Reefkeepers and Kessil fans may have seen an interesting video pop up on their Facebook feed last night. It’s for the AP9X, the latest release in the X series lights. A pre-production model was spotted at MACNA 2019 but the fact that Kessil is now running a teaser video means that its release, at least in the US, is imminent.
2020 is an Interzoo year, the biggest pet show in the world, so it would make sense that if it’s being teased in March, it will probably be available at least for pre-order at Interzoo this May. The AP700 launched there in 2014.
So what do we know about it? At this stage, not a lot. The existing Kessil AP700 panel light has twin light clusters, is 185 watts, has straight to wi-fi control via an app, and will cover an area of up to 120x60cm/48×24″.
Wattage and coverage on the new AP9X are still to be confirmed, but Fishkeeping News is guessing that it will be at least the same wattage and coverage as its predecessor, if not more.
The super slick video shows a central, top-mounted cooling fan like on the AP700. Cool air is sucked in from the top of the unit, not warm, humid air from above the water surface, and exits through the sides after cooling the two PCBs.
The AP700 has a colour wheel, intensity slider and then separate slide controls to add extra red and/or green, so we presume that the AP9X will again have at least that in its colour and control portfolio, if not extra red, green and violet channels like the A360X Tuna Blue.
The unit itself looks good, and if they stick to what they showed at MACNA it will be mountable with just one single mounting arm instead of two, which will help to keep costs down.
The Wi-FI looks built-in so Kessil is hedging their bets, by fitting it as standard on the AP9X, but leaving it as an optional extra on the A360X. Whether or not the unit will come in a marine Tuna Blue and freshwater Tuna Sun, we don’t know either. But if they do freshwater it would have to be either white or silver in body colour to keep the aquascapers happy.
And for me, the most flexible light would be one with lens options to offer either a narrow, penetrating beam or a wide beam, as well as a diffuser option to offer flatter light, less point source and less shimmer for those who desire it.
Kessil have their work cut out though with the recent launch of EcoTech’s Gen 5 Radion Blue, Radion Pro and the AI Prime 16HD, Hydra 32HD and Hydra 64HD. Those lights also offer straight to Wi-Fi control built-in and the Hydra 64 and Radion Pro are 135 watts and 215 watts respectively. AI and EcoTech also offer 7 and 10 channel colour control, respectively.
So let’s wait and see what info Kessil release next and hopefully it will help potential purchasers decide to go either for the AP9X, 2 x A360X, or something else.
Watch the 1st Kessil AP9X video here.
More info on Kessil lighting products here.