The Kessil AP9X is an exciting new light fixture from the best multichip LED manufacturer in the business. For the most part the experience of reefers with Kessil’s lighting spectrum and style is with their versatile spotlights for freshwater, reef aquariums and even refugium lights to grow macroalgae.
It was about five years ago that Kessil released their first aquarium fixture with the AP700, their first light designed outside the parameters of an aquarium spotlight. Interestingly we got a sneak peek of Kessil’s follow up to the AP700 at MACNA and this last weekend at ReefStock 2020 it was officially launched as the Kessil AP9X.
In terms of technical details and performance, the Kessil AP9X is essentially the power of two A360X spotlights, with built in wireless connectivity and control. As you might expect the Kessil AP9X has some optimization to improve the spread and distribution of light over rectangular reef aquariums – where the AP700 had elliptical lens-reflectors the AP9X is more refined with slightly teardrop shaped emitters.
Like the Kessil AP700 the follow up has built in daisy chaining of analog 0-10V signal for basic brightness and spectrum control, but like the A360X there’s also digital signal control with the K-Link that uses standard USB-C cables to connect to other lights. The digital daisy chain allows the AP9X to serve as a master hub for other slave lights, with addressing of other lights to have individually defined programming, spectrum and schedules.
We got some hands-on time with Kessil’s new Aquarium Panel AP9X and one thing that is incredibly surprising is how light it is! Despite pumping up to 185 watts of power through the dual dense matrix LED multichip, the fan barely has to kick up to any kind of high speed, with fun sports-car spoiler style exhaust of hot air at both ends.
With such a light weight the Kessil AP9X is more flexible than ever before in its mounting options. These will include a classic dual arm mount, a hanging kit, but also a brand new ‘AP9X Mounting Arm’ that will have some special tricks like the ability to pivot and angle with a few degrees of freedom.
The Kessil AP9X is more than a smaller and brighter next generation aquarium panel light, and every feature is better in every way than the AP700. We’re still about a month out from a full release with price and availability from Kessil but from what we’ve already seen at ReefStock last weekend, this is going to be powerhouse of bright aquarium lighting.