Equipment Review: LED Lighting Tests: Ecotech Radion Pro, Aqua Illumination Hydra, GHL Mitras 6100HV and 6200HV


The promise of LED technology to be able to offer an infinite range of color and controllability is finally reaching the point of reality. LEDs have to potential of offer unparalled controllability allowing users to control a wide range of features such as – spectrums, color temperatures, ability to vary these throughout the day, add special effects such as cloud covers and lightning, tight integration with modern aquarium controllers, wi-fi and internet based control. Additionally, the ability to upgrade using single platforms can provide users with a path to address rapid obsolescence as well as the ability to tweak the fixtures to the application. The new “high end” LED fixtures such as the Ecotech radion Pro, GHL Mitras, and AI Hydra are perfect examples of these capabilities.

Continuing in the same vein as my previous LED lighting tests, this article presents data on light intensity and spread along with spectral plots for these new LED fixtures. Table 1 presents a list of the LED lighting fixtures reviewed in this article. Each of these was tested using the same set up as my previous reflector tests, using a 3’X3′ grid with a spacing of 3″ in the X,Y direction. The fixtures were centered on this grid, and PAR was measured as PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) in micromoles/m2/sec using a LICOR 1000 data logger and a LI-192SA underwater cosine corrected sensor calibrated for both air and water. The data logger was set to average 5 readings for each data collection point. The data was imported into Microsoft Excel for analysis and the data was plotted to display the light spread and intensity at various distances. 4 plots of the data with 2 plots at each distance were generated showing:

  • A 3-D surface plot showing the actual PAR values recorded
  • A contour plot viewing the surface from the top showing the distribution

The spectral distributions were measured using the Licor LI-1800 spectroradiometer. The spectral data was collected from the various LEDs and normalized such that integrated light output (spectral irradiance) between the wavelengths of 400-700 nm was 100 Watts/m2. Data was collected at full power output for the individual channels of light control (e.g., Blue, white) along with data with ALL LEDs on at full power. The data was normalized so that the total irradiance was at 100 Watts/m2 over the wavelength range 400-700 nm. The various LED color outputs were then scaled by the same scale factor to allow of determination of the contribution of the various LEDs to the full output. The results are plotted as a Spectral power distribution plot. The fixtures were tested for light spread and intensity at 24″and 30″, unless otherwise noted. Power draw was measured with a Kill-A-Watt meter.


Table 1: LED Lighting Fixtures Tested
LED FixturePicture
Ecotech Marine

radion Pro


Mitras 6100


Mitras 6200

Aqua Illumination


Table 2: Comparative Analysis of the Different LED fixtures (taken from their websites)
LED FixtureEcotech Marine radion ProAI HydraGHL MItras 6100HVGHL Mitras 6200HV
# of LEDs42207272
Type and LED groupsWhite: 8 Cree XT-E Cool White (5w each)

Red: 4 Osram Oslon SSL Hyper Red, 660nm (3w each)

Yellow: 2 Osram Oslon SSL Yellow, 590nm (3w each)

Green: 4 Cree XP-E Green, 520nm (3w each)


Blue: 8 Cree XP-E Blue, 468nm (3w each)

Royal Blue: 8 Cree XT-E Royal Blue, 442nm (5w each)

Indigo: 4 SemiLEDs UV, 415nm (2.5w each)

Ultraviolet: 4 SemiLEDs UV, 405nm (2.5w each)

White: 4 Cree XT-E Cool White

Red: 2 Osram Oslon Deep Red

Green: 2 Cree XP-E

Royal Blue: 4 Cree XT-E

Blue: 4 Osram Olson Very Deep Blue


Violet: SemiLED 415nm Violet

UV: Edison Opto 400 nm UV

White: 12 Cree XT-E cool white

Neutral White: 6 Cree XT-E neutral white

Red: 6 Osram Oslon SSL red

Hyper Red: 6 Osram Oslon SSL hyperred

Blue: 12 x Cree XP-E blue

Royal Blue: 12 x Cree XT-E royal blue

Green: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL true green


Yellow: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL yellow

Hyper Violet: 6 425 nm

White: 12 x Cree XT-E cool white

Blue: 12 x Cree XP-E blue

Royal Blue: 12 x Cree XT-E

Neutral White: 6 x Cree XT-E

Green: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL true green

Sky White: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL

Blue White: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL

Red: 6 x Osram Oslon SSL hyperred

Hyper Violet: 6 x hyper violet 425 nm

# of control Channels6799
# of LED groups/type8799
Peak Spectral Range of LEDs405 nm – 660 nm400nm-660nm425-660 nm425-660 nm
Wireless Controlcommunicates wirelessly with other radion lights and VorTech pumps through EcoSMART LiveWireless remote controlcommunicates wirelessly with other Mitras lights and ProfiLux Controllers (with expansion card “PLM-PWC”) or PC (with USB-wireless dongle)*communicates wirelessly with other Mitras lights and ProfiLux Controllers (with expansion card “PLM-PWC”) or PC (with USB-wireless dongle)*
Control SoftwareCloud based -EcoSMART LiveWeb based Director, MyAI cloud basedPC based operating softwarePC based operating software
Tethering Required for ControlYes – USBNoYes – USBYes – USB
Control Features

Sunrise Sunset

Over Multiple lampsOver Multiple lampsOver Multiple lamps
Cloud SimulationYesSweeping over multiple lampsSweeping over multiple LampsSweeping over multiple Lamps
Thunder StormYesYesYesYes
Moon PhasesYesYesYesYes
Rainy DaysYesYesYesYes
LED clusters
Led Clusters
Replaceable LED clustersReplaceable LED clusters
CoolingAir cooled with one water resistant cooling fanAir Cooled with one cooling fan4 cooling fans4 cooling fans
Other Noteworthy featuresCapacitive touch exterior controlsRemote with touch controlsExterior Touch LED control panelExterior LED touch Panel
LensesCustom TIR LensesCustom TIR lenses (80 deg), also available with 50 deg.Metal coated PET reflector, 99% total reflection 96% diffuseMetal coated PET reflector, 99% total reflection 96% diffuse
SizeL: 11.8 in.
W: 7 in.
H: 1.5 in
L: 11.875 in.
W: 5.375 in.
H: 2.1 in.
L: 13.38 in
W: 7.08 in
H: 1.57 in.
L: 13.38 in
W: 7.08 in
H: 1.57 in.
Weight3.66lbs. (1.66kg)
Power Consumption at Full Power170W95 W190W (high output)
120W (high efficiency)
190W (high output)

120W (high efficiency)

Regulatory Compliance.UL, CE & RoHS..

* Not available in the current version tested

Ecotech Marine radion Pro

The radion Pro is the latest generation of the Ecotech Radion LED series. The relevant information regarding the various LEDs and other features is summarized in Table 2. The basic Led arrangement is shown in figure 1. Figures 2 and 3 show the light distribution and the spectral outputs of the various LEDs.

radion Pro”>figure_1_radion_pro_leds.jpg

Figure 1: LED arrangement for the Radion Pro

radion Pro, Light Intensity and Distribution at 24" and 30"” and=”and”>figure_2_radion_pro_distribution.jpg

Figure 2. Ecotech Radion Pro, Light Intensity and Distribution at 24″ and 30″

radion Pro”>figure_3_radion_pro_spectrum.jpg

Figure 3. Spectral Distribution of the Ecotech Radion Pro

Aqua Illumination Hydra

The AI Hydra is the newest of the Aqua Illumination (AI) product based on the same AI Vega platform. It offers less flexibility than the AI Vega in terms of control however it still provides 7 channels of control which is more than adequate to create a wide range of colors. The LED pucks are not upgradable as they are in the AI Vega. The relevant information regarding the various LEDs and other features is summarized in Table 2. The basic Led arrangement is shown in figure 4. Figures 5 and 6 show the light distribution and the spectral outputs of the various LEDs and control channels.


Figure 4: LED arrangement for the AI Hydra


Figure 5. AI Hydra, Light Intensity and Distribution at 24″ and 30″


Figure 6. Spectral Distribution of the AI Hydra

GHL Mitras 6100HV and 6200HV

The GHL Mitras are LED pendant lights from Germany. The Mitras LX platform is the basis for a wide range of LED configurations. Two of them the 6100HV and the newer 6200HV are tested here. The relevant information regarding the various LEDs and other features is summarized in Table 2. The only major difference between the 6100HV and 6200HV is in the configuration of the LEDs. All other features are identical. The 6200HV has more blue and less red whereas the 6100HV is designed to provide a fuller spectrum. Both the 6100HV and 6200HV were tested for spectral output, but only the 6200HV was tested for light distribution.

The basic Led arrangement is shown in figure 7. Figures 8 and 9 show the light distribution and the spectral outputs of the various LEDs for the GHL Mitras 6200HV and Figure 10 shows the spectral output for the GHL Mitras 6100HV.


Figure 7: LED arrangement for the 6100HV and 6200HV


Figure 8. GHL Mitras LX 6200HV, Light Intensity and Distribution at 24″ and 30″


Figure 9. Spectral distribution of the GHL Mitras 6200HV


Figure 10. Spectral distribution of the GHL Mitras 6100HV


The latest generation of LEDs with their range of multicolor LEDs and multiple channels of control offer unprecedented ability to create a wide range of colors that would suit the aesthetics of the aquarium couple with the requirements of the coral. All of these LEDs are typically programmed through software interface that allows great amount of flexibility in configuring the colors, the ability to ramp the intensity up and down to create effects such as sunrise, sunset, moving cloud covers, lightning simulation, moonlight simulation, and for some even different power settings for high output and high efficiency.

To facilitate ease of programming the colors, often the software includes preprogrammed color temperatures. This range of color temperatures is obtained by dimming some of the LEDs, which in turn leads to lower output as well as lower power consumption. For example, Figure 11, shows the various spectrums of the preprogrammed color temperatures of the GHL Mitras 6200HV. Table 3 shows the power consumption at the different preprogrammed color temperatures.


Figure 11. Preprogramed spectrums of the GHL 6200HV

Table 3. Power consumption of the 6200HV at different pre programmed color temperatures.
Programmed Color Temp.6200HVPower(Watts)

The GHL Mitras also allow the user to pick between 2 operating modes – High output and High efficiency. The difference in the output at these 2 modes is shown in table 4, and Figure 12.

Table 4: Difference in output between High Output and High Efficiency Modes
LEDModePowerPPFD at 12.5″
GHL 6200 HVHigh Output208W781
High Efficiency135W554
GHL 6100 HVHigh Output181W645
High Efficiency118W475

Figure 12: Change in Spectral Output of GHL 6200 HV and 6100HV in High Output and High Efficiency modes.

While all of the LED manufacturers provide the power consumption data for the LEDs, the actual power draw as measured by a Kill-A-Watt meter is shown in Table 5. Figure 13, shows the spectral comparison between the different LEDs at maximum output normalized to a spectral irradiance of 100W/m2. Since all of them tend to use the same manufacturer of LEDs, the only major differences are from the composition of the LEDs used.

Table 5. Power Consumption as measured with a Kill-A-Watt meter
LEDPower (Watts)Amps (A)Volts (V)Power Factor (PF)
AI Hydra95W.77122.5.99
Radion Pro171W2.65123.3.54
GHL 6200 HV (high output)208W1.73122.1.99
GHL 6200 HV (high efficiency)1351.11122.4.99
GHL 6100 HV (high output)1811.5121.99
GHL 600 HV (high efficiency)118.9122.9.99

Figure 13. Spectral Comparison of all the LEDs

Comparing the light distribution of these LEDs as shown in Figures 2, 5 and 8 are useful to provide insight into the practical use of these LEDs. At first glance it may seem like AI Hydra does not have the spread or intensity as compared to the other 2. But this is very misleading without considering the power consumption. Since all of these different LED fixtures use almost identical LEDs from Cree and Osram, the main differences in output are directly related to power consumption and numbers of individual and different LEDs and optics. The AI Hydra for example uses only 95W of power as compared to a radion at 171W and GHL 6200HV at 208W. So, in practice you may have to use 2 AI Hydra to get the equivalent light output of the other two. At around ½ the price of a radion Pro, using 2 AI Hydra may be better option for your application. Remember that the light intensity is additive where it overlaps. Running the lights at full output shows that the GHL Mitras has the largest distribution of light and would be suitable for the coverage of about a 3 ft square area, and hence suitable for larger tanks. The radion Pro on the other hand, has a slightly smaller distribution than the GHL, but achieves higher intensity at the same distances. This makes it more suitable for taller tanks, or they can be mounted higher to get a larger spread.


LED lighting has come a long way and the new generation of LED fixtures is delivering on the promise of LED technology, and control features. As usual, the users need to consider their own applications to determine the best one for the situation. Hopefully this data will be helpful in making your decisions.

  Advanced Aquarist
Sanjay Joshi

 Sanjay Joshi

  (51 articles)

Sanjay Joshi in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. He has been a reef addict since 1992, and currently keeps several reef aquariums at home including a 500G SPS coral dominated reef. He also co-manages the 500G aquarium at Penn State. He has published several articles in magazines such as Marine Fish and Reef Annual, Aquarium Frontiers, Aquarium Fish, and Advanced Aquarist. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at several marine aquarium society meetings in the US and Europe. He received the MASNA award in 2006, for his contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.

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