Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kessil A160WE: A worthy successor to the A150W


Kessil's hotly anticipated successor to the A150W is the all-new A160WE LED Pendant, now available at Marine Depot for $249 in both freshwater (Tuna Sun) and saltwater (Tuna Blue) variations.

Kessil packed more power into the A160WE and has described the light as the "inevitable update" to the A150W. It is now on a 40 watt platform (versus 32 watts with the A150W) and features more output. You can manually control it just like the Kessil A360 using two knobs located on top of the light. One knob allows you to dial in the spectrum and color and the other adjusts the light intensity.

Another similarity to the A360 is that the A160WE is Apex Ready+ and can be controlled by an external aquarium controller, like Neptune Systems Apex AquaController or Kessil’s own Spectral Control (winner of Best New Product in the Marine Depot Best of 2014 Awards).

In short, you might consider the A160WE a miniaturized A360.



Kessil told us at the 2014 Reef-A-Palooza show in Costa Mesa, CA that one of the challenges in creating the A160WE was fitting all the components into such a small form factor. They explained that the circuitry for the A160WE is the same as the A360, so it took time to figure out how to shrink it all down to fit into a light the size of a soda can.

Kessil had hoped to release the A160WE in the earlier part of 2014, but had to wait until they had enough E-Series chips—which they state are 15% brighter—to build the lights and meet the inevitable demand from aquarium hobbyists.

Kessil lights also, if you are unfamiliar, use a patented technology called “Dense Matrix” which concentrates multiple LED chips into an array, creating a powerful light source with better and deeper penetration without sacrificing coverage.



The beautiful shimmer Kessil lights yield is also noteworthy. They offer a true-to-life shimmer effect that only metal halides (and the sun itself) seem capable of producing. I won’t name names, but some of the premier LED lights in our industry today—while awesome in just about every other respect—still produce a bit of that "disco effect" some hobbyists complain looks unnatural.  Like other Kessil LEDs, the A160WE gives your aquarium an unrivaled shimmer that looks like natural sunlight shining down on the ocean floor.



Another cool feature about the A160WE is that you can daisy chain multiple A160WE lights together using some inexpensive sold separately cables. When you daisy chain A160WE lights together without an external controller, the first A160WE acts as the “master” unit which propagates its settings to all the other lights in the chain.

We asked Kessil how many A160WE lights you can daisy chain together so we could create the most expensive set of Christmas lights ever. They told us "there is no limit." However, they explained that there is a small drop in voltage with each link cable—so they usually recommend about 10 lights since you may start to see a difference at one end of the chain after that.



A160WE lights provide up to a 24” spread of light and should be placed 1 to 2 feet above your aquarium. This light would be a terrific choice to illuminate small aquariums like the Current USA SolanaJBJ Rimless tanksInnovative Marine Nuvo and Fusion tanks as well as Mr. Aqua aquariums.

You have a couple of different mounting options. You can hang the lights using the included metal brackets (check the manual for details) or mount the light to your tank using the popular Kessil Gooseneck. We recommend spending the extra dough to get the 90° Adapter if you are planning to use the Gooseneck. It adds a level of fit and finish and helps keep the light sitting properly over your tank.

We don't want to leave you hanging, so here are the standout features of the all-new Kessil A160WE along with the specifications for those of you who like to obsess over the numbers.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
  • SHIMMER
    Beautiful, unrivaled shimmer gives the look of natural sunlight on the ocean floor.
  • SPECTRUM
    Kessil is the only company to manufacture all LED arrays in-house with custom spectral blends specifically tailored to meet aquarist needs.
  • UV
    A proprietary blend of UV light enhances coral growth and color.
  • PENETRATION
    Patented Dense Matrix LED™ tehcnology concentrates multiple LED chips into an array, creating a powerful light source with better and deeper penetration, without sacrificing coverage. E-Series LEDs are 15% brighter.
  • DESIGN
    High performance and low maintenance. Simple and compact units feature quiet operation, innovative heat management and efficient, long-lasting LED construction.
  • TUNABLE
    Tune the spectrum and intensity for a personalized look. Kessil Logic™ maintains consistent output across the spectrum. 10,000K to Actinic.
  • CONTROLLABLE
    Compatible with 0~10V external controllers. Daisy-chain multiple lights for seamless control from a single source.

SPECIFICATIONS

Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue
  • Color Spectrum: 10,000K – Actinic
  • Fixture Dimensions: 4" x 2.48" (Length x Diameter)
  • Coverage Area (fish-only and soft corals): Up to 24" surface diameter
  • Coverage Area (mixed reef with LPS or SPS corals): Up to 18" surface diameter
  • Power Supply: 100-240 VAC (Input), 19-24V DC (Output)
  • Power Usage: 40W
Kessil A160WE Tuna Sun
  • Color Spectrum: 6,000 - 9,000K
  • Fixture Dimensions: 4" x 2.48" (Length x Diameter)
  • Coverage Area: Up to 24" surface diameter
  • Power Supply: 100-240 VAC (Input), 19-24V DC (Output)
  • Power Usage: 40W