Quick Review - Radion Diffusers

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by Centerline, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I scored a few of the new diffusers for a set of Gen4 Pros I have and thought I would share some observations.

    So this is what you get for $65 bucks. Basically a plastic shell with a 1mm diffuser that replaces the existing face plate for your Radion. Although light weight and a little cheep feeling contrasted against the build quality of the light itself ,once you have it mounted you should find that it fits well and does a pretty good job.
    1.jpg

    Mounting the cover is fast and simple. Remove the 8 screws that hold the face plate and fan in place, remove the face plate and then screw the white base plate to the light using the screws you just removed.

    If you find the cover doesn't fit on well take the base plate back off and turn it around and screw it back in place.
    2.jpg

    The electrical board has a few pinouts that are slightly higher than the board so the base plate has a few bump-outs for these to fit into.
    4.jpg
    5.jpg

    The end result should nice clean fit and finish.

    6.jpg

    The diffuser itself is held in place with small magnets and although it sounds like its not the best way to hold the diffuser in place it works fine.

    Below is a picture of the diffused lights over a tank in my office (not much going on in the tank -hurricane Irma killed most of it and I have yet to have the heart to repopulate it).

    7.jpg

    With respect to how it looks, I'm running V/UV/B/RB at 100% and W/CW/G/R at 10% - over all intensity of powder at 35%. So lets call it 20k-ish. The first thing I noticed was how NICE everything looked. Colors are well blended, no disco and very little shading - visually. The tank looks a lot like running Radiums with supplemental URI VHO T12s bulbs. Most people in the hobby don't remember the URI VHOs T12s but its a very nice look. If you have ever seen a tank with a even distribution of Blue+ T5s and True Actinic T5s it almost the exact look. Regardless, as they can be tuned to whatever you like the diffusers seem to do a nice job.

    Par fall off was about 20-25 % over all but of course this should not effect most people as few run Radions at 100% power. I also worked pretty hard trying to find hot spots - didn't find any. One thing I did notice is that at the edge of the light I could find small areas with much more fall off. Could be due to the height of the diffuser blocking some of the light coming from lens - could also be the over sensitive Seneye I used, readings bounce all over the place with that thing and the slightest movement.

    So that it! Nice product that IMHO goes a long way to reduce hotspots and a great job blending the light.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  2. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones The Gif-A-Nator R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Nice write up, and really nice looking tank :)
     
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  3. Abhishek

    Abhishek Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

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    Man, you and greg caroll are making me think hard to part away with my beloved Geisemann halides and go all radions with diffusers.
    Scared of how the acros will take the transition though !

    Regards,
    Abhishek
     
  4. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Pre Irma..., little over a year old. Take a look at that little frag rack... sigh.
    preirma.jpg
     
  5. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I am certainly NOT suggesting you get rid of the Geisemann.... my Reefer 525 build at home is going to be powered by a Spectra. I still believe that MH are the Gold Standard for reef lighting but I also think LEDs when not abused (screwing with them all the time, weird color combos, playing with the intensity without a par or lux meter) can do a fine job. I'm a light agnostic man but if I had to pick only one it would be Radiums on a M80 ballast.
     
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  6. VincesReef

    VincesReef Member

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    What kinda of Par were you seeing at what depth?
     
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  7. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Between 225 and 250 about 10" down. So running at 35% of full power you can see it shouldn't be an issue. Need me to crank the lights up to 100% and take a couple of measurements?
     
  8. VincesReef

    VincesReef Member

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    Yeah if you wouldn’t mind checking the par with the lights at 80% and 100% and seeing what your getting. This is very interesting the light is blending so well and still get good numbers on par.

    I’m in the process of building up my 600g which is 10’x3’x3’. I’m a little worried with the diffuser I would get enough par at the bottom.

    Thanks for taking the time to run the tests for myself and everyone else.
     
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  9. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Any particular program? I can switch to straight Coral Lab a/b for the test if you like.
     
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  10. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Sorry Man, didn't pay enough attention and missed the 80% - Ill do that when I get back to work i the morning. With respect to 100%.

    10" below the surface
    Centered on G4Pro - lengthwise orientation
    No diffuser
    All lights on
    cranked.jpg
    Crazy stuff here

    10" below the surface
    Centered on G4Pro - lengthwise orientation
    No diffuser
    One light on
    cranked2.jpg
    Still a wacky amount of light @ 10"

    10" below the surface
    Centered on G4Pro - lengthwise orientation
    With diffuser
    One light on

    cranked3.jpg
    Looks like a 29% difference but still more light than most corals can use.

    10" below the surface
    Off Centered on G4Pro @ 9.5" - lengthwise orientation.
    With diffuser
    One light on
    falloff.jpg
    Lots of fall off on the sides of the light though. This is 4" away from the edge of the light and clearly shows the necessity to both own a Par or Lux meter and be prepared to overlap lights. WAY easy to over light with these guys.
     
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  11. oreo5457

    oreo5457 Active Member

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    I'd be a bit careful w/ the Seneye because it is not cosine corrected...
    Off axis light is probably under-reported..
     
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  12. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Its a goofy little meter - if its not on something stable its all over the place. Better than my Apex meter though.
     
  13. oreo5457

    oreo5457 Active Member

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    Point was it's best "under center". It does not measure probably more than a 45 degree cone.
    apex/Apogee being corrected for off axis light will post higher PAR #'s (theoretically) because it gathering all light in a approx 130 (150 whatever.. 180 is optimistic)degrees off parallel.
    You point it towards a light source and your values jump..moreso than an Apogee/Li-Cor
    [​IMG]
    Seneye actually works better than it should.. ;)
     
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  14. VincesReef

    VincesReef Member

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    Awesome results none the less. Thank you for knocking out that little test for us.
    Definitely solidifies buy the diffusers now.
    Vince.
     
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  15. lariat8099

    lariat8099 Active Member

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    I have them on my lights. Love love love them
     
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  16. ESH

    ESH Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Great write up and thanks for taking the pictures. I too added these to my xr30G4's. I have 2 of them over my 90gallon mounted on the RMS system (9" above the water line). Initially I was skeptical and wasn't really seeing the difference in any pictures or video's online, but went with them primarily because I do not have a canopy on the tank and started noticing my 3 year old getting blinded by the lights every time he looked up at the tank.

    First impressions of them, I like them. I compare it to looking at a lamp with the shade on vs one without. Less blinding. More importantly, I think it is functional too as the light appears to be more blended, and this is very apparent under an actinic setting (UV, Violet, Royal Blue, Blue all 100%, others 0%). I didn't notice it at first, primarily because I wasn't too sure what to look for or compare to. What did stand out to me right away was the light lines in the back.
    The Light on the right has the diffuser, the one on the left does not. The light without the diffuser is putting off sharper light lines. Sorry for the crummy cell phone picture, however the blue color Im getting is pretty accurate.
    [​IMG]

    I'm using the settings that WWC has out in one of their threads (Which appears to be a modified coral lab AB+ profile with half the day on actinic). Prior to installation, I had an overall intensity of around 45% which was getting about 300 par dead center & 10" down (so measured directly under the center fan). Post installation, I saw on average of a 25% drop. So to get the PAR readings back up, I increased the overall intensity to 60%, and I'm now getting similar readings to what it was before. To measure PAR I'm using a SQ-520 Apogee LED PAR Sensor, and the submersion settings were turned on.

    Overall I think they are worth it. I can't say they are going to be for everyone, however depending on how your tank is setup they could be a wise choice. Can't comment on coral growth as my tank and the lights are too new (4 months).
     
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  17. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great review! I've got one I need to get installed. :)
     
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  18. tankstudy

    tankstudy Well-Known Member

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    I put on my diffuser last night. Huge difference.
     
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  19. Martyd

    Martyd Active Member

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    I like mine too. It does a good job of blending the light and definitely reduces, if not eliminates hot spots. It’s a lot of money for what amounts to a plastic light filter (especially when you have multiple lights), but it is well designed and you do need to take into consideration the R&D cost.

    All things considered, I’m very happy with it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Following I think I maybe should have gotten these lights
     
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