The Kessil AP9X is a 185 watt Wi-Fi controllable LED light fixture suitable for SPS tanks up to 3×2’. That in itself doesn’t make it too different from any other high-end reef led light on the market, but its the combination of other features that will delight Kessil fans and also maybe convert potential buyers into investing in Kessil versus one of its competitors.
Just like other high-end LEDs the AP9X can adjust intensity and spectrum via the app, and allow for complex lighting cycles, individual color control, and programming. But unlike some other lights it can still be controlled by touch capacitive buttons on the fixture itself, by the plug-in, wired, Spectral Controller X, or by phone or tablet via the straight to Wi-Fi app.
The major advantage with that is not every reef tank owner is either very tech-savvy or has a decent wi-fi signal, and when you just want to get the thing going or can’t pair it wirelessly, you can have uninterrupted control via the Spectral Controller X or just simply press the buttons on the top. The three control options should, therefore, provide something for everyone, and in a world where households and conference centers have more and more devices competing for signal, all connectivity issues should be easy to overcome.
But something that existing Kessil owners were desperate for was joined up inter-model control which they didn’t have previously with the AP700. Now an AP9X user can join an A360X via the K-link cable or via the Wi-Fi dongle and control both lights together. What’s more, they can also join an older A360, A160, or A80 and control all five different models together or in separate groups via K-link and 0-10v cables and then daisy chain dozens of lights to them after that.
That makes things really exciting for Kessil users as it means greater control for the A360 while also enabling an AP9X user to fit an extra A160WE Tuna Blue for example and control both lights together. This has been really well thought out and I can’t imagine a lighting control situation where the AP9X didn’t have the solution.
The AP9X is also considerably smaller and lighter than the AP700, meaning it only needs one mounting arm and has a new mount which enables tilt and swivel adjustment on an otherwise fixed arm. This means that the fixture can be angle adjusted, maximizing light coverage to the corals that need it while also removing any sideways light spill that may otherwise have shone outside the tank. The bracket can also swivel through 90 degrees on a horizontal plane meaning that the fixture can be mounted front and side on which is great for larger and wider reef tanks when multiple units are used. As well as being hangable.
The AP9X packs a lot of light output for its 185 max watts and uses more LED chips than its predecessors while also packing them even more tightly together for even better color blending. It features new fan design and heat management and all-in-all comes in cheaper than if you were to buy two Kessil A360X, two mounting arms, and either a dongle or Spectral Controller together. The competition in the aquarium LED market is more fierce now than it ever has been, but Kessil has managed to bundle enough unique new features with tried and tested Kessil benefits to make the reef keeping world sit-up, take notice, and want to try one.