Why does BRS recommend this?
The Digital Aquatics Reef Keeper Lite is a great little aquarium controller that makes programming very straight forward and easy. The options are somewhat limited compared to other controllers on the market, however if you are looking for a simple, easy to use controller, with the availability to be expanded upon and do not need internet connection, the Reef Keeper Lite units are some of the best.
Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Lite or RKL comes in 3 different levels. They are small expandable and perfect for nano tanks, beginners, and everyone looking for a mid level controller. ReefKeeper Lite's are easily the best value controllers on the market. See below for quick compare chart of the differences between each RKL.
ReefKeeper Lite Features
- Head Unit
- 1 PB4 power bar (4 total outlets)
- Digital Aquatics Temperature probe
The ReefKeeper Lite or RKL is an all new completely redesigned controller from Digital Aquatics. These midlevel controllers come in three different levels. Check our quick compare table below for the differences between each. Please note that some of the advanced modules and features of the ReefKeeper Elite are not available for the RKL.
Quick Compare - ReefKeeper
|Head Unit||Power Bar 4||System Lab X||System Lab 2||Programming Coupler||Temperature Probe||pH Probe||Salinity Probe V2||System Interface Device||Net Interface Module|
|Lite Plus||x||x (2)||x||x||x||x||x|
|Lite Net||x||x (2)||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Elite Plus||x||x (2)||x||x||x (w/calib. packets)||x|
|Elite Net||x||x (2)||x||x||x (w/calib. packets)||x||x|
Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Lite (RKL) Features
- Expandability: Every RKL can interface with up to 4 modules in almost any configuration.
- Data reporting: The RKL can report the min, max and average over the last hour for all in and outputs.
- Improved 5 button interface: All ReefKeeper Lite's have a 5 button interface. Traditional entry level controllers feature only 3 button interfaces.
- 16 dedicated timers all with day of the week capability
- Audible and visual feedback
- 16 dedicated alarms
- New control functions: Improved controller, multi-timer, light, lunar, and pump controls
- Free software upgrades: ReefKeeper software upgrades from Digital Aquatics is free and easy to install via USB cord
- MyReef software requires Windows Operating system
- Independently programmable night mode allows moonlights and pumps to be adjusted in the evening times
- Wavemaker: ReefKeeper Lite's have two wavemaker cycles that control separate pumps to simulate wave motion. Each cycle can be timed and the cycles can be turned off during night mode to give a calming effect.
- Programmable standby feedback mode can be set from 1 to 59 minutes during which the ReefKeeper Lite shuts down selected powerheads and pumps. This allows for calm feeding condition and is useful for conducting maintenance.
- Head unit easily mounts in a number of professional custom looking ways.
- Splash proof face plate
- Internal battery backup keeps time and settings of the ReefKeeper Lite safe for years. Power outages will not require the adjustments that other light timers need after power is restored.
- Simple menu configuration has an simple interface that allows for easy setup and navigation.
Great results using this controller. By Jay on 1/1/2018Jay would recommend this product to a friendLove this thing. Keeps my temp spot on and the safety alerts and are nice feature.
Best 100 bucks spent By Zach on 12/7/2017Zach would recommend this product to a friendThis is one of the best purchases I have made for my reef while I wait to get an Apex 2016. I use this primarily to control two finnex titanium heaters. It keeps my temperature very accurate in the tank and consistent which is important for my corals.
It really isn't hard to figure out how to use it. But there are plenty of youtube videos on how to program it. I think even BRS has one available. Definitely worth the money.
Good enough By Richard on 11/20/2017Richard would recommend this product to a friendIf you are looking for something cheap to control heaters and simple powerheads, then this is a winner. Not as nice as a $700 apex, but if you only want to have some simple redundancy then this works quite well for the $100 you will spend on it.
Easy to use controller By Kenm on 8/27/2017Kenm would recommend this product to a friendThis control works great and is an affordable solution. I use it to controll my heater, chiller, and 2 brs 1.1 ml dosing pumps. You can't beat it for the price.
Saved me! By Wendy on 5/16/2017Wendy would recommend this product to a friendI was CONSTANTLY dickering with my heat. Always had trouble. Live in WY. This was the best $ I've spent. Wish I'd have done it 4 years ago when this tank went up.
difficult to set up By Jack on 4/23/2017Jack wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI wanted something simple to use so a heater failure wouldn't cook my corals.This product came with no instructions and made no sense to use.After several hours I got it to work.It died after 6 months
Good product By RobertP on 12/24/2016RobertP would recommend this product to a friendI like this controller. It works as advertised. I did not give it a 5 because I had to use my PC to set the temperature to start with and cannot figure out how to change the temp setting without it. Guess I will have to check the website because it didnt come with instructions.
It should have a dimmer for the display in low light or after not being used.
Great entry level controler By Adam on 12/14/2016Adam would recommend this product to a friendIf you have ever had a heater fail and kill your precious wet pets and corals...it stops now with this reefkeeper. This is by far the cheaper option to restocking your beautiful reef setup when your heater fails, and it will. Have had this up and running for a few months and it has already saved me hundreds. This reefkeeper saved my setup from a what could of been a devastating turn of events when it shut off the port on my malfunctioning heater. It took some time for me to realize that the heater wasnt working properly since the controller would just turn it on to heat and shut it off when the desired temp was reached. I also have a fan running on the power bar so it kicks on when the temp gets above my desired setting...works great!
The only down side is getting started and trying to figure out how to make it do all these wonderful things. The instructions at best are pretty horrible and will take you an afternoon to get it right. I still give it 5 stars due to the fact that once you get used to useing it...it gets easier. It may not have alot of fancy other things like WIfi email alerts or the other fancy bells and whistles, but it works great for what it does have right out of the box.
So if you are looking for a moderately priced controller that works great, this is a great option.
Great Product By Darryl on 10/15/2016Darryl would recommend this product to a friendvery pleased with this product .
it did take a bit to set up but after an hour had it hooked up and newest software uploaded and it has been running great since.
i also have slv2 salinity which is almost spot on will be ordering the Archon wireless to go with this soon.
Great Controller if your willing to spend some time setting it up. By Sean on 8/30/2016Sean would recommend this product to a friendIt really is a great device.
It did take me a few hours learning how to set it up properly, however, once you get the hang of it, it becomes very easy to use.
After owning it for a few weeks, I can almost use it with my eyes closed.
I really like what this product can do!
Much to be desired By Jeremy on 6/28/2016Jeremy wouldn't recommend this product to a friendWell...first things first. The directions for this I think as stated by others are WAY harder than they need to be. Go ahead and plan on sitting down for at least an hour or 2 figuring it all out. The software SUCKS. Good luck finding information on how to install the software, its not the easiest thing to navigate thru. Also there are the options for 8.0 and 8.2 or w/e it is now...but it does not tell you what and why you need the different ones really. You have to calibrate the temp probe which I think is stupid...you would think it would come already calibrated. I'm not even getting started yet. There CUSTOMER SERVICE (BAD WORD) SUCKS SO BAD! LIKE WHEN I SAY SUCKS I MEAN SUCKS. The first module I got totally stopped working out of the blue after I had it for like 2 weeks and O MY LORD, I could not get ahold of those guys! I think that the product is okay but could be much better...even for the cheap price. I literally tried to call the company for days with no reply. Okay on to the good part...I got a replacement product from BRS and it has been working great now for about 2 months :). I did email a very nasty email to digital aquatics letting them know how I felt. Buy the Neptune Apex controllers not this.
A lot of Bang for the Buck By David on 6/26/2016David would recommend this product to a friendToo many features to get into and all very impressive. One that I didn't expect and love is the "Standby" feature. Pumps, filters and the like seldom come with switches, you want them off say for feeding time need to unplug and replug. Each module (receptacle) has the capability of having "Standby" assigned to it. If so, when "Standby" is initiated (two button presses) the device on that receptacle turns off and stays off for a preset option you can set yourself up to one hour, then resumes it's assigned function. Extremely useful feature.
I am really happy with this controller.
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Starting at: $69.99
The maximum number of modules is 4. This does not include the head unit itself but all connected PC4's, SL1s, MLCs, etc.
With this $119 kit would I need to buy anything else? I see maybe the expansion power strip for the fan, heater, pump, and skimmer.
Thanks for the help,
The ReefKeeper system basically controls individual outlets. If the blue lights in the fixture are on their own power plug, then it isn't any problem at all for the reef keeper to do that. As long as you make sure to have enough outlets you can certainly plug your pumps into it and use it as a wavemaker as well.
You can use two PB4s with the Reefkeeper lite, and it can run four modules, not including the head unit. Have a great day!
The Reef Keepers power bar can be individually controlled and work well for your situation. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
The max wattage in standard outlet is 300 watt, they can control larger wattage on the separate relay outlet or with the expansion socket.
The mechanical relay outlets (1 & 4) are rated for a maximum draw of 8 amps, and the power bar itself can handle up to 15 amps total. You can typically expect a 500 watt heater to draw about 4-5 amps. So long as the heater is plugged into one of these two outlets, you should have no issue.
The ReefKeeper Lite has limited memory and processing power and simply just cannot control more than 4 modules. If you need more than 4 modules, you would need to upgrade to the Elite model.
Thanks for the question, and if you have any more just let us know.
Does this work lite basic with power heads to vary flow?
This product can be used to turn powerheads off and on to create varying flow. Have a great day!
I am sure it is listed somewhere but I can not find it, can you buy the Lite Plus but have the head unit updated to the elite head unit ?
We do not sell the elite head module separately and would expect it not to work with the lite from the different connections. You may want to contact DA directly. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Digital Aquatics – 425-527-0995 email@example.com
The ReefKeeper lite will not come with a pH module or salinity. This can be purchased with the SL2 module and the respective probes. I have included a link below to the SL2 module.
The reef keeper will be able to handle 2 heaters no problem. You can simply program the heaters outlet to turn on or off at certain temperatures. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
It can be programmed with MyReef 2.0 through a PC by directly plugging in. This will only program however and not offer physical control of the unit. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
You don't need any sort of special heater. Most folks use it the way you describe, or if they have a heater that is fairly accurate to begin with they will set the heater to the desired temp (say 78 degrees) and then set the reef keeper to 79 degrees. This allows the heater to control itself while still having the RK act as a backup incase the heaters thermostat fails.