Finally, the complete rundown on the Kessil A360X | BRStv Investigates

Is the Kessil A360X is worth the extra $100?

  • Yes

    Votes: 74 54.0%
  • No

    Votes: 58 42.3%
  • Other (comment your thoughts)

    Votes: 5 3.6%

  • Total voters
    137

randyBRS

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It's finally here!

For everyone waiting on an in-depth look of the Kessil A360X, beyond the marketing hype and website bullet points, today is your day!

In this one Ryan breaks it all down for us from color spectrum, PAR output, blending and diffusing, all the way to mounting options and recommendations for using on a variety of tank sizes. This one has it all!

 

Crabs McJones

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Awesome video! Thank you for taking the time to make this, do the testing, and answer the questions that people have been asking since Kessil teased the video months ago. :)
 

8251reefer

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Still wondering about Kessils claim of 25% increase in output. Where did they get that number from? I don’t see that increase based on the PAR measurements in the video, the light distribution was better than the A360WE but the par was about the same. How can Kessil claim 25% more light output? Is this based on the light distribution? Its clearly not 25% more PAR.
 

Montiman

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It may be 25% more with color at 50% and Red Green and Violet at Max but no one will actually do that. I have yet to see anyone test it either.
 

8251reefer

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It may be 25% more with color at 50% and Red Green and Violet at Max but no one will actually do that. I have yet to see anyone test it either.
I love my Kessil A360WE’s but I’m not dropping $900 to replace them based on this “25% increase”. If it is truly 25% their results and methods of their lighting tests(Kessils) should be available to reference. Inquiring minds want to know...25% increase in light output...is it PAR, lumens, or 25% better light distribution?
 

Daniel Waters

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I agree that the 25% light output increase seems questionable. However, they really did not do an apples to apples comparison (as they noted in the video). I know on my Kessil 360We that every 5% upwards change in color setting from 25% color setting to 50% color setting would increase par 3% to 4% for each 5% color bump. So 50% color setting would produce 15% to 20% more par than I would get at 25% color. Based on that, it's possible the new kessils do have increased light output. Honestly, though, kessils strength to me has never been their light output but more about their even spread, shimmer, simplicity, and form factor.

I can't justify upgrading either, though, inless someone can comment on the color and really make a case that it is significantly better on the newer x version. It's too hard to really tell from videos in my opinion. It may be something I need to see in person but I'd love to hear people's opinions that have seen both.
 

Ryanbrs

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Proof to not paint your tank glass.. ;)
Yea I know the overflow blocks some ..

In most cases the rock will block most of the light that would reflect off the back as well. IMO par isn’t everything, the tank has to look nice too. That said the black back stops all kinds of light from being redirected back into the tank.
 
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Ryanbrs

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I agree that the 25% light output increase seems questionable. However, they really did not do an apples to apples comparison (as they noted in the video). I know on my Kessil 360We that every 5% upwards change in color setting from 25% color setting to 50% color setting would increase par 3% to 4% for each 5% color bump. So 50% color setting would produce 15% to 20% more par than I would get at 25% color. Based on that, it's possible the new kessils do have increased light output. Honestly, though, kessils strength to me has never been their light output but more about their even spread, shimmer, simplicity, and form factor.

I can't justify upgrading either, though, inless someone can comment on the color and really make a case that it is significantly better on the newer x version. It's too hard to really tell from videos in my opinion. It may be something I need to see in person but I'd love to hear people's opinions that have seen both.

Yeah, upgrading is different than the initial purchase between $350 and $450. Unless you have some money burning a hole on your pocket I don't think most people will spend that much money to upgrade but I guess that kind of depends on what you can get for the used ones.

That said with the 360 vs 360x

Shimmer - Same benefits
Spectrum blending - Same benefits

Phone app - Possibly ?
More light output - Possibly but probably not in a meaningful manner.

Spectrum offering - Significant Improvement
Color representation because of the wider spectrum - Significant Improvement
Wider distribution of light - Improved
Lunar light and dimming options - Significant Improvement
Controllability - Improved
lower profile and more attractive - Improved

In the end of the only consideration is PAR output then i'd say "fail" but there are a dozen considerations. Most people wouldn't buy a car based on horsepower alone and also wouldn't upgrade a car because of 20% more horsepower but if they made it nicer looking, ride was smoother, handled better, technology improvements, more comfortable interior and came in a new color I liked... I just might :)

All that said, I don't think the changes here are revolutionary enough to justify an upgrade for most people, double so if they are installed in a t5 hybrid solution. But I do think many reefers will find significant value for the $100 on new installs. If PAR is the only consideration the older 360 is the best value for sure.
 
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U

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Nice video.

Likes:
New form factor. It is sleak.
Primary spectrum for coral(s)is a good idea.
Secondary channel(s) spectrum for user to tune color to their liking.

Dislikes:
No native controller support.
Another app or controller, additional cost. Tired of everyone having their own dongle, app, or doohickie.


My personal opinion is that the manufactures are going about it the wrong way with a single multi LED form factor compared to a T5 bar. Too much light spill compared to a 36 to 48" wide bar design that replicates our older VHO or current T5's. I know I said I like the form factor above, and I do. But isn't a design I went. Again - good video. If you haven't done so already maybe shoot Kessil a email and ask them to quantify the 25% number. Would be interesting to hear what they say - especially if it keeps getting repeated through the internet without any contect behind it.

Could do more damange than good if you know what I mean.
 

ca1ore

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I bought two of the 360x lights - one to replace a failed older 360 and a second to replace a working 360 that I was relocating to another part of my system. Without seeing the actual fixture, I’d defy anyone to be able to tell the difference between the x and older light just by looking at the tank. I can see absolutely no reason that both won’t grow corals with equal facility. I do suspect, just from observation, that the spread from the x is broader - perhaps this accounts for the lack of the extra 25%. Broader spread is both good and bad - good in the sense that a single fixture may offer greater coverage (though it is still a point source); bad in the sense that many will need to use the forthcoming add on lenses, which takes the price up even further.

Dimming is better, though still not as good as I would have liked (maybe it just isn’t possible to get full dimming to absolute black without color shifting the way my old Solar 1000 could do with incandescent); the moonlight is still far too bright in my view (I’ll stick with the apex LSM) so it does not have all the upgrades we could ever hope for (as extolled on a popular review site). Addition of violet is nice, though I’m pressed to see a material difference. I’d certainly like to see apex control as i find the Kessil controllers kludgy.

Overall, I’d judge the X to be a modest improvement. Worth it when replacing older lights is required, but not as a proactive replacement .....
 
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Emerson

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If I was starting from nothing, I would probably pay the extra $100 and go with 3 x A360X for my 90gal. However, I already have 3 x A360N with the Aquatic Life hybrid fixture set up, and not worth the upgrade to me. Also agree that would like to see Apex compatibility. So many are already vested in Neptune gear, I wouldn't want to spend the $100 for the controller. All together, that would cover the cost of another A360.
 

shoggoth43

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If these provide roughly the same PAR with a much wider spread they're probably figuring the 25% brighter claim in that somehow going from a 2x2 to a 3x3 foot pattern is roughly twice as much area. I know they planned on a narrow beam lens so it'll be interesting to see what that does to the PAR numbers and I wouldn't be surprised by a "classic lens" at some point to give back the 2x2 foot pattern for those who want it.
 

lancesmith1

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Is there not some benefit from the new design in that the ventilation / cooling process should result in less dust and lint collecting on and inside the fixture?
That is my biggest gripe about the previous design. And, the fear about buying a used 360. If the previous owner didn't keep them clean it would limit the life of the fixture.
 

Ryanbrs

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Nice video.

Likes:
New form factor. It is sleak.
Primary spectrum for coral(s)is a good idea.
Secondary channel(s) spectrum for user to tune color to their liking.

Dislikes:
No native controller support.
Another app or controller, additional cost. Tired of everyone having their own dongle, app, or doohickie.


My personal opinion is that the manufactures are going about it the wrong way with a single multi LED form factor compared to a T5 bar. Too much light spill compared to a 36 to 48" wide bar design that replicates our older VHO or current T5's. I know I said I like the form factor above, and I do. But isn't a design I went. Again - good video. If you haven't done so already maybe shoot Kessil a email and ask them to quantify the 25% number. Would be interesting to hear what they say - especially if it keeps getting repeated through the internet without any contect behind it.

Could do more damange than good if you know what I mean.

One of the challenges here is the manufactures make what people are willing to buy. I think most reefers actually wanted the small compact form factor, not because it performed better but because it is easier to install, out of the way and looks nice. I have talked to many of the manufactures and they see the demand but very nervous to invest in it because none of the other attempts have really caught on. It is going to take an overwhelming demand or one brave soul to change the market.

There have been some attempts a more T5 blanket of light approach.


http://buildmyled.com which was very similar to T5 in many ways.
https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2013/3/review

The orphek - There are some pretty epic tanks running these but for some reason hasn't hit the same popularity as the radions and kessils of the world.
https://orphek.com

Vertex illumina- A fixture with a series of wide-angle pucks .

Philips - If this was 110v power and not in an industrial form factor I am confident this would be the #1 light in the industry.
https://www.lighting.philips.co.uk/consumer/coralcare

I think we will see something dramatically new in the next 18 months and it will permanently change the market.
 
U

User1

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One of the challenges here is the manufactures make what people are willing to buy. I think most reefers actually wanted the small compact form factor, not because it performed better but because it is easier to install, out of the way and looks nice. I have talked to many of the manufactures and they see the demand but very nervous to invest in it because none of the other attempts have really caught on. It is going to take an overwhelming demand or one brave soul to change the market.

There have been some attempts a more T5 blanket of light approach.


http://buildmyled.com which was very similar to T5 in many ways.
https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2013/3/review

The orphek - There are some pretty epic tanks running these but for some reason hasn't hit the same popularity as the radions and kessils of the world.
https://orphek.com

Vertex illumina- A fixture with a series of wide-angle pucks .

Philips - If this was 110v power and not in an industrial form factor I am confident this would be the #1 light in the industry.
https://www.lighting.philips.co.uk/consumer/coralcare

I think we will see something dramatically new in the next 18 months and it will permanently change the market.

Thanks @Ryanbrs - nice touch on the brave soul comment as well as the insider feedback. Makes a lot of sense. Who knows, maybe the lads over at Fluence Science with their VYPRx design will catch on. That is more or less what I'm hoping to see although I think it is for a different market.

Thanks again and with you and yours a great holiday.
 

madweazl

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Nice video.
My personal opinion is that the manufactures are going about it the wrong way with a single multi LED form factor compared to a T5 bar. Too much light spill compared to a 36 to 48" wide bar design that replicates our older VHO or current T5's.

I think a lot of people mount these high like they were a Radion or something similar (or believe they should because it works with Radions); mounted like that, they will light up your entire house and the PAR will be dismal. I just hung a 360x over our 150g to capture some data and at only 2.25" off the top of the tank, it illuminates the top of the front and back walls of a 24" wide tank. That is unreal spread compared to anything else on the market. If I used it in this fashion, I'm fairly confident the PAR would increase by 25% over the 360WE that has to be mounted 5.5" above the tank to produce the same coverage (I'll check the PAR in the next day or two). I'm glad Kessil hasnt switched to a panel design as I much prefer what the pucks produce.
 
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