M-F 9am-4pm CST

E-mail : SB.Reef.Light@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions:

Support Group Page

1. What makes sBoxes superior to other black boxes?

2. So what makes this spectrum so great, besides the great aesthetics it provides?

3. What kind of diodes do sBoxes have?

4. Why do you have split optics?

5. How many sBoxes and what size for my tank?

6. How does the warranty work?

7. What about parts once I am out of warranty? 

8. Are these hard to work on?

9.  How do SB Reef Lights compare to other "Premium" Black Boxes?

10. Shipping, returns, and warranty support

11. Installation requirements

12. I have an older WiFi light and lost the password or can't find the app

1. What makes sBoxes superior to other black boxes?

Best diode layout hands down.

Only Black Boxes with 395nm True UV

More 420nm Violet than any other black box, or even the high-end trendy lights.

Only Black Box with 20K whites plus more 14K than any other.

Upgraded quieter fans with higher airflow (CFM) for more cooling operation and longevity.

Thicker heat sink, up to 35% thicker than our competitors. Cooler operating temps and more even heat distribution.

Built-in mounting legs standard.  Other boxes either do not have them or charge you extra. It comes with the hanging kit as well.

More power. Our 30” model is 327w, our 32” model 363w.  


When you call SB Reef Lights, someone that will answer the phone speaking English. This seems silly to list, but have you tried to get tech support calling China?  Same for emails.

Ramping lights have adjustable time intervals down to 10 minutes. Our closest competitor changes intensity every 30 minutes.  We have a smoother ramping cycle.

Timer lights add the luxury of a remote control plus three channel built-in timer r with LCD screen and moonlight channel. Competitors 300w units do not come with a timer.

The cool name. Friends will ask what the “SB” stands for.  You can choose to share or just smile...

2. So what makes this spectrum so great, besides the great aesthetics it provides?

Simple, where most black boxes like MarsAqua, GalaxyHydro, Reef Radiance, Evergrow, and Reef Breeders use a shotgun method approach, loading in as many different diodes as possible, hoping to hit the right wavelengths, we instead, as seen below, hit all of the key photosynthesis points hard. No wasted energy in wavelengths that do not benefit coral growth and color.

The cross point of Chlorophyll A and C is 447nm, that is where Zooxanthellae are most efficient. We hit it very hard. Also, note 420nm is where Chlorophyll A peaks and we hit that hard as well. We have more 420nm than any other black box. Also note 420nm is a trigger wavelength that tricks corals into thinking they are in the shallower water, resulting in the development of more protective pigment "Color." Note we do not hit the 470nm peak of Chlorophyll C as hard, there is a valid reason for this. Chlorophyll C saturates at lower photon energy, and has a much lower density in most typical corals than Chlorophyll A.  This means adding more energy there adds no value after a point. Instead, we do something no other black box lights do; we hit the secondary absorption point of the carotenoids present in the Chloroplast hard. The carotenoids absorb the 490nm wavelength and convert the energy into a source the chloroplast can better use. The Cartenoid Peridinin is present in higher concentration than Chlorophyll C as well. We also hit the 660nm peaks of Chlorophyll A&C. Finally, we have 395nm True UV, which not only adds to coral fluorescence but the development of protective color pigments by again tricking the coral into thinking it is in shallower water. The issue with true UVs though is that the UV destroys the lens over time. We have solved this problem by finding a better quality diode with a silica lens instead of plastic. Makes for a little more expensive diode, but it will last more than the one year max you get out of a typical plastic lens. For our white channel, we have just enough green and yellow for aesthetics, with the bulk of diodes in the 14K range. We also have 20K diodes, something no other black box has. This provides for a crisp white with hints of blue.

That means our light provides more PUR than any other black box while helping to provide coral coloration only possible with T5s before.

Not all black boxes are created equal! We will put our growth rates and coral color up against any LED, even the trendy high priced fixtures. Add to that quieter fans that have higher CFM for cooler operating temperatures and longer diode life, Built-in mounting legs and hanging kit, and finally a 2 YEAR USA WARRANTY. All this for much less than other premium black boxes. 

3. What kind of diodes do sBoxes have?

We use only genuine Epistar diodes.  They are a step up from Bridgelux.  Though we wish we could use CreeUSA diodes, the reality is it would cause our prices to almost double. Cree USA uses Epistar to make their Chinese diodes, like reds used in TV panels. Unfortunately, any eBay boxes use whichever diodes are handy.

Many are counterfeit. Epistar or Bridgelux. We offer the best diodes in our price range. They are proven reliable and accurate.

4. Why do you have split optics?

90* optics provide the best penetration for max PAR.  120* lenses give the best coverage and color blend.  The trick is to use both, 90* to provide the PAR and PUR needed for growth while using 120* for color blend and on single diodes that need to cover a larger area, like UV. All 14K, 20K whites plus all 450nm Royal Blues are 90*.  All other diodes are 120*  Since there are more Whites and blues, the light has tremendous PAR and PUR, yet does not have the disco ball effect most LEDs have.  This is due to the 120* on the reds, Green,  Teals, Violets, Warm Whites and true UV.  Since all of the 120* colors are needed in the same intensity as the 450nm and 14K/20K,  it creates the perfect balance and ideal spectrum.  There is just enough 660nm  Red to encourage fast growth, without too much which would cause odd corallite density and growth, plus encourage nuisance algae. The 520nm Green is for aesthetics only.  The 420nm and 395nm contribute to both coral growth and coloration.

5. How many sBoxes and what size for my tank?

Feel free to contact us if you have a nontypical tank, and we will gladly give you suggestions.  This chart should help with most typical tanks. With all tanks, mounting height will effect spread.  There is enough power in our units to raise lights up if needed without sacrificing PAR.

6. How does the warranty work?

SB Reef Lights will cover any defects in manufacturing for a period of 2 years from the date of purchase.  Warranty applies to the original owner of the light, not transferable if sold. Warranty covers defective drivers, PCB Boards, fans, power switches, wire connectors and wiring, remote controls, control boards. Basically everything.  We do not cover damage due to misuse, like teaching your light to swim, playing soccer with it, or putting it in the bed of your 1984 chevy truck that is missing the tailgate. Units should be maintained dust free so it is recommended to clean with a vacuum once every 6 months. 

*Note the 2-year warranty does not cover the 395nm True UV diode. It is warrantied for 1 year. True UV diodes have a much shorter lifespan.  Most less than one year. Ours have a silica lens cap instead of plastic so life will be much longer which is why we can go for 1 year. You should get 2 to 3 years. However, should one burn out after one year we will sell you replacement diodes at cost. They are simple to solder in.

**Safety Note:  SB Reef Lights sBox lights use cooling fans that pull air from above, that is then pushed through the unit and out the sides.  Our lights are not designed to be mounted in any type of enclosure, customers do so at their own risk. We do not recommend mounting lights into canopies unless dry air, free of salt spray can be ensured.  Lights must be at least 8" above the water line with at least a 4" gap above, with some source of fresh air, whether external fans on the canopy or pass through holes in the top of the canopy directly above the fan locations. Even then salt spray and creep may be an issue if you have a strong return pump, airstones or heavy surface agitation.  Failure to install correctly into a canopy can create a safety issue as with any electronics in a moist or wet environment would.  SB Reef Lights with signs of Salt Creep or moisture inside will be void of warranty. SB Reef Lights also has no liability in cases where the light in question is installed in any type of enclosure or has moisture inside or signs of getting wet.  The proper way to mount with a canopy is to mount the lights above, outside, on top of the canopy, with a pass through hole for the light. Even better is to hang the lights or use the mounting legs and skip the canopy. Or consider getting the ULTRA which has no fans and an external power box.

Warranty is honored as follows.  You have two options for repair.

Ship the light to SB Reef Lights repair facility in Pensacola at your expense.  We will repair the light and return it at our expense.

Use the troubleshooting guide to identify the component in need of replacing. Contact SB Reef Lights. We will ship out needed parts free of charge for you to install.  

We will assist with technical help.  This option is desirable because you keep your lights up over your corals. Should only one channel go down, you still have lights. Less downtime is good.

In the event, we decide to simply replace a defective light, whether under warranty or due to shipping damage, original light must be returned to us in Pensacola, Florida before a replacement will be sent out. Please plan accordingly with a backup light. If you do not have a backup light and need the replacement light first, you can purchase a new light. Then when the original light is returned we will refund the purchase of the second light.

7. What about parts once I am out of warranty? 

We will supply any needed parts once out of warranty to customers at our cost. Yes, we refuse to make money selling you replacement parts to keep your lights working. Well beyond the warranty.  

Again life expectancy for diodes is 5 years, drivers more.

8. Are these hard to work on?

Not at all. In fact, we designed our lights to be completely modular inside.  All components have quick wire clips. Replacing a driver or fan takes minutes and only requires a screwdriver. We also have a troubleshooting guide to walk you through isolating the component in need of replacing.  Not that you ever need it. Look at our Youtube channel to see videos on modifying our lights to see how easy they are to work on.  

9.  How do SB Reef Lights compare to other "Premium" Black Boxes?

In the chart below you can compare SB Reef Lights sBox models to our competitors. Pretty easy to see we offer more for the money in an all-around better performing light. Many features in sBoxes our competitors do not offer or charge extra for. Note all information regarding competitor lights is pulled directly from their websites, SB Reef Lights cannot guarantee the accuracy of their information. We will update this chart as we are made aware of any changes.

10.  You just ordered and you are excited to get that new piece of hardware over your tank.  We are just as excited! We will do our best to get your order out quickly.


So how long does it take to get my stuff?
      There are several factors that impact shipping times, most importantly demand.  We were expecting to sell between 40 and 50 lights a month when we launched.  We are averaging 1000-1200 lights a month shipped worldwide, direct to customer, or one of the 176 Local Fish Stores carrying our product. We now have a third shift at our factory and are at full capacity.  We are looking at larger facilities, however for now we are estimate wait times of 2-7 days for shipping.  It's the price of being popular and until we can move the factory, there will be times we can ship in 24 hours, and others 3-7 days, all depending on current demand and product model.  Seldom due lights take more than 1 week to leave the factory or our California warehouse. Please understand, during times of peak orders we will not simply assemble a light and ship it. All lights go through a quality control burn in period of 2-3 days of constant use.
You will love the lights, the wait is definitely worth while.  However if you are in a pinch and need lights yesterday, you may want to consider an alternative to SBRL. We are not Amazon fast, but few things of quality are. 
*Retro Fit Upgrade PCB Boards are made to order and shipped by post to keep the cost down.  
If you have any questions regarding shipping of your order, feel free to contact us by the following methods.
Message through the contact link here
Message through the link on your SBRL profile page
Email direct at SB.Reef.Light@gmail.com

What about international shipping?

Shipping is included at no additional charge to Canada, United Kingdom, most of the EU, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, most of the Far East.  All international orders ship from the factory, times are noted above.  Other locations, please contact us for a rate. Please note, for international shipping: We have no way to collect local taxes, duties, VAT or GST.  You will be responsible to pay when you sign for your light.

What do I do if the light comes in with damage from shipping?

Contact DHL, UPS or FedEx immediately and start a claim.  They just need your tracking number.  Keep all packaging.  Take pictures of everything you can.  Send claim number, picture and description to SB.Reef.Light@gmail.com

We will then send out needed replacement parts if minor with no cosmetic damage, for example, a damaged control screen. This is quicker than sending a new unit. If you are not comfortable swapping out parts, we will send a new light.  We just use the first option to speed things up and get you a working light over the tank. It is your choice.  If there is physical damage to the case or worse, we will send a replacement light after the damaged light is returned. If UPS, DHL or FedEx does not honor the claim for some reason, we will provide the return shipping label.  Once the return light tracking shows movement, we will get the replacement light out right away. You do not have to wait for the return light to get all the way back to us, the tracking just needs to show acceptance and movement. You will be head of the line at that point.  Sadly we can no longer send replacement lights prior to the original light showing movement back to us, far too many customers have failed to return their damaged lights.

*We seldom have issues with DHL or UPS damaging items, however, we want you to know the process should you experience one.

All returns must arrive in the original box with original packaging and all related parts, otherwise, a 10% or larger restock fee may be assessed. Please hang on to your original packaging.

What if I just don't like the light?

Out of the first 4000 lights we sold, only one customer did not like the aesthetics of the SB Reef Light. You can't win them all. Should you decide you simply do not like the light, we have you covered. Simply return the light in the original box and packaging and we will issue you a full refund.  We give you 7 days from receipt of your light to contact us regarding a return. Customer pays return shipping. 

In the event, we decide to simply replace a defective light, whether under warranty or due to shipping damage, original light must be returned to us in Pensacola, Florida before a replacement will be sent out. Please plan accordingly with a backup light. If you do not have a backup light and need the replacement light first, you can purchase a new light. Then when the original light is returned we will refund the purchase of the second light.

12. I have the old WiFi version and lost my password or can't find the app.

Here are the app links, ramp building excel spreadsheet download and password for the original WiFi versions of SB Reef Lights. 

With your Android or Apple IOS  you can manually control your light with your phone.  Using your phone or tablet combined with your home WiFi router, you can control or program up to 8 lights at once.  Save programs on your phone and switch back and forth anytime.  Take your phone to a fellow reefer's house and upload your program to their lights in seconds.  

Apple IOS app has 48 set points with 3 channel settings in each for a total of 144 set points, Android app has 42 set points with 3 channels settings in each for a total of 126 set points,  for a very smooth ramp.

Sample Ramping Program.  Download excel calculator below.  Please note all suggested levels are from current owners and full liability for results is solely the responsibility of the lights owner.  SB Reef Lights is not liable for any results of a customer using too high or too low intensity settings for their current reef tank set up.  Every tank is different based on depth, coral type and coral placement, as well as turbidity and nutrient levels.  Sample program and excel calculator may not be plug and play for your reef set up.

Down Load Excel Calculator Here:  Excel Ramping Calculator