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The new Philips CoralCare Gen2 in our DaniReef LAB

We finally have the new Philips CoralCare Gen2, though it is just the prototype. We analyzed the PAR and observed the created curves. Let’s see how it went!

The Philips CoralCare Gen2 is the upgraded version of the Philips CoralCare from four years ago, which many people thought would only be a flash in the pan. But two years later, the company came out an improved version of the same CoralCare, and after four years there’s a new design that renovates all the aspects of this ceiling light. New LED, new shape, new controller. It’s completely new compared to the original unit. The ceiling light is much thinner than the previous CoralCare and it still takes advantage of the passive cooling. The power supply is inside the shell, so the installation is much easier. Looking forward for the second unit to place in our aquarium, meanwhile we have tested its behavior in our DaniReef Lab.

Technical characteristics of the Philips CoralCare Gen2

The ceiling light is rectangular, almost 6 cm high, with a base of 46×41 cm. The LED has 6 different colorations mixed in two different channels. There are no LEDs for a moonlight mode, which other ceiling lights have. Philips insists on the quality of their solution and guarantees a use of 25,000 hours before the LEDs lose 10% of their luminous efficiency, as long as the environment’s temperature doesn’t go over 35 degrees C.

Maximum consumption 170 w
Total weight 7 kg
Dimensions 460x410x57 mm
Maximum current for a singleLED 750 mA
Luminous flux 7.706 Lm
LED configuration  
Channel 1 4x Luxeon C PC-Amber
  4x Luxeon C Cyan 490nm
  20x Luxeon V2 6500k
  6x Luxeon C Royal Blue 450nm
Channel 2 12x Luxeon C Blue 470nm
  6x Luxeon UV U1 415nm
  16x Luxeon C Royal Blue 450nm


The construction of the ceiling light is flawless, as always, but this time the design is much better. Now it seems much less industrial, and we like it more. The hanging system is beautiful, as you can see in detail in the following pictures. The shell is presumably built from aluminum, and there aren’t any cracks. No buttons either. The ceiling light switches on when it connects to the electricity, then it can be configured by Bluetooth, a choice that is easier and more immediate than WiFi.

The Programming

The ceiling light is set and managed by an app that works through Bluetooth. This modality is very easy to use, because the app will find the ceiling lights; there’s also a USB cable for connecting the ceiling light to the pc. You can also activate the WiFi with the app, a feature that we didn’t try.

Once you’re connected, you select the ceiling light you want to set. Different from the past, there’re some presets that you can choose, that I always suggest for neophytes, but even the classic set mode, that comes with sliders, is extremely easy.

As you may already know the Philips CoralCare is organized in two channels, one is the blue colors while the other has the warm tones. With the slider you can easily choose the part of the spectrum you desire; the middle point is where the LEDs all have the same power. With another slide you choose the intensity of the curve. Very easy to use, but maybe a little to much for those who prefer to manage each channel selectively.

The Philips is compatible with an external control, similar to Apex. But even in this case you can dispose of the usual two channels, that both go from 0 to 100%. You can vary the spectrum by mixing the two channels.

Above you can see the graph of your choices. In this case it’s on the blue tones because that’s the part we considered the most for this article. You can also choose the acclimatization of the ceiling light.

Above is the screen for the acclimatization, and below is the options for every hour. You can add or take off points, and for each point you can choose color and intensity. The logic of the ceiling light will do the rest. The Live Mode allows you to immediately see what is happening in the ceiling light.

Channel 1: Blue

Channel 2: Warm colors

Final result

Our new method DaniReef LAB for PAR measurement of the Philips CoralCare

(this paragraph is the same for each ceiling light measured with our DaniReef Lab for explaining the working method) During the long nights spent on our forum we always wondered how could we compare PAR from different ceiling lights. Even though we had the perfect device, the Quantum Meter MQ-510 di Apogee, we always referred only to the value measured at the center at 20 cm of distance, more or less.

The Quantum Meter MQ-510 measures the PAR, expressed in PFFD that is photosynthetic photon flux density in μmol m-2 s-1. This device is calibrated to work underwater, so if it’s in air the measured value has to be divided by 1,32 – the dive factor. We have to do the conversion. The values you’re going to see are correct.

We decided to make a square base of 70×70 cm, we set 17 fiducial points where we placed the sensor Quantum Meter MQ-510 and we also made 3 lifts of 20, 40 and 60 cm for the ceiling light, in order to have the same distance from the sensor. This will allow us to create the curves which can be compared to other ceiling lights, all tested at the same distances. Notice that this distance is measured between the base of the sensor and the ceiling light. In reality it should be decreased by 3.5 cm, which is the height of the measurement cylinder and increased by 0.5 cm, which is the dimension of the spacers that lift the ceiling light.

In total the three measurements are made from 17, 37 and 57 cm of distance. Because they’ve been done in air they will be corrected.

PAR measurement from 17 cm of distance

The ceiling light has been placed at 17 cm away from the display. The points not indicated on the panel have been estimated in the following chart.

Here the collected values:

And this is the corresponding chart, we came back to the classic scale in order to compare similar ceiling lights.

The first measure considers a small distance between the ceiling light and the sensor. For this ceiling light we can see that the difference in the middle and on the sides is very low. Small peak power, but great covering. In line with what we could imagine from the design of the ceiling light. Remember that the ceiling light measures 46×41 cm while our area is 60×60 cm.

PAR measurement from 37 cm of distance

In this step we adopted a distance of 37 cm. Here are the collected values:

And the corresponding chart:

Increasing the space between sensor and ceiling light the curve is even more complete. The value in the middle decreases from 1342 to 491 μmol m-2 s-1.

PAR measurement from 57 cm of distance

At the end we adopted the distance of 57 cm.

Here the collected values:

And the corresponding chart:

With a bigger space between ceiling lights and sensor, it decreases the difference between PAR in the middle and on the sides. The curve is almost flat. We have a higher uniformity but less power in total. The light spreads, but the central value decreases from 1342 to 491 to 258 μmol m-2 s-1. It stands out that the covering is completely uniform.

The PAR in the middle in the different configurations

Let’s continue with our technical measurements. We can see how, in a chart, the PAR collected in the middle decreases in the three different distances of the tests.

Energy variation of the LED bars Philips CoralCare Gen2 depending on the distances

This is the most significant and most comparable data. The energy variation. We calculated the volumes of the three surfaces previously seen. It’s obvious that moving away from the ceiling light the PAR decreases, also because the light illuminates a wider space. We try to consider all the light energy in this square of 60 cm under the bar. And it’s clear that the three values of 1.333.430, 920.227 and 631.087 assume a different connotation compared to the values in the middle. When the first ones are low because the distance is high, the subtended area, that is the energy, decreases less, because the “main part” of the lighting is in the middle. This is the theory.

Looking at the values of the three curves it’s noticeable that on the sides there’s more light at 37 cm than at 57 cm or at 17 cm, which is, obviously, the distance with less power on the sides.

Value in the middle for each channel at three distances

We also measured the value in the middle of each channel in order to give you an idea of the contribution of each channel to the PAR.

Here are the collected values:

  Distance = 17 cm Distance = 37 cm Distance = 57 cm
Channel 1 Blue 605 μmol m-2 s-1 220 μmol m-2 s-1 116 μmol m-2 s-1
Channel 2 Warm 741 μmol m-2 s-1 275 μmol m-2 s-1 146 μmol m-2 s-1

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