CHOOSE: AI Hydra 32 -vs- Ecotech Radion XR15 G5 Series ..... and tell me WHY

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Montiman

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Well I am a kessil guy so I would normally go 360X but between the 2 I would go ecotech, I think the diffused light from the frosted diffuser is unique. I also find the control interface simpler and I can't stand the disco that comes from traditional LED lenses.

I honestly feel like AI has nothing going for them other than a cheaper price. Since AI and Echotech are now one company you can obviously see that AI is the economy model and Echotech is the premium model. For me lighting is something I would like to last at least 5 years preferably longer so spending a bit more up front for some better quality makes sense to me.
 

tnw50cal

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Been there did that 7 months ago. Went with the Radion xr15 blue(as I run the AB+ spectrum) and happy I did.
Why?
The Hydra or Prime(have 3 prime 16 HDs on other tanks) when set to BRSs AB+ spectrum use about half their available wattage. With the UV(set at 119%) and violet(set at 116%) the lens melt about every 8 months over those LEDs. So I sure don't want to increase wattage used.
The Radions have way better light spread and I can use 100% of available wattage if I want to(presently using 60%) without melting lens. But the Mobis app is not as easy as AI's programing app.
 
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BaysEndReef

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I have both and currently run both. I have Radion XR15 G5s over a 40b packed with SPS and some nems. I wouldn't trade the spread and punch I get for anything. I do not have to supplement with anything on that tank. I currently run 2.

I have 2 AI Hydra 32HDs supplemented with T5s over a 50g lowboy. I don't feel that I can get the same spread or the same punch out of the Hydras that I do with the Radions. Hence the T5 supplementation. This is a SPS frag tank.

Knowing what I do now, I would use XR15 G5s over everything. Key reasons being spread, straight down punch/par, and color that I can pull out of the light by changing specific settings. Price per light is similar, but price per par is different. Definitely look into the BRS videos on these two lights for more info. :)
 

Wasabiroot

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One thing to keep in mind is the affordable diffuser plate that increases the color blending in the XR15 to be much better. I also feel Radion has generally the better mounting options. One thing I find annoying in Mobius is that it's very easy to accidentally tweak the power on your schedule.
 

flyfisher2

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I have the Radion XR15 Pro’s and love them
No issues and I see growth
I like the clarity the Hydra shows
It’s weird
The Hydras seem super clear, like looking in a crystalline body of water
The Radions are like a portrait
Soft…
Make sense?
 
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dragon99

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Not really a head to head comparison. The XR15 is almost twice the power of the AI. What's the application? If higher PAR is beneficial then the Radion wins. If not, then save your money and get the AI.

There are other factors also, AI doesn't really provide any presets for success like Radion, but there are plenty of AI profiles from other reefers that you can copy. Controllability might come down to personal preference. I only have experience with the AI app/webpage and it's perfectly serviceable.
 

BeltedCoyote

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I really wish ecotech was more beginner friendly. This is just griping, but their products are great. But for a lot of us it’s very hard justifying the cost. I mean, for me, I have a standard 4ft 120g. So I’d either need 3 or 4 $400+ lights (xr15) or two $800+ lights.

For that money I’d rather go with Coralcare.

and as much as I want kessil, it’s not much better. Barring used deals for the previous model 360s, it’s 3 or 4 $500 lights. Or for their panel? One $800 light which will likely need some form of supplementation. And the a500? Not really applicable for my tank, as it’s not deep. But still, 2 or 3 $800 lights.

so to answer @zoa what s question, if money weren’t an option, radions. But if I could justify spending that much on lights I’d skip to the coralcare
 

jmichaelh7

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i run 4 32's over a 48". spread isnt an issue for me but the user friendly app ai hydra has makes it so easy to find your sweet spot, and change lighting at any time. Connects to bluetooth easily. Radion has great reviews so you cant go wrong with both.
 
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