kessil light combination with t5 bulbs or with orphek led bars

Peppe

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hi guys i'm trying a kessil a360x light on my reef. Its light is fantastic and I would like to convert my current led lights into kessil lights. However, I read that it is appropriate to combine the kessil with filling lights such as t5 bulbs or led bars. For this I need your advice. My tank 48"x22"x22" is a full sps reef with some lps in the bottom. Which option is the best and why?

3x A360X + aquaticlife hybrid fixture
3x A360X + 2x OR3 led bars

2x AP9X + aquaticlife hybrid fixture
2x AP9X + 2x OR3 led bars
 
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srobertb

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I have the 60” Aquatic life plus 4 A360x’s over a 6’ shallow reef. I should say *had*

What I liked: coverage looked good over the entire tank but no more so to the eye than the 3 XR30’s I have. The T5’s hid some of the Kessil shimmer which is personal preference.

What I didn’t like: The thing is massive. I hung it from the ceiling and it was a lot of weight. Mounting height was low and I’m tall so working in the tank was difficult.

- In hindsight I would have raised it up and used the 55 deg reflectors.

- All the cords. There’s little-to-no cord management for 4 Kessils and when they reach the end, it’s a big mess of wires and USB-C hanging off one end (I switched to the wifi dongle when it came out but still).

-The 2 power cords are stupid. Fortunately I have 2 small recessed light fixtures above my tank so I just converted them both to plugs and ran the wires up but they are just *more* cords to deal with over an open tank.

-The heat. I keep my house at like 73 degrees and this thing still required me to add 4 120mm computer fans. I put them in the extra a360we mounts that came with the fixture so they weren’t noticeable but again…more cords hanging off the side.

-The PAR. Was just not that great. I was running my Kessils at 100% and was eeking out high 200’s…middle to top of tank.

-3/4 of the Kessils died, for different reasons, auspiciously around the end of the warranty. Before you ask, yes I cleaned them. I bought an air compressor just for the special little snowflake selves.

-I lost a ballast in the T5 unit around 18 months.

-I loved the look of them but they didn’t grow anything and they were unreliable.

Due to the reliability issues of the Kessils, my wife has informed me that brand is persona non grata in my house but…if I still had my testicles and my wallet I would run 3 Kessils + 4 Radion XR30’s turned. I believe this would give you the look and coverage of T5’s and Metal Halides but be completely tuneable and offer great PAR. Obviously I have a toxic love/hate relationship with the Kessils. I’m working through it.

I have replacement ballasts for the aquatic life (I’m going to replace them with ATI Ballasts) and if I keep the fixture, I will deal with the power cord issue. I have thought about running it with the Radions but I really hate replacing bulbs and how heavy and ugly it is.
 
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Peppe

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I’d do 2 ap9x and the t5’s. It’s the biggest option but if you tune the par appropriately it’ll give the best most even coverage and light blending
I also really like this option but I am afraid of the heat of the t5 bulbs; i don't know if i would have enough par with only 2 kessil ap9x so i would need a fill light ... or at this point go directly with radion g5
 
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Peppe

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I have the 60” Aquatic life plus 4 A360x’s over a 6’ shallow reef. I should say *had*

What I liked: coverage looked good over the entire tank but no more so to the eye than the 3 XR30’s I have. The T5’s hid some of the Kessil shimmer which is personal preference.

What I didn’t like: The thing is massive. I hung it from the ceiling and it was a lot of weight. Mounting height was low and I’m tall so working in the tank was difficult.

- In hindsight I would have raised it up and used the 55 deg reflectors.

- All the cords. There’s little-to-no cord management for 4 Kessils and when they reach the end, it’s a big mess of wires and USB-C hanging off one end (I switched to the wifi dongle when it came out but still).

-The 2 power cords are stupid. Fortunately I have 2 small recessed light fixtures above my tank so I just converted them both to plugs and ran the wires up but they are just *more* cords to deal with over an open tank.

-The heat. I keep my house at like 73 degrees and this thing still required me to add 4 120mm computer fans. I put them in the extra a360we mounts that came with the fixture so they weren’t noticeable but again…more cords hanging off the side.

-The PAR. Was just not that great. I was running my Kessils at 100% and was eeking out high 200’s…middle to top of tank.

-3/4 of the Kessils died, for different reasons, auspiciously around the end of the warranty. Before you ask, yes I cleaned them. I bought an air compressor just for the special little snowflake selves.

-I lost a ballast in the T5 unit around 18 months.

-I loved the look of them but they didn’t grow anything and they were unreliable.

Due to the reliability issues of the Kessils, my wife has informed me that brand is persona non grata in my house but…if I still had my testicles and my wallet I would run 3 Kessils + 4 Radion XR30’s turned. I believe this would give you the look and coverage of T5’s and Metal Halides but be completely tuneable and offer great PAR. Obviously I have a toxic love/hate relationship with the Kessils. I’m working through it.

I have replacement ballasts for the aquatic life (I’m going to replace them with ATI Ballasts) and if I keep the fixture, I will deal with the power cord issue. I have thought about running it with the Radions but I really hate replacing bulbs and how heavy and ugly it is.
thank you for your experience. I am afraid then that the kessils may stop working ... I use the lights for many years before changing them ...
 

Bpb

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I also really like this option but I am afraid of the heat of the t5 bulbs; i don't know if i would have enough par with only 2 kessil ap9x so i would need a fill light ... or at this point go directly with radion g5

I guess it just depends on how warm and humid your house is. I cannot imagine 4 t5 bulbs would contribute an appreciable amount of warmth to the water. Some maybe. But on that water volume, it wouldn’t even be a consideration for me. Especially if you are not using a canopy.

The Orphek bars are cool and all but to get an ideal spread out of them without laser like hot spot strips you really need them 12” or more off the water. And I believe that exceeds the recommended height of the kessils.

4 xr15 units would obviously be a simpler solution
 

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I’ve had every edition of Radions and Kessils over the years since inception. I still run halides and T5’s over my SPS tank. I am trying an experiment in a week or two by taking one of my 400w halides out and replacing with 2 of the a500x’s.

I’ve always loved the shimmer the Kessil produces, but PAR is not something they are known for. I’ll see what these 500’s are all about soon. I have one currently, and it is NOTICEABLY brighter than the halide, but the spread is lacking in comparison.

I realize this helps you zero with your topic question. You’re welcome. :p
 

DaveWrasse

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I have a 5 foot tank setup currently with three A360X's and two Reef Brite Lumi Lite Pro Atinic bar lights and have great results with SPS and LPS. Kessils are 9 in off the water, lumi lites about 10 inches. The Lumi Lites are more about fill than par. They only add about 60 each to the upper part of the tank but the fill ability of these is amazing and no strobe issues at all. Very good combo in my opinion. Though I think the Orphik would also be a great combo too.
 

srobertb

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thank you for your experience. I am afraid then that the kessils may stop working ... I use the lights for many years before changing them ...
I think it’s a function of running them at 100%? I read reviews and read a lot about them dying between 24-26 months. In Kessil’s defense, they replaced them for me. I just can’t have unreliable equipment as we travel a lot (well, we used to…and we plan to start doing it again soon!)

After taking one apart (per Kessil’s instructions) I noticed that the fan and heat sink is really riding the rails on these. I don’t know the efficiency of the LEDs but my gut tells me it’s undersized and not tested at 100% for 8 hours a day 7 days a week etc. I think the A360x could be the same size as the A500x and they would have lasted longer and still been just as attractive.
 
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bobnicaragua

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I would use orpheks on the edge, then t5, and then Kessils in the middle.
 

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Peppe

Peppe

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I’ve had every edition of Radions and Kessils over the years since inception. I still run halides and T5’s over my SPS tank. I am trying an experiment in a week or two by taking one of my 400w halides out and replacing with 2 of the a500x’s.

I’ve always loved the shimmer the Kessil produces, but PAR is not something they are known for. I’ll see what these 500’s are all about soon. I have one currently, and it is NOTICEABLY brighter than the halide, but the spread is lacking in comparison.

I realize this helps you zero with your topic question. You’re welcome. :p
but the kessil ap9x have many par compared to the radion and the a360x or am I wrong?
 
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Peppe

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I have a 5 foot tank setup currently with three A360X's and two Reef Brite Lumi Lite Pro Atinic bar lights and have great results with SPS and LPS. Kessils are 9 in off the water, lumi lites about 10 inches. The Lumi Lites are more about fill than par. They only add about 60 each to the upper part of the tank but the fill ability of these is amazing and no strobe issues at all. Very good combo in my opinion. Though I think the Orphik would also be a great combo too.
Can you show me your reef tank?
 
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Peppe

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I think it’s a function of running them at 100%? I read reviews and read a lot about them dying between 24-26 months. In Kessil’s defense, they replaced them for me. I just can’t have unreliable equipment as we travel a lot (well, we used to…and we plan to start doing it again soon!)

After taking one apart (per Kessil’s instructions) I noticed that the fan and heat sink is really riding the rails on these. I don’t know the efficiency of the LEDs but my gut tells me it’s undersized and not tested at 100% for 8 hours a day 7 days a week etc. I think the A360x could be the same size as the A500x and they would have lasted longer and still been just as attractive.
all this worries me a lot
 
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srobertb

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I’ve had every edition of Radions and Kessils over the years since inception. I still run halides and T5’s over my SPS tank. I am trying an experiment in a week or two by taking one of my 400w halides out and replacing with 2 of the a500x’s.

I’ve always loved the shimmer the Kessil produces, but PAR is not something they are known for. I’ll see what these 500’s are all about soon. I have one currently, and it is NOTICEABLY brighter than the halide, but the spread is lacking in comparison.

I realize this helps you zero with your topic question. You’re welcome. :p
Lol. Post something when you get the 500 up and running. I was going to replace my a360’s after they started dying with 3, a500x’s and mount them higher but my wife wouldn’t let me drop that kind of money on Kessils after so many of them burnt out. I still think 3 G5 XR30’s plus 2 Kessil A500x’s would be perfect for my 6’ tank.
 

FoD

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Lol. Post something when you get the 500 up and running. I was going to replace my a360’s after they started dying with 3, a500x’s and mount them higher but my wife wouldn’t let me drop that kind of money on Kessils after so many of them burnt out. I still think 3 G5 XR30’s plus 2 Kessil A500x’s would be perfect for my 6’ tank.

Will do.

I currently have multiple G5 Pros with T5’s over my frag tank and my growth is about 15% of my halides/T5’s with Reefbrite XHO actinics. Everything is in the same system, just separate tanks.

I am going to hypothesize that I will be back to halides within 6 months and someone here can pick up 4 a500x’s with minimal use for 1/2 price.
 

srobertb

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Will do.

I currently have multiple G5 Pros with T5’s over my frag tank and my growth is about 15% of my halides/T5’s with Reefbrite XHO actinics. Everything is in the same system, just separate tanks.

I am going to hypothesize that I will be back to halides within 6 months and someone here can pick up 4 a500x’s with minimal use for 1/2 price.
Hit me up. I’ll sneak them in between the Radions…she will never notice…
 
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