally order another one when I have a need, even thinking about changing my 20g long tank to these led's. customer service is lacking but to me not a deal breaker, just hope that they can make some improvements and they will be a great option to the reefing community. I don't have any pictures yet of my light setup or the tank but I will post some soon. Peace out
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