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IceCap Reef Illuminations T5/MH Combo

 
eatures: - - - 2 High output T5 lamps - - 2 250 watt double-ended Metal Halide Lamps - - Aluminum reflectors for Metal Halide lamps - - 4 LED LunarLites™ - - Acrylic lens protecting T5 and LED - - Tempered Glass protecting MH lamps - - T5, LunarLites and each Metal Halide on separate lighting channel. - - Adjustable standing brackets - - Hanging system - - Unique internal channels for better cooling - - 2 Cooling Fans - - 3 meter Power Cords - - 3 Year Warranty


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Searched IceCap Reef Illuminations T5/MH Combo in Reviews
 

 

Great fixture for low profile applications wtih good performance featured

Installation and Operation This unit comes with great mounting hardware and is very easy to get fired up. To begin, installation of bulbs is pretty straight forward. You do have to unscrew the glass cover to get at the metal halide bulbs, but it's simple enough and there's no real issue. Installing T5 bulbs (as well as the LED bulbs) is a snap; slide the acrylic cover out of place and spin the new bulbs into socket.

Hanging the unit is easy as well. The cabling system that is included (which I used) is easy to use and, thus far, has been perfectly secure. My fixture hangs above the tank, though not in a canopy, and has been secure for a number of months without issue. The cable supplied is rather long, but that's not a big issue. There were also legs included, but I have not used them.

Three power cords are included for individual control of the LED, T5, and MH bulbs. This is great. The only way to increase this operational diversity is to put each of the MH bulbs on their own power cord, but that is overkill in probably 90% of the applications. Bottom line, this unit is as plug and play as it gets.


Performance vs. Expectations Performance is mostly what I expected. I have another 250W metal halide setup that is a retrofit of very high quality reflectors (lumen bright mini-wide pendants, for those who are curious). Due to the very low profile of this IceCap unit, which is actually a great feature, reflector size and performance is going to be limited. I did measure PAR between the two setups, and naturally the IceCap did not have as a good a PAR value at each location, but the values were still plenty adequate for keeping all types of marine life available in the hobby in water as deep as 20" if not more (the tank I was measuring was only 20" deep). Power consumption was a bit surprising, the MH pulls only 500W, the T5 about 110W, and the LED about 10W. I measured these values with a kill-a-watt device, and I would have expected the units to draw more power over simply the rated value of the bulbs, but as it is I suspect the power output at the bulb is a little depleted. This doesnt seem to impact performance. There was not a lot of heat that I noticed, and there is a built in fan for when the MH bulbs are on.


Value for money The low profile of the unit (under 4" tall) and combination of lighting technologies packs a lot into one unit, and while it does come for a premium, it's a great performer. If you need a small metal halide solution, I don't think you could find a better choice.


Customer Support I've used IceCap products for at least 6 years, and I've never been disappointed when I've had to call them for whatever reason. Likewise with this transaction. I needed a few extra case screws for this fixture and they sent them to me without any convincing. IceCap is probably the gold standard in the aquarium lighting industry.


Liked about it There are lots of things to like about this unit. It's low profile, doesnt draw a lot of excessive power, it's easy to install and use, it performs well and gives plenty of options for a lighting solution. I'd highly recommend this unit if it falls into your down-select criteria.


Didn't like Two thoughts here, though neither are the fault of the developer. The cost is not insignificant. You could probably piece together a similar unit for a bit cheaper, however the packaging does add a lot of value to the fixture. And second, lighting performance is not optimized for the MH bulbs due to the reflector. It still provides good output, especially considering the size of the reflector, but that must be considered when looking at making this purchase.


Overall rating:
 
4.3
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By crvz
Sep 20, 2010
 
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