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Reefbreeders Photon V2+ and V2 Pro Review

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Last updated on November 17th, 2023


Reefbreeders Photon V2 Review

Reefbreeders Photon V2+ and V2 Pro Review

I want to start by saying I never used to consider the Reefbreeder Photon V2 when I was picking a reef tank light. I thought it was another low cost alternative that wasn't going to hit the mark. I WAS WRONG!

A little backstory... I was on FaceBook (dangerous, I know), and someone asked about if this light would grow SPS. Being in my own mindset, I promptly suggested buying Ecotech Radions or the Neptune SKY. Oh, wow did that ever start something! I had a number of people tell me just how wrong I was. So I took this feedback, and bought a Reefbreeders Photon V2+ for over my frag tank (after quite a bit of google searching) so that I could give it a proper review.

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Reefbreeders Photon and V2 Pro PAR and Spectrum

Right to the good part, I know. This is why you're here, so I won't make you scroll through for it.

The Reefbreeders Photon V2 PAR is FAR higher than you would expect at first glance. When mounted 8 inches above the water, the PAR at 12 inches below the water can be as high as 450-550 and at 24 inches below the water, you can see roughly 325 PAR at full strength. I know none of us would actually run all channels at 100%, but this is the way we compare max PAR across lights in this hobby...

Using the suggestions from Bulk Reef Supply, which is likely what we are all going to do anyway, we get different PAR numbers for you to use in a realistic setting. With a mounting height of 18 inches, and the BRS Spectrum (below) you can see at 12 inches the Reef Breeder Photon V2 will give you roughly 200 to 300 PAR and at 18 inches below the water, you will see 170 to 280 PAR. Meaning the Reef Breeders Photon V2 is more than good enough for growing SPS coral!

Reefbreeders Photon V2+ PAR and Settings - BRS

Recommended Reefbreeders Photon V2 Settings

Bulk Reef Supply recommends running all of the blue channels at 100%, the white lights at 50% and the red and green channels at 10%. Then if the light is too much, you can easily scale the lighting down as needed. For example, cutting these numbers in half is quite easy.

For me, this setting is a bit too white. I prefer the look of coral under more blue lighting. So I set the reefbreeder photon v2+ settings the same way as above, but for the white light, I set it to somewhere between 10% and 15% instead of 50%. This gives a nice florecent glow from the coral while still looking nice to the eye.

Reefbreeders Photon V2+ SPS Settings - BRS

Reefbreeders Photon V2 Coverage

The Reef Breeder Photon V2 comes in multiple sizes. The coverage seems to vary, however, on the depth of the tank, it seems that between 20 and 24 inches is the ideal coverage depending on how much PAR you want. In terms of length, it really depends on how high you mount the lights. In general, the table below shows the coverage suggestions based on which fixture you are looking at.

Available Sizes And Coverage

LengthLPS/Soft PAR CoverageSPS PAR Coverage

Programming the Reefbreeders Photon V2

The Reefbreeders Photon V2+ Reef Tank Light is admittedly one of the most difficult lights to program. To set up the light, you will need to set the intensity of all 6 channels, for 24 setpoints. Meaning you have to set 144 points using the included remote. Though time consuming, you only need to do this once. But it is still VERY annoying. The new Reefbreeders Photon V2 PRO fixes this by enabling the Nexus app though. So if possible, I encourage buying the upgraded model.

Control the Reefbreeders Photon with Neptune Apex!

For a small fee... Roughly $89.99 in this case, you can control the Reefbreeders Photon via Neptune Apex Pro 0-10v Control by adding the Photon to Apex VDM Integration Kit. The control via the Apex is wired only, and uses a minimum of 2 VDM Ports. If you want to control the Green and Red Channels as well, you will need 3 VDM ports. Regardless, this is better than using the remote!

Upgrade the Reefbreeders Photon V2+ to Use the Nexus App!

Rather than Apex Control, if you don't have the V2 Pro, for roughly $99.99 you can control the Reefbreeders Photon with the wireless Nexus App by adding on the Reef Nexus Integration Kit. This will give you the ability to control the lights through your WiFi using your phone, and you won't need the clunky remote. Needless to say, I strongly encourage this upgrade!

Reefbreeders Photon V2+ and V2 Pro Mounting

The Reefbreeders Photon V2 Reef Tank Light comes with side mounting legs. This lets you use the sides of the tank to support the lights from 5 inches to 11 inches above the tank. Additionally, there are screws to allow you to hang the light, which is how I personally mount the light.

More About the Reefbreeders Photon V2+ from BRS

Reefbreeders Photon V2+ and V2 Pro Housing and Construction

Though it looks like it is plastic, and in general a cheap light, it is really built well! The aluminum housing is sturdy, and doesn't get too hot. The active cooling from the fans and passive cooling from the housing keeps this light fixture running well!

Price Comparison

This is the real reason you are looking at the Reefbreeders Photon V2 Reef Tank Light. In terms of a budget LED fixture, it really hits a lot of the marks that you would want from a high end light fixture, but at the cost of easy setup, you are cutting the price of lighting essentially in half. While still maintaining high enough PAR values for nearly any coral.

Even if you add the $100 Nexus update, you get the benefits of these high end lights at a steal of a price! Especially if you are looking at 4 ft or longer tanks!

Shop Reefbreeders Photon V2 Reef Tank Lights

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After trying out the Reefbreeder Photon aquarium light, I was pleasantly surprised! The power from this light matches that of the big name light fixtures, and comes in at half the price. The one pain point is that the light is difficult to set up, but hopefully this will be resolved with the new Pro version. Overall, I would encourage any new reef keeper, or even advanced reef keepers, to use this light. Though I personally have specific brands I prefer due to ease of setup, this should not happen often and as such, the Reefbreeder Photon really hits the mark!

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About the Author

Reef Stable Founder John Krenzer

John is a Software Engineer with a passion for saltwater aquariums, as well as the founder and president of Reef Stable. He started in the aquarium hobby as a child with a 20 gallon freshwater aquarium. His interest in aquarium life grew and in 2008, John set up his first saltwater aquarium.

Today, John maintains an over 300 gallon reef tank system, consisting of a 120g reef and a 210g reef. These large tanks are contained within the same system, sharing a sump as a means to reduce total maintenance and increase total water volume.

John writes articles for the blog as a means to learn about more reef aquarium topics. These articles act as a reference for the readers as well as himself. John updates these articles frequently to provide additional information or make corrections as new information becomes available.

If you would like to request an article, tank tour article, or to collaborate, let me know via the Contact Me Page!

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