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EcoTech Radion LED Lights....Or AI Or ??? I can't make up my mind.

Discussion in 'Lighting, Equipment & DIY' started by gemmy, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    I am planning on upgrading to LED's after the holidays, but I want to plan it out now. Are these lights worth the $$? I like the fact I can sync my lights and power heads together. Now, I live in an apartment and I can't hang the lights from the ceiling, besides there is an old duct above my tank. What would be an alternative to mounting these lights? I have a 55 gallon tank with a metal stand. Or should I go another route for my LED's? DIY is totally out of the question for me. I have talked to several people and shown them the builds on here and I don't trust them to do this. Thanks!
  2. 2quills

    2quills Active Member

    They look like some nice fixtures, Krista. That seems like a lot of cash to shell out for lighting on over a 55g since you'd need two of em. I've been looking/waiting for some real reviews but so far have only came across a couple of folks who are just now ordering them. They just haven't been around long enough yet to be used by anyone to difinitively say how well they'll do in the long run. To me the cost of fixes or emitter replacement in the long run after the warranty is gone is the real killer. If the fix isn't something that you're willing to tackle yourself you're gonna have to send a whole fixture off to get repaired. Perhaps Tommy Lynns hubby would be willing to throw together a kit for you.
  3. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2Quills
    They look like some nice fixtures, Krista. That seems like a lot of cash to shell out for lighting on over a 55g since you'd need two of em. I've been looking/waiting for some real reviews but so far have only came across a couple of folks who are just now ordering them. They just haven't been around long enough yet to be used by anyone to difinitively say how well they'll do in the long run. To me the cost of fixes or emitter replacement in the long run after the warranty is gone is the real killer. If the fix isn't something that you're willing to tackle yourself you're gonna have to send a whole fixture off to get repaired. Perhaps Tommy Lynns hubby would be willing to throw together a kit for you.
    You bring up some good points. I figure that I could also use the fixtures when I upgrade my tank to a 90 or 125. I guess it would be a good idea to read some real reviews before taking the plunge. I really like my power heads by them, and would think they would make a good LED fixture.
  4. mr btldreef

    mr btldreef New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2Quills
    They look like some nice fixtures, Krista. That seems like a lot of cash to shell out for lighting on over a 55g since you'd need two of em. I've been looking/waiting for some real reviews but so far have only came across a couple of folks who are just now ordering them. They just haven't been around long enough yet to be used by anyone to difinitively say how well they'll do in the long run. To me the cost of fixes or emitter replacement in the long run after the warranty is gone is the real killer. If the fix isn't something that you're willing to tackle yourself you're gonna have to send a whole fixture off to get repaired. Perhaps Tommy Lynns hubby would be willing to throw together a kit for you.
    i have to agree... 2quills hit it right on the head. i do think it is a bit over kill for that size tank. have you seen the aquailluminations sol blue i think they are fairly priced and nice and simple fixture. the next step up could be the acan lighting... not sure the model needed off the top of my head.
    on a positive note about the radion is that it can be programed through your computer to do different effects such as cloud cover/lighting storm/ sunrise/sunset. it also can communicate with ecotech pumps..... sounds really cool but i like to keep things simple.
    it also has multiple colors of leds.... something not many leds fixtures have yet.
  5. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr btldreef
    i have to agree... 2quills hit it right on the head. i do think it is a bit over kill for that size tank. have you seen the aquailluminations sol blue i think they are fairly priced and nice and simple fixture. the next step up could be the acan lighting... not sure the model needed off the top of my head.
    on a positive note about the radion is that it can be programed through your computer to do different effects such as cloud cover/lighting storm/ sunrise/sunset. it also can communicate with ecotech pumps..... sounds really cool but i like to keep things simple.
    it also has multiple colors of leds.... something not many leds fixtures have yet.
    Now, I have heard mixed reviews on the AI fixtures. Issues with bulbs burning out and reduced par. I found a place where I can two of those fixtures, hanging kit and controller for the cost of one Radion fixture. Decisions...decisions.
  6. 2quills

    2quills Active Member

    Leds burning out is a problem with any fixture, diy or pre-built. Even though they are rated up to 50,000 hours there's always going to be a weak link in the chain somewhere and odds are you will have a few that fail well before their time.
    The Eco Techs chip boards don't look to hard to replace yourself. It's just going to be more costly because all of the chips are on the same board.

    basically you pull the cover off the fixture and then remove the lense to access the board. The board just un plugs via a connector but I can't tell how the board is actually mounted to the heatsink since I don't see screws.

    With the Sol fixtures It's fairly simple. The main cover unscrews and pulls away to access the insides.

    Then you remove the lenses and pcb board and simply unscrew the pucks and replace them. Everything basically just unplugs. No soldering is necessary. You seem like a pretty handy gal Krista, I'm sure you wouldn't have much trouble replacing the pucks yourself if you really needed to. But with the A.I.'s it's far cheaper to replace a puck with 3 leds if one blows out then it is to replace a larger puck like on the Radeon with 15 chips on it.

    If you're really handy with a heat gun, it's actually possible to replace individual chips.
  7. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    [hr]
    I can definitely do that. I think I might just go with the AI. The price is pretty good and I should be able to swing it in the next couple of weeks.
  8. acrylic51

    acrylic51 Active Member

    Agree.....cost to repair is the big issue.....The Radions look good, but way to early to tell anything yet.....The AI's are nice units.....I think a lot of the color issues, might come down to is what is appealing to your eyes.....The color rendition of LEDs have been debated so much, and it's not easy to snap a pic and post and get a true representation of what it actually looks like.
    I do think in the near future will see a little price drop. AI has already done that somewhat with the release of the Radion, and AI has the newer version models as well. Corey had commented about the multi chip setup......I anticipate AI to hop the bandwagon and follow suit with adding other colors. Back when Corey and I were first looking at LEDs I had contacted Cree and they can do multi chip setups on the same board, but the tooling fee seemed expensive for just 1 guy......
  9. mr btldreef

    mr btldreef New Member

    i too have heard about ai having issues, but as 2quills has pointed out it is an easy repair. i have seen the sol blue model on a tank and it looks like a very simple clean unit.
    on the other hand acan lighting has really good customer service. acan lighting is technically an ecoray fixture. my local reef club has our meetings in acan lightings headquarters so i do get to see them running on their tanks. i do have to say they are a very nice unit.... little bit more but imo i think they are nicer.
    as acrylic51 stated .... most of these units are going to have more colors added and a price drop. most of the techs from acan lighting are in my reef club. they had said prototypes have already been started for the additions of coloring.
  10. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr btldreef
    i too have heard about ai having issues, but as 2quills has pointed out it is an easy repair. i have seen the sol blue model on a tank and it looks like a very simple clean unit.
    on the other hand acan lighting has really good customer service. acan lighting is technically an ecoray fixture. my local reef club has our meetings in acan lightings headquarters so i do get to see them running on their tanks. i do have to say they are a very nice unit.... little bit more but imo i think they are nicer.
    as acrylic51 stated .... most of these units are going to have more colors added and a price drop. most of the techs from acan lighting are in my reef club. they had said prototypes have already been started for the additions of coloring.
    From the fixtures that I've seen, the AI are relatively cheap compared to the others and the acan and radion aren't that far off from each other in price. I might be looking at the wrong fixture for my 55 when it comes to the acan.
    My goals with upgrading are:
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]
    Cost efficiency (reduced bulb replacement costs and lower electrical consumption)
    Fixture that I can use as a base for when I upgrade (plan on a 125 in about 2 years)
    [/list type=decimal]
    Those are my main goals. I am currently running a MH fixture and I can keep pretty much anything with, but I cheaped out on the fixture. I want better, more efficient lighting. I don't want to buy bulbs every 6-8 months.
  11. acrylic51

    acrylic51 Active Member

    What MH fixture are you running Gemmy????? Why not hold out a bit and see some actual "real use" results on the Radion fixture......Personally just looking at the Acan fixture, you can't compare the Radion and Acan in the same group. Acan and AI yes.....both of these use typical colors, whereas the Radion has wider color options.....So if the price is comparable between the Radion and Acan.....Better served Radion......The blue/white combo has been proven to be lacking......
  12. mr btldreef

    mr btldreef New Member

    honestly i think you are better off going AI. each upgrade of tank size you do... basically can add a fixture. possibly for the 55gallon run ai sol blue. i believe by the time you get to the 125g you can get good coverage from an addition ai sol blue. i don't know exactly your future plan...heavy sps dominate tank or mixed reef. ai sol blue from what they state, their sol unit is equivalent to a 275w halide ... i am going to say a little less possibly a high 250w. what do you have your tank right now?
  13. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acrylic51
    What MH fixture are you running Gemmy????? Why not hold out a bit and see some actual "real use" results on the Radion fixture......Personally just looking at the Acan fixture, you can't compare the Radion and Acan in the same group. Acan and AI yes.....both of these use typical colors, whereas the Radion has wider color options.....So if the price is comparable between the Radion and Acan.....Better served Radion......The blue/white combo has been proven to be lacking......
    Like I said, I cheaped out on the fixture and have an Odysea fixture. The fixture has 2 250 watt bulbs and four 96 watt PC bulbs. I know comparing the acan and radion fixtures is like comparing apples to oranges. I'm one of those people that gets caught up in the new gadgets, but that's why you guys are here to talk sense into me.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr btldreef

    honestly i think you are better off going AI. each upgrade of tank size you do... basically can add a fixture. possibly for the 55gallon run ai sol blue. i believe by the time you get to the 125g you can get good coverage from an addition ai sol blue. i don't know exactly your future plan...heavy sps dominate tank or mixed reef. ai sol blue from what they state, their sol unit is equivalent to a 275w halide ... i am going to say a little less possibly a high 250w. what do you have your tank right now?
    I plan on a mixed reef. I like the look of LPS mixed with SPS with a hint of softies. I want to have the flexibility to have pretty much anything I want in tank.
  14. mr btldreef

    mr btldreef New Member

    okay ... if you are already running 2 x 250 halides. do 2 x ai sol blues.
  15. acrylic51

    acrylic51 Active Member

    The issue that's been noted with the AI units, is....if and when they add additional color combo that it won't be an easy convert with how the system is designed......I'd have to do some digging around to find the thread pertaining to that, but won't be able to directly link....
  16. 2quills

    2quills Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acrylic51
    The issue that's been noted with the AI units, is....if and when they add additional color combo that it won't be an easy convert with how the system is designed......I'd have to do some digging around to find the thread pertaining to that, but won't be able to directly link....
    My guess is that they will end up dropping that design all together and go with a radically different approach in the next one. I'm not terribly crazy with the looks of the new Phoenix. They claim the XM-L's that they are running are more efficient than the XP-G's. But I haven't seen any info pertaining to witch group #'s they're using. The XM-L's are only more efficient if you get them in the U2 bin over the XP-G R5's. But something tells me they probably aren't using either of those in their set ups.
  17. gemmy

    gemmy Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acrylic51
    The issue that's been noted with the AI units, is....if and when they add additional color combo that it won't be an easy convert with how the system is designed......I'd have to do some digging around to find the thread pertaining to that, but won't be able to directly link....
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2Quills

    My guess is that they will end up dropping that design all together and go with a radically different approach in the next one. I'm not terribly crazy with the looks of the new Phoenix. They claim the XM-L's that they are running are more efficient than the XP-G's. But I haven't seen any info pertaining to witch group #'s they're using. The XM-L's are only more efficient if you get them in the U2 bin over the XP-G R5's. But something tells me they probably aren't using either of those in their set ups.
    My question for the 2 of you is which fixture do you think I would be better off going with? Ideally, I want to get a fixture that I can use when I upgrade my tank and can support a mixed reef. OR, should I wait another year and change my lighting then? One of the reasons I am looking at doing this now is I need to purchase all new bulbs. I figure why spend the money on bulbs when I really want LED's, but I can get the bulbs and get the fixture later. I know I already wasted some $ by buying my current fixture.
  18. acrylic51

    acrylic51 Active Member

    If it were me personally I'd change my bulbs since its been working for you. I would follow the LEDs closely, because I think we'll see more; better color options. Currently the manufacturers are attempting to meet the demands and needs of the hobbyist, but still rather costly. I reference the Radion as a prime example. Best color options right now, but cost wise still to expensive to gamble on IMO.
  19. 2quills

    2quills Active Member

    If cash wasn't a huge issue and I had to chose one over the other I'd go with the Radion fixtures for their better color combinations and more leds. But I also agree with Shawn in the idea that it won't be long now before we see better options hitting the market. The amount of options available now compared to a year or so ago is huge so I can only guess as to what we may see come about next year. Especially with some of the newer led technology that has recently come out in regaurds to higher efficiency advancements in leds which are actually even cheaper than their predecessors that neither of these guys are using yet.
  20. sweatervest13

    sweatervest13 New Member

    Quote:
    Like I said, I cheaped out on the fixture and have an Odysea fixture. The fixture has 2 250 watt bulbs and four 96 watt PC bulbs.
    I know you spend some cash on the fixture, but maybe not too much. Those fixtures are very cost effective, if you are just trying to get by for a year or two. I did the same thing (bought the odyssea fixtures) because I did not want to drop a couple of thousand bucks on good LED's. If you are looking at upgrading to a 125 you are going to need at least three LED units like the AI or the Radion... maybe more then three. You can get cheaper bulbs (MH or PC) if you are replacing them more often in the odyssea fixtures. Some of their newer units are built a bit better, but you are right they are cheapo. LOL.
    I am interested in what you do here. I agree with the other guys... Maybe wait it out another year and there should be better reviews on the newer led fixtures out and the price should come down. Good Luck!!

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