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Old 05/07/2012, 08:38 AM   #51
sirreal63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedRed View Post
2 x Aqua Illumination Sol Blue
[IMG]http://i52.*******.com/11ql9n6.jpg[/IMG]

2 x Ecotech Radions
[IMG]http://i42.*******.com/359zo7n.jpg[/IMG]

1 x Giesemann Infiniti 250w MH + 4xT5
[IMG]http://i47.*******.com/21jxflv.jpg[/IMG]
No question about which has a better visual appeal. I am happy with LED as an accent only. The Vega looks interesting but I think it will still be a while before there is a reason for me to retire my halides.


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Old 05/07/2012, 09:41 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedRed View Post
Had two AI Sol Blues on my tank for a year and switched to two Radions. The Radions far outperformed the SOL Blues in color spread, uniformity of light, coral color, and coral growth. I never took a par meter to them, but there was no comparison between the real world results. It only took two weeks before coral growth accelerated.
Amen.


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Old 05/07/2012, 09:43 AM   #53
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Here is the photo of the tank with the measurements in place.

Take note of the text on the top right corner.
They probably just added the margin of error to their numbers.


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Old 05/07/2012, 09:48 AM   #54
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What about depth? I didn't think Radions could punch as deep? My tank is 30" deep. Could radions punch as deep as AIs? Also, are you saying I could use 3 or 4 radions over using 6 or 8 AIs and get the same par on the sand?
30" = 0 PAR. According to Ecotech's own graph:


With that said, I would choose 1 radion over 2 AIs in a heartbeat. But the ratio of 1 radion = 2 AI's is probably pretty accurate.

I have 2 Radions over my 36"x36"x27" tank. The PAR at the sand bed is low, but it grows zoanthids and ricordea just fine. If I added 1 or 2 more radions I bet I could get some SPS growth on the bottom. So while the 30" numbers might be low for 1 Radion, as someone else pointed out, vivid is growing SPS on the bottom of their 30" tank with Radions. The question then is HOW MANY do you need to achieve that. (They have 12 Radions over a 7 foot tank).


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Old 05/07/2012, 10:19 AM   #55
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that graph allows for a lot of assumtions and misunderstanding without a depth associated on the distribution. According to Ecotechs graph +/- 15 inches from the center of the fixture is approaching zero par on the X axis.


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Old 05/07/2012, 10:24 AM   #56
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No matter who has the best product right now, I think AI is making a move in the right direction. The variation of colored LEDs is going to (I would guess) make the colors pop. I'm very excited. I already picked up some AI blues, but not enough. So now I will add the rest in Vega. I'll go blue-vega-blue-vega across 72"


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Old 05/07/2012, 10:31 AM   #57
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No matter who has the best product right now, I think AI is making a move in the right direction. The variation of colored LEDs is going to (I would guess) make the colors pop. I'm very excited. I already picked up some AI blues, but not enough. So now I will add the rest in Vega. I'll go blue-vega-blue-vega across 72"


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Absolutely! Even though I am a "radion guy" - I am very happy to see how awesome the AI Vega looks. Competition is a great thing. Every year each company will come out with something even better than the last. And in the near future, not only will LED prices come down, but the fixtures will be even better - more channels, higher powered LEDs, better optics, you name it! It's exciting to watch - and it's all very good for our hobby!


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Old 05/07/2012, 10:36 AM   #58
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I actually think AI is getting much better with the degree of spread per watt. This unit should give you roughly the same distribution as the Radion which will be interesting to see how it performs in real world. I see a lot of people knocking the video but I have to keep in mind that the video, as AI stated,"was intended for internal distribution" and was probably meant to show more of what the AI team had accomplished rather than being intended to be an advertisement. When I see it I think of a fighter walking to the ring with some theme music in the back round, announcer then introdues the return of AI, biding to be top unit in the market again.


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Old 05/07/2012, 10:38 AM   #59
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I actually think AI is getting much better with the degree of spread per watt. This unit should give you roughly the same distribution as the Radion which will be interesting to see how it performs in real world. I see a lot of people knocking the video but I have to keep in mind that the video, as AI stated,"was intended for internal distribution" and was probably meant to show more of what the AI team had accomplished rather than an advertisement. When I see it I think of a fighter walking to the ring with some theme music in the back round, announcer then introdues the return of AI, biding to be top unit in the market again.
Not sure what people would be knocking about the video. More channels than Radions, including UV, and probably more powerful LEDs and tighter optics for better depth coverage... Sounds like a worthy competitor to me.


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Old 05/07/2012, 02:30 PM   #60
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It's called PAR buddy.... Radions LACK the PAR they are priced at! $750 for a LED module that gets trounced by a $400 one is just pathetic. If the Radion costed $500 I wouldn't be arguing this point. To each his own.
If PAR is your overarching concern I would recommend against any multi-color LED fixture to be honest. Radions use multiple colored LED's to create different colored looks simulating the look of different spectrum of light, i.e. 12k, 20k etc. The downside to this approach is that at only one particular color will the fixture output its maximum level, and PAR as well. If you want the maximum PAR you either have to know at what the color the fixture is running all its LED's at their highest level, in the case of the Radion that is 12k. The new AI vega looks pretty nice, and a true competitor to the Radion, but with all the color channels comes a price to be paid just like the Radion and even worse because it has more colors. That said if the color the Vega outputs with all LED's 100% is what you want then it might be a good fit. Flexibility with color output = less than maximum PAR & brightness in all but one color output. Just something to think about. That said I like my Radions and love the color flexibility and seem to be able to grow stuff on the bottom so it works for me and I'm sure many people will love the new AI's. Competition is good, it makes all these things better.


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Old 05/07/2012, 07:56 PM   #61
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I have 2 Radions over my 36"x36"x27" tank. ......
Could you snap a quick picture of your tank. I've been considering a similar type of tank in the near future. I love wider tanks. Maybe even a 48"X36"X25" tank.


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Old 05/07/2012, 08:02 PM   #62
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No question about which has a better visual appeal. I am happy with LED as an accent only. The Vega looks interesting but I think it will still be a while before there is a reason for me to retire my halides.
So If you were me, would you run this configuration?

[AI] [MH] [AI] [MH] [AI]

I think I'd run 2 - 150 watt Metal Halides for 4 hours a day. Or should I run 2 250's. HQI or Mogul Socket? Which bulb? Ushio 20K? So many options with metal halides. Let me know what you think Sir. You too Med.


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Old 05/07/2012, 08:22 PM   #63
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I would run 150 watt Radiums on M81 ballasts. Rainmkr's tank is sweet, I like how he has the tank set up, the rock work is great.


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Old 05/07/2012, 09:05 PM   #64
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I would run 150 watt Radiums on M81 ballasts. Rainmkr's tank is sweet, I like how he has the tank set up, the rock work is great.
Magnetic over Electronic? Which brand?


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Old 05/07/2012, 09:15 PM   #65
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Aqua Medic Reeflex Cube, great price and a brilliant design. The only electronic I would run with 150's is the ARO 175. I actually run those when I want to slightly overdrive my 150's, but the cube ballast is the normal one, a 150 electronic under drives the 150, no sense in doing that.


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Old 05/07/2012, 11:02 PM   #66
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If PAR is your overarching concern I would recommend against any multi-color LED fixture to be honest. Radions use multiple colored LED's to create different colored looks simulating the look of different spectrum of light, i.e. 12k, 20k etc. The downside to this approach is that at only one particular color will the fixture output its maximum level, and PAR as well. If you want the maximum PAR you either have to know at what the color the fixture is running all its LED's at their highest level, in the case of the Radion that is 12k. The new AI vega looks pretty nice, and a true competitor to the Radion, but with all the color channels comes a price to be paid just like the Radion and even worse because it has more colors. That said if the color the Vega outputs with all LED's 100% is what you want then it might be a good fit. Flexibility with color output = less than maximum PAR & brightness in all but one color output. Just something to think about. That said I like my Radions and love the color flexibility and seem to be able to grow stuff on the bottom so it works for me and I'm sure many people will love the new AI's. Competition is good, it makes all these things better.
+1. I have Radions and run them for most of the day at the 12k setting to get the most light output. However, I think it's too blue for my taste. This is going to be the same with the Vegas -- you may like the like the output but not necessarily the color.

Something else to keep in mind -- the Radions and Vegas each use a different design. The Radions seem better for shallower tanks, while the Sols (and Vegas, assuming the optics are similar) are better for deeper tanks based on the narrower optics giving the ability to penetrate deeper. The Radions may have better color mixing based on the design too, and they can be mounted lower to the tank. Conversely, the Sols can be mounted higher off the tank for better dispersion of light but also better penetration -- but the cost is inferior color mixing (which causes the mirror ball effect which some find annoying).

Although I have Radions, I still like the look of halide the best, since it gives the most even dispersion since it's a single point light source. Kessils come close by design, but need to be at least 12" off the tank to avoid spotlighting. I'm hoping that a company will figure out how to get the look of halide/Kessil dense matrix in a panel type LED fixture, allowing us to mount the fixture lower on the tank.


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Old 05/08/2012, 08:56 AM   #67
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Aqua Medic Reeflex Cube, great price and a brilliant design. The only electronic I would run with 150's is the ARO 175. I actually run those when I want to slightly overdrive my 150's, but the cube ballast is the normal one, a 150 electronic under drives the 150, no sense in doing that.
I have one of these. I like it a lot.

I personally think LEDs are better paired with T5 than MH. MH will drown out the light the LED's put out and the extra par won't be as noticeable to the naked eye, but may cook your corals.

IMO, I'd use T5's to supplement the color rendition and actual color of the corals. You'll get most of the benefits of using LED with a boost in the color department.


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Old 05/08/2012, 09:22 AM   #68
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I have one of these. I like it a lot.

I personally think LEDs are better paired with T5 than MH. MH will drown out the light the LED's put out and the extra par won't be as noticeable to the naked eye, but may cook your corals.

IMO, I'd use T5's to supplement the color rendition and actual color of the corals. You'll get most of the benefits of using LED with a boost in the color department.
I would definitely agree with this, I use LED's to help balance out the color of 10K Ushio's, and it is true they are overpowered by the 10K's, but the goal was to get a little actintic pop and they do that very well. My favorite color was the 10K and VHO actintic and the 445nm LED's come pretty close to that color, but not exact. I will probably end up adding a few more 445's to the mix to get the color, but they do help with fluorescence. T5's are a little more subdued so the LED's would shine there.

I hope the Vega ends up being a better (more versatile) fixture than the Radion, if it comes in at a better price than it will be a win/win.


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Old 05/08/2012, 11:57 AM   #69
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I have one of these. I like it a lot.

I personally think LEDs are better paired with T5 than MH. MH will drown out the light the LED's put out and the extra par won't be as noticeable to the naked eye, but may cook your corals.

IMO, I'd use T5's to supplement the color rendition and actual color of the corals. You'll get most of the benefits of using LED with a boost in the color department.
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I would definitely agree with this, I use LED's to help balance out the color of 10K Ushio's, and it is true they are overpowered by the 10K's, but the goal was to get a little actintic pop and they do that very well. My favorite color was the 10K and VHO actintic and the 445nm LED's come pretty close to that color, but not exact. I will probably end up adding a few more 445's to the mix to get the color, but they do help with fluorescence. T5's are a little more subdued so the LED's would shine there.

I hope the Vega ends up being a better (more versatile) fixture than the Radion, if it comes in at a better price than it will be a win/win.
I plan on shutting off all of the whites coming from the LED's. The MH will be all the white I need for those 4 hours. What about using the Switchable Lumatek Ballasts? Any opinions on those?


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Old 05/08/2012, 12:20 PM   #70
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I don't think there is anything wrong with them, but why not use the correct ballast, the difference in electricity is negligible. Most electronic ballasts under drive HQI bulbs, it may not matter for you because you have more than enough light to offset the drop in par from under driving the halides.


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Old 05/08/2012, 12:29 PM   #71
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Those ballasts can push HQI, 150, 175, and 250 watts. Could I possibly run them at 175? I had one set of magnetic ballasts in the past and hated the Heat, Hum, and all the extra space they needed. But I don't know. I still might go with the Aqua Medic 150.

http://www.marinedepot.com/Lumatek_250W


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Old 05/08/2012, 12:45 PM   #72
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The Lumatek is a solid (no pun intended) ballast, but the HQI setting is only for 250 watts IIRC. I would be the last person to tell you not to run the 150's at 175 watts, it is what I am currently doing to get maximum par out of the Ushio's, but it isn't good for the bulb, though I have used the ARO 150/175 ballast for about 8 years off and on. I have never blown a bulb and never had any issues from it.

My Cube ballasts have been great, the Radium with them was just gorgeous and they do not hum, the only sound they make is the fan. I had an old Hamilton 250 HQI that drove me nuts with the humming, the Cube does not do that. It isn't a small ballast, but that is ok, it runs very cool because of the design and the active cooling from the fan helps a lot. There are some good things with the Lumatek so it becomes a matter of what you expect to do in the future.


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Old 05/08/2012, 06:36 PM   #73
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What is the recomended height above tank for radions? I have my AI out of the way 12" over top so its nice to get in and out. If radions need to be 4-6" it would be a pain. I really like the easy controler for AI, just a turn of the dial, no laptop. I think the color spread is better on radions so colored vega would be fair comparison, and I'm sure radions will step up the punch to be more versitile for placement.


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Old 05/08/2012, 07:42 PM   #74
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Generally they recommend to put Rads about 8" above the water.


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Old 05/09/2012, 12:45 PM   #75
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I spoke with AI tech support today and he confirmed for me via email that they will indeed have an upgrade kit for the SOL to function as a Vega. Price is TBD


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