The Mitras LED from GHL and Radion XR30w Pro from Ecotech Marine are two of the most advanced LED lights ever made for the serious reef aquarium hobbyists. Although GHL has a lot of experience in making electronics for aquairums this is their first LED light and likewise, Ecotech Marine has had their Radion XR30w LED released to the aquarium market for just a year before upping their flagship light to Pro status.
Between them the Mitras and Radion Pro have wireless controllability, numerous LED colors and channels of control, a sleek profile and a similar footprint. While we can debate the merits of reflectors vs. lenses, specific LED colors and binning and any number of quantifiable details about the Mitras and Radion Pro, what matters most is how these lights look over a real reef tank. Therefore this comparison is primarily intended to demonstrate how reef fish and corals look under the Mitras and Radion Pro.
Big thanks to AquaticArt of Highlands Ranch Colorado for letting us mix and match high tech LED lights all over their 600 gallon reef aquarium display which is lit primarily with AI Sol LEDs. We began the comparison by using the installed AI Sol Blues as a baseline of LED lighting intensity since these have become a hobby favorite over the last few years. The two shades of blue and royal blue LEDs along with one shade of white has become a go-to standard color ratio, especially for the high tech LED reef lights.
You can easily see in the images of the Mitras that it has an incredible, somewhat pinkish color rendition when all channels run at full power. The amber and two shades of red really make the Red Planet table acropora, fairy wrasses and firefish really pop out in coloration – this was a truly unexpected yet welcome surprise. Also, since the Mitras LED has small reflectors to drive light towards the tank there is a lot more of light further to the sides of the tank. Despite this the Mitras still managed to deliver a PAR value of 100umols on the sand bed, through thirty inches of water and 6 inches of air.
By comparison the Radion Pro delivered more concentrated and more color-balanced LED light. The colors of the reef fish under the Radion Pro looked a little more typical with wrasses, anthias and firefish looking a little bit more normal even with the various LED colors found in the Radion Pro. On the other hand the colors of the corals was more fluorescent and less chromatic, with subtle blues, pinks and orange corals glowing fluorescent in a way that the coral-heads really strive for. Also, with its custom-made lens the Radion Pro managed to penetrate photons deeper into the aquarium with a PAR value of ~160umols on the same spot in the sand described above for the Mitras.
The Mitras LED and Radion Pro are both awesome lights but their difference doesn’t lie so much in their ability to light up reef fish and corals in the aquarium, but which kind of color spectrum you personally prefer and how the lights are controlled. As mentioned Ecotech has had over a year of development on their Radion Configuration Utility / Ecosmart Live platform, whereas GHL has had to work on everything all at once and still has some refinement to do on their PC software. Enjoy these preliminary side-by-sides of two of the hobbyist exciting reef aquarium lights and stay tuned as we do the comparison all over again on a more manageable 175 gallon home reef aquarium with longer term evaluation of corals under both the Mitras and Radion Pro.