Powered By Kessil

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Olivere Arthur (Manhattan Aquariums; New York, NY)

It's a bustling late afternoon in New York City, people scurrying about either taking care of last-minute duties or prepping for going home at the end of the day. Once there it'll be time to relax, something many do with whatever bit of nature they can nurture amid the concrete and steel. There to serve this need is Manhattan Aquariums, which since 2005 has been a premium source for aquarists seeking to catch their breath in the city that never sleeps.

Store manager Olivere Arthur takes a moment away from the customers to talk about himself, the store and Kessil. The Barbados native notes, "For me, the aquarist hobby is an extension of my interest in all things living. When I was a kid we'd go down to the ponds and streams to catch fish and keep them in large glass jars; those were our aquariums. I guess you could say I'm a nature freak."

Arthur has been with Manhattan Aquariums for four and a half years, his twenty plus years as an active aquarist serving him well as he's worked in the retail side of things. The store primarily sells livestock, but also moves a tremendous amount of dry goods, which is where Kessil enters the picture.

"I first heard of Kessil when we brought them into the store a couple of years ago," says Arthur. "I was immediately impressed with their simplicity. It's an uncomplicated light. A small blessing, really."

He adds, "With the A350 and A350W, it's a quick snap to make adjustments. You just turn the knobs. They are easy to use, easy to work with. Don't like how your tank looks? You can sexy it up by dialing in a bit more blue. Plus you get the great growth, the great color."

Arthur comments that the Kessil is the perfect light for his customers. Why? "New Yorkers live a fast paced existence. They're incredibly busy all the time. They don't have time to learn a complicated light system. With a Kessil, we can show them in the store what to do in a minute. If they call, we can talk them through how to make the adjustments they need at home. They don't have to haul equipment back and forth or learn how to program things. It's all right there."

Jess Viscovich (Diablo Corals; Concord, CA)

"I tell my customers to stay as far away from Kessil as possible," Jess Viscovich laughs. Given how Diablo Corals, his store in Concord, California is running 100% Kessil lights, it quickly becomes obvious he's joking.

Diablo Corals has been in operation since June of 2011 as a traditional store following three years of being a home-based business. "I worked at the NUUMI auto plant in Fremont for 14 years," Viscovich recalls. "When it closed, I became a stay-at-home dad to my kids. While doing that I started thinking about if there was a way I could work from home. So, I turned my hobby into a business run out of my garage, then last year decided to set up a regular store."

Viscovich first heard of Kessil shortly after his store opened when a customer mentioned the new brand he'd seen at a local store. "What's interesting is I was working with another LED manufacturer at the time as a beta tester. But when I saw the Kessil in action, I knew they were the way to go."

"I was a huge MH guy before Kessil," Viscovich adds. "Now? I'm 100% Kessil. The coloring up is much faster and the SPS polyp extension is terrific. Add that to the benefit of less heat from the lights and lower electricity bills, and you've got a winner."

Jimmy Francis (Neptune Aquatics; Milpitas, CA)

Neptune Aquatics in Milpitas, California has for the past few years been serving the San Francisco Bay Area's aquarists needs with quality stock and service, all from a consumer-friendly background. "When we started the store - we took over an existing business - we decided to make it a hobby and hobbyist-friendly place because it's where we come from," says the store's manager Jimmy Francis. "We've worked hard at building the business from the bottom up around that ideal."

Neptune has carried Kessil lights from when they were first introduced. "We immediately set up a tank just for Kessil and have never looked back," Francis notes. "We're currently converting the entire store to Kessil. I give them ten out of ten stars. Our corals color and growth are so much better than when we were using T5s there's no comparison."

What does Francis tell his customer about Kessil? "We favor them over AI. The Dense Matrix LED technology, the fact it's a local company, how they do all their own testing, the light itself... it's simply the best out there."