Elos is releasing a new “US version” of their popular SpectraChrome 20K abyss and 14K metal halide bulbs to meet the demands of US hobbyists. Previous versions of the SpectraChrome bulbs were identical to those released to European hobbyists, but the American reef keepers wanted higher Kelvin ratings (or bluer lamps) while retaining the same ultraviolet protection. I might be able to understand the reasons why 20K owners wanted bluer bulbs, but why purchasers of the Elos 14K SpectraChrome didn’t just buy a 20K bulb is beyond me. Regardless, Elos has responded to the requests by releasing one new bulb and repackaging the other. Their solution is actually quite ingenious and very cost effective. The high end aquarium equipment dealers designed one new bulb to replace their 20K lamps, but simply repackaged the old 20K abyss to replace the 14K bulbs. The new 20K bulb have a peak at 410nm, which really brings out the colors of the corals and gives the tank a more blue/purple look. The old 20K will now be marketed as the 14K Coral bulb, with the old 14K seemingly getting the ax, though we haven’t confirmed the future of the 14K lamps.
Judging from the images and videos of the new bulbs in action, I must admit they do look better. I prefer a crisp blue light to begin with, and the new bulbs do a good job of providing it.
A pair of videos showcasing the new Elos SpectraChrome bulbs can be found after the page break.
The first image shows a stunning chalice coral glowing under the new 20K abyss lamps, and the video following this image shows a well packed reef aquarium under the same lamps.
The next image shows more chalice corals, this time under the old 20K lamp, which has been repackaged as the 14K Coral bulb. The proceeding video shows the customer’s reef aquarium under the 14K Coral bulbs as well.