The Tunze booth at MACNA this year is rocking with all of the new products they unveiled at Interzoo back in May, and of course their new LEDs are out in full force. Being the junkies for new LED gear that we are, we couldn’t resist tinkering with the new lights and it gave us a chance to pick the Tunze rep’s brains about their first foray into the aquarium illumination game. From a technical standpoint, the Tunze LEDs are not designed to be the primary illumination for larger reef aquariums, nor are they marketed as such. Instead, they’re designed to serve as accent lighting for bigger reefs, or as the primary lights for small reef tanks and FOWLRs of all shapes and sizes.
Unlike most products on the market, the Tunze fixtures are completely water proof. They are supposed to be mounted to the aquarium itself and close to the water, if not at the waterline or even submerged. They mount to the tank via magnets, which are more than sufficient at keeping the lights in place though not too strong that you can’t move the light where it’s needed. As far as mounting options go, the magnets can be placed at the end of the LED wand or anywhere along its body. This allows hobbyists to spread the light across the aquarium, or let it hug the sides. And because the magnet is so versatile, the fixture can be rotated so that the light aims a specific direction or angle into the aquarium.
For the LEDs themselves, Tunze chose 62 energy efficient “Elite-LEDs”, which are crammed into the foot long fixtures in two narrow rows. Three different models will be available, which include the Tunze LED marine, Tunze LED white, and Tunze LED blue. The white and blue models feature only one color option, either 6500K white or 470nm blue respectively, while the LED marine, on the other hand, offers up a blend of those two colors in almost a 2:1 ratio.
Regarding the “first foray” comment above, Tunze is very shy to enter the LED pissing match, so to speak. They are aware that everyone is outdoing one another and that the technology is evolving at a rapid rate. Because of this, they are tip toeing into the popular lighting technology and are using these accent LED fixtures as their entry point. Assuming things go well, Tunze will have a full blown LED fixture on the market, or at least in development, before you know it. It will not be an accent lighting fixture like those shown above, and it will be able to illuminate a full-on reef aquarium all on its own. There’s no telling what direction they’ll take, in terms of LED brands, controllability, etc., but one thing is for sure, it’s going to come with the same German engineering that’s been making their water pumps and powerheads so reliable throughout the years.