Mazarra LED's

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by treylane, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    So, Black Friday finally pushed me over the edge, I'm making the switch to LED's.

    I have a DIY 24x3w cree fixture in the sump (thanks, sfork!), and I'm pretty happy with it. Yes there's some color banding, but it's never really bothered me. A wide variety of coral colors look good under it, it's simple enough that I've rewired it myself a couple different times, and it's put up with quite a few "oops" situations. With the new XM-L emitters out, I think the technology should be able to do the job on the display.

    I've looked at tons of different options, and eventually settled on the maxspect mazarra p-series, with a few reservations due to the complaints on the other reefing forums. The flexible mounting system, and the interchangeability of the emitters and lenses is exactly what I've been looking for from a new lighting system.

    I've just pulled one of the lights out of the box and tinkered with it a bit, so here's some photos and notes [particularly, answers to the questions I had a hard time getting answered prior to purchase.] So far I'm pretty optimistic.

    To replace emitters/lenses, there are four thumb screws on the bottom of the unit. Just unscrew and use a small screwdriver to gently pull off the cover:

    The entire housing as far as I can tell is plastic, just the heatsink is metal.

    The lenses just pop in and out of the housing, there were no o-rings in this unit. If they feel a bit loose in the panel at first, it just means they need to be snapped in further.

    The routing of some of these wires is a bit goofy, but anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver can switch out emitters to suit their tastes.

    The power cable for the fan hides well enough. Their documentation says that their "passive cooling system" is sufficient to keep the LED's from overheating, but I know how hot the heatsink in the sump gets when a fan dies, so I'm skeptical.

    This little "cart" is where the ball joint screws onto the fixture, and it slides along that silver rail, so the light has quite a few degrees of freedom to be aimed to one side or another of the mounting rail.

    This is the ball joint, and it's solid aluminum and feels pretty sturdy. This is the part I was most worried about when ordering.

    In my experiments so far, the ball joint is a bit fussy, but if the set screw goes in tightly enough, it's reliable. The whole mounting rail system is extruded aluminum, but I think they went too far with the "modular design" of the rails and should have just opted to sell rails in different lengths rather than dealing with all the screws/extra parts required to connect multiple short lengths of rail.

    There are four different channels on each unit, one at 1500ma (for the XM-L's), two at 1000ma, and one at 700ma. They can be turned up/down in 1% increments via the units themselves. If you don't want any weather/dawn/dusk effects, there's no need for a controller. The backlight in the LCD panel goes off after a few seconds of inactivity.

  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    So it doesn't have a built in timer/controller for the lights?

    If not, what can be done for using a 3rd party controller?

    Looks like 4 royal blue, 4 blue, 4 cool white, 2 "violet" and 2... red(??), I've found that 1 CW for every 4 RB in tight formation is a color scheme I like a lot, the white breaks down the blue quite a bit, but the blues are still super strong to make fluorescence pop
  3. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    There's a companion controller for the lights that does all of the fancy timings and effects, it just costs extra :)

    The combo of emitters is actually weirder than that, too much to retype, but it's here:

    I'm planning to swap out two of the blues for two more warm whites, but I'll wait to make the final changes till after I've seen them over the tank for awhile.
  4. davskee

    davskee Guest

    Ive been thinking about getting this fixture wanted to see this thing over a tank 1st. Cant wait for more pictures!
  5. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member


    FTS with the LEDs? I've been thinking about the Mazzarras', AI sols and the ecotech.
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yikes, all the clamor of having "Genuine Cree XM-L" emitters and they go cheap with the other ones being non-cree?

    So where does one get replacement emitters? I've never seen that square shape available before.
  7. davskee

    davskee Guest

    These are available through Maxspect. They even have UV leds but the are $30 each.
  8. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    Yeah, replacement emitters available via maxspect/retailers. From what i was reading (and I'm no laser scientist like you all ;) ) the rebel blue emitters are nothing to sneeze at, and come near the output of the cree versions. As for the semi's... Noidea what's going on there.

    I haven't gotten this stuff installed yet. Their sales materials are't the clearest, so I ordered the wrong mounting system for my canopy. Fts will come as soon as I get the new parts.
  9. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

    Dang....that looks so purdy!
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    So can you customize it at all from the get go? Or are you stuck with what they produce and if you want to change you need to swap out your own.
  11. davskee

    davskee Guest

    they come pre configured
  12. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Can't wait to see how your branching SPS does under this color scheme. Mine did not do so well under the Reefbrites. LPS continues to do well. Looks great, Jess!
  13. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Is this a totally different system then?
  14. davskee

    davskee Guest

    Correct its totally different
  15. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    Finally got these hung tonight, pretty impressed with the cable splitters and clips that the system comes with. The controller is about as unintuitive as it gets but I'll figure it out tomorrow. Color is great, but spread and intensity will need some tweaks. One of the units was from a more recent batch and the ball joint on it is perrrrrfect, not fiddly at all and easier to sdjust.

    Pix tomorrow...
  16. davskee

    davskee Guest

    Pictures! I think Im gonna buy my units in a month.
  17. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    Cutting to the chase:

    I spent some time tweaking this morning and swapped everything out to 100* optics, I have four units currently running at full blast. Absolutely, the intensity is there, and and there are zero problems getting enough light to the bottom of this 20" tank. The color is great, definitely not that "toilet bowl blue" that I see a lot of tanks running with, and that I personally can't stand. Even with the 100* optics there's a fairly strong disco-ball effect due to having a lot of intense, differently-colored, point-sources of light.

    One of the things I was MOST looking forward to with the new lights was being able to aim some light into a part of the tank that's been almost completely shaded since I set it up. I managed to get that part lit, but at the expense of the middle of the tank. It turns out that (at the height I'm stuck hanging the LED's from, since I'm mounting them in an existing canopy) two mazarras have a spread fairly similar to one of the old 250w PFO pendants I was running. I'm going to need to get more light on my sebae anemone soon, either by giving up some light in other parts of the tank, or by adding another light.
  18. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Wow Jess,

    Your tank looks AMAZING! The color with the LED's is fantastic. Hope you can get another one to finish out the spread. Really looks nice.
  19. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Looks cool, hope you get it just how you want!
  20. porksmash

    porksmash Guest

    I really like the light this thing puts out. I may have to borrow the LED color ratios for my DIY :)

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