I have been using an Asta 20 nano LED light on the Shrimphaus, and that’s been fine but it’s a point source light so there’s not much illumination at either the back (shaded by the river) or the right side (furthest away).  Today I swapped that out for a new Week Aqua S400 Pro aquarium light.

What’s in the box?

Week Aqua S400pro
everything from the box

The S-series comes in three different light lengths:  321mm, 421mm or 471mm.  I went for the middle length S400 model.

You get the light itself with a solid yet lightweight aluminium shell powered through a generous length cord, voltage adaptor and your choice of plug ending.  You also get a milled aluminium mounting bracket with six polypropylene (?) screws to hold it all together.  The light mounts on an aluminium pole which comes with a silicone O-ring to hold the light in place.  Finishing up the package are two plastic zip ties for cord neatness, and a QC control certificate.

You do NOT get any form of instructions either for assembly, mounting or usage.  Fortunately it’s all pretty intuitive how to put it together.

Assembling and mounting the light

The light mounts onto a lightweight aluminium pole.  A silicone O-ring snugs onto the pole and can be adjusted either up or down to set the height of the light.  The tolerances between the hole in light and the pole that goes through the hole are tight such that the silicone O-ring isn’t really needed to prevent the light from sliding down the pole – it stays up just fine all on its own.  The other end of the mounting pole goes through the aluminium mounting bracket.  The bracket goes over a glass wall of the tank and is held securely in place with four large plastic screws.  The listed maximum width of the glass wall the mounting bracket can handle is 9 mm so probably better with a rimless tank design – there is an available-separately J-stand you can mount the lamp on instead of the tank rim if the rim is problem for you.  Two smaller plastic screws hold the bottom of the pole in place.  Everything goes together snugly and fits very well together.  The whole system feels very solid when assembled.  I thought the torque from the light might stress the mounting pole but the light doesn’t have much weight to it so that doesn’t seem to be an issue.  The light can be freely rotated around the mounting pole so can be easily shifted to the side when you need to access the tank.  It is possible to tuck the power cord down through the screws holding the mount in place which helps keep the overall look tidy.

Even illumination

The S-series does a great job providing even illumination over the whole tank.  Even underneath the river there is a reasonable amount of light rather than impenetrable darkness.

It will be interesting to see whether the plants respond to diffuse lighting differently than the point source lighting they had previously.

Many lighting options controlled by bluetooth

The light is controlled using a dedicated app you can load on your phone that establishes a bluetooth connection to the light.  There is no way to use the light without going through the app.  Happily, the app is easy to use (even without instructions) and comes with a lot of options.  Bluetooth pairing is easy and doesn’t require a password.

Lighting presets

The pro version of the lamp (which I think is all they sell currently) has UV-A lighting as well as RGB lights.  There are 5 preset modes which include UV-A usage:  Green, Red, Mixed, Gorgeous, and Colorful.  Then there are a further 7 presets that don’t use UV-A:  Algae, Nature, Elegant, Brisk, Fresh, Enjoy and White.  Presumably these are legacy presets from the previous generation of the lamp.  You can also set up to 12 different custom modes which can be set to whatever you want.  In addition to RGB-UVA settings, you can set Fan and Power.  Power scales all the intensities up or down linearly so that’s straightforward.  I don’t think the S-series has a fan, so I suppose the Fan setting supports other products in the Week Aqua line.  Not having a fan also means the S-series lamp operates completely silently.

It’s fun to try the different colour settings.  For me, I prefer the Red preset run at 20% power.  That comes out to R:15%, G:16%, B:10%, UV:21% so roughly the same amount of red and green.  I think this makes the bloody mary shrimp look really sharp – these guys were mostly invisible under the previous lighting system.

Timing controls

You can set the time you want to the lamp to turn on, and the time you want the lamp to turn off.  The light also comes with a ‘sunrise sunset mode’ capability, allowing a gradual ramp up and down on the front and back end of the lighting cycle.  Sunrise-sunset duration options are:  0 h, 0.5 h, 1 h, 1.5 h, 2 h, or 2.5 h.  The sunrise-sunset time is included in the total on time, so if you set the lamp to turn on at 10 am and off at 5 pm with a 1 h sunset, the lamp ramps up gradually from off to full from 10 am to 11 am, and ramps down from full to off from 4 pm through 5 pm.  As far as I can tell there is no option in the app to have anything other than one lighting cycle per day.  You can however have the mains power to the light controlled by a separate timer – the lamp settings are not bothered by power failures so an external electricity supply timer can do multiple lighting periods during the day if that’s important to you.

Details about the physical lamp dimensions

good height on the lamp
good clearance over the water

Good height control options

The main reason I purchased the Week Aqua S-series is because you can have the lamp set up relatively higher over the water than most other lamps on the market.  That is important to me for two reasons:

  1. Having the light high up over the water means it does not get splashed by the airstone.
  2. The lamp doesn’t block the view of the tank.  I have the lamp mounted in the front of the tank to shine on the front plants and also get some lighting under the river.

At maximum stretch the bottom of the lamp is about 10″ / 25 cm above the top rim of the tank.  You can adjust the lamp to be arbitrarily lower down than that if you want it closer to the water surface.

Potential downsides

Even though I’m really happy with the light, there are some potential considerations to think about.  The first is that the reason the lamp does not appear completely horizontal in the photos is because it isn’t.  Over the mounting pole the bottom of the light is 25 cm above the tank’s top rim, but the other side of the lamp is 26 cm above the far rim, so the lamp slopes slightly upwards.  If this is the sort of thing that will drive you crazy, then you shouldn’t get this lamp.  Personally, I think it’s fine; I was actually worried it would droop down the other way from the weight of the light.

Not a downside as such but more something to be aware of is the listed length of the light S400 is 421 mm and that is true, however, the illuminated portion is only 325 mm long – there is some mounting dead space on either side.  Also, when mounted on the bracket on the side of the tank, the mounting bracket pulls the lamp about 3 cm past the edge of the tank.  Taking that into account, I could maybe have gone with the 471 mm S450 model to get a more properly centred look.  Same story though, I think it’s fine as it is.  The light provides smooth illumination for me over pretty much the whole tank and doesn’t seem particular affected by being a little off-centre.

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