The official Club Netlea thread


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  • Oct 29, 2022
    Miami, FL
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    I purchased the new Netlea AT6 Pro from Aqua Rocks Colorado. I've been using it for about a month now so I wanted to get a thread going for those that take the plunge, like me, and purchase a Netlea product.

    Netlea is a Chinese company, as far as I know, that has a series of lights. They seem to have been in the busy for quite a while. The AT6 Pro is their high-end model.

    When I compared the price versus what you get and then looked at the Week Aqua, Chihiros, and others, it just made sense to take a chance on the Netlea. The power is insane and you're able to adjust the spectrum to RGB which is what I was looking for.

    I know @Dennis Wong had a unit en route to him for testing. I'm anxious to see what he has to say about it. PAR it seems to have plenty of.

    My experience so far

    The app leaves a lot to be desired but it is easy to use and hasn't given me any problems. It has active cooling but I don't hear the fans. So, I'm very satisfied so far.

    One thing that I really like about this unit is that it is BIG. It provides an even coverage of light over my entire surface area. It has a built in diffuser so I am assuming that the blending will be top of class as well.

    @GreggZ is kind enough to let me borrow his PAR meter that I'm anxiously awaiting. I'm currently running it at about 96w. Let's see what the meter reads throughout the aquarium.

    While I know many in this community are diehard T5 users, sooner or later getting a hold of the bulbs will become more and more difficult. At some point, you all need to start looking for LEDs. I think this one has a lot of the benefits you get from T5 and the power to back it up.

    Anybody else out there thinking of purchasing a new LED? Would you consider one of these new entries?
    Ya, my Netlea is slow to reach, but I've seen enough sets here in real life to get a sense of its workings.

    From my perspective, Netlea, Week aqua and Chihiros are all very similar. There are some small differences in spectrum, power and app design but they largely produce very similiar results and most of the time with tuning, you can't tell which of the 3 brand is used on a tank through a photo. There are some visible spectrum differences that will appear a bit more significantly in real life especially for folks with sensitive color perception.

    The Chinese LED manufacturers all go through a typical market cycle/evolution.
    Stage 1 - try to compete on price in order to maximise volume which maximizes factory utilization rates and brings in cashflow. Firm tries to gain as much market share as possible; very loose rules on who they sell to and very good pricing to attract new buyers. Spray and pray approach in marketing.

    Stage 2 - with new cashflow and established export distribution network, invest in marketing and branding. The products get better boxes and exterior design, the brand starts sponsoring competitions, and become more selective about which distributors they work with, but prices start to creep up significantly.

    Stage 3 - Become a matured, well known brand with established users and entrenched distribution networks. If stage 2 is successful, allows prices to rise to premium range and maximises profit.

    Stage 4 - Out-competed by newer, hungrier entrants that are entering at Stage 1 but have newer technologies or more flexible production etc. But even with an uncompetitive product, firms can have many more years of profits due to entrenched distribution networks and residual positive experiences of users from previous years.

    Week and Netlea is at stage 1 hoping to go onto stage 2.
    Chihiros is at stage 2 moving to stage 3.
    Fluval, ADA, Twinstar would all be in stage 4 if they were put in as comparisons.

    From a consumer perspective, its always cheaper to get lights from stage 1 manufacturers but the products will be less refined, higher error ratio.

    The story is mirrored on the distributor's end. If you are a new distributor with no entrenched market position/network, you take a chance and import stage 1 products. However, if you are an established distributor with already good cashflow and network, you'd only want to take on the brands that have proven to succeed, you you'll import stage 3 or stage 2 brands.
    Thanks @Dennis Wong. I know you have an "insider" perspective and this sure does explain what the process seems to be.

    I guess this is good for the consumer if it pushes innovation and gets some pricing competition going. The Netlea AT6 Pro is one half the price of the ADA Solar RGB. It's programmable whereas the ADA unit isn't.

    Is the ADA unit of higher quality build and has a solid company behind it? Yes. But is that worth 100% more? I don't think so. At least it's enough of a difference for me to roll the dice and see. Time will tell.
    Thanks to @GreggZ who loaned me his Seneye, I was able to take some PAR readings today.

    The Netlea AT6 Pro is putting out some serious PAR at about 50% power (96w).

    At an inch below the surface with the unit about 8 inches from the water surface.

    At the substrate level, about 21 inches from the light.

    Even more impressive is that the readings were mostly even throughout the horizontal. This means that I don’t have hot spots in the middle.

    I’m running the lights RGB with white turned all the way down.

    If you need a lot of PAR, this thing has tons of it for you.
    From what I've read, it's sufficient for our purposes. I wanted to get a rough idea of PAR at different levels. It was good for that.

    I think for the hobby, what you want is a rough idea of range.
    Sort of on topic, but I was wondering how accurate the Seneye par meter is. I have a Seneye Pond and was considering the lighting upgrade.
    @GreggZ, is it worthwhile?
    I can't say exactly how accurate, but like Art said it's definitely good enough for our purposes.

    Keep in mind many things in this hobby don't revolve around exact values, but rather relative values. If you take PAR readings of your tank on different settings and get 75, 100, and 125 PAR, it makes little difference if it was really 70, 95, and 120. The important thing is that you can observe changes at different values, then dial in the best value in for your tank.

    And while it may or may not be exact, I can tell you for certain that the light tested above is putting out a LOT of light!!
    I had seen that before. That may impact my assumption of even coverage across the aquarium but I'm not worried about it. Even with a 30% error, I'm still at my desired high PAR level.