Earlier this year Ecotech Marine revealed a very unexpected accessory for the Radion XR15 LED fixture in the form of a light diffuser. This carefully engineered add-on retrofits over the LED cluster of the smaller Radion LED light and it transforms the characteristics of this light in interesting ways.
This shallow box consists of two main parts, a semi-transparent plastic pane and a white reflector material that enhances light output in conjunction with the diffuser pane. The white reflector replaces the current black ‘splashguard’ both to protect the internal electronics, to reflect light back into the diffuser, and to serve as a ‘receptacle’ for the diffuser pane.
Interestingly, a group of small magnets allows the translucent pane to be easily added to the new reflector, both for easy mounting and easy maintenance to wipe off any salt spray. The combination of the already wider lenses, coupled with the diffuser pane and reflector backing material creates a softer lighting effect that I like more than I thought I would.
I’ve grown accustomed, and to love, the high contrast provided by the hard shadows of some lights – this is much more appreciable in the HEI lenses of Gen4 Radions than in the TIR lenses of the Gen2 and Gen3 models. The addition of the Radion diffuser to the Gen4 Radion I currently use really softens that harshness of point source lighting but most of all I appreciate how much more of a gradient there is now between the zones of high light and low light on the perimeter of the light’s output.
Granted I’m just using one light fixture on a small tank while most Radion users are likely using a bank of dual cluster XR30s. So if you’re all in like ReefDudes with four XR15ws on their tank, you’ll definitely want to check out his video as he has the best possible tank for comparing between using the Radion with and without the diffusers.
We definitely don’t see everyone rushing to add these diffusers on all their Radion fixtures but there’s definitely going to be a certain group of reefers who love the new look. You might lose a small amount of total PAR in the tank but since most of us don’t run our lights at full intensity all the time, this shouldn’t be an issue. Diffusers for the Radion XR15 will be shipping singly this month for $45 and the Radion XR30 for $65 in December, although we might be seeing a discounted multipack in the future.