**The GHL Mitras LX7 LED**

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d2mini

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I started running the brand new GHL Mitras LX7 over my nano!
We don't see too many Mitras users around here so I thought I'd post my initial impressions.
Please feel free to ask questions or chime in with your own experience!
I've only had mine a few weeks so I'm sure I could benefit from others as well.
Maybe we can even get GHL to follow and help answer questions.



The New GHL Mitras LX7 LED


Anyone who's been around for a bit and has gotten to know me over the years, knows that I'm a big fan of traditional lighting. I tried LED lighting early on and I was not impressed. The various options they brought to the table like slow ramping up and down, spectrum that could be changed on a whim, low heat, low energy consumption, no bulb changes... these were all very enticing. But when it came to growth and color, I became very disappointed. So after two years and two generations of LED light I decided I had enough and went back to the tried and true method of lighting my tank… MH supplemented with T5.

During the next couple of years, while watching my coral grow like weeds, I learned a few things from my experiences. I knew my struggles didn't have to do with the LEDs themselves, but more how they were implemented. So when I was given the chance to run LED again, I decided to accept the challenge and give it another shot. What I knew I needed this time was a lot more LEDs for better coverage and I needed to hang them much higher to combat the problems with shadowing. Technology has also improved to help combat these same issues. For the past 6 months or so I've been running the latest generation Radion G4 Pro leds over my 120g mixed reef, and have been having success so far.



This month GHL finally started shipping their latest generation of LED light, the GHL Mitras LX7. GHL has been in the LED game for several years already, but what really put them on the map was their aquarium controller, the Profilux. I've owned one since 2012 and it is without a doubt the best controller I've ever used. I have yet to see a full aquarium controller that is better designed, has higher quality hardware, has stronger software/firmware, and is near as stable. Everything is designed from the ground up in Germany. If all those qualities could be applied to an LED light, along with all the knowledge and technological advancements gained from the past several years, with a dash of the latest innovations straight from the GHL labs, it seems to me that would be a winning combination.

I was lucky enough to get in on the first batch of USA deliveries. Could this new (updated) light from GHL live up to my reef lighting needs and expectations? Does it have the same qualities I've come to expect from GHL? The plan was to replace the Reefbrite Metal Halide fixture I had hanging over my 25g Nano mixed reef for the past year. It's still a bit early to tell how my little reef will react long term, but I'd like to share some first impressions.

Build Quality
Upon arrival and taking the Mitras out of the box, it immediately felt like a GHL product. It feels very solid/sturdy. The screen is on the short end along with the capacitive touch controls. If you are familiar with the Profilux controller you will feel right at home. Same screen with the same kind of controls and menu system. When you are paying top tier prices, it's nice to receive a product that feels top tier.

Appearance and Design
You can get the basic gist by looking at their photos online, but in person it's a pretty sleek bit of kit. I opted for black, and there is a white option as well. It's obvious time was spent on the industrial design of this product. Words like modern and elegant immediately come to mind. Some surfaces are smooth, some have a slight ribbing, all edges are smooth with various radiuses… this is not just a generic box with some electronics thrown inside. The bottom panel is where the magic happens… Six clusters of LEDs, recessed slightly within reflectors (yes... REFLECTORS) and finished off with a sheet of acrylic, making the entire bottom panel one smooth surface. And finally, GHL couldn't just use a standard black sheathing over the single electrical cord. They used a transparent casing, revealing the silver wire inside. It's clean, and it doesn't stand out as much as a black cord would. The top of the Mitras is vented and contains three small fans which are completely silent, to these ears anyway.



Programming
You can do this with the screen and capacitive touch buttons on the Mitras itself but it would be a chore. The best course of action is to use the PC based software, GHL Control Center. The initial connection to your Mitras has to be with the provided USB cable. GHL has a youtube channel and they show you step by step how to connect and get hooked up to your WiFi. It's pretty simple and the video makes it a cinch, and from now on you can connect to the Mitras wirelessly. Once connected you can open up the software, go to the Illumination tab, and create a new "project". Honestly, I'm still learning what the software can do. It's VERY capable with lots of nice options. But creating your initial project is very easy. Start by creating your first time point for the day. You'll see the familiar sliders for each color channel. Choose the percent power for each color channel, click ok and create the next point on the graph. Pretty standard stuff.



Some other nice little programming features...
You can choose to see your programming changes on the fly… or not.
You can save spectrum presets, very helpful while programming your daily schedule.
You can set up several "maintenance" programs that are easily accessed through the pc software, the cloud, or directly on the light with just a few clicks. For instance, I set up a 13,000k spectrum for taking photos of my coral.
Feel like you need a little more punch out of a color channel? You can "overdrive" it up to 130%.
Detailed "Simulation" modes for clouds, rainy days, and moon phases, all tweakable to your liking.
Thunderstorms can also be simulated, with a ton of options, even SOUND! But the sound comes out of your PC. Maybe someone can tell me how to get the lights to play the sound instead.
You can even simulate Seasonal Lighting... day length and intensity changes throughout the year.

I have to say, the details and options available are really impressive. The more I use it, the more I like it, and in many ways prefer it over other lights that I've used. And it can all be done without being connected to a cloud service, but the cloud option is available which is nice for making changes remotely.

Light Quality
You get 9 separate, dimmable color channels to work with. Hyper Violet, Ultra Violet, Royal Blue, Blue, Blue White, Cool White, Warm White, True Green, and Hyper Red. Wow. There are a total of 72 leds spread across 6 clusters. Each cluster is replaceable/upgradeable and the leds are clustered very tight together and within a metal coated reflector that attempts to mimic parabolic metal halide reflectors. This blends the separate color channels to avoid that "disco" effect commonly seen in tanks that are lit by led fixtures. I can say that I see zero disco effect in my tank. The light spread and lack of shadowing is also quite impressive. I removed the 24" double ended metal halide fixture and replaced it with this Mitras and I can not see any discernible difference.



Using an Apogee MQ500 par meter, I was able to take some measurements as shown in the illustration below. All pumps were off, the light is 14" above the water, and at this spectrum of 14,500 Kelvin, the fixture was running at 100% power. The first set of numbers are right below the surface of the water. The next set are about 4-5" down, and the last set is at the bottom of the tank. These were all measured as close to the center of the tank as I could get with the rock in there. The very bottom set of numbers show the par readings right near the front glass at the very bottom.



Here is another PAR test using the same Apogee meter but this time I ramped the LX7 up to max power, all channels, all settings.



My conclusion is that the Mitras does have very good light spread, and overall power is very similar to the new Radion G4 Pros. My amatuer/unscientific approach to using the par meter on both tanks was close enough that I couldn't accurately pick a winner as far as overall intensity. Someone with better equipment and technique would be better suited to make that kind of determination. What I can say is that most hobbyists would not be wanting for more power with either light.

I also want to note that when hanging above the aquarium, I am impressed by the lack of glare and light spill. Again, the Mitras is 14" off the surface of the water. When in a sitting position a few feet from the tank, I can see all 6 pucks, yet I have no problem looking right at them from this angle. With the light spread this unit has, this is impressive to say the least.

Colors
I think I can safely say that the majority of reefers want their coral to have good color. Lighting is only one part of that equation, but let's assume you've got everything else dialed in. You're going to want your light to bring out those colors, and I do not think you will be disappointed. With 9 channels, including two whites and several blues/purples, you are sure to find a spectrum (or two or three) that suit your needs. I prefer a whiter light with a bit of crisp blue, similar to Radium 14k MH bulbs. Taking into consideration that this little nano has had its share of ups and downs this past year, my coral are looking pretty colorful and healthy after a few weeks under the Mitras.





Mounting Options
They offer two distinct mounting options, neither of which is included with the fixture, so keep this in mind when purchasing. The less expensive option is to purchase the wire hanging kit. There are two mounting holes on top of the fixture. You can then run the wires to your ceiling or some kind of DIY support above the tank. The second and more expensive option is their Mitras Flex Mount System. Using a combination of metal and acrylic it offers a pretty slick way of mounting your Mitras to your stand, and offers a really good amount of both height and fore/aft adjustability. Definitely one of the nicest mounting options I've seen to date.

Overall First Impressions
This is not an inexpensive light. At the current price of $750 per unit, it's sitting right at the top end of similarly sized, fully programmable LED fixtures, but it does come in $50 under the cost of the Ecotech Radion G4 Pro. And from what I can tell, the coverage is at least as good, if not better. I have mine over my nano tank which is sized 24" long by 16 wide", which is a bit overkill. The fixture itself measures 12.75" x 7.75". There is MORE than enough light/coverage for this size tank. I would have no problem putting this over a 30" long tank... maybe even a little bit larger depending on how high you can mount it and the kind of coral you'd like to keep. No disco effect, outstanding light spread, 9 color channels, very robust programming, and a build quality you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere… This one is a keeper. I plan to post updates and results over time so check back periodically, but if you are in the market for an off-the-shelf, fully programmable LED light for your reef aquarium, the new GHL Mitras LX7 is most definitely worthy of your consideration.

Here's a few more pics of my little nano reef under the GHL Mitras LX7.
More can be seen at the end of my blog post here...
http://www.everydayreef.com/blog/2017/1/17/the-new-ghl-mitras-7x-led

And big thanks to @[email protected] and @[email protected] for always being there to answer my questions.









Here is my current project as of 1-31-17
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2385073/Mitras LX7 Project 1-17-17.lpc

 
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d2mini

d2mini

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This sounds silly but is there a chance you could post a short video of the tank under this light?
I'll see what I can do. :)
 

slief

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Very nice write up! It's about time there's a LX7 thread here on RC! I just installed 6 of the LX7's over my main display and the colors that I am seeing in my corals are spectacular. I had an early LX7 demo unit over my frag tank for that last few months which I was lucky enough to get my hands on after MACNA and that sold me on them.

It's great that we now have an LX7 thread here on RC. This could be a great thread for sharing projects and settings. I am still finalizing my settings as I am in the acclimation process still but I will be sure to share my settings as well. One thing that is really nice about the GHL software is that you can pick your kelvin range and use that to create your ramp points so the color matches or have a higher kelvin for the dusk/dawn effect and a lower kelvin for peak lighting periods with a nice natural ramping transition between. What I also found cool was the fact that they connect to the network via wifi so you don't need the included USB cable to make changes to them. I also liked the fact that you can control and program them via GHL Control Center software or the MyGHL cloud interface.

Here are a few shots of mine. As I said, I am still acclimating my tank to the new lights on my rack. I am still trying to determine if 6 of them will be enough which it appears as though will work if I have the lights up high enough and the intensity up enough. I am still acclimating to the new lights so I have 8 of my 10 original Kessils up there at the moment.








 
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d2mini

d2mini

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Just added a link to my current project file at the very bottom of my first post in this thread.
 

GoVols

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@d2mini
Does GHL make smart phone download apps or do you really need their Profilux controller to get to most out of them during programming?

Thanks, GoVols
 
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d2mini

d2mini

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@d2mini
Does GHL make smart phone download apps or do you really need their Profilux controller to get to most out of them during programming?

Thanks, GoVols
You don't need the Profilux to run the Mitras, at all. You do need the same PC software that the Profilux uses, GHL Control Center.
There is no mobile app for the Mitras that I am aware of, yet. There is the cloud which you could access on your mobile device via your browser but it's still a bit limited as far as programming is concerned.
 

GoVols

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You don't need the Profilux to run the Mitras, at all. You do need the same PC software that the Profilux uses, GHL Control Center.
There is no mobile app for the Mitras that I am aware of, yet. There is the cloud which you could access on your mobile device via your browser but it's still a bit limited as far as programming is concerned.
How do you get the PC (GHL Control Center) software?
 

GoVols

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Diesel

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Great review Brother, you hit it out of the park again :)
 

GoVols

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Great review , amazing job . I am honestly thinking about saving up for a Profilux P-4 controller package , and now I am considering theses lights as well I love the look of the GHL products
On that note.
If I ever upgrade from my Apex classic, it will be to the be to the GHL Profilux controller too.

GHL has truly done and still doing a great job in scripting it to be the most detailed, reliabe and user friendly controller on the market. :)

I was really surprised when Apex 2016 was released. I just figured the controller software would be a huge leap from classic but... I was wrong. :confused:
 
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