Monday, April 30, 2012

Unboxing and installation of the new Kessil A350

Kessil A350 LED Aquarium Light 
The new Kessil A350 LED lights have arrived!

I upgraded my ATI T5 lighting with two A350 units. I decided to go with Kessil especially after seeing how nice the Kessil A150s looked on some aquariums.

My initial thoughts were that these lights made my aquarium look a lot darker coming from the bright T5 lighting. LEDs truly are deceiving to the eyes as they have more of a focused light with the capabilities of bleaching corals even when they look much dimmer than fluorescent lighting. This is a common issue with many hobbyists when switching to new LED lighting so it is always a good idea to lower the intensity or raise the lighting temporarily. I am only running these lights at 30% and plan to gradually increase it based on the response I get from my corals. It also took my eyes some time to adjust to the intense shimmering effects.

There are no dusk-to-dawn settings, moonlights, or built-in timers that you would typically get with an advanced LED lighting fixture. What you get is a adjustable LED light equivalent to that of an metal halide light. There is no color banding or "disco" effects that you may see with some LED fixtures. It is on and off only with the option to manually adjust the intensity and color temperature to your likings. I am currently staggering my photoperiod so my left Kessil turns on first for 30 mins, then my right Kessil, and finally my third party moonlights. I found this to be acceptable so my fish don't get spooked as they did when both units turned off at the same time.

So far I am happy with my new lights. There is minimal heat coming from the unit and the fans are certainly quiet. There are multiple ways of mounting the Kessil with its included keyring mounting post that is removable, two small triangle mounts that is seen on the A150s for use with simple hooks, and then the optional gooseneck clamp mount that is coming soon.

With the light available in two models, the A350 for 24+ inches and deeper aquariums and A350W (Wide Lens) for 24+ inches and wider aquariums, this will be an economical choice for hobbyists looking to switch from their old metal halide technology to a newer energy efficient lighting system.  Here are the pictures of the unboxing and installation. I will post a follow up review with how my corals are responding in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!
Standard packaging
Whats included: Kessil A350, Power Supply, Power Cord, Extension Cable, and Quick Guide Instructions. The power cord measured 18 feet with my tape measure, probably 20 feet if completely straight. Very impressive!
At the top of the unit has two channel potentiometers to adjust the whites and the blues seperately. This gives you the ability to change the color temperature and decrease and/or increase the intensity that is best for you and your corals.
Reflectors are covered to protect from splashes and moisture.
Built-in Fan is pretty quiet. Audible if you put your ear to it, but would not bother me if I had the aquarium in my bedroom.
I used conduit pipe to mount my Kessils. Two bends were made to the conduit, then it was spray painted black to match the units. The whole thing turned out great.
I placed the Kessils 12 inches apart which gave me excellent coverage in my 3 ft long aquarium. Adjusting the lights further apart still provided plenty of lighting throughout the aquarium.
When the Kessils are mounted 8 inches above the water line, I was only able to get a 20 inch light spread. Two A350s on a 4 ft long aquarium would have some shadowing in the corners. The Kessil A350W (Wide Lens) would be a better choice as they would easily cover a 24+ inch light spread. The dimensions of the aquarium shown is 36x24x20.
For more information: Kessil A350 Dimmable Special Blend LED Aquarium Light - Tuna Blue (Item Code: YH1131)