EcoTech Marine XR15 & XR30 Radion Pro - The BRS Recommended Reef Tank LED Light
The coveted Radion LED light has come a long way and has pioneered its way through the evolution of LED lighting for reef aquariums. With each of the 5 generations, we saw improvements both big and small and the latest G5 Pros bring one of the biggest changes yet, a completely updated and redesigned LED layout.
Whereas previous generations of the Radion took advantage of a cluster or puck of diodes, the G5 lights are touting a NEW panel-style spread of LEDs which not only means more individual diodes but also better blending and spread from an already pretty impressive lighting platform. In addition to the new panel-style LED layout, EcoTech Marine took a little bit different approach to the spectrum offerings as well.
While you still have the choice of either the smaller XR15 or XR30, you now also have a sort of choosing your own adventure situation when it comes to the spectrum between the Pro and Blue models. The Radion Pro is designed to give users the flexibility they need to customize and fine-tune the spectrum of their choice whereas the Blue version is intended to be plug-n-play in terms of the spectrum as it mimics the popular AB+ light spectrum with all channels at 100%.
Radion XR15 vs XR30 Specifications
|Radion XR15 Pro||Radion XR30 Pro|
All Radion lights include a couple of eyelets for a DIY mounting solution using the threaded ports on top of the fixtures. You also have the option of the standard Radion suspension kit which works with all models of the Radion and their very popular RMS Mounting System which works for direct attachment to the tank or creating a light rack with legs for multiple fixtures.
The BRS Recommended mounting height for Radion fixtures is roughly 8" from the water's surface to achieve the optimal light spread.
The G5 Radions moved away from the puck or cluster of LED diodes into a full panel most likely for the sake of better color blending and spread. What that means the individual colored LED diodes will blend better, producing a more uniform spectrum while also reducing hotspots across the entire area it covers. We use the term "even blanket" of light meaning you are getting similar output (PAR values) across the entire 24" x 24" area when mounted at the appropriate height.
The Radion HEI lens included on every Radion is what creates the precision spread and blending of the light. You then have the option of using the snap-on diffuser to mute the shimmering lines that are created when light bounces off the water's surface. Some folks like a little shimmer, some don't; it's mainly about appearance when it comes to using the diffuser or not.
One of the biggest benefits of using LEDs is the controllability, not only in the way of adjusting output but also in customizing the appearance and spectrum. Users can produce the exact color they want to see in their tanks while also optimizing that light spectrum for photosynthesis among the corals using the EcoTech Marine Mobius app.
This is an area where the Radion Pro shines, pun intended. You get individual control over 8 different color channels so you can fine-tune that spectrum as much as you like. You can schedule the light to ramp up and down throughout the day creating a variety of setpoints throughout the day where both spectrum and intensity can be controlled. You can add lunar lighting or take advantage of acclimation mode and weather effects as well. The Pro version is specifically designed to provide the most flexibility to users in terms of spectrum.
For those of you who wish to keep things simple, Mobius serves up a few different spectrum presets as well which adjust the color channels for you. You can then tune the maximum intensity using a PAR meter to create and finalize your lighting schedule.
Which Radion Is Right For You? Blue vs Pro
With the Radion Pro and Blue both being great options to light your reef tank, it may be difficult to decide. At the end of the day, the difference is the spread of LED diodes in each fixture. Everything else about the fixtures is identical so we like to recommend you consider your personal preferences and experience level.
The Blue gives the user an easy choice for producing that popular AB+ spectrum that so many reefers have come to love. You get the maximum output at that particular spectrum, without having to fuss with any sort of color adjustments. Simply adjust the intensity with all channels at 100%. So if you don't see yourself wanting to move away from the Blue dominated AB+ spectrum, there really is no reason to choose the Radion Pro.
The Radion Pro is tailored mainly for those who prefer to use a bit whiter or more natural colored light spectrum over the aquarium. Essentially maximizing the output with a little less blue tint in the spectrum in terms of appearance. You still can achieve a very similar AB+ spectrum using the Radion Pro so it's never completely off the table, it's just a matter of the right spectrum settings.