The Neptune Systems Apex VDM is an easy to use 0-10V LED dimmer. It allows users to set a variety of customizations. It also features unique settings most dimmers do not have. If you are looking for full daylight control and have access to most lights’ 10$ integration cable, this module will afford you a world of customization in an interface you are most likely familiar with.
Unlike many other dimmers that require a confusing and time-consuming set-up, the Apex VDM is automatically recognized when it is plugged into the system. The only set-up required is selecting your preferred settings. It also works on many brands of LED lights, allowing users to use the lights they prefer.
The Apex VDM dimming module is compatible with all Apex systems. It can be attached to other fixtures as well, but non-Apex fixtures require an LED dimming cable, which is not included. There are also additional features available only if it is attached to an Apex Ready+ fixture, including effects such as storm, lightning, moonlight, sun set and sun rise, lunar cycle, and clouds. The sun cycle setting is especially beneficial for most aquarium hobbyists because it mimics the light pattern their tanks’ inhabitants would experience in nature. Users can set a timer for changes in lighting to occur. The dimmer can also be controlled from mobile devices. Apex Ready fixtures allow for 4 channels of LED dimming. LED dimming cables used for other fixtures allow for 2 channels. Multiple VDMs can be added to Apex fixtures. Lights can be controlled separately if desired.
The Apex VDM module features an LED status indicator. It also includes a 3 feet long AquaBus cable and a user manual. Interface cables for the lights are not included, though. The Apex VDM module is upgradeable via future firmware updates.
We have used this module for about 4 years now on a variety of lighting fixtures. When we first obtained it, we ran our DIY LED fixtures on it via a homemade RJ-45 spliced cable. Not the prettiest of solutions I grant you, but it got our lights dimming for morning and evening and even allowed us to control the blue and white coloration a bit. Fast forward a few years and we now have the Apex VDM module dimming a Kessil fixture that is suspended over a 40 gallon breeder tank that we grow our LPS and Zoa corals in. Every morning it starts out super blue and low in intensity and gradually builds to about 12k by noon, only to reduce down again to the deep blue late in the afternoon for twilight.
I have to say that there is something warm and fuzzy about having your lighting controlled like this automagically, knowing that your corals are being treated to a similar light schedule to what they would experience from mother nature in the ocean. Whether you want to create an impressive light show or make your tank’s lighting more natural, the Apex VDM Dimming Module by Neptune Systems will likely work for you.
Photo courtesy of https://www.neptunesystems.com/led-dimming-module/