How many LEDs to use

AcroStar LEDs are designed to light a normal aquarium (up to 20-24 inches deep) at light levels between 150-300 PAR, with some higher peaks. We have found light levels above this range can only be achieved using long term light acclimation with hardy Acropora and Stylophora corals - a single AcroStar at full power can reach over 800 PAR at 12 inches without using a diffuser, if your corals are ready.

AcroStar LEDs are designed to cover a 12x12 to 18x18 inch area of tank footprint, when between 6-18 inches from the water's surface. We recommend the 48W Mega4Z AcroStar for high-light or larger tanks, and the 24W Half-Mega AcroStar for shallower or mixed reef tanks. You can always use more AcroStar LEDs to fill in gaps or to augment your lighting. Unlike "large array" LEDs or even some commercial pucks, AcroStar LEDs have zero single color spotlighting, every area in the aquarium receives the same complete spectrum of light.

Specific Aquarium Recommendations

This is a recommended starting point for sizing your LED array. With dimmable drivers, you can always reduce the light output from maximum, while you can't increase it without adding more AcroStar or AcroStrip modules to your system. The light needs and acclimation requirements of all livestock differ, so please use your best judgement.

It is perfectly acceptable to mix and match the LED layout between the two power levels of AcroStar, and AcroStrip modules depending on your requirements.

Aquarium AcroStar Mega4Z AcroStar Half-Mega
Nano/Pico ( < 15 gallons) Not recommended 1, with dimmer (24W)
20G Long/High Not recommended 2, with dimmer (48W)
20-33G Cube 1 (48W) mounted 12+ inches above 2 (48W), 6 inch spacing, mounting 8+ inches above
40G Breeder 2 (96W), spaced 12 inches 2 (48W) to 3 (72W)
55G Not recommended 4 (96W) to 6 (144W), every 12 inches
75G 4 (192W) 4 (96W) to 6 (144W)
90G 4 (192W) to 6 (288W) 6 (144W) to 8 (192W)
120G 6 (288W) to 8 (384W), 12 inch grid 8 (192W) to 12 (288W)