Proper lighting is vital for any tank, freshwater or saltwater. The light you buy must meet the needs of both your fish and plants. Different types of fish and plants all have different light requirements.
When you’re considering an LED light for your aquarium, it typically comes down to Kessil and everyone else who tries to build their lights similarly. Kessil has been consistently perfecting its LED aquarium lighting.
This article will review the Kessil A160WE, its features, benefits and drawbacks, and more to help you discover if this light is right for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying an LED Aquarium Light
Choosing the right LED light for your tank can be stressful because there are so many options and factors to consider. Here are some factors to consider when buying LED aquarium lighting.
One of the most critical factors is your budget. Make sure your budget is realistic regarding the LED lights on the market. If you don’t plan out your budget, you can soon be spending more than you planned to get a light that will satisfy the needs of your plants and fish.
Longevity and Quality
To get the most for your money, ensure you’re getting a light that will last. Choose a light that won’t break quickly and is durable. Although getting a good LED light may cost more upfront, it will save you money in the long run.
It’s also important to consider the aesthetic appeal when buying an LED light for your aquarium. What colors do you want to see in your tank? Do you want to bring out the colors of your fish? Choose a light that has optimal color blending to suit your needs.
Ease of Use
The majority of LED lighting has software and programming options. If you can’t figure out how to program the light to your needs, it’s useless. Some lights have simple remotes; others come with multiple options for timing, schedule, color display, and more.
To get the most out of your LED light, make sure it’s user-friendly.
When purchasing LED lighting, price is one of the most critical factors. The initial cost of LED lighting isn’t the only cost to consider. Even if a lighting system is costlier upfront, it may last longer than a cheaper light or require less upkeep.
The average LED lifespan is ten years. To take advantage of the entire lifespan of your LED lights, keep your system cool.
Because LED lights last about ten years, you’ll have your light for a long time. Having the option to upgrade your lighting system is essential. The ability to add more lights, and colors, use a larger tank, or get new fish are important considerations.
Another important consideration is the warranty. How does the company handle broken parts and replacements? If the company has parts readily in stock and is happy to offer assistance, replacing parts will always be easier.
Some LED lights are more intense than others. Depending on the requirements of your plants and fish, some lighting can be too intense, which can be deadly.
When choosing an LED light, make sure it will work for your plants and fish.
The Kessil A160WE
The Kessil A160WE is an LED controllable light promising to produce a shimmer similar to the ocean for a natural lighting effect. It emits a spectrum of 10,000-20,000 kelvins, making it perfect for fast-growing plants. This Kessil has two varieties: the Tuna Sun and the Tuna Blue.
The Tuna Sun provides a natural white color, while the Tuna Blue gives off a blue light. The Tuna Sun is used for freshwater aquariums with or without plants, although it can still be used in saltwater aquariums.
- Dimensions – 5 inches x 5 inches x 10 inches
- Weight 2.3 pounds
- Spectrum: 6,000-9,000 Kelvin color spectrum
You can adjust color on one channel while adjusting intensity on another.
You can tune spectrum and intensity from 10,000 kelvins to Actinic for the Tuna Blue and 6,000 to 9,000 Kelvins for the Tuna Sun.
They’re compatible with external controllers such as the Kessil Spectral controller, Digital Aquatics Reef keeper, and Neptune Apex.
Their compact design makes them easy to install.
The shimmer effect mimics natural waters.
It emits a blend of UV light to encourage plant and color coloration.
Two channels to fine-tune brightness and color.
It has a heat management system for high efficiency.
Easily mount the light with the gooseneck system.
Acclimation Mode helps to ease the introduction of new lights to your tank. The timeline of this mode can be customized for your specific tank needs.
Two Choices for Different Aquarium Types
The Kessil 160WE Tuna Blue is suitable for reef and saltwater aquariums, while the Tuna Sun is best for planted freshwater tanks, mangroves, and refugium.
Both models have a quiet operation that doesn’t disturb fish.
This light will cover a 12-to-24-inch area.
The light is designed so that the LEDs are packed together to provide more power.
The Kessil A160WE’s only drawback is that it won’t work for a larger tank. Of course, you can always use multiple lights for your tank size. The shimmer effect, durability, and controllability make this LED light second to none.
LED Lighting and Coral Reef Tanks
There are other things to consider when using LED lighting in tanks with coral reefs, especially if you’re a beginner.
The dimensions of your aquarium can affect the light’s water penetration. Light has a limited water penetration, so you’ll need to pay attention to your aquarium depth. It’s best to focus on the depth rating of the light instead of the gallon capacity.
PAR and PUR
PAR is short for Photosynthetically Active Radiation. It is the spectrum of wavelengths used by organisms for photosynthesis. This is measured by PPFD or Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density. The more PAR the bulb produces, the greater the benefit to the corals.
For corals, PAR levels should be high enough not to starve the algae in the process of photosynthesis but also not enough to cause damage to corals. Different species of plants and coral use different wavelengths of PAR for growth.
PUR is the specific wavelengths that trigger photosynthesis in a particular plant. PUR is short for Photosynthetic Usable Radiation. This varies based on the plant or coral. Good reef lighting usually produces more PUR per PAR to keep costs down and produce more growth.
Best Spectrum and Settings
Different spectrums of light affect corals differently. Most LED lights have a customizable spectrum for proper coral and plant growth. Longer wavelengths of light, like red, have limited water reach, while blue light has the greatest water reach for depth.
There are general rules to follow when growing a reef with LED lights. If the corals you are trying to grow are shallow water corals, set the light to a high, full spectrum intensity with a 1:1 ratio of blue to white light. If the corals you are trying to grow live in deeper waters, set the spectrum of your likes to a 6:1 ratio of blue-to-white lighting.
Alternative To Kessil A160WE
Consider this alternative if you’re looking for something similar to the Kessil A160WE.
The Al Prime is a small and sleek light that is user-friendly and powerful enough to satisfy the toughest growing corals. It is ready to use straight out of the box and takes just minutes to set up. The mobile application also allows for many modes, like intensity and storm modes.
The AI Prime allows users to control the light color their corals prefer. You can control the combination and intensity of the colors offered. The AI prime offers cool white, deep red, green, blue, deep blue, UV and violet.
- Unlimited control of light color, timing, and settings
- Easy to use
- Sleek design
- It doesn’t require upkeep
- You need to buy an arm for mounting
- It covers 20 inches by 20 inches, so you’ll need more than one for a large tank
The main difference between AI Prime and Kessil is power. While the AI Prime is powerful enough for tough-growing corals, the Kessil still packs more power and can sometimes be too much for certain corals. If you place the Kessil correctly, you can grow a variety of corals and focus the light on your more demanding plants and corals.
Overall, The Kessil A160WE is the standard in aquarium lighting. Its shimmer to mimic natural water conditions just can’t be beaten. Beyond the shimmer, it packs a powerful punch to grow almost any type of coral or plant you want to grow. It is also simple to mount and easy to use. There’s a reason that Kessil is known among aquarists for setting the standard in LED aquarium lighting; it’s just the best there is out there!