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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been using Kessil lights (just because I've already got them) but do want to have a bit more red pop.

Recently I saw this George Farmer's Kessil vs Twinstar comparison.
.

IMO it would be the best if we can somehow get the best of both worlds

  • Have more red color so red plans pop like Twinstar
  • Have some of the shimmer like Kessil that gives depth

It seems it should be possible to add some red LED lights to the tank to achieve that. Has anyone tried this? Any thoughts? Or should one just bite the bullet and buy a Twinstar if you want red to pop? :nerd:
 

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I've always been using Kessil lights (just because I've already got them) but do want to have a bit more red pop.

Recently I saw this George Farmer's Kessil vs Twinstar comparison. Kessil vs Twinstar comparison.

IMO it would be the best if we can somehow get the best of both worlds

  • Have more red color so red plans pop like Twinstar
  • Have some of the shimmer like Kessil that gives depth

It seems it should be possible to add some red LED lights to the tank to achieve that. Has anyone tried this? Any thoughts? Or should one just bite the bullet and buy a Twinstar if you want red to pop? :nerd:

Well first I "believe" (Kessil is WAY TOO secretive) the new Kessils addressed this issue a bit.
There old 6000 to 9000-ish range w/ no red diodes was always "my" issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah the challenge is that I'm stuck with old Kessils :). I have a pair of 360WE. Green leaves and shimmers look great, but not a lot of reds. Exactly like the George Farmer vid above.
 

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Both are good but I recommend to use Kessils
Based on what? The spectrum they carry leaves much to be desired. To be honest it's a mediocre light with nice badging around it. You want a real light that will give you amazing spectrum control and still a great shimmer? HME Cetus2 Freshwater models. They are cheaper too, while having great coverage. You could double up for close to the same price as these and have better coverage and look.
 

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To be honest it's a mediocre light with nice badging around it.

hot take!


i have kessils (a360x), twinstars, fluvals, and ai primes to compare across various tanks, and i'll be damned if anything approaches the attractive presentation of kessil light. they are damned expensive, but they're also well-built, quiet (i'm looking at you, ai prime) and grow plants well.



what makes them great - that tiny, high-density diode patch - also makes them much more difficult to implement well vs. say a panel light like a twinstar. first and foremost, you pretty much have to have at least two of the damned things because while power and (to a lesser extent) coverage could be adequate for a given tank with one, it's far too easy to get shadowing, wilting, and ultimately, algae. anything that gives equivalent presentation (or the aspect of it that i like) would also require small diode patches and would suffer from these same difficulties.


now, in terms of spectrum... i'm not comparing histograms, but it grows plants well, it's tweakable and looks great with some fiddling. as to that fiddling... apropos to this thread, i don't like the look of the kessil light until i mix a good amount of red into it. thankfully the newer models have independent red and amber channels (i only really use the amber for sunrise/sunset).



these other lights you note may be great and even a good bargain, but that doesn't mean kessils aren't great at least for certain people in the right circumstances.
 

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Yeah the challenge is that I'm stuck with old Kessils :). I have a pair of 360WE. Green leaves and shimmers look great, but not a lot of reds. Exactly like the George Farmer vid above.

You can try what they did for Kessils and the lack of moonlight.
Add a ring light.
They won't overpower the kessils but should add some red pop..some..
Need to determine the size needed though,.

Believe 10cm ring lights should work.
Best bet is probably aliexpress though.
2 Pcs 100mm Red 33-SMD LED Car Rear Angel Eyes Ring Light Lamp DC 12V




https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...24VA332iP9wkIwR68mvSH5HX1aTOhM9RoCu6MQAvD_BwE
 

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hot take!


i have kessils (a360x), twinstars, fluvals, and ai primes to compare across various tanks, and i'll be damned if anything approaches the attractive presentation of kessil light. they are damned expensive, but they're also well-built, quiet (i'm looking at you, ai prime) and grow plants well.



what makes them great - that tiny, high-density diode patch - also makes them much more difficult to implement well vs. say a panel light like a twinstar. first and foremost, you pretty much have to have at least two of the damned things because while power and (to a lesser extent) coverage could be adequate for a given tank with one, it's far too easy to get shadowing, wilting, and ultimately, algae. anything that gives equivalent presentation (or the aspect of it that i like) would also require small diode patches and would suffer from these same difficulties.


now, in terms of spectrum... i'm not comparing histograms, but it grows plants well, it's tweakable and looks great with some fiddling. as to that fiddling... apropos to this thread, i don't like the look of the kessil light until i mix a good amount of red into it. thankfully the newer models have independent red and amber channels (i only really use the amber for sunrise/sunset).



these other lights you note may be great and even a good bargain, but that doesn't mean kessils aren't great at least for certain people in the right circumstances.

Yet the Kessil spectrum is garbage I have attached the sprectrums for 3 lights. The Kessil, A cheap Nicrew Skyled Plus and a HME Cetus2. This should show you what you are missing.
 

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hot take!


i have kessils (a360x), twinstars, fluvals, and ai primes to compare across various tanks, and i'll be damned if anything approaches the attractive presentation of kessil light. they are damned expensive, but they're also well-built, quiet (i'm looking at you, ai prime) and grow plants well.



what makes them great - that tiny, high-density diode patch - also makes them much more difficult to implement well vs. say a panel light like a twinstar. first and foremost, you pretty much have to have at least two of the damned things because while power and (to a lesser extent) coverage could be adequate for a given tank with one, it's far too easy to get shadowing, wilting, and ultimately, algae. anything that gives equivalent presentation (or the aspect of it that i like) would also require small diode patches and would suffer from these same difficulties.


now, in terms of spectrum... i'm not comparing histograms, but it grows plants well, it's tweakable and looks great with some fiddling. as to that fiddling... apropos to this thread, i don't like the look of the kessil light until i mix a good amount of red into it. thankfully the newer models have independent red and amber channels (i only really use the amber for sunrise/sunset).



these other lights you note may be great and even a good bargain, but that doesn't mean kessils aren't great at least for certain people in the right circumstances.

Yet the Kessil spectrum is garbage I have attached the sprectrums for 3 lights. The Kessil, A cheap Nicrew Skyled Plus and a HME Cetus2. This should show you what you are missing.
Well you're clearly the expert!

I don't know what my plants are thinking growing like that with such a garbage spectrum!

I just won't tell them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can try what they did for Kessils and the lack of moonlight.
Add a ring light.
They won't overpower the kessils but should add some red pop..some..
Need to determine the size needed though,.

Believe 10cm ring lights should work.
Best bet is probably aliexpress though.






https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...24VA332iP9wkIwR68mvSH5HX1aTOhM9RoCu6MQAvD_BwE
This looks awesome thanks for the pointer jeffkrol. Didn't know this kind of led rings exist and so easily sourced (even on Amazon). I think I will experiment with this.

One more question I wonder if you or anyone can give me a pointer on: these rings are all 12V input, what would I need to implement some sort of dimming control over it? I guess I'll need a 12V DC power supply/brick and then some dimming controller, but what kinds? Would anyone be able to point me to an example?

Thanks.
 

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This looks awesome thanks for the pointer jeffkrol. Didn't know this kind of led rings exist and so easily sourced (even on Amazon). I think I will experiment with this.

One more question I wonder if you or anyone can give me a pointer on: these rings are all 12V input, what would I need to implement some sort of dimming control over it? I guess I'll need a 12V DC power supply/brick and then some dimming controller, but what kinds? Would anyone be able to point me to an example?

Thanks.

most strip dimmers and ps work ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did try this out the simple way with a LED background light (current usa background light) that has red channels.

Conclusion is just mixing in some reds doesn't seem to work. The red plant do seem a bit redder but everything else has an ugly red tint to them.

Abandoning this idea. IMO looks like I'll have to grit my teeth and buy a Twinstar or some similar light of I cant stand the Kessils long term.

Happy New Year everyone!
 

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I did try this out the simple way with a LED background light (current usa background light) that has red channels.

Conclusion is just mixing in some reds doesn't seem to work. The red plant do seem a bit redder but everything else has an ugly red tint to them.

Abandoning this idea. IMO looks like I'll have to grit my teeth and buy a Twinstar or some similar light of I cant stand the Kessils long term.

Happy New Year everyone!

Yea you need to blend it in a bit, thus the ring light idea..
 

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I did try this out the simple way with a LED background light (current usa background light) that has red channels.

Conclusion is just mixing in some reds doesn't seem to work. The red plant do seem a bit redder but everything else has an ugly red tint to them.

Abandoning this idea. IMO looks like I'll have to grit my teeth and buy a Twinstar or some similar light of I cant stand the Kessils long term.

Happy New Year everyone!
Funny. This week I was thinking of doing just the opposite. I have a Twinstar 1200SA with a multistep dimmer. It works really well but I have always enjoyed the light shimmer like my old reef tank had using a metal halide pendant. I was cruising Amazon looking for a clip-on point source LED that I could use to achieve a bit of that effect...
 
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