Initial Reviews On Kessil AP9X lights

Karliefish

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I was just getting ready to buy a bunch of Kessil A360X lights for my next 365 gallon SPS reef tank (96”L x 34”W x 24”H) that I was going to use in combination with ATI T5 fixtures when I just came across these new lights. They look perfect for large rectangle tanks due to the way the way they spread light. I’m curious to know who’s using and early impressions. Better than expected, what you expected or disappointing? Thanks!
 
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I have two of these on my 105 gallon tank and I am happy with them. I am able to get more than enough light out of them to the point I had to turn the intensity down to 40%. My tank is shallower than yours though. I posted some par measurements in my build thread at both 30% and 50% intensity. The app for setting the schedule is simple enough and I like the control over the white without feeling like I am losing good growth spectrum. I have found that because they are 4 point sources there will be shadows if your rock work is too tall (or coral). At 34" wide I would think you would have to accommodate for that with either supplemental or quite a few of these fixtures. I am very happy with the shimmer appearance. My only want is that I could control them from my APEX, I have asked and have been told it is on the list of todos for Kessil, and the pandemic has harmed that work schedule a bit. Whichever way you go, good luck.
 

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I was just getting ready to buy a bunch of Kessil A360X lights for my next 365 gallon SPS reef tank (96”L x 34”W x 24”H) that I was going to use in combination with ATI T5 fixtures when I just came across these new lights. They look perfect for large rectangle tanks due to the way the way they spread light. I’m curious to know who’s using and early impressions. Better than expected, what you expected or disappointing? Thanks!
I'm using both and they are basically the same light but the 9X gives you more light per $. I really like the 9X form factor and built in wifi control. IMO it will really depend on what spacing you need. 34" is pretty wide so you would most likely be placing your 9X's to perpendicular to the front of the tank and would need 4 of them, but that will keep your light sources near the center of the tank. Kessil says the 360X will cover 24" x 24" so you would need 8 of them, but you would have the flexibility to move the 360X's around more to avoid shadowing and such. Another plus is that you can get the narrow angle reflector for the 360X if you want to manage the spread. It's twice as many power supplies and wires, but if it were me and the wires an $ were not and issue, I'd use the 360X's. Check how many you can link together with one dongle and k-link cables though as you may need more than one dongle for eight lights. Good Luck!
 
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Karliefish

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I'm using both and they are basically the same light but the 9X gives you more light per $. I really like the 9X form factor and built in wifi control. IMO it will really depend on what spacing you need. 34" is pretty wide so you would most likely be placing your 9X's to perpendicular to the front of the tank and would need 4 of them, but that will keep your light sources near the center of the tank. Kessil says the 360X will cover 24" x 24" so you would need 8 of them, but you would have the flexibility to move the 360X's around more to avoid shadowing and such. Another plus is that you can get the narrow angle reflector for the 360X if you want to manage the spread. It's twice as many power supplies and wires, but if it were me and the wires an $ were not and issue, I'd use the 360X's. Check how many you can link together with one dongle and k-link cables though as you may need more than one dongle for eight lights. Good Luck!
Brilliant write-up here. I forgot to mention that I’m going to use the Kessil’s in combination with 2 ATI SunPower 8 bulb T5 fixtures. The ATI fixtures are already mounted (parallel) right down the middle of the tank. I need to tone-down the Kessil shimmer a bit as it’s to strong for my wife. I was thinking of putting either 4 9x’s (two each side of the T5 fixture) evenly spaced or 8 A360x lights (4 on each side of the T5 fixture) evenly spaced. What are your thoughts?
 
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Karliefish

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I have two of these on my 105 gallon tank and I am happy with them. I am able to get more than enough light out of them to the point I had to turn the intensity down to 40%. My tank is shallower than yours though. I posted some par measurements in my build thread at both 30% and 50% intensity. The app for setting the schedule is simple enough and I like the control over the white without feeling like I am losing good growth spectrum. I have found that because they are 4 point sources there will be shadows if your rock work is too tall (or coral). At 34" wide I would think you would have to accommodate for that with either supplemental or quite a few of these fixtures. I am very happy with the shimmer appearance. My only want is that I could control them from my APEX, I have asked and have been told it is on the list of todos for Kessil, and the pandemic has harmed that work schedule a bit. Whichever way you go, good luck.
Thanks for the info. As I just mentioned in another post. I‘ve purchased two 48” ATI SunPower 8 bulb fixtures that will be installed down the middle of the tank and I’ll be supplementing that with either the 9X’s (4 of them - two on each side of the T5’s) or 8 A360X’s (4 on each side of the T5’s). I like the T5’s for coverage (getting rid of the shadows) and toning down the Kessil shimmer.
 
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As a kessil a360x owner they are amazing lights. You have a lot of mounting height options once you consider using the narrow lens. The standard light is 130 degrees I think but the optional narrow lens is 90. You want to increase the mounting height? Add the lens. Want to focus on a specific coral? Add the lens. You want to punch through 30+ inches of water? Add the lens. Most lights do not have this option without light spill and loss of par.

Now why am I posting is because you mentioned mixing in T5's. If I was in your shoes based on the number of lights talked about in this thread I would consider ATI's straton first. Then I would look at the philips coral care gen 2. There is a great thread on both of these by different people who are using them with success. I won't go into what is better because that is subjective and I'd also caution you to ignore the "mixed reef only" nonsense a few videos said about the coral care gen 2 (hobbyists who prefer the blue spectrum have to dial back some led's on the coral care's) because they cater to a more natural reef spectrum and not blue.

Anyway with that out of the way I am personally tired of the extra power bricks laying around my aquarium no matter how neat and orderly I am, they are there. Coral care's don't have the bricks. ATI's use Meanwell's I believe. In any case take a lool. ATI's new unit is getting a lot of attention and rightly so but the a360x by kessil is really an amazing light. Out of all that I listed it will require the most attention by dusting it at least monthly no less than every other.

All the best.
 
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Karliefish

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As a kessil a360x owner they are amazing lights. You have a lot of mounting height options once you consider using the narrow lens. The standard light is 130 degrees I think but the optional narrow lens is 90. You want to increase the mounting height? Add the lens. Want to focus on a specific coral? Add the lens. You want to punch through 30+ inches of water? Add the lens. Most lights do not have this option without light spill and loss of par.

Now why am I posting is because you mentioned mixing in T5's. If I was in your shoes based on the number of lights talked about in this thread I would consider ATI's straton first. Then I would look at the philips coral care gen 2. There is a great thread on both of these by different people who are using them with success. I won't go into what is better because that is subjective and I'd also caution you to ignore the "mixed reef only" nonsense a few videos said about the coral care gen 2 (hobbyists who prefer the blue spectrum have to dial back some led's on the coral care's) because they cater to a more natural reef spectrum and not blue.

Anyway with that out of the way I am personally tired of the extra power bricks laying around my aquarium no matter how neat and orderly I am, they are there. Coral care's don't have the bricks. ATI's use Meanwell's I believe. In any case take a lool. ATI's new unit is getting a lot of attention and rightly so but the a360x by kessil is really an amazing light. Out of all that I listed it will require the most attention by dusting it at least monthly no less than every other.

All the best.
I appreciate the direct honest comments here - always helpful. I have already purchased and installed the ATI SunPower fixtures so I’m committed to those at this point. Plus the good news is the power bricks are built-in to the fixture so I just have to plug into an outlet - no power bricks laying around. I’m most concerned about toning-down the Kissel shimmer as it is a little to strong for my wife. I want all the benefits of the Kessil including the shimmer, but just toned-down.
 
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I appreciate the direct honest comments here - always helpful. I have already purchased and installed the ATI SunPower fixtures so I’m committed to those at this point. Plus the good news is the power bricks are built-in to the fixture so I just have to plug into an outlet - no power bricks laying around. I’m most concerned about toning-down the Kissel shimmer as it is a little to strong for my wife. I want all the benefits of the Kessil including the shimmer, but just toned-down.

Got it. Did not know you had already purchased or I missed it. Not sure if you already tried but have you tried turning down the intensity?
 
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Karliefish

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Got it. Did not know you had already purchased or I missed it. Not sure if you already tried but have you tried turning down the intensity?
I haven’t bought the Kessil’s yet - I need to take that decision this week. the only lights that I am committed to and have installed are the two 48” ATI SunPower 8 bulb T5 fixtures. These are installed end-to-end down the middle of the tank. Do you think that many T5 bulbs (18 in total) will tone down the Kessil shimmer on four X9’s?
 

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Brilliant write-up here. I forgot to mention that I’m going to use the Kessil’s in combination with 2 ATI SunPower 8 bulb T5 fixtures. The ATI fixtures are already mounted (parallel) right down the middle of the tank. I need to tone-down the Kessil shimmer a bit as it’s to strong for my wife. I was thinking of putting either 4 9x’s (two each side of the T5 fixture) evenly spaced or 8 A360x lights (4 on each side of the T5 fixture) evenly spaced. What are your thoughts?
My opinion would be to use 4 - 9X's. The coverage is great for what you need, and the T5s are already giving you a lot of light. You'll have half the power supplies and wiring and save some $ to boot. If you get USB-C cables they work for the K-Link to have them all run by the controller on one fixture. It'll be less adjustable, but more efficient.
 
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I haven’t bought the Kessil’s yet - I need to take that decision this week. the only lights that I am committed to and have installed are the two 48” ATI SunPower 8 bulb T5 fixtures. These are installed end-to-end down the middle of the tank. Do you think that many T5 bulbs (18 in total) will tone down the Kessil shimmer on four X9’s?

I can't speak for T5's as I have not owned them before. My last bulb use was with 175W MH and SVHO bulbs. That was a long while ago sadly. I never really got into T5's due to me being lazy and would probably forget or stretch out lamp replacement :) Not going to lie. I do know, however, that they are pretty much the standard for a lot of systems.

Whatever you do decide do as you are doing. Read here and there. See some questions and answers maybe a few videos. You can also look at the BRStv video's on lighting that may help a bit on coverage and mounting heights.
 
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Karliefish

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My opinion would be to use 4 - 9X's. The coverage is great for what you need, and the T5s are already giving you a lot of light. You'll have half the power supplies and wiring and save some $ to boot. If you get USB-C cables they work for the K-Link to have them all run by the controller on one fixture. It'll be less adjustable, but more efficient.
Thanks for your suggestion. I am attracted to having fewer wires, power cords and power bricks, there are plenty of them in this hobby! I’ll be taking my final decision this week.
 
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Karliefish

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I can't speak for T5's as I have not owned them before. My last bulb use was with 175W MH and SVHO bulbs. That was a long while ago sadly. I never really got into T5's due to me being lazy and would probably forget or stretch out lamp replacement :) Not going to lie. I do know, however, that they are pretty much the standard for a lot of systems.

Whatever you do decide do as you are doing. Read here and there. See some questions and answers maybe a few videos. You can also look at the BRStv video's on lighting that may help a bit on coverage and mounting heights.
Indeed looking at a ton of post and videos is the best way I know to get the necessary information to make the right lighting decision. This has been by far the most difficult decision in my entire new tank setup. Thanks for the comments.
 
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Karliefish

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Got it. Did not know you had already purchased or I missed it. Not sure if you already tried but have you tried turning down the intensity?
I’ve been told by a few people that is a good solution. So if I end-up with Kessils I’’ll keep in mind to turn them down to get lest shimmer. Thanks again,
 
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Karliefish

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As a kessil a360x owner they are amazing lights. You have a lot of mounting height options once you consider using the narrow lens. The standard light is 130 degrees I think but the optional narrow lens is 90. You want to increase the mounting height? Add the lens. Want to focus on a specific coral? Add the lens. You want to punch through 30+ inches of water? Add the lens. Most lights do not have this option without light spill and loss of par.

Now why am I posting is because you mentioned mixing in T5's. If I was in your shoes based on the number of lights talked about in this thread I would consider ATI's straton first. Then I would look at the philips coral care gen 2. There is a great thread on both of these by different people who are using them with success. I won't go into what is better because that is subjective and I'd also caution you to ignore the "mixed reef only" nonsense a few videos said about the coral care gen 2 (hobbyists who prefer the blue spectrum have to dial back some led's on the coral care's) because they cater to a more natural reef spectrum and not blue.

Anyway with that out of the way I am personally tired of the extra power bricks laying around my aquarium no matter how neat and orderly I am, they are there. Coral care's don't have the bricks. ATI's use Meanwell's I believe. In any case take a lool. ATI's new unit is getting a lot of attention and rightly so but the a360x by kessil is really an amazing light. Out of all that I listed it will require the most attention by dusting it at least monthly no less than every other.

All the best.
Just wanted to say thanks as your post suggestion on the ATI Straton’s was really helpful.
 

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 14 2.4%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 358 62.5%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 147 25.7%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 44 7.7%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 1.6%
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