Kessil A360's, AI Hydra 26's or Kessil AP700??

mpjmeyer

New member
I'm torn between these 2 lighting units. My eyes are turning red from watching videos and reading reviews and forums. I have a 65 gallon in wall corner tank I'm getting ready to get wet for the first time and just need lighting. I plan on having live rock, corals and fish. The tank is 48" long, 18" deep and 18" wide. I've narrowed it down to these 3 lights. Here's my thoughts of each..

2 Kessil A360's: Known for their fantastic shimmer, however no wireless control without the apex and no moonlighting unless you go with the AP700.

Kessil AP700: Many mixed reviews, may not cover whole tank, however this is wifi capable and has moonlighting.

2 AI Hydra 26's: Can anybody comment on the shimmer of these? Wireless capabilities from smart phone or ipad, has moonlight and weather effects.

I will be painting the back of the fish tank so nobody can see the fish room/storage room area. Doing this will make it difficult to adjust the lights from inside that room since I would have to keep walking around to see the view to make sure the spectrum is right unless I had a wifi controller. The wifi of the Hydra's would make life easier since the Kessil 360's controller is wired (unless the apex is in play which I don't have). I'm not sure if the Kessil AP700 connects to your home network or generates its own hotspot.

Any thoughts from you reefers who may have had experience with any of these lights?

How is the shimmer of the Hydra's?

Does the AP700 connect to the house router or does it generate it's own hotspot meaning you can't control it from anywhere unless your phone is in range?

Sorry for so many questions but I'm just ready to make a decision.
 

GimpyFin

Active member
I have 2 hydra 26 HDs on my 110 (48 long, 18 wide, 30 tall.) They don't shimmer the same as the Kessils do, but they provide adequate coverage for my tank and I've been pleased with them overall. I looked at the AP700 as an option when I bought my lights but 4 ft. really looked like a stretch for a single light. At $900 a pop, buying two was definitely out of the question.

The Hydra HDs do have built-in wireless control (webpage or mobile app) so you can setup moonlight and turn on weather effects (Though, I don't really use the weather.) One thing I have noticed is the range on the wifi is a little limited so if your wifi router is not fairly close to the tank, you may notice the lights disconnect off and on. (I just used a range extender to fix the issue.) Anyway, hope that helps.
 

mpjmeyer

New member
Yes I'm in the middle of finishing the whole basement and actually ran a cat6 outlet right by all the fish tank equipment just in case. How is the shimmer of the Hydra's?
 

GimpyFin

Active member
To me, the Hydras don't provide much of a shimmer the way the Kessils do. They look good, but they're just different due to how their LEDs are setup compared to the Kessils.
 
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