When it comes to lighting for your saltwater aquarium, Ecotech has been a staple in the industry for many years.
Ecotech is one of the most commonly used LED lighting manufacturers in the saltwater hobby. They have a great reputation and make excellent products.
But there are also many other brand names on the market today and some are better than others with respect to LED units.
So the question is, are Ecotech Radions worth the extra price over other brand names?
When compared to other brands like Aqua Illumination, Red Sea Reef LED, and Kessil, it’s difficult to justify the high price tag of an Ecotech. Comparing the features, efficiency, size, and durability, many other brands perform just as well as an Ecotech and will normally come with a much cheaper price tag.
There is no question that Ecotech makes a great product, don’t get me wrong. They make some of the best saltwater aquarium products on the market for a reason.
The Radion’s are proof of that.
But when you think about it, if the goal is to provide your corals with high-end lighting that will maximize their health and growth, the other brands will do this too. For much cheaper.
So let’s take a look into this a bit further and compare some of the other brands to Ecotech and see if the extra cost is worth it to you.
I looked at 3 other brands of LED lighting to compare the features of each.
Hopefully, you will find this information useful and help you decide if the Ecotech LED is a good buy for you.
You can check today’s price of the following lights by clicking the button below. This will take you to Marine depot.com.
The Ecotech Radion XR 15 G5 Pro will cost around $419.
The Ecotech Radion XR 30 G5 Pro will cost around $839.
Red Sea Reef LED 90 will cost around $349.
The Kessil A360 WE will cost around $349.
The Kessil A160 WE will cost around $239.
Aqua Illumination prime 16 will cost around $209.
Aqua Illumination Hydra 32 will cost around $360.
Check today’s price: LED Lighting On Marine Depot
As you can see, the price of the Ecotech Lighting units are priced higher than the others. I know it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples but this gives you an idea of how much cheaper similar LED lighting systems compare.
Is the Ecotech Radion XR 30 G5 Pro worth more than double the cost of the Kessil A360 WE or the Aqua Illumination Prime 32 to you?
All the lighting units mentioned are of high quality and provide you with excellent results. Just not at the high price tag of a Radion.
When it comes to features, the Ecotech Radions have all the same features as the other lights mentioned. It might have additional features as well but all the items that most people look for in a great quality light are included with Ecotech. Some common features to look for include:
Quality and durability
Number of LED’s and type
The Ecotech Radions cover all the features you will want in a light and then some. It ticks all the boxes that makes them a great light and one of the best in the industry.
Let’s look at some other stats to compare.
The Ecotech XR 30 G5 Pro and XR 15 G5 Pro are larger than the other lights on the list. So if space is a concern, you might want to avoid these.
The Kessil A160WE or A360WE is the best choice for saving space. For me personally size is not a concern. So Depending on your tank size and coral types, you can easily use any of these lights and be happy with the dimensions. They don’t use up a lot of space with the exception of the Ecotech XR 30.
Power consumption is something you really need to pay attention to. Not only are the Ecotech lights more expensive, but the XR 30 G5 Pro also uses 180 watts total power. More than double some of the other competitors.
Regardless of the equipment being used, the cost of power needs to be considered.
A light that is not as efficient as others will cost you more money to operate it. If a light is considerably more efficient than a competitor, it may be worth it to pay the extra upfront cost as you will save more in the long run.
Unfortunately the Ecotech XR 30 G5 Pro fails in this aspect over some other lights. Not only is it more expensive to purchase, but you can purchase 3 of the other lights to get the same coverage, the same power use, and less cost. Obviously this light uses more power than it’s competitors on this list.
Let’s say you have a 6 foot 150-gallon saltwater tank. You decide to use 2 of the XR 30 G5 Pros on the tank for lighting. Each light is suitable to cover an area of 36″ so 2 of them will work on this tank. Both lights together use 360 watts of total power and will cost you $1680 to purchase both.
If you were to choose a different light, say the Kessil A360WE, 3 of these lights will give you the same coverage. The cost to purchase will be $1047. So over a $600 cost savings.
Let’s look at the amount of power each light will use and the cost to operate them.
The Ecotech Radion XR 30 G5 Pro has a power consumption of 180 watts. This equals about 657 Kwh per year with a cost of $78 if the Kwh price stays at 0.12 cents. The national average is $0.12/Kwh, so looking at a per month cost:
This would result in a cost of $6.57 per month.
- Note: I just used an average of 10 hours per day of light use.
The Ecotech Radion XR 15 G5 Pro has a power consumption of 90 watts. This equals about 328 Kwh per year with a cost of $39 if the Kwh price stays at 0.12 cents. The national average is $0.12/Kwh, so looking at a per month cost:
This would result in a cost of $3.29 per month.
The AI Prime 16 HD has a power consumption of 60 watts. This equals about 219 Kwh per year with a cost of $26 if the Kwh price stays at 0.12 cents. The national average is $0.12/Kwh, so looking at a per month cost:
This would result in a cost of $2.19 per month.
The Kessil A160WE has a power consumption of 40 watts. This equals about 146 Kwh per year with a cost of $17 if the Kwh price stays at 0.12 cents. The national average is $0.12/Kwh, so looking at a per month cost:
This would result in a cost of $1.46 per month.
The images above are from Marine Depot.com. If you would like to see more aquarium electricity costs calculators, check out Marine Depot here.
So it’s clear that the Radion XR 30 G5 Pro uses more power and will cost more to operate. If you are looking at this one light versus one of the other lights, there is no comparison with respect to power usage. Even if you use multiple lights to match the total wattage of the XR 30, you will still be saving money.
Now let’s look at another situation.
Let’s say you have a smaller saltwater tank of 55 gallons and the dimensions are 48 x 13″. If you decide to use the XR 30 lights on this tank, you will only be able to use 1 light. 2 lights would be way to much and the coverage will reach an area of 72″. So you will be stuck using 1 light with 36″ coverage which may not be enough.
On the same tank, you could decide to use 2 AI Prime 16 HD lights. This will give you better coverage, cost way less to purchase, and only use 120 watts total power.
So in this case, is the Radion XR 30 G5 Pro worth it to you? Definitely not for me.
Yes, I know that the Ecotech lights are superior in quality in some ways and don’t compare to the AI Prime. But I know the AI Prime are great lights and will suit a 55-gallon tank perfectly while saving me money.
Some people believe that the Ecotech Radion lights are totally worth it to them and they are willing to pay the extra cost. I guess it depends on the individual. If you love the product and have the extra money to spend, then that’s great. I say go for it.
Just know that you can buy a really great quality light that is suitable for all coral types without spending the extra money. Sometimes the big name brands are not worth it.
The only issue I have with the Ecotech LED lights is the price. The product quality is amazing and these lights are designed to be a high-end light that provides results. If you decide to buy one of these lights, I know you will be happy with it.
Just keep in mind that there are other brands on the market as well that can provide you with high quality at a much cheaper cost. Will they last as long? Maybe. All of the names mentioned here are well known and respected brands. I would expect them to perform well.
So now it’s up to you. Do you believe paying the extra cost for the Ecotech brand is worth it? Some people do.