Monday, September 12, 2011

Preview: EcoTech Marine Radion XR30W LED Fixture

EcoTech Marine Radion XR30W LED Fixture
Item Code: EM3111
  • 34 energy-efficient LEDs
  • Fully adjustable for growth and appeal
  • Output optimized for PAR
  • Wide light spread
  • Minimal color banding
  • Fully upgradeable
  • Modular LED cluster, lens and driver assemblies
  • Capacitive touch exterior controls
  • Revolutionary heat sink design
  • Switching power supply
  • Evolving software and firmware
  • Smart multi-light wireless functionality
  • Easy import and export of saved modes
  • Real-time clock
  • Multiple light period programmable
Introducing EcoTech Marine's newest product, the Radion XR30W. I literally drooled when I first saw the Radion LED light in person. When I got the privilege to test the new Radion prototype on my aquarium, I immediately raced home and set the unit on my tank. Once the light was lit, I had the biggest grin from ear to ear and just nodded my head the entire time. I have to admit, I am very impressed with the new EcoTech Marine Radion LED.
The new Radion is designed very well and feels very solid. I just hope the placement of the center intake fan doesn't have any long term issues from splashes or moisture when placed close to the surface of the water. It uses high quality diodes that are placed in an excellent layout that allows the colors to blend very well. Even with the LED fixture held right above the water's surface, there was no disco spotlighting effect that you would sometimes see in other fixtures. The Radion LEDs are extremely bright at its highest settings and it will still provide a good light spread as you will see in the included photos below.
The capacitive touch buttons worked fine, but there is no indicator or way to tell when the unit is at its highest or lowest setting as it continues to beep every time the buttons are tapped. The cycle button cycles through 4 different modes from white to blue. Since this is a prototype model and I did not have a instruction manual, I discovered that holding the Cycle button turned the color indicator next to the buttons from blue to green, and then the buttons became unresponsive unless I unplugged the unit. It must have been some sort of locking mechanism or mode that I will have to read in the user manual when it is available.
I could not figure out how to wirelessly sync the fixture with my Vortech pumps since the instructions are not yet available. According to EcoTech Marine it will have this capability to coordinate with Vortech pumps on night modes, storm modes, and other light and water synchronizing features which are exciting features that I look forward to seeing.
The unit did get warm to the touch, but it wasn't that bad considering I was running it at its highest intensity. Noise is also non-existant as even the fan is silent. I was able to play around with the Alpha version of their software. While most of the features were unavailable, in the final release it will have a lot of advanced features such as being able to fine tune the photo-periods with sun rises and sun sets at gradual fading intensity levels.
Overall, the EcoTech Marine Radion is a fantastic LED fixture and should definitely be considered as one of the top choices when shopping for a new LED light fixture.

EcoTech Marine Radion XR30W LED Fixture (Prototype) with Switching 110V/220V Power Supply
Length: 11.8 inches
Width: 7 inches
Thickness: 1.5 inches when including the fan screen thickness, otherwise the actual body size is approximately 1.25 inches.
Micro USB port to connect to a PC for extra programmable features 
Capacitive touch buttons. Raise button increases the intensity while lower reduces the intensity. Cycle button cycles through 4 different modes. 
Total of 34 LEDs:
8x Cree XP-G Cool White LEDs run at 5w each
8x Cree XP-E Blue LEDs run at 3w each
10x Cree XP-E Royal Blue LEDs run at 3w each
4x Cree XP-E Green LEDs run at 3w each
4x Osram Oslon SSL Hyper Red LEDs run at 3w each
LED color pattern
Hanging mount. Since this is a prototype model, the hanging kit was not included for the preview.
LED fixture plug that connects to the power supply.
Switching 110/220V Power Supply. Plug port on the left is for the EcoTech Battery Backup.
Label on the power supply
The EcoTech Radion fixture can be configured on a PC that requires .NET Framework 4.0. This is a ALPHA version screenshot of the Radion Configuration Tool. The released version may look different than what is shown here. 
PAR Distribution Rating and Output Spectrum Graph from the EcoTech Marine website.

One EcoTech Radion at 100% intensity held up on the left side of a 36x24x20 aquarium. Two Radions would be required for complete coverage to light up each corner of this aquarium. 
One EcoTech Radion held up in the center of the 36x24x20 aquarium. Notice how the sides and corners are much dimmer. Depending on the aquascape layout, some hobbyists may be able to get away with one Radion on a 36 inch tank if the corals are placed near the center of the aquarium.
Just for comparison, this is with a ATI 36 inch 6 lamp T5HO fixture. The back right pillar with the coral at the top can now be seen compared to just one Radion fixture.