The GHL Mitras LED light is the first aquarium light fixture from the experienced designers and manufacturers of aquarium electronics, most notably the GHL Profilux controller. We had to go all the way to Germany to get our first look at the Mitras LED in person, way back in May when the GHL LED aquarium light was still in middle stages of development. The promise that we saw in the GHL Mitras LED six months ago has been fully realized in the final production version of the Mitras with a set of hardware features which is nearly unrivaled in the aquarium hobby and bordering on over the top. Priced at $1200 the Mitras LED is not going to be many hobbyist’s first foray into LED aquarium lighting. However, experienced LED users and owners of large tanks who are ready to take big steps towards LED lighting will find the Mitras LED very worthy of their consideration.
The first thing that struck us about the final production Mitras LX 6100 LED is its very finely crafted metal housing. Compared to the plastic-y shells of some aquarium LED lights the steel and aluminum chassis of the Mitras feels distinctly high class. The fit and finish of the anodizing work and paint job of the Mitras feels very solid and more so than most lights this is a fixture which will make you want to touch it, which is good because the onboard touchscreen controller is the first mode of entry for programming the Mitras LED light. Some other fine touches to the exterior of the Mitras include a hidden USB access port on the underside of the fixture and a sweet transparent power cable which ensures that you’ll never mistake it for another one of your aquarium devices.
The onboard controller of the GHL Mitras LED is no doubt part of what adds to the overall cost of this top-tier LED light but it also ensures that no other accessories of computer is needed in order to get some programming of the light. With onboard 2.4GHz wireless the built in controller of one Mitras can become the master unit for a suite of other Mitras lights set to slave mode. When using the Mitras controller we found the splashproof touch-sensitive buttons to be extremely responsive and the nested menu options were fairly intuitive, there was no need to crack open any directions to quickly adjust different color channels. As good as the Mitras controller is, you’ll want to access it via USB using the GHL Light Composer to really make the most of what the Mitras can do. Even with an easy interface, the navigation of the small screen on each Mitras can take a little while, especially if you want to set multiple time-intensity points for nine different channels, those button presses add up. We have not yet played with the GHL Light Composer for the Mitras but we’ll be sure to do so very soon.
Cracking open the Mitras LED was also an absolute pleasure (not literally cracking it, but carefully opening the housing of course). Compared to the first view we had of the Mitras LED at InterZoo the final Mitras LED boards, fans and electronics seem much more thoughtfully laid out. Whereas the Mitras initially had its four fans drawing from the bottom and fanning this moist salty air directly over the electronics, the Mitras now funnels its air cooling from the top and out the sides – a much safer and more durable orientation for air flow for sure. Also, previously we saw what appeared to be an afterthought for UV LEDs clumsily added to the middle of the body as if to fill in a void. The new placement of the Hyper Violet HV LEDs is right there next to the cluster of other LED colors which makes much more sense from a color-mixing point of view and for having one set of reflector or lens clusters to swap out.
We’ll be having a whole lot more to say about GHL’s first foray into LED aquarium lighting with the Mitras LED. Be sure to check our previous coverage of the Mitras LX 6100 over the better part of this year and stay tuned for some unexpected observations about what the Mitras LED looks like next to some other aquarium LED heavy hitters and perched three feet over corals on a massive reef aquarium display.