CoralCare Chronicles, Part 2: Philips Gives Green Light to Gen1.1; Debuts Improved Color Mixing, Higher Par, and More Housing Colors at Interzoo 2018

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CoralCare Chronicles, Part 2: Philips Gives Green Light to Gen1.1; Debuts Improved Color Mixing, Higher Par, and More Housing Colors at Interzoo 2018

The CoralCare Gen1.1 debuted at Interzoo 2018. Here are 12 fixtures above a display from De Jong Marinelife.The CoralCare Gen1.1 debuted at Interzoo 2018. Here are 12 fixtures above a display from De Jong Marinelife.
The CoralCare Gen1.1 debuted at Interzoo 2018. Here are 12 fixtures illuminating the De Jong Marinelife display.

 

We learned in Part 1 of the CoralCare Chronicles how Luc Vogels, a long-time reef aquarist and Philips engineer, kicked-off Philips venture into LED reef lighting. The Generation 1 CoralCare fixture had been in the hands of reef aquarists for about a year. Luc participated in reef seminars, explaining what made the CoralCare light different.

 

CoralCare creator Luc Vogels' reef aquarium 20 months after upgrading to the Gen1.1 fixtures.CoralCare creator Luc Vogels' reef aquarium 20 months after upgrading to the Gen1.1 fixtures.
CoralCare creator Luc Vogels' reef aquarium 20 months after upgrading to the Gen1.1 fixtures.

 

Some of the points that captured the interest of experienced reef enthusiasts were the use of 420 nm Luxeon LEDs instead of the traditional 455 nm diodes other manufacturers used. This choice of LEDs provided the blue light corals need but without the heavy blue tinting often seen with regular reef lighting. Reef tanks looked more natural and corals developed vibrant colors. The Philips engineers chose to go with a larger-sized fixture to hold the 104 Luxeon LEDs, rather than cram them into a tiny unit.

 

The CoralCare Gen1.1 had less white light than its predecessor and included 8 new Luxeon Z blue diodesto highlight the fluorescences of corals.

 

Their research showed that the larger fixture, coupled with the Philips “Light Guide” and milky glass cover, eliminated self-shadowing of the corals. Aquarists using the light fixture noticed this improvement and liked the light spread better than other reef fixtures. Overall, the CoralCare light provided more shimmer than T5s, almost like a metal halide.

But like any reef enthusiast, Luc wanted to see if he could make the light fixture even better. Fortunately, Philips was committed to listening to aquarists and continuing the CoralCare project.

 

The modified spectrum was a noticeable improvement and helped the CoralCare grow in popularity.

 

In 2018, based on feedback from CoralCare users, Philips released two new fixture colors, black and white, to match popular cabinet colors and room décor.

 

Philips Debuts CoralCare Gen1.1 LED Light Fixture at Interzoo in May 2018Philips Debuts CoralCare Gen1.1 LED Light Fixture at Interzoo in May 2018
Display tank from Nano-Riff in Switzerland with 5 CoralCare Gen1.1 light fixtures.

 

But there’s more: Luc and the R&D team wanted to update the light spectrum and redesign the light guide. Over the next year, the upgrades were tested and refined. The combination of the redesigned light guide and adjustment of the Luxeon LED mix lead to better PAR distribution from the same sized fixture.

 

De Jong Marinelife's coral nursery with 15 Philips CoralCare Gen1.1 light fixtures in Spring 2019.De Jong Marinelife's coral nursery with 15 Philips CoralCare Gen1.1 light fixtures in Spring 2019.
De Jong Marinelife's coral nursery with 15 Philips CoralCare Gen1.1 light fixtures in Spring 2019.

 

The CoralCare Generation 1.1 debuted at Interzoo in 2018. Aquarists welcomed these changes for aesthetic reasons and better lighting efficiency and performance.

You may assume the project was wrapped up after a successful product launch. The new light fixture proved to be a true advancement in reef lighting and was accepted within the reef hobby. That may be true with some manufacturers but not with Philips.

 

Be sure to check out our Part 3 of the CoralCare story to see what Luc and the Philips R&D team did next!

CoralCare Chronicles, Part 1: Tired of T5's Shortcomings, Philips Engineer Luc Vogels Has a Bright Idea for a New Reef Aquarium LightCoralCare Chronicles, Part 1: Tired of T5's Shortcomings, Philips Engineer Luc Vogels Has a Bright Idea for a New Reef Aquarium Light
CoralCare Chronicles, Part 3: Coming to America! The CoralCare Gen2 Boasts a Slimmer Design, Wireless ControlCoralCare Chronicles, Part 3: Coming to America! The CoralCare Gen2 Boasts a Slimmer Design, Wireless Control
2 months ago
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