What’s Ne W IN LeD techNoLogy
Several brands stood out among retailers, and though LED technology isn’t new
to the hobby, the variety and versatility of these lights mean retailers can target
specific segments of the hobby.
“[Because] Eco Tech Marine has created a low-cost to high-cost option—
with lower functionality and intensity to higher functionality and intensity—
we’ve been able to really step into any situation and find the right light for
customers,” said Rick Preuss, owner of Preuss Pets in Lansing, Mich. “They start
out at the Prime and work up to the more professional Radeons. It’s made it easy
to find that price point, no matter where you’re at.”
Radeon’s offerings are popular with other retailers as well.
“Starting with our reef tanks, we have been using a lot of LEDs, specifically
Radeon XR30s,” said Daniel Gilboa, owner of Age of Aquariums in Signal Hill, Calif.
“We like those.”
Another advantage of the Radeon fixtures is that the individual pucks hous-
ing the LEDs are replaceable, which means customers no longer have to buy an
entire fixture when certain LEDs fail.
“With the Radeon lights, [aquarists] can actually change out the whole puck,”
said Erin Powers, owner of The Premium Aquarium in Wilsonville, Ore. “That’s one
big advantage to those lights. After three to five years, [when the customer’s]
bulb life is done, they can actually change the puck out.”
Retailers pointed to widening spectrum options and additional features such
as waterproof fixtures as sales points.
“For us, the Finnex and Fluval brands are doing well,” Preuss said. “Finnex
seems to have a really good handle on providing some unique spectrum of light.
With Fluval, the price is right, and the fact that it’s waterproof is a superawesome
addition, [as is] the fact that you can at least make it Wi-Fi compatible. In the
next few years, Wi-Fi compatibility will probably be a must.”
Manufacturers also are responding to the demand for Wi-Fi integration.
“We will be launching the new Wi-Fi Edge LED fixture in the next few months,”
said Michael Elliot, co-owner of Aquatic Life LLC in South El Monte, Calif. “These
fixtures are designed for reef aquariums. We’re seeing more and more people wanting
to connect and program their appliances with their smartphones and tablets.”
Relying on display aquariums is the most potent sales tool retailers have
when it comes to selling lights.
“By and large, people look at tanks that are big and beautiful that they
want to emulate at home,” said Steve Oberg, aquatics manager of Preuss Pets
in Lansing, Mich. “That’s the main thing. We don’t do a lot of online marketing
for lights. We don’t do a lot of shelf-talker type stuff. It’s pretty much the
tanks that speak for the lights.”
This creates the perfect atmosphere to get customers interested in new
features and integrated technologies.
“The key is to understand the fixtures,” said Martin Pratt, director of
customer marketing for Central Garden & Pet in Walnut Creek, Calif. “LEDs are
more complicated, and each one is unique compared to fluorescents, where
the lighting was similar and it was easy to compare one fixture to another.
Successful retailers put the lights on the tanks and play with them so they
know what each one can do. It is important to realize that the consumer is
looking at the aesthetics of the fixture, light output, what they are growing
It’s also effective to point out that while some LEDs might command a
higher price point up front, customers can expect savings over the long-term.
At Preuss Pets, employees began using a spreadsheet generated in-house to
compare prices and operating costs between LEDs and competing fixtures,
Oberg said. This highlights cost savings over time due to lower energy usage,
and it allows retailers to point out other benefits, such as savings associated
with reduced heat in the aquarium.
“Pretty much everyone who came in to buy some light bulbs saw that
they were going to spend the money anyway in the next year-and-a-half, so
they would buy brand-new lights straight away,” Oberg said.
“Everybody’s using LEDs,” he added. “The last time I sold somebody a
new setup without LED lighting was several years ago.”
RO Buddie + DI System makes it easy to place under
cabinets or in small spaces. aquaticlife.com
ceNtraL garDeN & Pet offers aqueon aquatic flat heaters, available in 7.5W and 15W.
The heaters provide warmth for tropical fish and are designed for glass and acrylic tanks.
They efficiently warm water up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient room temperature.
They are completely submersible and are quick and easy to install. aqueonproducts.com
cobaLt aquatIcs’ extreme flake
foods feature 80ppm astaxanthin,
extra garlic and paprika, as well as the
company’s base formula that features Cobalt’s Blue flake, which has a
triple concentration of vitamins to help
support a healthy immune system. All
Cobalt flakes are packed with probiotics in the form of Bacillus sp. bacteria
to support a healthy digestive system.
aquatIc LIfe now offers afford-
able and energy efficient reno LeD
fixtures, previously only available as
fish display lighting systems in stores.
Applicable to fish-only systems or as
lighting over coral aquariums, the fix-
tures provide nice color and sufficient
lighting to showcase both fish-only
marine and freshwater aquariums. The
fixtures are available in 10 models and
three LED configurations including
blue and blue/white LEDs for marine
aquariums and blue/white/red LEDs for
freshwater units. aquaticlife.com
oase North amerIca presents biorb
green caulerpa, inspired by the bul-
bous algal fronds of the Indian Ocean.
The weighted ball on the base makes
the plants sink easily to the bottom of
the aquarium. Approximately 4 in. tall by
5 in. wide. biorb.com
Shortest Supply Chains
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