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Ecotech's TIR lenses - Hands-on review

By Leonard Ho - Posted Aug 14, 2012 08:00 AM
We offer a quick hands-on review of Ecotech Marine's new TIR lens replacement for their Radion LED lights by comparing it to the "stock" reflector. In a nutshell: Yes, the TIRs are noticeably brighter.
Ecotech's TIR lenses - Hands-on review

The TIR lens (left) vs the stock metalic reflector with acrylic shield (right).

Ecotech Marine announced their new TIR lenses last week (read their announcement for full details).  For $30 per pair of lenses, Ecotech claims 23% more total output and 45% more peak output over the stock reflector with no other modification.  That's right; 23% more light/watt efficiency.  But does the TIR live up to its billing?

Description

While the stock reflector consists of a metallic reflector and an acrylic shield held together with two screws, the new TIR lens are fabricated from a single piece of acrylic.  Each lens contains individual optics for each LED.  Savvy readers may count 21 optics per lens despite the current Radion containing only 17 LEDs per cluster.  Ecotech will not say whether a new LED cluster module is planned, but we suspect something is in the works.

Installation

The installation of the TIR is simple and quick.  It took us no more than 10 minutes to change both lenses with minimal tools.  The photo below shows the original reflector on the left and the newly installed TIR lens  on the right.

Ecotech posted a video showing how to upgrade Radions to the new TIR lenses.

 

Performance

Simply put, the TIR lives up to Ecotech's claims.  The new lenses are strikingly brighter to the eye as is demonstrated in the photo below (the old reflector on the left vs the new TIR lens on the right).  According to our Apogee PAR meter, the TIR registered (on average) 32% more peak output 24" directly below the center of a LED cluster.    Additionally, the individual LED colors appear more evenly mixed and distributed.

tirP1.jpg

The TIR lenses represents an impressive performance upgrade for a mere $30 per pair of lenses.  We hope the new TIR will become the standard lens included with future Ecotech Radion.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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