What’s new with the Radion G5 XR30 Blue? Complete setup guide.


– Today on BRStv Investigates, we’ve got an update to our
first XR30G5 Blue video, where, if you want to
know what this latest LED lighting module from
Ecotech Marine is all about, this video is for you. You won’t find information
this in-depth anywhere else and this time, our BRS
review comes complete with real world data
back settings for you, that you can use
successfully on your tank. (upbeat music) Hi, I’m Randy with this
Friday’s BRStv Investigates. We put popular reefing
gear, theories, and methods to the test by experimenting
on our own tanks, so you don’t have to experiment on yours and today, we use our
new light testing format with over 1000 data points to create BRS recommended settings for this Ecotech Radion XR30 Blue from proper mounting height, all the way to suggestions for using one on an LPS tank or SPS dominated reef. Our goal for our BRS recommended
light testing criteria is to find the answers to
the most important questions reefers have when adding
a new light to their tank, such as, how high should I mount them? How many do I need? How do I space them properly? And what are the right
settings for my tank type? Using this data, we’re
looking for easy to achieve, plug and play results for anyone considering this light for their tank. Using our testing methods and data from our 60 gallon and
120 gallon test tanks, we’ll develop answers to
those important questions and provide you with
BRS recommended settings that we would use on tanks similar to ours or if your tank is slightly different, you can still use today’s data coupled with some effective adjustments to dial one in for your specific system. By the time we’re done today, you’ll not only be armed
with the information you need to decide if the Radion
XR30 Blue is for you and how to successfully
implement it over your own tank, but we’ll also give you
our feedback and review of the Radion G5 Blue’s performance. In that spirit, before we even
get started into the testing and data for the Radion Blue, I think we can arm you with
that first piece of info to help you decide whether the Radion Blue is the right light for you or if you might want to
consider the Radion XR30 Pro and the answer to that question is simple. If you’d like a tank
with more blue hue to it that has been synonymous with Ecotech’s popular AB+ Spectrum, go with the Radion Blue. However, if you favor more
of a white spectrum look to your tank, the Radion
Pro is the light for you. But you aren’t making life
changing decisions here because either can be adjusted
to a whiter or bluer tank. The benefit of the Radion Blue is that every last LED was selected for max performance in that AB+ Spectrum, and because of that, it will end up being the most efficient. The Radion Blue LED array
is so well optimized to mimic that spectrum similar
to Ecotech’s original AB+ that you can use 100% of each
eight controllable channels, then adjust the overall
point intensity up or down to hit your desired par range, which is where we’re going to set them for the handful of today’s tests. As we’ve done in previous light tests and following our standard
light testing format, we start by finding our BRS
recommended mounting height by mounting the light six
inches above the water, taking a grid of par measurements, then raising the light one inch at a time and continue testing. We find that mounting height sweet spot when we’ve satisfactorily
reduced the center hot spot directly under the light and more evenly spread the
part of the outer edges, meaning that we don’t
want to see par numbers in the center that are
lower than the outer edges, nor do we want to lose more than 15% of the overall par average from light spilling out of the tank. With the Radion XR30 Blue mounted at six inches above the water, we see a center hot spot average of 829 and an average in the outer edges at 389, already showing a distribution performance that exceeded my expectations and outperforming other
lights we’ve tested at such a low mounting height. At seven inches off the water, we reduce the hot spot by 152 par to 677 and gained 22 par in
the outer edges to 411. Again, showing very flat light
distribution performance. Moving up to eight inches,
the center improves to 584 and almost eliminating the hot spot and the improved distribution provides an outer edge average of 415. While, at nine inches, there are now multiple
points in the outer edges that are higher par than
the points in the center, meaning that we’re now losing efficiency and we probably gone too far, which makes BRS
recommended mounting height for the G5 XR30 Blue eight
inches above the water for this two square foot area. Up next, we look at our second
question to help you decide how many Radion XR30
Blue modules you’ll need, whether you need fewer lights
to properly cover tanks full of lower light demand
corals like LPS and softies, or whether your long term dream is to have a tank full of
large, mature SPS colonies that require more consideration into overcoming shadowing and shading as they grow from frags into large, show tank, quality pieces. With that, our BRS
recommendation for ample coverage over an LPS tank type is going to be one fixture
for this two square foot area, like a 60 gallon cube, or two G5XR30 Blue fixtures for
a two foot by four foot tank like this 120 gallon test tank. To simplify that further, we would use one G5 Blue for
every 24 inches of tank. Our BRS recommendation for
lighting an SPS dominated tank, we’re talking about a
tank that’s already packed with full size, mature SPS colonies that might struggle with shading
within the colony branches and underneath established ones, given the spread and distribution numbers we’re about to show you, we’d recommend using
three XR30 Blue fixtures, mounted perpendicular over
our four foot tank example, or mounting one every 16 to
18 inches of tank length. Note that we’re not
recommending three fixtures just the sake of par requirements, which you can easily do with two, but rather three fixtures is
the end game recommendation for achieving a blanket of light across the entire tank that produces the most stunning SPS tanks. Next, we’re gonna talk
about properly spacing those multiple XR30 Blue Radions with a test that we developed where we evenly mount the lights
over our four foot tank, tank a grid of par measurements, then spread the lights
further apart from each other until we decrease the hot spot in between where the lights intersect in the tank, while at the same time, improve the par
distribution to more evenly cover the outer edges. Generally, we would reach
our testing end point when we’ve improved the par
averages on the outside edges to within 75% of the par average in the center of the tank. For the first test in our LPS tank goals, we mounted two Radion
G5 Blues horizontally at 16 inches on center
from left and right edges where we can already see,
just by the par heat map, that these lights are
spaced too closely together with an average par on the edges coming in at only 54% of the
average par in the center. We move the lights outward
to 15 inches on center and see a slight improvement
to the center hotspot, this time with the outer
edges testing at 62%, edging us closer to our goal. Spacing the lights out,
again, to 14 inches, we now see a far better spread
across the 48 inch tank, yet still, the outer edges
are less than our goal, but now, within 70% of the center, so we continue the test. Finally, when we push the lights out to 13 inches on center, we see the distribution performance we’re looking for where the average par in the edges are now with 81% of the center, meaning that this is the
BRS recommended spacing for two XR30 Blues, and we can expect that there won’t be
substantial changes in par, whether we’re placing our
LPS Corals in the center, or near the far in left and right edges of this four foot tank. As for the same light spacing test using three XR30 Blues
mounted perpendicularly, we divided the tank evenly
and mounted our lights at 12, 24, and 12 inches on center, where in this configuration,
the outer edges reach only 63% of the center, with the majority of the light intersecting right in
the center of the tank, and obviously, spaced
too closely together. This time, we only need to
move the two outer lights closer to the edges of the tank, each by one inch to 11, 24,
and 11 inches on center, and we’ve made a significant improvement into the average par on the outer edges to 69%, yet there’s still room for improvement towards our 75% goal. When we space the lights
out by one more inch to 10, 24, and 10 inches on center, we hit that goal exactly, with the average par
on the edges now within 75% of the center, meaning that spacing three G5 XR30 Blues in this configuration is going to be our BRS recommendation on tanks similar to our
four foot, 120 gallon tank. Now that we have mounting
height, number of fixtures, and spacing figured out,
we start down a path to answer our fourth
most important question reefers have after getting a new light which is “What settings and intensity do I use for my tank?” Because answering this question is really what all of this investigative
testing is all about. Keeping that in mind,
we’re about to explore BRS recommendations for spectrum settings and where we’d recommend
setting the LED colors, photo period and how long we suggest running your lights during the day, and then what intensity we suggest setting your lights to during
the peak hours of the day to achieve par goals for
LPS Lower Light Corals or SPS Higher Light Demand Corals. Let’s get started by testing
the available spectrum from the XR30 Blue where there are eighth
controllable color channels spanning 100 individual LEDs that Ecotech has optimized to create a similar spectrum to their popular AB+ that they’ve used in their own coral lab experiments over the past years. As I mentioned earlier in today’s video, when we talk about the LED configuration being optimized for AB+, what we’re talking about are the ability to turn all eight channels to 100%, and then control the overall intensity or brightness up or down until we hit the par target
that we’re looking for. For me, this completely
takes the guess work out of flipping switches and hoping that I got the spectrum right. I’d even go as far as to
say, in creating a light like this, where all I need
to be focused on at home is renting a par meter and
setting my overall intensity is the closest thing to plug and play that I could hope for from
LED lighting manufacturers. I say all of that to say this
about the Radion G5 Blue, although we can control each
color channel on its own. For today’s spectrum
testing, we’re going to trust Ecotech’s LED array and
compare the spectrum they produce with all
channels set to 100%, and how that compares to the gold standard ATI Blue Plus T5 Bulb,
and then test how the G5 blends the spectrum all together, by measuring it under a tank full of water with turbulent service agitation. Starting with the spectrum produced with all channels at 100%, this is pretty darn close to
the Blue+ T5 Bulb spectrum, yet with more emphasis on the peaks in the 450 to 455 range, but overall, a relatively wide offering. As for blending that spectrum together, the Radion G5 Blue shows a
much improved performance over previous Radion generations, without a diffuser,
testing only subtle shifts across 10 testing points. Obviously, there is
substantial improvements in the Radion XR30 Blue,
with far less dramatic spectrum shifts that would only improve when coupled with the new G5 diffuser. All right, so we’ve got
our spectrum settings and what we would recommend for setting the colors of your Radion Blue lights, again, all colors at 100%. And next, we’re going to
dial in the par output of those settings over a 60
and 120 gallon test tank. But, before we get to that, we’ll first share the BRS recommended photo period for how long we
suggest lighting your tank and I’ll say that this
one is pretty standard for many of the BRS tanks around here. Using the combined
knowledge and experience around the office and
across the 50 plus tanks we have running here, as a starting point, we recommend a nine hour peak photo period where the lights run at
their highest intensity, coupled with a 30 minute
ramp up and ramp down period. Of course, the time of day
your lighting schedule starts can be changed as needed, our goal being that we want to enjoy as much of our tanks as possible, so we choose to light them
when we’re around them most, which, for an office environment, means that they’re on during
the normal working day. Here the Mobius template takes care of all of this for you
with the AB+ template. When setting up your Radion
Blue for the first time, first, you choose your
total photo period day including the sunrise and sunset which, for our recommendation,
run time would be about a 10 hour total to account
for the ramp up and ramp down. Choose the AB+ template that
will default your lights to the BRS recommended spectrum settings during the peak of the day and then you’re done. All that’s left to do is get a par meter, adjust the overall point intensity during the middle of the day
to your desired par goals, which we’re about to share
next so you don’t have to. Getting started with our
BRS recommended settings for LPS and lower light demand corals, our goal is to achieve 75 to 150 par throughout 70% or more of the entire tank from top to bottom, meaning that, for this 60 gallon cube with a singular Radion XR30 Blue mounted at eight inches, we’re able to achieve that goal with an overall point
intensity setting of 20%, where 88 out of 108 data
points hit our target, making 81% of the entire
tank, from top to bottom, optimized for a par range of 75 to 150. Applying those same principals
to our 120 gallon tank with two fixtures, again, we
set the midday point intensity to 20%, where we find
158 out of 198 points, or 80% of the tank, in our same LPS goal. With this setting, it’s still a little on the hot side in the
upper parts of the tank, but down in the middle and
near the bottom of the tank, both of those levels
hover around 95% of points in that target par range. Up next, we have our
BRS recommended settings and intensities for SPS
dominated tanks where again, we’re looking for 70% or
more of the entire tank within our SPS goal of 200 to 350. Kicking off our BRS
recommended SPS settings on this 60 gallon cube, we set our midday overall point intensity to 60%, where we tested 76 out
of 108 testing points, or exactly 70% of the entire tank within that 200 to 350 par
range for this two foot cube, which a majority of those
points in the middle and upper parts of the
tank, where most reefers typically mount their SPS. Looking at the same criteria
on our 120 gallon tank, we mounted three Radion Blues at our BRS recommended height and spacing, and then chose an overall
point intensity setting of 35% in order to achieve 145 out of 198, or 73% of this entire tank within our SPS target goal range. With these BRS recommended settings, most of you can get really close to your specific tank’s
lighting sweet spot. Even for those of you with
slightly different sized tanks who can use this data to make
more educated adjustments and confirm by renting
or buying a par meter. All right, so what are some
of my personal thoughts on today’s performance of
the Radion Gen-5 XR30 Blue? First and foremost, if it’s any indication of how impressed I was with this new light form and function, I’m putting all of our BRS recommendations to the test on my own 60 gallon tank in this office, and installing a 30 Blue over it, which for sure
will be chock-full of sticks and hopefully large, mature SPS colonies. Outside of that, I can’t be more happy with the Mobius control platform, coming from someone whose set up dozens of Radions in the past, I think it’s great that Ecotech had us reefers in mind when
they created the G5 Blue, where I already know
that I personally enjoy the Bluer look of the AB+ spectrum, and now I can connect to my light, choose my photo period, adjust the peak intensity, and my lights are done. Minus a few extra short steps, this is as close to plug and play that I could’ve hoped for, and I’m excited to hear
what you guys have to say after you get your hands on them. Understandably, not everyone
will choose the blue hue of the AB+ using the Radion XR30 Blue, which can be adjusted down, but there is a pro
option for the same cost and very similar
performance, which we provide our BRS recommended settings for and show you how to
set up in this playlist right over here.

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