Today it’s been exactly two months since I bought 2 freshwater Asta 120 LED lights from Amazon. There’s a lot to say about this light, but if you want to know my opinion right away, here it is.
The Asta 120 LED lights from Lominie are awesome alternatives to more expensive lights such as the Kessil a360x at just a fraction of the price. They’re very bright and work with tanks up to 24 inches tall. The two downsides are that the fan makes some noise and that they are not dimmable.
I’m very enthusiastic about these lights and will tell you why exactly in this article. I’ll also show you some pictures of my tank so you can get an idea of my setup. If you’re already thinking about buying them or if you’re curious what their current price is, check it out on Amazon.
First impressions of the Asta 120
It’s been two months since I received and installed my Freshwater Asta 120s on my aquarium. Let me first show you a picture of my tank that gives you an idea of the lighting quality.
And this picture of what they look like right now:
Although I threw away the packaging (there’s not a lot of space in my student dorm room) I remember being impressed by the packaging. There were spaces carved out of the white foam for the light and gooseneck.
The lamp was easy to assemble. The goose neck screws into the lamp. After that you just need to screw in the two screws all the way at the base of the gooseneck. These screws are used to clamp the lamp to the back panel of your aquarium. Make sure to use the correct hex key for this, otherwise it can be difficult to rotate the screw through the hole.
Each time, without failure, I have guests over that want to check out my tanks, they compliment these lights. I can understand why, because they are super bright. I’ve got two of them on a tank that’s only 40cm / 15 inches tall. I think they might be a bit too bright for my situation, so I have yet to hang them from the ceiling to raise them up a bit.
Overall build quality of the Asta 120
These lights are solid, it’s awesome. They are rather heavy and don’t feel flimsy at all. Obviously these lights are too expensive to feel cheap, but you’ve got to remember that these lights are Chinese replica’s from Kessil LEDs. I was a bit worried that the quality would let me down, but I was positively surprised.
The gooseneck is sturdy and can be bend by hand easily. If you bend the gooseneck it will remain in the position you put it, but if you want to bend it too far it jumps or springs back a bit.
The connection of the gooseneck to the tank makes me nervous a little bit. After all, you’re hanging the entire weight of the lamp and gooseneck to a plane of glass using a couple of screws. It feels like you’re putting constant pressure on the glass, but I’ve come to realize how strong glass actually is.
If you end up feeling uncomfortable with this way of mounting the light, I would recommend hanging the lights from the ceiling. You can also get a little bit creative when it comes to mounting them. I’m seriously thinking of hanging them from the ceiling myself.
Is the Asta 120 suitable for plant growth?
The main reason why I wanted to buy bright lights is because I wanted to grow plants with more difficult requirements. I’ve had two of these bad boys running for a while now and the plants have grown like crazy.
I’ve had to deal with some green hair algae during the startup phase of the aquarium, which probably meant that the light was too bright for the new plants. However, most of those problems are gone now!
If you’re looking for an LED aquarium lamp that will treat your plants well, I can confirm that the Asta 120 is for you. I’ve never seen plants grown as fast as they have with this light over the past 2 months.
What comes in the box?
In the box you’ll find the lamp itself, the gooseneck and some accessories. These accessories include zip ties to attach the cable of the lamp to the gooseneck. Sadly, the cable does not go through the gooseneck, which would be something that makes the overall lamp look better.
They also include everything you need to hang the lamp from the ceiling. There’s screws and wall plugs, but also all the parts to cover the holes and make it look nice.
Then you’ll also find a manual that’s written in a couple of languages including English. Finally there’s some other flyers in there that’re not relevant.
Asta 120 downsides that I could find
I’m a Dutchman and we’re known to be a little bit pessimistic from time to time. We’re the kind of people that go looking for downsides to things, so that’s what I did with the Asta 120 as well. I’ve made a nice and organized bulleted list for you.
- No dimmer. This is the biggest downside, because you can not control the brightness of the light. It’s just an on and off switch, so I recommend putting the light on a timer so it turns on and off on set intervals.
- The fan makes noise. The LED is so bright that it heats up fast, which is why there’s a built in fan to cool it back down again. Although the sound is soft, it is audible. For me that’s no big problem, because I’ve got various tanks with running filters etc. but if you don’t want anything to hum this is going to be a problem.
- LED frequency ruins photos and videos. This one needs some explaining: the light turns on and off extremely fast. You can not see this with your eyes, but as soon as you pull out your phone to take a closeup shot of your tank, you’ll see black bars running across the screen. Because I’ve never spent $400 on a Kessil light, I do not know if those lamps do this too, but I know that the Asta 120 does it. Here, I’ll add a picture that shows what I mean.
Do I recommend buying the Asta 120?
Do these downsides outweigh all the good things about this LED light? For me definitely not. I’m really grateful that Lominie allows us fish keepers to buy bright and high quality LED lights without spending a fortune. The lights are bright, perfect for plant growth and they looks beautiful. They always impress anyone that visits me.
So, if you’re convinced that the Asta 120 Freshwater LED lights are for you I can only say: go for it.
If you’re not convinced just yet, make sure to check out my Youtube video that I made when I just bought them. I’ll cover the same points again, but you’ll be able to get a better picture of what these lights look like and what they can do for your tanks.
My Favorite Fishtank Products to Make Life Easier
Over the years I’ve found a variety of products that make the fish keeping life so much easier. Whenever someone asks me what products I recommend buying, these are the first 5 items that come to mind. I’ll briefly list them below and state why I love them so much. I’m 100% sure you’ll love them!
1. A good gravel vacuum; Without a gravel vacuum, cleaning the substrate of your tanks is near impossible. Whenever I want to remove some of the sunken detritus from the bottom of my tank I’m happy I’ve got one of these. They’re available here on Amazon.
2. Liquid plant fertilizer; It’s no secret that I do not like nutritious aqua-soil. It makes a mess and only works a given amount of time. Instead, I always use a liquid aquarium plant fertilizer. Everyone who keeps live plants needs it, it’s not that expensive and makes your plants grow better. This is the one I use and recommend.
3. A set of aquascape tools; I love keeping plants, but planting and reorganizing my aquarium was difficult until I got a set of these tools. It’s much easier to plant any kind of plant compared to using my thick fingers. They’re also available here on Amazon.
4. Good but affordable LED lights; Quality LED lighting can be expensive and is dominated by brands such as Fluval and Kessil. I can not afford to pay that much for lighting, which is why I was so excited when I found this cheaper alternative. I’ve got 2 of these freshwater Asta 120 lights and one smaller Asta 20 light.
5. A liquid-based water test kit; ever since I’m able to accurately test my water parameters, keeping fish became less stressful. Before I was always stressed that my water parameters were wrong, but using a kit such as the API Master kit, which is available here on Amazon, I can measure this. It really is essential to successful fishkeeping.