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Aquarium Light

Chihiros lighting products - which aquarium light is best for my needs?

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Chihiros lighting products - which aquarium light is best for my needs?

Chihiros aquatic studio's range of high-quality aquarium lighting products is phenomenal, but choosing the best aquarium lighting for individual needs can be challenging. It's incredible how fast Chihiros launches new as well as optimized LED aquarium lamps. Meanwhile, there are several Chihiros A-series, the C-series, various RGB and WRGB lamps, a wabi-kusa lamp, and recently marine lighting. So, it's not surprising that one can lose track of what's on offer. Earlier this year, we wrote about the Chihiros WRGB II Pro. We hope this article will light the way to find the most suitable Chihiros LED aquarium lighting for any freshwater planted tank.

Preliminary information

Before heading to several LED lighting and accessories, we like to briefly address a significant difference between Chihiros' white LED and RGB/WRGB lamps. Especially if you aren't familiar with lighting technology, this can be essential for making a suitable decision when choosing a Chihiros aquarium lighting. The color rendering cannot be adjusted individually on Chihiros' white LEDs. In contrast, RGB or WRGB LEDs allow the user to customize this aspect.

Almost all Chihiros lamps have built-in Bluetooth control

Chihiros A-Series

With the A-Series, Chihiros presents good and quite powerful white LEDs. The simple lamp has an integrated 7-step manual dimmer, which also holds its intensity setting if applied to a timer. Suppose you consider keeping more demanding plants, but your budget is limited. In that case, the Chihiros A-Series is an excellent choice. There are several sizes available up to 60 cm wide. Visually, the A-series appears in an unobtrusive silver aluminum housing supported by transparent acrylic holders. It is quite appealing for its lower price.

Chihiros A-Series II

The A-Series II has a remarkable feature that sets it apart from all other Chihiros lamps. It has a swivel that allows the beam angle of the LED lighting to be adjusted individually. A nifty gimmick that makes highlighting desired parts of the aquarium very easy. The Chihiros A-Series II is available in several versions from 30 – 120 cm wide and is equipped with white LEDs. Therefore, we can recommend using it to keep all types of moss, epiphytes, and mostly mid-demanding plants. The LEDs are seated in a black aluminum housing that sits on slim transparent acrylic holders. Overall, a simple and good LED aquarium lighting for the budget class.

Chihiros A-Series II Max

Chihiros' most powerful only white LEDs lamp comes with their A-Series II Max. This LED lamp pictures nice colors but impresses most with its distinctive green spectrum. The silver aluminum case is sleek, elegant, and more appealing than the lamp's standard size-adjustable holders. An added feature – the increased power mode – is kind of fascinating; it allows the user to raise intensity above 100% to 125%. Truly good, this LED lamp from Chihiros offers much flexibility in the mid-price segment.

Undoubtedly, the Chihiros A-Series II Max is a good catch for those looking for:

A powerful LED lamp that can cover aquariums between 30 – 140 cm wide; aquarium lighting without color rendering adjusting option; vibrant green tones in their planted tank.

Chihiros WRGB II Slim

Chihiros WRGB II Slim Edition – someone said it was a cheat pack

Now, we turn to the Chihiros RGB & WRGB lamps and start with the stylish WRGB II Slim Edition. A bit strange, but the packaging lies. The WRGB II Slim Edition is "only" RGB lighting, as it has exclusively 3 in 1 RGB diodes. However, let's not worry too much about that because the WRGB II Slim Edition is still very convincing. If you want to keep the most demanding plants, we can recommend this RGB lamp for planted aquariums that aren't higher than 40 cm. Then the Slim Edition brings enough power to let demanding plants thrive. In terms of design, Chihiros has given the WRGB II Slim Edition a sleek black aluminum case with sturdy, adjustable, and at the same time, stylish-looking steel holders. Suppose one of our customers is searching for quality RGB lighting for a 60 cm aquarium or smaller. In that case, we recommend the WRGB II Slim Edition as a suitable solution.

Chihiros WRGB II Slim - Green Aqua

Chihiros RGB VIVID II Mini & RGB VIVID II

Compared to the other series, you can notice the slightly bulkier and distinctive black aluminum housing of the powerful Chihiros VIVID series. There is also a technical difference, as all RGB VIVIDs have a built-in active cooling system.

It is supposed to keep the lamps at optimum operating temperature and provide long service life. The fan is not very loud, and yet not silent. Interested buyers should consider this fact before purchasing.

The smaller Chihiros RGB VIVID II Mini illuminates aquariums from 40 – 60 cm wide very well. It comes with a black steel mounting arm as standard. In contrast, a mounting arm cannot be attached directly to the larger RGB VIVID II housing, as this version is a pure pendant light. But this doesn't mean the more massive VIVID II has to hang from the ceiling. You may purchase the Chihiros Stand for hanging VIVID.

Chihiros Vivid II - Green Aqua

Both VIVID versions seem to be most attractive, visually and practically, when used as a pendant. Especially maintenance becomes more accessible that way. The recommended range of use of a single RGB VIVID II is from 60 – 90 cm wide aquariums. For example, we have two RGB VIVID II over a 120P planted aquarium in our gallery, which works perfectly.

The operability of multiple VIVIDs over a single aquarium is a breeze, as the lights can be linked together via Bluetooth control (which also works with others). Further, it's more than advisable to use shades for these bright lights.

And by the way, Chihiros has released an RGB VIVID II 10th anniversary edition. That edition can provide an incredible 12,200 Lumens (lm) to the aquarium compared to its already powerful 7,700 lm standard RGB VIVID II and the 5.000 lm of the VIVID II Mini. The RGB VIVIDs are strong lighting beasts, which can be ideally used as a single lamp or connected to a group. The bottom line of the various VIVID IIs is that there are no limits to plant selection, color rendering, and flexibility regarding intensity.

Chihiros WRGB II & WRGB II Pro

The Chihiros WRGB II and WRGB II Pro are slightly thicker (5mm) but have the same housing look as the WRGB II Slim Edition. Visually the adjustable silver and black steel holders differ. But the most significant difference to the Slim Edition lies in the things that aren't obvious at first sight.

These WRGB II lamps really are WRGB, as they have installed single red, green, blue, and white LEDs.

Also, they bring a lot more brightness and luminous power to the aquarium. A 60 cm variant of the (W)RGB II Slim Edition delivers 2,400 lm (45W), the WRGB II almost twice as much with 4,500 lm (67W), and the WRGB II Pro 6,630 lm (74W) nearly three times the value of luminous power.

Further, it is gratifying that the sunrise and sunset function is very smooth, which isn't always the matter with lower-priced aquarium lighting.

Chihiros WRGB II Pro

In terms of size, the WRGB II and the Pro are available in versions from 30 – 120 cm wide. Technically these two WRGB lamps are fully loaded. In theory, they are suitable for all aquariums as intensity and color can be controlled to the user's individual needs. That makes them super flexible and ideal for all freshwater aquarium needs. On the other hand, using such intense lighting would be more than questionable if someone always wants to keep a low-demanding aquarium.

If you have chosen one of the WRGB II versions, there is nothing more to do than: "Let the spotlight burn"! And the creatures in the aquarium will show themselves in all their beauty!

Nano Aquarium - Chihiros C II RGB & more

The Chihiros C II RGB is our favorite shining star when we talk about nano aquariums up to 36 cm wide and wabi-kusa built. Like all top Chihiros lamps, it is suitable for growing the most demanding plants and has all the technical features regarding individual settings, such as color rendering, intensity, and programmable operating time. Even practical little shades with mirrors are available for the C II RGB and its black aluminum housing.

Chihiros C2 RGB - Green Aqua

Its "older brother," the C II White, only has white LEDs and a black plastic housing where shades cannot be attached. Pleasant is its lower selling price compared to the C II RGB.

Both C II variants have a 360-degree swivel allowing you to cover in any direction from 20 – 36 cm. A tip to avoid glass breakage. Be careful when mounting a C II lamp on a glass less than 4 mm thick. It's advisable to tighten the holder screws gently.

Chihiros C2 RGB

Solid but unspectacular lighting is the Chihiros C-Series as it comes in four different sizes and with included dimmer function. Assume you want mid-powered lighting for a Nano aquarium up to 30 liters with mostly low-demanding plants or for a Wabi-Kusa. In that case, the C-Series is a good and favorable fit. Consider that these lamps can only be mounted to the aquarium glass.

There is a brand new lamp in the Chihiros family that we would like to mention here briefly, too. The Chihiros Magnetic Lamp. It's specifically designed to meet the needs of emersed builds like a Wabi-Kusa. Regarding Wabi-Kusa and matching accessories, we don't want to get more detail in this article. This topic deserves its article in any case.

Bluetooth control, Chihiros Application & WiFi Hub

Whether your Chihiros lighting has built-in or external Bluetooth, it can be controlled via the Chihiros application, which is available for IOS and Android. The days of the analog timer in the hobby are finally over! We can handle almost everything from the smartphone or tablet—program the on and off time, brightness, and color rendering. Even sunrise and sunset can be individually set, which is better for the livestock than suddenly turning the light on or off.

Chihiros App for LED

In addition, the App allows different Chihiros lamps to be grouped so that multiple lamps act as one in terms of control. This is handy if we have several Chihiros lamps hanging above an aquarium and want to give them all the same configuration. The App also impresses with a clear and well-structured layout, making it very user-friendly.

For those who want to push their Chihiros device control to the highest level, then there is the Chihiros WiFi Hub. The hub allows its users 24/7 global control of their Chihiros devices if they have an internet connection via smartphone or tablet.

Chihiros Accessories

Chihiros offers many possibilities to change the look and functionality of their lamps. Various mounting arms, hanging kits, acrylic or steel holders, and shades with and without mirrors are available for the many Chihiros lighting series. Even for the very simple Chihiros C-series, their external Bluetooth controller can be used. Another cool item is the LED light stand, an accessory specially designed for the Chihiros C II White and C II RGB. The stand eliminates the need to attach the lamp to the aquarium glass, which leaves a stylish impression. The LED light stand also optimizes the use of glass covers. Thus, there is no longer a disturbing lamp holder at the aquarium glass's edge, making it more challenging to place the glass cover. Attention only to the selection of the LED light stand; there is a matching one for each of the two C II versions.

Chihiros WRGB II hanging

Waterproof or splashproof?

Did you ever hear of IP67 or IP43? Probably most of us have met IP numbers at some point. Now and then, we have customers who want to make a warranty claim for a defective aquarium lamp due to water damage. In most cases, however, there is no warranty claim. But why? Most aquarium lightings, also most Chihiros lamps, are IP43 splashproof. Consider a lamp with IP43 protection that falls into a water-filled aquarium. In that case, damage can occur the warranty does not cover. Splashproof does not mean submersible. Only the Chihiros C-Series is IP67 and therefore protected from immersion between 15 cm and 1 m in depth.

What lighting intensity should I start with?

If you're concerned about this, don't worry. Our recommendation, especially for powerful lighting units where dimming is an available option, is:

  • Start on day 1 with 50% of the maximum lighting intensity.
  • Increase the lighting intensity by 5% after the first week.
  • Repeat a weekly increase of 5% until you feel it is a perfect fit or too much.
  • If it was too much, then go back to the intensity as it was one week earlier.

We do not want to make general statements about when lighting intensity is too high, too low, right, or wrong. The reason is that every aquarium with all its components, from the technology to the plants, is a unique specimen with individual needs, and we may treat it as such.
The proper measure is found through constant observation, research, knowledge gained, and patience.

Also, worth knowing about Chihiros

Lastly, we would like to share the experience that we have gained with Chihiros. The products could convince us so far, besides design and functionality, in terms of quality. To date, no customer complaints have been attributed to poor quality or craftsmanship. And in case of any complaint, Chihiros has remarkable friendly and helpful customer service.

Do you have any questions regarding aquarium lighting?

Our customer service would be delighted to help you find the best product for you!

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