Sicce LED a Step Forward

The new Sicce LED design represents a step forward in aquarium lighting technology.
by John Tullock
Copyright (C) 2012 by Aquarium Life Support Systems. All rights reserved.

It’s not often that we see something truly new in the aquarium industry. Too many products are either adaptations from some other sphere, or me-too items aiming to excise a slice of business from the market leader. However, in bringing out their new LED lighting system, Sicce has given us an innovative new product that was designed specifically for aquarium lighting. Not only that, it boasts energy efficiency and a long lifespan, making it an excellent value for the consumer. Surprisingly, Sicce has also been forthcoming in its product literature about how it accomplished all this.
Despite reading all the technical specifications and design guidelines for the Sicce LED system, I wanted to see how the product performed in a real life situation. Sicce has posted some impressive video, but nothing substitutes for doing your own observations and testing. I was impressed, therefore, with the test results when we measured the PAR value of a prototype model last winter. At 23 inches below the AM466 unit, underwater, PAR was 245 245 μmol/m2/sec. That’s comparable to a 250-watt metal halide lamp, measured in air, with less than half the power consumption.
Careful testing of the types of LEDs used in the units, their spacing and arrangement was carried out in order to achieve specific design goals: achieving maximum PAR for minimum electrical consumption, uniformly illuminating the entire tank area without hot spots, and maximizing operational life. The design specs are all sound, but, again, the proof of efficacy is in actual operation.
After observing one of these units in operation I have concluded that, for a positive response in corals and attractive look to the tank, the Sicce LED is setting the standard.
Here are some corals that have been growing under the Sicce LED for the past few weeks. The AM466 unit is supended approximately 15 inches above the water surface:
Favia coral

This Favia species is located about 18 inches below the water surface and a few inches left of center.

Further left and about 14 inches below the water surface, a Millepora fire coral is thriving. Aquarists maintaining this tank report new growth appeared within about a week. Millepora

Down near the bottom left of the tank, a captive-propagated colony of expands its tentacles.
Zoanthus solanderi

Here is an overall view of the tank, showing the positions of each of these specimens:
Reef Tank

CONCLUSIONS
The Sicce LED lighting system brings innovation and a new standard for excellence to the LED aquarium lighting category. The unit tested for this review, model AM466, provides beautiful, natural-looking illumination, and uniform light dispersion over the entire tank area. The aquarium shown above is a 72 gallon tank, 36”L x 22”W x 21”H. Multiple species of photosynthetic corals are thriving, even near the bottom. The ultimate test of any lighting system is its ability to nurture coral growth without damage, and the AM466 meets that test. However, these units offer additional features that make them a great value: energy efficiency, long lifespan, silent operation and extreme protection against water damage. The Sicce LED lighting system should be the first choice for reef enthusiasts seeking state-of-the-art lighting technology.