T5 Hybrid LED Decision: Ap700, 2x A360x, Photon 48-V2, or Maxspect Razor 200W?

Schreiber

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I'm narrowing down options & I think I'm down to these 4. I've currently got 4 T5 bulbs over my tank & I'm looking for an LED fixture(s) to pair with them.

Any personal experience or useful info I should consider in my selection?

My ideal light would be sub $700 & have 10V control (for Reef-Pi compatibility), but I haven't found that anywhere. Please point me in that direction if you know of something! In the meantime, here are my compromise choices.

~`~

Ap700-$600

Pros- Fairly affordable, solid brand, good reviews.

Cons- App control (I'd prefer 10V control), discontinued, concentrated cone of light.

~`~

2x A360x-$1080 (with mounting arms)

Pros- Easily adjusted/reconfigured for other setups, 10v control, solid brand.

Cons- Unreasonably expensive for what they are, concentrated cone of light.

~`~

Photon 48-V2-$700

Pros- Spread out lighting profile, multiple mounting options included.

Cons- Not as "name brand" as Kessil, no 10V control.

~`~

Maxspect Razor 200W-$600

Pros- Fairly affordable, good light spread.

Cons- Not as "name brand" as Kessil, no 10V control.

~`~

Edit: I've also started looking into Radion XR15 G5s, which would be about the same as Kessil, but minus the 10V control & minus the need for arm mounts due to the shape.
 
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Maxout

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Photon 48-V2-$700

Pros- Spread out lighting profile, multiple mounting options included.

Cons- Not as "name brand" as Kessil, no 10V control.
You can install a 0-10 V control add on board or if you contact reefbreeders, I think you can buy a unit with a control board installed.

Source: I'm controlling a 48-V2 with apex VDM
 
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Schreiber

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You can install a 0-10 V control add on board or if you contact reefbreeders, I think you can buy a unit with a control board installed.

Source: I'm controlling a 48-V2 with apex VDM
Ohhh, I'll have to look into that, thanks!!

A360WEs would get the price closer to your target. They are still solid lights.
Ah, that's definitely a better price. Thanks for bringing those up. One thing that worries me is it sounds like the x's are significantly more reliable due to the cooling re-design.
 

Midrats

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The jury is still out on the X's improved reliability, time will tell. My experience with the A360WE is that is quite reliable. If it were me I'd buy the X as I ALWAYS go over budget on tank purchases :D
 
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My two pennies here, avoid the AP700 altogether, great light, but software and Wi-Fi chip are horrible. If you're stuck on your budget, then go with the photon? What are your plans for corals? Sps? LPS? Softies? Mixed? I would also consider led bars as an option too. Orphek and ReefBrites are both great options. Depending on your goals, your upgrade can be as simple as a bigger T5 fixture? I love my Kessil 360x's and their form factor, but I understand budget constraints. Consider used lights as well. Knowing your goals will help guide your decision.
 
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Schreiber

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My two pennies here, avoid the AP700 altogether, great light, but software and Wi-Fi chip are horrible. If you're stuck on your budget, then go with the photon? What are your plans for corals? Sps? LPS? Softies? Mixed? I would also consider led bars as an option too. Orphek and ReefBrites are both great options. Depending on your goals, your upgrade can be as simple as a bigger T5 fixture? I love my Kessil 360x's and their form factor, but I understand budget constraints. Consider used lights as well. Knowing your goals will help guide your decision.
Thanks for the input, I do think I'm pretty set on not getting the Ap700s at this point.

Mixed corals in the future, mostly softies & LPS though & that's all I've got at the moment.

I'll have to look into the LED bars, not familiar with them at all. In general, if you divide my tank into 5 sections, my rockwork & corals are located in sections 2 & 4, so placement of most traditional LED groupings is pretty ideal since I don't necessarily need the super even spread. Plus, I've already got the T5s covering the length.

I'd really prefer to go the T5/LED route. Fewer T5 bulbs to continually swap & the control options for dimming the LEDs are very nice to ramp up/down with. I've been on the lookout for used lights in my area for months, but they're always no name or very cheap lights, unfortunately. I've had some Chinese black boxes over my tank for years, but they finally died (well... they went for a swim ;Blackeye) & I'd like to replace them with a bit more of a known quantity.
 
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Schreiber

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The jury is still out on the X's improved reliability, time will tell. My experience with the A360WE is that is quite reliable. If it were me I'd buy the X as I ALWAYS go over budget on tank purchases :D

I can relate to the budget aspect, lol. The Xs are just sooo much more expensive than other options & I just don't see the advantage, other than the specific control type I'm looking for.
 

__Jreef__

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Not sure what're your goals on your tank but if you're running T5's like me. In my experience Kessil is the only LED light what is not muted if you combine with the T5s.

I run 2 360x and 1 AP9x with the T5 hybrid set up and is the best light combo I had.
You mentioned you're on a budget but sometimes you can find a good deal on slightly used equipment.
 

minus9

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There are several advantages to the X series, better led array, wider spread, better heat dissipation and fan, coated board, added violet spectrum, smaller form factor, etc..... I have six 360x's and three Orphek bars over my tank and love the combo. It's a ton of light, but I have a sps dominant tank and coverage is the key here. I didn't want to use T5 anymore, so I added three Orphek bars to the perimeter of the tank to get a little extra pop and bounce from the glass.
3CB073EF-EDE8-4A1C-A56D-A21B7319F160.jpeg
 

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