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Looking for the very best Aquarium Reef LED available for your saltwater aquarium today? If so, you have come to the right place. Today, I go indepth on the EcoTech’s newest Radion – the Generation 5. What is new? What has changed? And what makes this stand out from all the other Reef LEDs out in the market?
As you may have read in my Best Reef LED round up article. LEDs are the it technology when it comes to coral growing. They have become the tech toys of our hobby and also have become very energy efficient over time. LEDs can be tricky however, as too many features can overwhelm a newcomer and the spectrum of the LED are not created equal among the various players out there.
EcoTech has prided themselves with spending the R&D time and listening to the hardcore Reef community about what is wanted from a proper Reef LED. This new G5 answers a lot of the asks our community has been wanting. Let’s dive in and see what’s new and what means this newest generation the best ever!
My reviews are fairly structured. I’m going to be reviewing the following with this Radion G5:
- Ease of Use
- Value For Money
- Product Support
In a hurry? I recommend purchasing the EcoTech Radion XR15 Blue!
The EcoTech Radion G5 is a huge improvement over the Generation 4. It starts with the HEI lenses that are the most sophisticated lens design available in the industry for LEDs. The new design cluster and optices cuts hot-spot PAR by 30% while also providing a 35% increase in total PAR output from the prior generation. This means you get a better spread and higher output then ever before.
The new generation 5s come in either a Pro version or a Blue version. For this product review, I’m going to concentrate on the Blue version. The reason why is because I feel that the Blue version is the way to go. Anyone who runs a hardcore reef tank knows the value of blues when it comes to coral growth. The blue version is also designed on the EcoTech’s well known AB+ spectrum setting. The model is completely optimized for this spectrum. This makes the new generation 5 the most plug and play friendly Radion ever. Below are the array outlines of the XR15 and XR 30 models for both the Blue and Pro models.
Just look at that array and see the difference between this LED and many others out there. The number of blues on the Blue model are amazing. What you end up is getting a spectrum that is very close to the gold standard ATI Blue Plus.
The generation 5 has 8 controllable channels. Aside from the new array and lens, the other major difference with the Radion Gen 5 is the new Mobius app. The App makes things so much easier to manage and it comes with the package. You no longer need Reeflink in order to connect your light to your phone. The spectrum and intensity is easily adjusted through the mobile app
The Mobius app also has a user friendly timer setting that allows you to set your light timing and your ramp up and down times. I love the ease of use for this app. I know some of our more hardcore reefers want more out of the app. I’m all about simplicity. EcoTech is really listening to the reef community by making everything so accessible for this Generation 5 model.
Did I mention that the Mobius app has the AB+ as a template within the app? This makes it super easy to set up your Radion to the most popular setting that the reefing community uses.
The blue model makes things so easy for the reef community. I love the new features, the app, and the ease of setup with the new blue model. Excellent job EcoTech!
The newest generation design is sleek and modern. It’s what we come to expect with the EcoTech Radion lights. Below is a photo of the external overview of the Radion G5
Regarding the mount options, unfortunately the mounting options from the prior generation can’t be used on the G5 Radion. However, the new design actually gives you more options to hang the unit from a DIY perspective. The mounting arm is raised more than the prior generation, which means you can mount your unit on a rail.
It’s a great design and well engineered. There isn’t much out there in the market today that comes close to the craftsmanship and aesthetics of the Radion. The coolness factor of these lights cannot be denied.
Ease Of Use
The ease of of use of the EcoTech Radion G5 has been vastly improved over the last generation. With the Blue model, all you will need to do is tune down the intensity of the unit in order to get the PAR down to where you need it for your specific corals. The Mobius app makes this so easy compared to last generations. Below is the Mobius program overview video from EcoTech. By looking over this video, you should have what you need to get it started. This is the easiest to setup Radion I’ve ever worked with.
There is a fairly easy way to setup your Radion. Here is a quick guide. I would recommend that you rent a PAR meter from your local hobby club or an LFS so that you can ensure you have the proper PAR levels
- Set height to 8″ for the best distribution of PAR
- Set all channels on the Blue model to 100% and only adjust intensity for PAR
- Photo period – 9 hour peak photo period with 30 minute ramp up and ramp down for a total of 10 hours total
- LPS PAR Range – 75-150
- SPS PAR Range – 200-350
Value For Money
Many retailers will recommend that you use a single XR30 for a 24 x 24 tank space. If you are using an XR30 for a 24 x 24 space, I would say your value for the Money definitely diminishes for this light. However, I firmly believe you can achieve ideal coverage for a 24 x 24 space, still get your ideal PAR coverage, and get way better value for your money by going with a single XR 15.
How is this possible? It is possible with the new Radion G5 diffusers. I would recommend that you purchase a single XR15 and the G5 Diffuser. This will achieve full coverage of the space and PAR spread for the vast majority of tank setups. Below is a video that discusses the new diffuser.
I actually think the diffuser should come with every G5 light. It was a neccessary item with the last generation for those with SPS tanks. With the new lenses, EcoTech claims that you do not need the diffuser to achieve proper PAR spread. The reason why I recommend it is so you can save money and go with a single XR15 instead of purchasing an XR30. If you are running an all out Acro tank, I would just recommend getting XR15s and mounting it to a hybrid fixture over the XR30.
The main selling point for me when it comes to EcoTech is the large amount of reefers who use the Radion LEDs. It’s very easy to get advice on proper spectrum settings. This was a major deal with the prior generation models before AB+ became mainstream.
The biggest issue that always bothered me about EcoTech was their warranty. You only get a 1 year warranty with their LEDs. While this is pretty standard when it comes to lights (Giesemann and GHL are the only high end lighting manufacturer where you will see warranties beyond a year), I just expect if you going to spend the amount of money for this light that you get longer than a one year warranty.
This is an expensive light. There is no way around it. It is one of the most expensive reef LEDs on the market and you truly get what you pay for with this Generation 5 model.
I will also point out that the Kessil 360X is more expensive that than the XR15 – and the XR15 is a superior light in my opinion when it comes to performance for coral growth. The XR15 is marginally more expensive than the Hydra 32 and Red Sea 90. The Hydra used to have a huge advantage with their smartphone app, but EcoTech has gained a ton of ground with the new Mobius app.
I do not feel that this generation of Radions are overpriced anymore. I felt that way with the G2, G3, and even the G4. The G5 has really changed my opinion. As other manufacturers come out with newer models, they pushed their prices up while EcoTech kept their prices with this newest generation. Good on EcoTech, and this light is worth every dollar.
This is the best Reef LED light you can buy today. The newest generation is such a gigantic improvement over the G4. It raises the benchmark for all other LEDs on the market. With competitors looking to mimic what EcoTech does, their prices continue to go up which increases the value of the EcoTech Radion even more.
You can see the ratings below from me. The G5 Radion gets my editor’s choice rating and is now the light of choice for my high end setups. Since I’m open to all reviews, you can leave your own reviews below. This provides the community with an unfiltered source of reviews. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping – both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.