Fantastic, but complicated light By Mperl on 3/2/2015
Mperl would recommend this product to a friend
Have had it for 3 years and love it, for the most part. We have a 180 gal reef tank. Bought it with the VLink. The fixture looks great, the light it produces looks great, and our corals love it. Our electric bill went way down, house stays cooler, and the chiller rarely comes on. However, it is very complicated to set up, came with no instruction manual(found it online), took many hours of trial and error to get the VLInk to communicate with the fixture(best to be within 3 ft of the fixture), had to buy a used PC laptop(never go the Mac software to work). Overall we love it, but be patient with the set up.
Goodbye Vertex LED Hello back to Metal Halides By Randyd501 on 8/18/2014
Randyd501 wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I just dumped my Vertex SR 260 for Hamilton Cebu Sun Lighting System -
Im totally fed up with firmware malfunctions on Vertex using the V Stick then having to deal with support to fire fixture back up. Why Vertex never setup a wireless connection to your router is mind boggling for a fixture of this price. I have had 3 major malfunctions past two years doing updates to this fixture from my laptop. After installing a firmware update and another failure had to go this weekend again with no lighting on my 300 gallon tank after spending hours pulling fixture down and doing factory resets. Once again following every step no power to fixture! Anyway I feel after 2 years that LED's do not give you anywhere the color or the growth of corals as MH (have used MH for over 15 year prior). Only advantage with LED is power consumption savings and heat throw off which I do admit is huge. Anyway I'll go back to bigger electric bills and bigger Corals with a tried and proven fixture! Oh did I mention I can now put SPS corals in my tank with MH! Vertex fixture would lose every SPS coral no matter what i did with placement and Charcoal
Great Lights By Chris on 5/28/2014
Chris would recommend this product to a friend
I've been using the vertex 260's for over a year now. Got decent growth from corals. Don't waste your time without the RF module as using the software opens a great deal more customization. Doesn't seem to have a huge foliowing in the US so I had to go to ultimate reefs.com to get assistance, but the support guys there are great and offer up profiles for the novice. The only downside is that Vertex hasn't allowed it to be controlled by the Apex like radion lights.
Awesome light, CRAPPY software By Stephane on 5/27/2014
Stephane would recommend this product to a friend
I have mix feelings towards this light. let me explain...
I had reef brights and was pretty amazed with them. When i got a bigger tank, it was time for me to upgrade my lighting system too. i priced both the reef bright and the vertex. The vertex was way more expensive, however BRS had an amazing sale that brought the price to a close match. so i purchased the vertex. The light itself is amazing and you see quality.The LEDs, the brightness and the color is beyond what i have imagined for a LED system (even my past light). the color of the fish are a lot more vivid and true. as for my corals i do notice a difference (even if it's been only a few weeks) they are more open and growth is noticed already.
The quality of the light is superior. it's also nice looking.
The light itself is nice, but to have all the features this light is capable of, you need that wireless link adapter. else you are stuck using the button menu system and itself is limited.
The software to program it is very very very buggy and over complicated. it took me a solid week to program my light like i wanted and have it working! Sometimes only 1 pad would work, or just suddenly turn on full bright for no reason etc. For example, i programed a nice rise and set. I saved it to the light and it worked, got home from work and the light was still dark. I reloaded the software and asked for the 'graph' and the graph (rise/set) was all weirded out. Sometimes the software is slow to respond and probably sends garbage data to the light and this gives off bad data. It was a constant struggle throughout the week, setting -resetting, consulting online forums (as there is no manuals), reseting and adjusting the light.
Now that i have it set, i don't want to touch it in case something happens with the programing
If you are on a mac, forget the mac version. it's still many versions behind and even more bugged than the PC version. I had to seek bootcamp setup or a virtual machine setup to use the PC version.
Sweet ! By Keith on 7/30/2013
Keith would recommend this product to a friend
The fixture is 1 solid piece of alum that is heavy duty. The hanging kit came with mine and is recommended for that killer look. The 5 foot fixture is a challenge to install by yourself ! The software is not very easy to follow and the USB dongle seems to interfere with everything. I bought a 12 foot USB extender cable and mounted velcro to the end of the tank and just snap it on when I want to reprogram the light. The directions at the vertex website get you close. Search RC for additional info. Bottom line is you will love it.
Great Product By Sam on 3/5/2013
Sam would recommend this product to a friend
wow just wow light does everything
Unpolished By CJ on 2/25/2013
CJ would recommend this product to a friend
I have a 2' unit over a 36" tank. I've filled 2 of the 3 expansion slots with the multicolor aux modules. The last expansion slot is centered in the module, and because my tank has a center brace, there's simply no point putting anything in that slot.
* It's bright, well made, and the upgrade modules make it very flexible.
* You can program the unit from a computer, and really customize exactly how you want the light to perform.
* My unit contained no instructions at all. They're available online, but it's a bit of a hurdle finding them (the Vertex website isn't the friendliest or cleanest out there).
* You pretty much need to buy the V-Link dongle to program the device. The dongle is a wireless transmitter that attaches to your computer so that it can talk to the light. It is NOT a wireless adapter for making the light itself network accessible. The manual programming buttons on the light itself are basically useless.
* The unit comes in "off" mode, so it is not immediately functional out of the box. You must, at the very least, select the default "on" programming for it to work. So, if you take it out of the box and plug it in, don't expect it to light right up.
* The programming software is useless on a Mac. You'll need to run the Windows version, which is annoying since it's written in Java (and should therefore be platform agnostic).
* Upon attempting to install my auxiliary modules, I discovered that one of the hex screws securing the blank end-cap was already stripped. I eventually had to drill it out, which is not something I would recommend to someone who's never had to do it before (especially not on a $1k+ light fixture).
Now, it's a very nice light, to be certain. Quite heavy and well made. You definitely need to be certain you have an appropriate mounting solution for it. However, the entire package is very unpolished, which is quite a letdown considering the price tag.
If you're buying this for performance and programmability, beware that it's just not "easy to use." There will be some hurdles, but once you get it set, the light is indeed a solid performer. Time well tell, however, if the tank really loves it or not.
IMPRESSIVE !!! By JASON on 2/10/2013
JASON would recommend this product to a friend
I ordered a 3 foot fixture to use on my 4 foot 120gal reef and it has more than enough light for my reef.
I transitioned from 8 bulbs of T-5 lighting and started with a very low amount of light. Over the past two months, I've slowly ramped up the lights and my corals are looking great.
I'm planning on adding two of the new multicolor modules to make my corals colors pop a bit more.
The fixture quality is very top end. It's a bit on the heavy side, but that's all being used as the heat sink. The software has a setting for the fans to come on if the fixture reaches a certain temperature, but I have yet to hear the fans kick in (as they are extremely quiet).
And I have the fixture installed inside a floating canopy.
Definitely buy the Vertex V-Link to ease the use of programming the light fixture. Should be included!
You absolutely get what you pay for with these fixtures!
Except I ordered too early and missed on the FREE Multicolor Modules when they were taking pre-orders.
Great light.. Have had for 3 months now.. By Shawn on 11/7/2012
Shawn would recommend this product to a friend
I'll update the review as I continue to play with this light. My first impressions are that this light is extremely powerful while loaded with options that will take a bit of time to master.
Couple of items before you order (Just my opinion).
1. I wouldn't suggest ordering this light if you don't plan on purchasing the Vertex V-Link wireless controller. I purchased this controller after reading several reviews on other sites. The power this V-Link gives you is realized when you program the expert settings on the light as shown in the video. You can set multiple points to bring the sun up to it highest and brightest point in the sky. You get a fairly easy to use interface that only comes when you purchase the V-Link. I actually played with the side screen when I first hooked up the light and before I set up the V-Link. While the side screen wasn't very difficult to use I must admit it wasn't fun and reminded me of setting up and old HP printer. Once I installed the V-Link I saw the true power of ordering this 59.99 option.
2. The light doesn't come with any legs or hanging wires at all. You'll need to plan your mounting options and order those options with your light. I ordered the mounting bracket available here at the site.
3. If you don't want your fish to experience a Disney laser light show I would suggest configuring all of your settings and testing them before you mount the light. I tested just about every option on the system which annoyed my wife and dogs without giving my fish a heart attack. I don't think you would even order this light if you weren't a tinkerer so this might be something you would figure out on your own.
4. Take advantage of the vertex software site. My light didn't come with any documentation at all. This didn't concern me because I order quite a few OEM products for my computer. I found everything I needed and more on the Vertex site. http://www.vertexaquaristik.com/Products/Lighting/LED/IlluminaSoftwareFirmwareDownloads/tabid/581/language/en-US/Default.aspx
5. I have a 100 gallon tank. Given the power of the light I wouldn't run it at 100%. You can easily change this if you order the V-Link. Refer to point 1 above. Order the V-Link.
6. Update your firmware. Only possible if you order the V-Link. Refer to point 1 above. Order the V-Link.
7. If you just want to use some default settings and don't think you'll ever use the bells and whistles on this light then you don't need to order the V-Link. My opinion is that if you don't plan on unleashing the fun side of this light (Only available when you order the V-Link) then you should save some money and purchase a light that has a fewer bells and whistles.
SR260 LED LIGHT FIXTURE is INCREDIBLE! By Randy on 10/7/2012
Randy would recommend this product to a friend
Replaced my old LED from 2 years ago and purchased the SR260 from BRS. The product is INCREDIBLE and if your a true aquarist you must purchase this fixture for your reef tank. Nothing comes close to this fixture and with add on mods and software it will only get better. Love my clouds and lighting program. My corals after 1 week are already looking amazing