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View Full Version : AI Hydra or Vega??


Madreefer
08-10-2013, 07:35 PM
Time to upgrade my lights again.
I have 4 AI Sols Blue as well as 4 Ecoexotic Panorama Pros and would like to upgrade 2 of the AI's.
I'm undecided if I should go Hydra or Vega. $100 price difference between the two.I have'nt seen either of them in person and would like an opinion from those of you that have. Also will the wireless controllor run the Hydra and the Blues together?

Phil
08-10-2013, 08:03 PM
Time to upgrade my lights again.
I have 4 AI Sols Blue as well as 4 Ecoexotic Panorama Pros and would like to upgrade 2 of the AI's.
I'm undecided if I should go Hydra or Vega. $100 price difference between the two.I have'nt seen either of them in person and would like an opinion from those of you that have. Also will the wireless controllor run the Hydra and the Blues together?

Personally I have two sol blues. I know a few people who have Vegas and hated them. I'd try the hydra and do a review on them here for us.

Madreefer
08-10-2013, 09:00 PM
Oh so I'm the guinea pig. Haha.
But yea I'll do that.

WarDog
08-10-2013, 09:10 PM
I'm setting up a new system and am 95% sure I am going with the Hydra's. Great price, full spectrum and controllability are what sold me. I believe the UV end of the spectrum is what has been lacking in first gen LED fixtures. In the future, if you decide to switch to something more high end (Mitra's, Ati's) then the $400 cost is easier to swallow.

viperfish
08-10-2013, 09:28 PM
I have owned SOL, Radeon, and Vega. At one point I had a Vega and Radeon running side by side. My pick based on personal experience is the Vega. I haven't had a chance to see the Hydra in person, I'm very curious to see how they look. Vega is still the flagship for AI so I am sure they are a better light but Hydra would surely come very close. It would be cool to see a side by side comparison of the Vega and Hydra together.

Reef Supplies
08-10-2013, 09:53 PM
Here is a quick comparo...

Vega Color 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Blue
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Green
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Red

Vega Blue 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
4 - Cree XP-E Blue
4 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue

Hydra 95W max power

http://www.aquaillumination.com/img/hydraLEDs.png

I like the fact that the Hydra has UV and is $100 less. We have not been selling many Vegas since the Hydra came out. IMO the Hydra is the best LED you can buy for the money. Are there better units out there, yes, but you're not going to pay $400!

Ray

Phil
08-10-2013, 10:36 PM
Here is a quick comparo...

Vega Color 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Blue
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Green
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Red

Vega Blue 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
4 - Cree XP-E Blue
4 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue

Hydra 95W max power

http://www.aquaillumination.com/img/hydraLEDs.png

I like the fact that the Hydra has UV and is $100 less. We have not been selling many Vegas since the Hydra came out. IMO the Hydra is the best LED you can buy for the money. Are there better units out there, yes, but you're not going to pay $400!

Ray

U can buy the upgrade kits for the sols can't u ray?

Acrowhora
08-11-2013, 04:41 AM
I'd personally go with the Hydra(good price point and color spectrum)had the Vega color,and I didn't like it,I ended selling it.im planning to upgrade to a bigger tank and keeping the Hydra in mind(also t5s) just waiting for boss' aka the wife approval.

waynemah
08-11-2013, 06:12 AM
I have 6 Hydras over my tank.


Switched from a DIY setup looking for better coverage. Programming is pretty easy and there IS a difference in look when you mess with the colors. The nice feature is the spectrum coverage in the UV - Blue area. It's as programmable as you need them to be. Running higher violet and UV really makes the LPS POP! While some of the SPS reacted poorly (slightly darker coloration).

I wish they went away with the red's and greens and replaced them with neutral white and another royal blue... The color separation increases along with the algae. Neutral white would have enough red and green in it, while providing more light to better balance the blue.

Expect to place these lights about 12" - 15" above your water. The spread is ok when you put lots over your tank... But I believe the SOL has better overall coverage.

I'll leave you all with a crappy iPhone picture of the tank with the lights... :razz:

http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa364/waynemah/7258B541-85A8-4755-AF98-571E82886D87-16806-00000D2449039703_zps83b45138.jpg (http://s1194.photobucket.com/user/waynemah/media/7258B541-85A8-4755-AF98-571E82886D87-16806-00000D2449039703_zps83b45138.jpg.html)

Reef Supplies
08-11-2013, 01:43 PM
@ Wayne, your tank looks fantastic man! I love the aquascape.

@ Phil, It's an expensive upgrade. Speaking as a hobbiest I would much rather sell the SOL's and upgrade to Hydra. You can easily get 200-225 for used SOL's so it will end costing you less/same than upgrading.

Ray

viperfish
08-11-2013, 06:07 PM
Here is a quick comparo...

Vega Color 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Blue
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue
2 - Cree XP-E Green
2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Red

Vega Blue 95W max power
4 - Cree XM-L Cool White
8 - Cree XP-E Royal Blue
4 - Cree XP-E Blue
4 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Blue

Hydra 95W max power

http://www.aquaillumination.com/img/hydraLEDs.png

I like the fact that the Hydra has UV and is $100 less. We have not been selling many Vegas since the Hydra came out. IMO the Hydra is the best LED you can buy for the money. Are there better units out there, yes, but you're not going to pay $400!

Ray

As I mentioned before I haven't seen the Hydra but your comment has me wondering, why the $100 difference in the two fixtures? I am very happy with the Vegas and I won't be replacing them any time soon, if I need to install UV I can get a couple of custom pucks from AI so that's not a concern. I know your comment was the Hydra is the best LED for the money but which is the better fixture and why?

Reef Supplies
08-11-2013, 10:20 PM
As I mentioned before I haven't seen the Hydra but your comment has me wondering, why the $100 difference in the two fixtures? I am very happy with the Vegas and I won't be replacing them any time soon, if I need to install UV I can get a couple of custom pucks from AI so that's not a concern. I know your comment was the Hydra is the best LED for the money but which is the better fixture and why?

Why $100 cheaper...my guess is so they can send the competition back to the drawing board. As the technology evolves it will keep getting cheaper and more accessible for the masses. As for differences, besides the LED chip layout and colours the Hydra has 7 channels of control VS 20 channels of control for the Vega.

The magic question for me is why does the SOL still retail for the same price as the Hydra. My guess is that will soon change. If they drop the price of the SOL it will quickly become the best selling LED in our hobby.

Good article: http://reefbuilders.com/2013/05/31/ai-hydra-worldwide-debut-reef-depots-aquarama-booth/

Ray

Madreefer
08-11-2013, 10:37 PM
Nice tank Wayne.
And Ray, do you have free shipping to B.C? Your prices are comparable to J&L and the wireless controllor is actually $5 cheaper with you. Also do you have an answer to my question regarding if the controllor will run both the Sol Blues and the Hydra's?

Reef Supplies
08-11-2013, 10:49 PM
Nice tank Wayne.
And Ray, do you have free shipping to B.C? Your prices are comparable to J&L and the wireless controllor is actually $5 cheaper with you. Also do you have an answer to my question regarding if the controllor will run both the Sol Blues and the Hydra's?

Hi,

Yes, same shipping rates apply Canada wide.

Sorry, missed that question. Yes, the controller controls all AI LED's. If you want to go wireless with the SOL you will need the wireless adaptor.

thanks

Madreefer
08-11-2013, 11:01 PM
Well I dont see my favourite store on here answering questions so looks like you gained a customer.:smile:
Which adapter is this your talking bout?

Reef Supplies
08-11-2013, 11:03 PM
Well I dont see my favourite store on here answering questions so looks like you gained a customer.:smile:
Which adapter is this your talking bout?

:-)

this one http://www.reefsupplies.ca/online-store/Aqua-Illumination-wireless-adapter-for-SOL-and-Nano.html

thansl

Madreefer
08-11-2013, 11:07 PM
So is that one per fixture I will need? And if I do not run the Sol Blues wireless, is there a place to plug them in to that wireless controllor?

WarDog
08-11-2013, 11:21 PM
Looks like all the models can use this controller to me.
http://www.aquaillumination.com/accessories/newcontroller.html

Phil
08-11-2013, 11:38 PM
I know Steve at redcoral had a vega set up at the store with a wireless remote and it was growing algae like crazy and the zoas were melting away he couldn't figure out what was going on and what it was the when the controller losses connection it makes the light default on 100% he basically had to leave it pluged in next to the Vega all the time then he took it down.

viperfish
08-11-2013, 11:40 PM
So after some digging and trying to find the big difference in the two it appears the Hydra is basically an upgraded SOL. It has the same thicker body as the SOL, only with the control of the Vega. It has fewer channels (which is not a huge deal), and cannot be upgraded like the Vega.