The Radion G6 is the newest bleeding edge, flagship LED reef aquarium light from Ecotech Marine which will be formally announced early next week. It’s only been a scant two years since Ecotech Marine raised the bar for performance, efficiency, color, and controllability with the Radion G5 which nearly doubled the number of LEDs in its powerful, tunable light engine so we are curious to learn how Ecotech made their best even better.
To no one’s surprise Ecotech Marine will be offering the Radion G6 in two sizes, the classic XR15 and XR30, both of which will be available in two different spectra, the Radion G6 Pro and the Radion G6 Blue introduced in the last generation of their lights. The power levels of all these Radion models will remain the same at 105 watts for the Radion G6 XR15 and 205 watts for the Radion G5 XR respectively so the improvements are more nuanced and will be less noticeable by just looking at the physical fixture.
The most obvious change between the Radion G5 and the yet to be announced Radion G6 is a noticeable tweaking of the overall spectrum to offer users the ability to tune their lights to be more and deeper blue in both models. The Radion G6 Pro and Blue now include more near-UV LEDs of the 405nm & 415nm variety, the number of violet LEDs (now called 430nm) has doubled and new to the Radion G6 platform is the introduction of deeper 395nm near UV LEDs with four diodes of each in the Radion G6 Pro and Blue.
More specifically the Radion G6 Pro loses 30% of its cool white LEDs and gains a touch more of the warm white LEDs – the cool whites were always more than sufficient for giving the Radions all the nutritious PAR to grow the most light-hungry corals, while the buffing of the warm white channel should introduce even more balance to the blue-heavy spectrum and hopefully give more color rendition to pink chromoproteins of popular Pocilloporids such as Stylophora, Seriatopora and Pocillopora.
Meanwhile the Radion G6 Blue edition is likely to be a real sweet spot among contemporary reefers with the most comprehensive blue light spectrum ever offered in a reef aquarium LED light. The ‘controversial’ and seldom-used Lime and Cyan LED channels are completely gone to make room for thirty two Royal Blue and Blue LEDs and a generous bump in our favorite violet/430nm LEDs.
The violet spectrum most closely approximates the actinic spectrum that many of us fell in love with long before LED lights were even a possibility for growing corals. The resulting color shift reduces much of the greener wavelength but doesn’t really affect the standard green, red, and daylight spectrum but it enables users to add even more and diverse blue light to the spectral curve pictured below.
The other major improvement to the sixth generation Radion G6 is a new and improved LED lens cluster which increases the beam angle from an impressive 110.5 degrees all the way to a staggering 126.3 degrees which is normal for a primary optic, but unheard of in a secondary lens. This breakthrough in the spread emanating from a thoroughly collimated light source was achieved by carefully matching the primary and secondary lens and with the wider beam angle you don’t just get better spread but users will also benefit from improved light mixing.
With this nearly gaussian distribution the Radion G6 actually achieves lower peak PAR values but higher overall light intensity over a very wide area that Ecotech Marine claims can throw light a cross four feet of aquarium using only a single fixture! We look forward to seeing this nearly horizontal light spread for ourselves which should be aided by using the internal surfaces of the aquarium as a passive reflector to direct the photonic energy on all sides of our corals and the reef tank overall.
We can already feel the anxiety of the Radion G5 users who invested in these lights with top shelf performance and matching price but we can confirm that Ecotech Marine will have an upgrade path from the Radion G5 to the Radion G6. Since the majority of the RadionG6 machine is mostly unchanged the only hardware difference will be solely in the LED panel and lens cluster which will cost $199 for the Radion G6 XR15 upgrade kit and $399 for the Radion G6 XR30 upgrade kit – this is not an insignificant fraction of the cost of a new light but it gets more palatable when you consider that there are one hundred (and two) LEDs in the XR30 which breaks down to $4 per diode.
Of course the Radion G6 will be compatible with all existing accessories including the Radion Mounting System and secondary Radion diffuser which will still snap on to the bottom of the light with magnets built into the frame. The newer Radion G5 freshwater will remain with its current spectrum and features as this light was officially released later last year, the dual lunar LEDs introduced in the Radion G5 will remain in the Radion G6 as well and it’ll be mostly the same flagship LED light from Ecotech Marine that many of us have come to regard as simply the most advanced LED light for lighting our reef aquaria.
An official announcement about the Radion G6 is expected from Ecotech Marine early next week and the Radion G6 XR15 and XR30 will still be priced at $499 and $949 respectively. We are eager to get our hands on the latest Radion G6 to carry this platform into its 12th year of service powering our reef aquariums and we’ll be sure to do our signature deep dive into everything that is new and noteworthy about the flagship light from Ecotech Marine.