Lighting is a key factor in a successful planted tank. Some plants require a lot and some prefer less. knowing your plants needs is just as important as knowing your fish needs and having the right lights for your aquarium is a must. It is also important to consider the amount of time you have your lights switched on for too. This is called the "photo period" and the general advised length of time is a maximum of 9 hours.
For years, the best way to achieve a regular automatic lighting routine was to employ the services of a socket timer. These nippy little buggers consisted of a dial in which you would pick out the relevant time slots for whatever time you wanted the socket to power on for. Ive personally used these for CO2 setups and they do what they are supposed to do. I personally didn't like the extra space they took up, but maybe that was just the style I had.
It wasn't until LED light units started being introduced to the hobby that we really had a modern alternative. Last year I switched from T5 lights to the Tri-Spec High output LED light from Interpet. Ive reviewed the unit here. What Interested me about this unit was the Bluetooth App Controller that would allow me to control the lights from an app on my phone! Call me a nerd but I found that idea pretty cool.
Ive now been running the App Controller for just over a month and I have to share with you just how much easier and regular it has made controlling the lighting in my aquarium. My aquarium lights now work completely independent from me which is fantastic. They come on at the same time every day and power down at the same time every evening.
The coolest feature of the app controller is the built in sunrise/sunset element. For the first 15 minutes, the lights increase slowly through the blue and red lights and finally the white increases to create a natural, gradual sunrise effect. This is good if you have fish that are prone to going crazy at the slightest thing. It is also quite nice to watch.
The sunset feature is equally as awesome. For the last 15 minutes of the set photo period, the lights gradually reduce the red and white until the blue remains. The blue or 'moonlight' blue lights ripples away for 3 hours giving you a lovely night time light. It also creates an environment that some of the nocturnal fish enjoy.
Over all, the App Controller gives you total control of your aquarium lights. The App itself is easy to use with very self explanatory options. All you need is an Android or Apple smartphone to download the free app from your app store, and away you go. Installing the hardware is also really straight forward. Your existing cable has a section that unscrews, this is the part you replace with the app controller.
|This is the main menu where you can chose to manually control the colours|
and power on/off the lights. You can also choose to set a timer or access the
support pages here too.
|The timer screen is where you can easily set your desired photo period. each|
'i' button gives you information on the sunrise/sunset and moonlight elements
|Here you are able to customise what mixture of colours you require. Each|
time the lights come on, they will remember your settings giving you
the same effect every time. Each 'i' on this screen explains the purpose of
|This is the help screen. Interpet have really excelled here I think. With a|
library of problem solving videos on Youtube, its very easy to
resolve most situations that may occur.
This is one of the best additions to my set up I've ever had.
I hope you find this review useful, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Since publishing this review, Interpet have kindly donated 1 x Tri-Spec LED Light Uni plus the Bluetooth controller. This will be raffled off at our upcoming event on the 30th April in Livingston. Tickets will be available on the day of will be available online closer to the event. The lucky winner will have the choice of unit to fit their aquarium needs.
Thank you Interpet!!!
Bye for now.