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Looking for the very best planted tank LED available for your aquarium today? If so, you have come to the right place. Today, I go in-depth and do a Twinstar LED review. I’ll go through what’s new, their features, and what makes them so superior compared to all other planted tank led systems on the market.
As you may have read in my Best Planted Tank LED round up article, LEDs have become the technology to use for growing plants. The energy efficiently and programmability of the units have created easy to use lights. Twinstar’s focus on their lights is performance and aesthics. What you will see in this review is that not all LED are created equal. Twinstar nails full spectrum and spread like no other planted LED maker on the market. among the various players out there.
My reviews are fairly structured. I’m going to be reviewing the following with Twinstar LED light series:
- Ease of Use
- Value For Money
- Product Support
In a hurry? I recommend purchasing the Twinstar E Series!
Twinstar LED Review – Light Features
The Twinstar prides itself as the a true full spectrum aquarium light system. When it comes to assessing the fit of an LED fixture for aquarium usages we look at the following factors
- PAR Strength (Intensity)
PAR1 strength is something that many LED fixture will easily meet. LEDs in general are very intense so this isn’t the sole metric we should focus on in assessing a planted tank LED. However, it is something that is readily available from Twinstar. Below are the values of the 600E series. The PAR values below here are good enough to light up the vast majority of plants in a planted aquarium.
Having a true full spectrum is the big difference factor between a cheap light and a high quality light. Very few LEDs on the market can really bring out the reds of red plants. The benchmark for planted tank LEDs are the ADA Solar RGBs. The problem is the Solar RGB is not only hard to find, but also very expensive. The Twinstar LED light is considered a copy of the ADA Solar RGB spectrum. It’s the gold standard in planted LEDs, without the extreme price of the ADA. The Twinstar LED light also does not have fans, which make them excellent for quiet rooms
Let’s talk about another factor in these lights. These lights come with a diffuser built in. Look at the photo below. You can see the diffuser in action. A diffuser is a must in the planted tank world. If you are growing an aquascape of mostly tall plants like a Dutch Aquascape, shadowing becomes a major deal. The diffuser eliminates the problem. You won’t see this feature in many planted tank LEDs and I’m puzzled why it’s excluded is many other fixtures on the market.
The Twinstar is feature heavy on the core function of the light – PAR, full spectrum, and spread. Regarding controllability that’s where this fixture falls short. There is no fancy controller or app that runs on wifi and you can’t mess with the spectrum through a tuner. I rather like it that way. It makes it simple to use and less prone to electronic failure.
Twinstar’s craftsmanship is top notch. The thing I love about this light is there are no fans. That makes the light ideal for quiet rooms. The light is not made in China, and it shows. It’s sleek smooth, and looks very clean presented on a tank. They can either come in aluminum brackets or acrylic ones. I personally prefer the acrylic bracket
Ease of Use
This is by far one of the easiest planted tank LEDs for advanced hobbyists. The light comes with brackets that hold up the light at the ideal height for proper spread and PAR output. Because the LED is designed for the best full spectrum not the highest PAR, it is not necessary to use a PAR meter to adjust the intensity. It’s a plug and play system. All you need is a mechanical timer or smart timer. It’s completely dummy proof. Excellent marks overall by Twinstar!
Value For Money
The Twinstar LED family of lights actually come in multiple flavors that fit every budget and need. Twinstar has a model for all budgets starting from their budget friendly CA series to their premium S series. Their most popular model is the E series. The E series can handle the vast majority of planted tank needs and grow plants efficiency. I would say their E and S series have the most value of all their models. The CA series will have other competitors that may be a better value.
Models For Everyone!
Below is a table showing the main Twinstar LED light models
|Feature||Twinstar CA||Twinstar E||Twinstar S|
|Output||Low-Light||Mid to High Light||All|
|Models||300C , 600C||300E, 360E, 450E, 600E, 900E||600S, 900S|
Product support scores the lowest in my review. Twinstar as a whole doesn’t have much in the way of product support. They have a few videos and their distributor sites are not very helpful. The main source of support you will find is from hobby forums and other aquascapers who use the light to get success. That’s a big difference compared to say Fluval that actually does a number of videos and support behind them.
One way to migrate the lack of support is to purchase the fixture from a high quality seller like BucePlant. Buce has been around for a number of years and their know planted tanks well. Their customer service is excellent and I would prefer to purchase the fixture there over Amazon for that very reason!
Regarding warranty, Twinstar offers a 2 year warranty on all their lights. That is higher than most lower quality aquarium light makers that offer only 1 year, but lower than the 3 year warranty offered by Fluval. I have not heard of many Twinstar lights failing prematurely however. Many last for years due to their simple electronics design.
For many of you looking at this point, the Twinstar will likely be the most expensive light fixture you are researching. There are more expensive units like the Kessil and ADA out there, but most will be comparing these to Fluval, Finnex, and cheap aquarium light alternatives on Amazon. The Twinstar offers the best spectrum and design of all these brands and models. From a spectrum and spread prospective, it’s not even close.
This is the best planted tank LED on the market you can buy today. Best full spectrum, best spread, best value for money. You can see the ratings below from me and my editor’s choice badge that Twinstar earns. Since I’m open to all reviews, you can leave your own reviews below. This provides the community with an unfiltered source of reviews. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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I’m thrilled that you found Aquarium Store Depot! Here you’ll find information on fish, aquariums, and all things aquatics related. I’m a hobbyist (being doing this since I was 11) and here to help other hobbyists thrive with their aquariums!