Thursday, February 20, 2014

EcoTech Marine Radion XR30w Gen3: A Hands-On Review!

FINALLY!

After weeks of anticipation, I was able to get my hands on the new EcoTech Marine Radion XR30w Generation 3 LED Light!

It is hard to not be impressed by this new light fixture. Its gorgeous form and its impressive functionality are at the pinnacle of LED aquarium lighting technology.
Out of the box, the first feature I noticed is the sleek new fan guard/lens frame. This new one-piece, molded lens frame gives the Gen3 Radion a much more modern and updated sleek look.

The second physical and functional change is the new backlit tactile buttons at the top of the fixture. Gone are the capacitive-touch buttons. The new mechanical buttons are much easier to use and reduces the risk of RF interference from other equipment.

A new IP-Rated fan also improves performance and durability in moisture-rich environments. While just about every other LED fixture comes with a small plastic power supply, the Radion comes with a BEEFY power supply enclosure that is made of metal and has a heat sink for cooling to help ensure longevity. As heat is one of the most common causes for electrical equipment failure, it is great to see EcoTech going the extra mile to make sure the Radion G3 LED fixture will provide years of trouble-free service.

In addition to being better looking on the outside, the beauty of the Gen 3 Radion goes beyond skin-deep.

The biggest upgrade is the inclusion of Indigo and UV LEDs in the standard Gen 3 Radion. Impressively, the output of the standard Gen 3 Radion is significantly increased to near the output of the Gen 2 Radion Pro!

The EcoTech Marine Gen 3 Radion Pro also received updated LEDs to increase maximum output by almost 7%. 
The standard Gen 3 Radion XR30W will be sufficient for the large majority hobbyists and is the fixture I would recommend to most hobbyists. The Pro would be great for aquariums deeper than 30”, larger aquariums or SPS-dominated aquariums where you are trying to obtain the highest intensity with the broadest spectrum.
The basic functions of the light can be accessed via the 3 buttons at the top of the fixture. The up and down arrow buttons allow you adjust the intensity while the center button allows you to change the color temperature. You can also access feed and night mode as well as turn the fixture on and off by pressing a combination of the buttons.
To access the full and amazingly extensive features of the Radion, you will want to use the provided USB cable and program the fixture with a PC computer or laptop. For those wanting wireless control, the optional ReefLink is available to give you wireless access to your Radion via your computer, laptop, tablet or phone.
Through the EcoTech software, EcoSmart Live, you are able to control dusk/dawn, set cloud and thunderstorm simulations, adjust each of the 6 LED channels and adjust the lunar phase at night. If you have any of the wireless VorTech Pumps, you can also program your pumps to synchronize with your Radions.
A single fixture easily covers a 24” x 24” area. Coverage can be increased to 36” x 36” with the optional wide-angel lens. It has been over a week since the light has been on my reef tank and my corals have responded very positively with these full-spectrum LED lights. The coloration is just about as vibrant as can be and all the corals appear to be doing quite well with their tissues and polyps fully extended. I am definitely impressed by the output the Radion provides and am excited to see how my corals will do under these lights in the long run.
Since its original introduction in 2011, the EcoTech Radion fixtures have been considered by most hobbyists to be the best reef aquarium LED fixture available. With continual development and improvements, EcoTech has made the Radion better and better each year. With the latest upgrades made to the Gen 3 fixtures, both cosmetic and functional, EcoTech has once again leaped ahead of competition.

If you are looking for the best, look no further!