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Old 05-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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Member modified led Vs echo tech radion

OK so now that I am building a standard 180, I was planning on running the Eco tech. But since putting a list ( dang thats a lot of money) together I would like to see what you all have to say about running the mm with an apex. Pros and cons

I will run three units ( which ever I buy). If I buy mm I will purchase a controller. eco tech will be linked together.

Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

Mike

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:02 PM   #2
rdnelson99 rdnelson99 is offline
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The MM are controlled via a 0-10V DC signal so a controller should work fine. There is a member in your area who should have one in a few days. I am sure he wouldn't mind showing it off.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:10 PM   #3
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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I can only give you my Radion experience, and I will try to not be biased vs the MM units, because I have seen nice pics of SPS under them. I have six Radions over my 300 gallon, and two Radions over my 100 gallon.

Radions:
Positives:
1. highly programmable- dial in whatever Kelvin you want, simulate clouds or thunderstorms, they work in concert with Vortech Pumps. They come with a Programming Utility that is user friendly. Program a sunrise/sunset passing over your reef. Every LED color is individually programmable.

2. Customer Service-EcoTech CS is second to none. Got a problem, help is a phone call away.

3. Customer Forum on the Ecotech website. Get help from fellow Radion Users online at a couple different locations, the EcoTech Forum or the Reef Central Sponsor form.

4. Upgradable- Radions can be upgraded as LED technology advances.

5. These grow SPS at the bottom of a 28" deep tank.

Negatives;
1. High Price- My personal opinion on this is that EcoTech is excelling as a small company with a highly defined product pallet and very limited marketplace, and their prices will be higher than similar products like the MM units, that come from a Chinese Company that also makes large quantities of hydroponic LEDs and LEDs for other industry applications, with the corresponding cost savings these Economies of Scale will allow. I feel the above positives absolutely outweigh the Radion's higher price point, just personal opinion. Their (EcoTech's) operating costs will also be higher since they are an American company, even though the origins of their product may be Asian. Also, EcoTech operates through a network of LFS retailers, and is not selling directly to the Public, as is the MM manufacturer. The MM manufacturer is bypassing an entire layer of distribution and resulting increase in pricing that way. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just a fact compared to the price point of these MM units.

2. No Mac based Programing Utility (yet). This has been a problem for some potential Buyers of Radions, as Mac Users have grumbled about it. They are working on it, and will have Mac based Programing available in a future update, per EcoTech.

3. Programing can be fiddly. The EcoTech configuration utility is a work in progress, and could be a PIA when it was first released, although several software updates have addressed initial problems with the Utility.

Member Modified Units: No personal experience here, so take this for what it is worth.
Positives:
1. High Par.

2. Grows nice looking SPS-seen pics.

3. Lower price point than Radions..

4. Buyer customizable- add UV or different LED colors, ratios of blue/white, etc.

Possible Negatives:
1. Does not have anywhere near the Radion's level of programability.

2. Dimmable or fixed output only. There is a dimmable and non-dimmable version, I think.

2. Quality issues and subsequent Customer Service? I don't know what the quality of these units is, but if there is an issue, you have to get replacements or service from China, I think. MM owners can correct me if I am wrong here.

Last edited by Acroholic; 05-08-2012 at 1:16 PM.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:11 PM   #4
barry_keith barry_keith is online now
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Pretty big price difference

I love my MM LEDs. I've been running them a little over 4 months now and I'm still extremely happy with growth and color of all types of corals, including a clam on the sand bed.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:20 PM   #5
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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I saw the manual dimiable unit owned by Butch. I was very impressed by the color. I would really like to see one in action by a controller, just to see the different things I would be able to do with it. I have seen the echo tech in action and was impressed. But not so much by the price. I have never owned a controller and I'm sure there are many thing I can do with it.

The only thing I really want to have them do is have a sun rise and sun set. And being able to change the white blue ratio. Plus being able to keep and type of coral in the tank.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:23 PM   #6
rdnelson99 rdnelson99 is offline
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I would say that is a pretty fair comparrison however there are a couple of points I would correct you on. I believe the EShine LEDs are the ones where you can tell them which LEDs you want installed. The MM have the ratio set at the factory but do include UV. As for dimming, the MM come in three options. Non-Dimmable, Manual Dimmable (knobs mounted on each unit) and Electronic Dimmable (accepts an external 0-10V DC signal to determine output levels).

There is no doubt in my mind I would rather have the Radions but there is also no doubt in my wallet that I can't afford them. The MM is a nice trade off for someone like me.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:26 PM   #7
barry_keith barry_keith is online now
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The MM include a warranty, you deal with the seller of the units not someone in china.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:28 PM   #8
rdnelson99 rdnelson99 is offline
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In the interest of full disclosure, the warranty on the MM is parts only. They will ship the parts to you but you have to make the repairs or have them made. To me, the risk is worth saving the cash up front. But then I am a pretty handy guy. LOL Pretty ugly guy too but that is beside the point.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:30 PM   #9
barry_keith barry_keith is online now
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Thanks for pointing that out Rich, I should have mentioned that part

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:37 PM   #10
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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The price does concern me a little. But when my wife gave me the go- ahead on this build she advised me to do it right the first time. Ok she was right on the first tank and I cut corners by buying cheap equipment and ended up buying the better equipment later on down the road. Yes I had to learn by m,asking the same mistakes others like me have made. The only thing she told me was to do it right the first time.

So here is my issue. Do I do an 8 month build and go with the mm or do I make it longer and go with the radion. I know this is a very biased question to some due to the fact you have only had limited dealings with one of the units. I have been in limbo about the units. One side of me tells me to wait and get what I intended or hurry and get it running (but it scares me cause I will not be happy in the long run.

Acroholic thank you for the great write up. I think you may have sealed the deal.

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Old 05-08-2012, 1:53 PM   #11
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I would agree with the above posts. I think of the MMs more like a solid replacement for traditional lighting (metal hallide and T5). I'm not concerned about the LEDs doing their job. I am concerned about customer support should something go wrong.

Even with the crazy price of the Radions, I calculated the payback period vs. metal halide/t5 combination at 3 years. That was just using energy costs and bulbs. It did not include the cost savings from the reduction of heat which is a pretty big number in itself. I think 3 years is a very reasonable payback period. If you look at the MMs, your payback period is irrelevant since the price of three of them is about the same as a 3 bulb metal halide fixture.

I opted for the Radions for three reasons. 1) The information available on the MMs is limited to hobbiest experiences 2) wasn't prepared to deal with potential customer service/quality issues and 3) I really like the programming on the radions.

Having just got into the programming on the Radions, it seems pretty obvious to me that what the can do with the software is pretty limitless and they are just getting started.

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Old 05-08-2012, 2:01 PM   #12
rdnelson99 rdnelson99 is offline
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As I said earlier, it really boils down to you. Is it with it to you to know you have the best and are you willing to wait until you can afford it. I know that it would be a very long time before I could afford the Radions. For me, I can have the best of both worlds. Should a fixture completely fail and I can't fix it, I could buy another one for less than I would have spent additionally on the Radions. I tried to be smart about it though and did go with the electronic dimmable even though I have no controller. I used a DIY dimming kit from Rapid LED ($30) to give me the manual control in the mean time but one day when I can add a controller I will have fixture ready and waiting.

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Old 05-08-2012, 2:18 PM   #13
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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Lighting is going to be my last purchase. So hopefully when that time arrives I will have already put my hands on a controlled mm unit. The key factors that appeal to me is the radion is upgradable and highly controllable. As far as par I have seen great numbers from both units. I have seen great growth from the radion and have heard of great growth from the mm.

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Old 05-08-2012, 3:28 PM   #14
RedStang RedStang is offline
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Flame, like you I really want the Radion's but am put off by the price. My plan is to use the MM units until I can afford the a Radion's. I can always use them for a frag tank or sell down the road. The cost of the MM is such that I don't consider them mutually exclusive. Radion's can come a year or two down the road.


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Old 05-08-2012, 4:19 PM   #15
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I have two brand new unopened radions I can sell you for $1400. Not that bad...huh?

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Old 05-08-2012, 4:46 PM   #16
Fidofence Fidofence is offline
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I have the Radion and love them. I just ordered two mm LEDs for my qt tank and 1 for my frag tank. I think the radion is worth the money but I don't mind paying for quality

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Old 05-08-2012, 5:53 PM   #17
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edulover View Post
I have two brand new unopened radions I can sell you for $1400. Not that bad...huh?
If I had the money I would be all over them. But maybe if you still have them when I get the money we can do business.

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Old 05-08-2012, 7:38 PM   #18
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I might still have them....I'm in no hurry to sell.

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Old 05-08-2012, 7:47 PM   #19
ShanePike ShanePike is offline
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The thing that struck me as odd about the Radions is that EcoTech's site shows only 500 par at the very very center. That seemed oddly low to me for a light that everyone says grows SPS so well. What am I missing?

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