Kessil A360X vs Ecotech XR15 G5 Pro - Spectrum??

Aaron Shapiro

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So I’ve asked this question a couple of different places and I’m afraid this is ultimately going to come down to “flip a coin” but I wanted to pose this question one last time to the R2R community to see if I can narrow my decision any more.

I am replacing the AI Prime that‘s over my IM Lagoon 25 with a more power 90W fixture. Unfortunately I dont want to use two primes, I’m not particularly happy with the disco ball effect these give and mounting them to the back is problematic with the equipment I have.

So I am considering either the XR15 G5 Pro or the Kessil A360X - I’ve spent a lot of time watching the BRS videos and here’s where I’m at.

Since I don’t have a spectrometer I am using their data, the Kessil has a much wider spectrum the areas that count:

DE64A9DF-FB8C-4B0F-8A47-251641443C6C.jpeg

Including coverage in the 380-420nm range that most fixtures do not hit. I’m not sure what this matters, but the two goals I have are coloration (I want it to look good) and growth (I want the corals to grow well).

The Radion has a little better spread but narrow spectrum in the 420-500nm range:
F11C4F84-2B1F-4BA4-8EB4-86D4966B32E8.jpeg


I’m not particularly worried about the Kessil controller vs. Mobius app situation. I honestly think that knowing Kessil Logic had my back and I didn’t have an app to mess with might be better for me to some extent.

The thing I am trying to determine is: The Radion G5’s are very much the IN thing right now, I’m sure they’re great, but when I look at the data I can’t help but think there’s a better tool out there. I’d prefer to make this decision once, and not buy/rebuy equipment a few times to lock into a workable setup.

So my questions are thus: Do any current users of these lights have a reason they chose one or the other? And second, does that near UV range actually factor when it comes to coral health and growth?
 

Kodski

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So my questions are thus: Do any current users of these lights have a reason they chose one or the other? And second, does that near UV range actually factor when it comes to coral health and growth?
I had this same battle personally. Well, for me the G5's were not out yet so not quite.

Here is how I ended up deciding. As you pointed out the Kessil logic is fool proof. The owner of my LFS always says, its us that will ultimately kill things because we don't know how to NOT touch things. Meaning, we constantly fiddle and mess with things, eventually doing something so wrong we kill the corals. Something I see evident with the Ecotech lights from posts on here. So for me, knowing I couldn't mess up my lighting with the Kessil and just set it to the coloration I found pleasing to my eyes, was a huge bonus. The other deciding factor was looking at the G4's and A360X's side by side in person. The kessil looked better hands down. I even compared it to a few other lights the LFS had, and to me the tanks with A360X's were much better looking than anything else he had in there. From there it was decided and I must say, I absolutely love my A360x and haven't second guessed choice once.

As for the UV making a difference. I used my light for a while without any controller which meant no UV spectrum. Corals did well, but about two weeks after I got my controller I definitely saw a change in the health and growth of my corals. Everything is happier than I've ever seen, and while things looked good, I never saw much for growth. I now see noticeable growth on every frag in my tank. For my next tank, I'll be using either two A360X's or a AP9X unless I see a G5 in person and it blows me away. At this point, I highly doubt it will thought.
 

minus9

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I've been using Kessil for over five years and I don't plan on switching any time soon. I don't think you can go wrong with either light though. The 360x can be mounted 8" above the water and cover the whole tank, but if you want to keep more sps, then you'll need more than one fixture of either light regardless.
 
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Aaron Shapiro

Aaron Shapiro

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I had this same battle personally. Well, for me the G5's were not out yet so not quite.

Here is how I ended up deciding. As you pointed out the Kessil logic is fool proof. The owner of my LFS always says, its us that will ultimately kill things because we don't know how to NOT touch things. Meaning, we constantly fiddle and mess with things, eventually doing something so wrong we kill the corals. Something I see evident with the Ecotech lights from posts on here. So for me, knowing I couldn't mess up my lighting with the Kessil and just set it to the coloration I found pleasing to my eyes, was a huge bonus. The other deciding factor was looking at the G4's and A360X's side by side in person. The kessil looked better hands down. I even compared it to a few other lights the LFS had, and to me the tanks with A360X's were much better looking than anything else he had in there. From there it was decided and I must say, I absolutely love my A360x and haven't second guessed choice once.

As for the UV making a difference. I used my light for a while without any controller which meant no UV spectrum. Corals did well, but about two weeks after I got my controller I definitely saw a change in the health and growth of my corals. Everything is happier than I've ever seen, and while things looked good, I never saw much for growth. I now see noticeable growth on every frag in my tank. For my next tank, I'll be using either two A360X's or a AP9X unless I see a G5 in person and it blows me away. At this point, I highly doubt it will thought.
This is great feedback, thank you.
 
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Aaron Shapiro

Aaron Shapiro

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I've been using Kessil for over five years and I don't plan on switching any time soon. I don't think you can go wrong with either light though. The 360x can be mounted 8" above the water and cover the whole tank, but if you want to keep more sps, then you'll need more than one fixture of either light regardless.
Good to know, no SPS for me right now, but down the light I may move in that direction
 
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madweazl

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Something else to consider is the light placement. The Radion excels when mounted fairly high (15+ inches typically) while the A360X can produce the same coverage much lower because of it's super wide spread and excellent color blending.
 
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Aaron Shapiro

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Something else to consider is the light placement. The Radion excels when mounted fairly high (15+ inches typically) while the A360X can produce the same coverage much lower because of it's super wide spread and excellent color blending.
Also a good point. I’d prefer not to mount the light that high in this application.
 

Biglew11

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I have a shallow canopy wich meant getting a light with high spread at a low hight. Watching brs videos on the kessils seald the deal for me. I have two on a 75 mounted to an aquatic life t5 hybrid.
 

Albertan22

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I run 3 Kessil A360X's in a 5' long Aquatic Life T5 Hybrid and am very happy so far, though the system has only been up about 6 months and is still just growing frags. I enjoy my Kessil shimmer, but will say that you can't make the colors pop as extremely as only the radions seem to be able to do so there is give and take.

I will add that Kessil now has a wifi dongle (purchased seperately) and their own app that can replace the controller. I run the dongle on my fixture and it works fine. It is annoying that it is a separate part and not built into the light. A single dongle will run all 3 of my lights but I have to wire them together with the little USB cords. You do want either the controller or the dongle to access the full spectrum of the lights. Kessil logic is always there of course to get your growth spectrums, but the purple, red, and green channels make a world of difference in the visual look of the light, at least to me.
 

John Genmel

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If you didn’t like the ai shimmer I found that kessil is much worse.. to each his own but the radions I think are the best led lights in the market product and what’s it meant to do blows everything else out the way In led department but the price point also screams the same thing..
 
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Albertan22

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If you didn’t like the ai shimmer I found that kessil is much worse.. to each his own but the radions I think are the best led lights in the market product and what’s it meant to do blows everything else out the way In led department but the price point also screams the same thing..
He wasn't referring to the shimmer, he was referring to the disco ball effect. Radions are just as bad for it, though I've heard the G5's may have improved on it by spacing out their diodes more. Kessil's give a realistic shimmer like you'd see in the ocean. What people mean by disco ball shimmer is you get a ton of different colored spots dancing across your sandbed, not the dark banded shimmer of a Kessil.

Don't get too suckered in by marketing materials, Radion's don't "blow everything else away in the LED department". Plenty of people on this forum have proven that cheap black box LEDs can grow coral just as well as Radion's or Kessil's. It's all about what matters to the individual. If you want that black light poster color pop, Radion's are the way to go. If you want shimmer that matches metal halides, then Kessil's are your product. If neither of those things are your priority, most everything else will grow the coral just as well for much cheaper if you get the PAR setup correctly.
 

John Genmel

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He wasn't referring to the shimmer, he was referring to the disco ball effect. Radions are just as bad for it, though I've heard the G5's may have improved on it by spacing out their diodes more. Kessil's give a realistic shimmer like you'd see in the ocean. What people mean by disco ball shimmer is you get a ton of different colored spots dancing across your sandbed, not the dark banded shimmer of a Kessil.

Don't get too suckered in by marketing materials, Radion's don't "blow everything else away in the LED department". Plenty of people on this forum have proven that cheap black box LEDs can grow coral just as well as Radion's or Kessil's. It's all about what matters to the individual. If you want that black light poster color pop, Radion's are the way to go. If you want shimmer that matches metal halides, then Kessil's are your product. If neither of those things are your priority, most everything else will grow the coral just as well for much cheaper if you get the PAR setup correctly.
Okay like saying Honda does the same thing as the Bentley they both take me to Walmart right?? Come on man of course black boxes and other less will grow sps and all coral or they wouldn’t be around..but to say they do the same thing as radions okay your opinion.. shimmer disco ball effect he’s talking about I don’t know but I do know the shimmer on the kessil is crazy good to people and some others don’t like it but it still grow coral but I seen radions bring out coral colors like no other leds..Who knows there is no right or wrong answer to me.. but I do know if I could afford the g5 and I would definitely pick that over the kessil..
 

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Okay like saying Honda does the same thing as the Bentley they both take me to Walmart right?? Come on man of course black boxes and other less will grow sps and all coral or they wouldn’t be around..but to say they do the same thing as radions okay your opinion.. shimmer disco ball effect he’s talking about I don’t know but I do know the shimmer on the kessil is crazy good to people and some others don’t like it but it still grow coral but I seen radions bring out coral colors like no other leds..Who knows there is no right or wrong answer to me.. but I do know if I could afford the g5 and I would definitely pick that over the kessil..
I haven't owned a G5 but I did own G4 Pros and Kessil A360WEs. I kept the Kessils because I preferred the look of the light, especially since I wanted the emitters closer to the water. I also ran the black box prior to both. Ultimately, all of them likely would have provided the same results in the end (there is no questioning that all have produced amazing tanks). There is no "right" answer here, it just depends on your own desire. My opinion, adjustability of LEDs is the biggest downside to their existence. More people have killed corals because they messed with the lights than they would have if they had left well alone.
 

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If you didn’t like the ai shimmer I found that kessil is much worse.. to each his own but the radions I think are the best led lights in the market product and what’s it meant to do blows everything else out the way In led department but the price point also screams the same thing..
This sounds like its coming from a fan boys mouth. So you think kessil shimmer is bad. Guess you wouldnt have liked MH back in the day because kessil is the closest to replicating those.
Radions are not end all be all. They have great marketing but thats it. The shimmer from a radion without spending the extra money for a diffuser is vomit-inducing and looks downright awful. I will say the par coming off my XR15 was a big let down when I got my Apogee 510 rental from BRS. at 100% brightness running AB+ I was barely getting about 210par 8" right below the light.
I am selling m radions and going with different lights. that are not marketing hype and paying for a name.
 

John Genmel

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lol fan boy.. funny I don’t even run radions sorry my opinion is that they are the best and you got offended.. sorry for all the stupid people that get offended by me making my opinion.. I’m pretty sure the post says your opinion on what u would pick sorry for giving my piece of mind.. and it doesn’t go with yours.. so take your fan boy comments.. smh if you like kessil so much go get some than spend so much more just to control it and ten it on and off..
 
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Aaron Shapiro

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Where are you located?
If you didn’t like the ai shimmer I found that kessil is much worse.. to each his own but the radions I think are the best led lights in the market product and what’s it meant to do blows everything else out the way In led department but the price point also screams the same thing..
He wasn't referring to the shimmer, he was referring to the disco ball effect. Radions are just as bad for it, though I've heard the G5's may have improved on it by spacing out their diodes more. Kessil's give a realistic shimmer like you'd see in the ocean. What people mean by disco ball shimmer is you get a ton of different colored spots dancing across your sandbed, not the dark banded shimmer of a Kessil.

Don't get too suckered in by marketing materials, Radion's don't "blow everything else away in the LED department". Plenty of people on this forum have proven that cheap black box LEDs can grow coral just as well as Radion's or Kessil's. It's all about what matters to the individual. If you want that black light poster color pop, Radion's are the way to go. If you want shimmer that matches metal halides, then Kessil's are your product. If neither of those things are your priority, most everything else will grow the coral just as well for much cheaper if you get the PAR setup correctly.
Okay like saying Honda does the same thing as the Bentley they both take me to Walmart right?? Come on man of course black boxes and other less will grow sps and all coral or they wouldn’t be around..but to say they do the same thing as radions okay your opinion.. shimmer disco ball effect he’s talking about I don’t know but I do know the shimmer on the kessil is crazy good to people and some others don’t like it but it still grow coral but I seen radions bring out coral colors like no other leds..Who knows there is no right or wrong answer to me.. but I do know if I could afford the g5 and I would definitely pick that over the kessil..
This sounds like its coming from a fan boys mouth. So you think kessil shimmer is bad. Guess you wouldnt have liked MH back in the day because kessil is the closest to replicating those.
Radions are not end all be all. They have great marketing but thats it. The shimmer from a radion without spending the extra money for a diffuser is vomit-inducing and looks downright awful. I will say the par coming off my XR15 was a big let down when I got my Apogee 510 rental from BRS. at 100% brightness running AB+ I was barely getting about 210par 8" right below the light.
I am selling m radions and going with different lights. that are not marketing hype and paying for a name.
Man I came back to some spicy back and forth this morning.

That’s correct. I’m not referring to shimmer, but rather a poor spectrum blending. The AI Primes are really bad at this specifically. I have and use Hydras on another tank and don’t have a problem with them.

As for Radions blow's the rest out of the water, this is conclusively not the case. In fact, compared with Kessil the spectrum the new G5's output is narrower in the photosynthetic bands than the Kessil's are. Now, this doesn't make them bad, nor does it mean they won't grow coral -- I think both of things have been proven not to be true, but when making a purchasing decision I do think that it's worth weighing the facts. I'm not testing these lights myself, so I am leaning on BRS' data here, but looking at the spectrums the coral's zooxanthellae use to create energy vs the spectrums the light output....is interesting to say the least.
 
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Aaron Shapiro

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lol fan boy.. funny I don’t even run radions sorry my opinion is that they are the best and you got offended.. sorry for all the stupid people that get offended by me making my opinion.. I’m pretty sure the post says your opinion on what u would pick sorry for giving my piece of mind.. and it doesn’t go with yours.. so take your fan boy comments.. smh if you like kessil so much go get some than spend so much more just to control it and ten it on and off..
Can you explain why you think they’re “the best” non-anecdotally? I get that they’re very much the “new-new sexy,” But quantitatively they have a narrower spectrum in the photosynthetic bands than Kessil. Is it spread? Cause that would make sense?
 

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lol fan boy.. funny I don’t even run radions sorry my opinion is that they are the best and you got offended.. sorry for all the stupid people that get offended by me making my opinion.. I’m pretty sure the post says your opinion on what u would pick sorry for giving my piece of mind.. and it doesn’t go with yours.. so take your fan boy comments.. smh if you like kessil so much go get some than spend so much more just to control it and ten it on and off..
you are giving an opinion that they are the best without owning them or have any data of use. That doesnt even fall into opinion since you seem to not have experience of using the lights on your own tank. That is a fanboy response for a company. praising them without ever owning or using. you have nothing to back up "they are the best"
 

John Genmel

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Can you explain why you think they’re “the best” non-anecdotally? I get that they’re very much the “new-new sexy,” But quantitatively they have a narrower spectrum in the photosynthetic bands than Kessil. Is it spread? Cause that would make sense?
To me the colors that come out of coral undeR radions are better to me..I’ve had kessil 360 and they Did good but I had to buy a controller to program no big deal.. just another $100 And more wires.. there customer service was great when it just stop working after 4 months of buying they didn’t hesitate and sent me a new one and three days later I sent the broke one back they was very easy to work with.. I run kessil for three yrs or so and everything grew like crazy and even colored up nicely but the colors under radions are amazing to me.. honestly I’m not expert I was just trying to say I would roll with radions for no other reason than all the tanks I seen them on they pull out so crazy colors.. my kessil didn’t turn my sticks like radions..I have no reasoning or reacher just me eyeball test sorry I see this forum could be little aggressive.. the disco balL thing blending thing I’m not sure.. I was just saying if I didn’t like the disco ball effect u might not like the shimmer of the kessil i likes it but lots of people came to my apt and didn’t like the shimmer.. I paid 600 for mine so I was just saying what some people didn’t like about that light.. I would like to hear all the good and bad about the products I’m buying.. good luck either way just tight water parameters will make any light look good..
 

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Ignore the noise. If you are looking for an over the counter shrink wrap package then you have a few options and it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. G5's being the newest kid on the block and a lot of fans of the product to include previous g4, g3, etc. They have a pretty good track record. Kessil also has previous versions and a nice record. Known for shimmer and the so called Kessil Logic. It is a nice feature but the G series has their own AB thing going on.

As noted there are some other units out there that are capable and a new Coral Care light from philips. That looks really impressive and guess what - it also has its own coral growth setting :) Since you reference BRS videos on lighting they have some tests with others if you want to compare but if you narrowed it down the only thing I can offer is consider mounting, ascetics, and maintenance. Both will grow coral so maybe that will narrow it down for you.

I've personally never owned the radions so can't comment. I do own 4 a360x's and find they do amazingly well. Small form factor, built in kessil logic for corals, option to tune spectrum with controller, several mounting options for height, and amazing support should you ever need it. I've had one light flicker that we couldn't figure out and I opened a ticket. They replied, asked a few questions, we debugged a few things and the next day I had a new light on my doorstep. Overnight mind you.

Should also be noted it is the only light on the market that if you want to increase par or mounting height you can add a narrow lens on it and Bob's your Uncle. In any case if you want an opinion on the Kessil that is all i have outside my DIY multi channel from Blue Acro that I love and use. They are a quality light and will grow corals. I can't compare to the G series and I'd mislead you if I tried.

Have a grand day.
 
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