Philips Launches Luminaire to Grow Coral

Philips Lighting, a Royal Philips company, launched Philips CoralCare, its first LED luminaire dedicated to growing coral in aquariums. The release of the CoralCare luminaire follows three years of research into the use of LED light to grow coral. Philips says that the new luminaire enables coral to grow with brilliantly, vivid colors. Also, researchers found that with similar power and light settings as traditional aquarium lighting, corals will grow at the same rate while maintaining their natural appearance and health.

Philips claims that CoralCare on average reduces electricity consumption costs for the lighting by 30% to 50% compared to conventional light sources. Philips CoralCare will be available for coral reefers and aquarium owners to buy from the Philips online shop beginning June 10.

Philips CoralCare luminaire illuminates aquarium to grow coral

According to Philips, coral grown with the new Philips CoralCare luminaire has the same vivid color as coral grown naturally in the sea. Whereas aquarium coral grown using conventional T5 and hybrid-LED luminaires previously had a more subdued color.

Philips Lighting chief engineer of CoralCare Research and Development, Luc Vogels commented, “The ability of Philips CoralCare to recreate and even enhance colors of coral grown in natural habitats is made possible via our special light recipe - and optics, a technology that we have pioneered in our labs in Eindhoven in The Netherlands. We’ve patented the innovation** as it really transforms what’s possible for reefers to achieve in aquariums. ”

The independent Coral Publications marine consultancy conducted five months of field tests with both traditional T5 luminaires and the Philips CoralCare luminaires. During the tests, four scleractinian coral species were grown with pink, purple and green colors of coral. The research found that the coral grown using the Philips CoralCare LED-only luminaire was able to grow coral at the same rate as conventional lighting with exceptionally vivid coral colors.

“Although LED lighting has major energy saving benefits, two major barriers to successful coral growth with LED have been color rendering and light distribution which did not compare with conventional T5 lighting,” said Tim Wijgerde Ph.D, managing director of the consulting firm Coral Publications in the Netherlands. “However, our research has shown that the new Philips CoralCare LED unit easily competes with conventional T5 lighting in terms of coral growth and coloration but on average with 30% energy efficiency savings. Going forward, this technology will benefit more efficient, sustainable coral aquaculture and reduce the carbon footprint of aquariums.”

Dr Jens Standke, a reefer from Dusseldorf, Germany said, “I’ve been using the new Philips CoralCare LED luminaires now for over two months in a trial and the results have been stunning. The coral I’ve grown using these LED luminaires really does mimic the vibrant colors of coral grown in the ocean which comes from the flexible control you have with Philips CoralCare.” He added, “For example, its phosphorous light brings out amazing fluorescent colors that you get with coral in the ocean at night.”

The Philips CoralCare luminaire has a suggested retail price starting at €749. The company says that a typical aquarium of 140x70x70cm requires two Philips CoralCare luminaires and a luminaire controller with suggested retail price of about €75.

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