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Should I upgrade to radion g3 pro?


reefbandit
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Considering upgrading my current light ocean revive t247 to a radion g3 pro.  My tank is a 30x30x18 cube currently the ocean revive covers it fairly well.  I'm wondering if the radion is worth it for all the added control and if the color is better and will make the coral pop more?  Let me know your opinions and also I wonder if the spread of the radion will be enough for my tank since it just has 2 clusters vs the ocean revive that is all spread out.

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Being perfectly honest I see Radion as brand name people are buying into, If you want to dump the money on technology in comparison to corals that is your decision. I have Seen the Radion Fixtures in use, I have seen all the AI fixtures in Use, (owned 3 of them) have seen the Kessil's in use, as well have seen the low end LED fixtures and Cheap Chinese fixtures. In the end I have come to the conclusion if it's growth your looking for it all depends on "how" you personally utilize the fixture. LED unlike T5 & Halide has a learning curve, you can put a Radion fixture over your SPS tank and watch them bleach or recess in growth if you have no idea what you are doing. The color "Pop" you are referring to comes from the "actinic" light (Blue/Royal Blue/Violet LED's) similar to a 20k Halide or the Actinic T5 Bulbs (Blue). All the fixtures typically have these channels on them, So why does Radion try to convey they are the best?

 

Well they do what any company would do, they market it in such a way that everything they have is so brilliant yet without a good understanding you wouldn't really know any better. For example here are the main things I here people arguing why Radions stand out:

 

Higher PAR output: Ok that's great... but do we know an exact amount of PAR needed for individual Corals? Nope! We have no clue, as a matter fact I have seen some losing color with 480 PAR while others get better color, what gives? It doesn't matter, what matters is that PAR output is not an exact science and if people using fixtures with not near that output have a better looking tank than you then what does that say?

 

Full Spectrum:  Full spectrum or not, proper water conditions, W/B.RB LED's I had my corals growing like weeds on the right settings, so again where is the true benefit? I guess it comes to how they supposedly look... Regardless Lets take a look at the Spectral graph for a few of these fixtures and see if we can really find anything that stands out in this so called "Full Spectrum"...

 

Radion XR30w Pro

 

ET_Radion_spec_XR30wPro.jpg

AI Hydra 52

spectrum_h52.png

Kessil A360W (With their Tunable Spectrum)

A360_Feature_img02.gif

 

Ok So I could keep going on but I think you get the point, the only difference I see with your Radion is a tad bit higher right in the 500 range, oddly the most emphasis is put in the 440 Range, and every last one of these fixtures do as well, the range in which Corals thrive in, so exactly why is having a bit extra in the 500 range worth so much? If your wanting "Pop" I promise you don't want that range it "Brightens" your tank :)

 

User Settings, Control Technology : Just like Radion as you might know AI is owned by EchoTech now as well, both products have very similar features. With the AI Director you can remotely control your fixtures, synch them up, use things like Weather, Lunar, Acclimation and such. Though not nearly as sleek in size form everything you would probably use or need is there, not to mention the AI's work with the Apex VDM Module as well. Kessil has the acclimation mode as well though not the control of several channels, instead it has 2 adjustments (Intensity & Color) but the greatest part to that is the kessil will give you a realistic shimmer, the AI & Radions will give you Disco Fever! The Kessil with the VDM Controller as well can be controlled remotely.

 

Lastly the big things Radion Boast on about is "Spread" this comes from their use of lenses, rather they be 50/80/120 degrees. This i really feel is more of a marketing gimmick if anything, I get the theory behind it but seriously, light is light. The coral gets it or it doesn't, and as long as you get a fixture or fixtures that are powerful enough to cover the tank I don't care what lenses your using. Radion uses 120, AI uses 80, Kessil uses a 360 degree approach in the way it mounts its LED's, and the Chinese manufactures typically use a sheet of plexi.... I have seen gorgeous tanks with growth using any of those fixtures so what Lens is the best? It's all a matter of personal opinion.

 

So hopefully that gives you a good insight on thing, oh and don't get caught up in that stupid NanoBox craze going on over at Nano-Reef.Com I promise you pay out the pocket for one of those you are going to be sorely disappointed with what you get in terms of build quality.

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I forgot to mention, the 3 Lights I discussed would be all of the prefered size for your particular tank, and this is how it all breaks down in price.

XR30w Pro    749.00
Radion Mount  89.00
Reeflink      99.00
--------------------
             937.00

A360We       399.00
Mount         39.00
Controller    99.00
--------------------
             537.00

Hydra 52     549.00
Mount          64.99
AI Director   99.00
--------------------
             712.99

 

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No diode is created equally, This is where "binning" comes into play.

 

Example:

 

Most people think when they walk into a store to buy a faster computer, they don't realize in most cases they can decide for themselves how fast they want their current computer simply by adjusting the frequency and voltage and having proper cooling.

 

this is also done by "binning" cpu chips anyone can buy while building their own computer, see, whether it's a piece of silicon or a led diode, NONE are created equal, there will be cpu chips that can handle higher frequencies at a lower voltage resulting in lower temperature compared to the very next one in the batch on the same piece of silicon. The same principles apply to quality led production.

 

I'm not really the one to try and explain this, two different worlds, same principle, but miles apart 

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No need to approach it, he asked for individuals opinions and I simply stated mine ;)

 

I know there is Further "Science" behind it all, in example "Lenses" can project and concentrate the light at varying angles for a wider view or narrow that to achieve further penetration. I understand by their term "full spectrum" They are supposedly recreating "Natural Sunlight" In which they believe is further beneficial for coral growth, but people were growing Corals with AI SOL fixtures just fine, I'm sure if we look hard enough I can put an SPS Tank That looks just as nice or better than newer fixtures using more colors of LED's they claim to use to gain that "Full Spectrum"

Those are just the basics, not to mention the PAR argument how long has that been going on, and in the end who has a laid out chart of exactly what numbers should be where and if we were to all follow that chart we would have success? Heck even Mr. Saltwater tank opted out of Radions on his new build to try a couple Cannons which are completely different than a radion fixture!

 

I have spent the last year and a half doing as much research on LED lighting as I could after struggling for 3 years getting anything to grow, talking to so called experts on the subject, reading everything I could, studying and trying most of the fixtures, looking for other reefers who had tried different things, asking them what settings and approaches they were using and guess what I found in common? (Aside from jacking up the blues,Not a [language filter] thing! In respects to lighting) I have heard everybody's speeches on acclimation and bumping up settings, simulating dusk and dawn etc, etc , ect. In the end the only thing I found common amongst those with gorgeous tanks, they were all experienced reefers. So when people want to go spend $750 on an LED fixture they will most likely need multiple of (I admit the Radions look slick) that's their business and EchoTech has proved themselves, but if someone is asking me if it's worth the cost, I'm going to be very quick to point out cheaper alternatives that I have seen just as effective if not more so.

 

Like bombertech even stated at the meeting in 4-6 years all these fixtures we have now will be outdated and we will be inevitably upgrading, I was just giving common sense objections to the advertised "science" that is supposed to be making all the difference in this fixture, yet when I can probably find a tank with Less Colors, Less PAR output, & No Lenses looking better in comparison where does that leave the Science. Thats all I was trying to state.

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Considering upgrading my current light ocean revive t247 to a radion g3 pro.  My tank is a 30x30x18 cube currently the ocean revive covers it fairly well.  I'm wondering if the radion is worth it for all the added control and if the color is better and will make the coral pop more?  Let me know your opinions and also I wonder if the spread of the radion will be enough for my tank since it just has 2 clusters vs the ocean revive that is all spread out.

If the Radion is "Worth" it is a matter of opinion and perspective but I will say that you can achieve more "Pop" as you can dial in each individual color of diode to ones liking while the OR has two channels.

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Considering upgrading my current light ocean revive t247 to a radion g3 pro.  My tank is a 30x30x18 cube currently the ocean revive covers it fairly well.  I'm wondering if the radion is worth it for all the added control and if the color is better and will make the coral pop more?  Let me know your opinions and also I wonder if the spread of the radion will be enough for my tank since it just has 2 clusters vs the ocean revive that is all spread out.

I ran an ocean revive and a radion (gen 2 I believe) over my 30x30 cube when setting it up. There are some pluses and minuses to both lights IMO. To me ultimately after tweaking, tuning, and playing around with the Radion compared to the OR (which I preferred) I came away less than impressed. The additional features that the Radion offered were not that important to me, and I was getting better color and 'pop' from the OR s026, believe it or not. So overall when factoring the price difference, I opted to go with two OR s026's over my tank. I know this may be a rare case, as I do not get too excited about ramping lighting up and down, or creating a storm mode. I generally like to set the lights and leave them for long periods of time. A timer kicks them on and off. Two knobs to adjust. No need to plug into anything to do that. All the corals are growing great and thriving. So the additional ability to dial in colors didnt factor as much in to me, because I liked the color I was getting already from the OR. If you arent a fan of the color given off by the OR, then the Radion may be the way to go. 

 

There is certainly more than one way to skin the proverbial lighting cat with tanks these days...but an increased price does not always equate to a proportional increase in performance. So now if one of my lights were to crap out, not only does Bo provide great local service, but buying another light is pretty inexpensive. Also seeing how rapidly the LED technology is changing, I wont have $1400 into lights when the latest and greatest thing comes out in a year or two. 

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Thanks everyone for the detailed responses. Looks like i may just stick with the ocean revive. Ive only seen the radions over one tank but they were being run extremely white so hard to make a judgement. Jadams i see where your coming from too the leds are changing very quickly if i got the radions now they will probably roll out gen 4 in 6-12 months. Looks like ill wait for now thanks again.

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For me, it comes down to how many watts are creating the "useful" energy from the LED. Most all can grow the corals, just how much energy does it take.

 

My guess of what we'll see in the feature is fixtures using less watts with more useful energy. They have some one the market already, they are just a different level of tech from the norm. I think it will become the norm, as there's extra benifits to fixtures, once less energy can be used. (no fan, less heat, different color renditions, better dimming control...)

 

Exdous, you might find some of Apogee research interesting. It can be found on their site. When people talk about full spectrum they are inferring it to the RQE (supposedly the useful energy) different than PAR and of course color.

 

Some info on how PAR/PAS/RQE plays into aquarium fixtures.

http://www.aquarium-digest.com/2010/04/11/led-aquarium-lights-lighting/

 

PAR vs. PUR/PAS

http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2012/03/pur-vs-par-in-aquarium-lighting.html

Edited by Trigger334
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Keep on going, this is really interesting information! Exodus, I really appreciate all the detail you provided in your first post.

 

I appreciate it Zwickm but to be honest that information wasn't detailed in a "Scientific" respect, as a matter of fact it didn't even really touch the tip of the ice burg, I was simply pointing out what Radion markets to be the best features, and using a cross comparison of competing products, I just simply used common sense of real world experience to show the fixture isn't the holy grail of all lighting, their are other alternatives.

 

When it comes to the Actual "Science" behind LED Lighting there is a ridiculous amount to understand, yet there are so many resources available. Like ChrisQ mentioned "Binning" He's absolutely correct and Phillips one of the most used LED's in the industry has done a wonderful write up on it here (One of my many bookmarks over the last year :) ), yet again that is just scratching the surface. Trigger334 discussed the Watts which is another huge topic to dive into, this currently weighs allot in deciding an "appropriate size" fixture for your tank (I even referred to this loosely stating "as long as you get a fixture or fixtures that are powerful enough"), and I do hope hes correct in his prediction. And by the way Trigger thanks for the Link on Spectrum :) <- One of the things that has the largest amount of info to understand, even I personally struggle with allot of it as it was never my area of study. You have Color temperature such as Cool/Warm/Neutral Whites. The organization of the LED's is another topic with a huge amount of info behind it. I'm not going to ramble on about everything there is to know as it would serve you better to read actual documentation written.

 

the only point I'm trying to convey is that when it comes to "Science" there is still allot of "Theory" and by this, take Randy Holmes-Farley for example (One of the most respected individuals in this hobby) The guy is absolutely brilliant, but Randy wouldn't be able to write up a numbered list of steps for everyone to follow precisely and all come out with universal success. This is what I personally feel separates "Science" from "Fact", The only fact I have found from this hobby since being involved in since the early 90's is that everyone finds individual success with different methods, though some of these methods uphold the same common principle or meet the same requirements, the methods we all use to achieve that success greatly differ. As a teen in the 90's helping my parents with their 180g Marine tank there were no skimmers, crushed coral was your substrate, oh, and Canister Filters were a great idea! See something wrong with that picture? The hobby changes and evolves showing us if we rely to heavily on the "Science" we know today we might miss out on whats to come tomorrow. Therefore when taking an approach to LED lighting I'm not going to bother with the "Specifics" EchoTech, Aqua Illuminations, Kessil, and others have all proved themselves with several stunning tanks as their evidence, and so many other Lights out there (MrBret & Adam's ReefStar Lights were amazing and good god I have never seen Zoa Colors like that before) as well as others I know using cheap Chinese eBay fixtures having success with SPS. I just don't care when people get affixed to one particular brand and associate the company with success, In reefing there is a heII of allot more to understand in the ways of success, and there is a plethora of options we have available to us to help us achieve that success.

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