AI Prime HD Aquarium LED Review
I love growing corals, but I always struggle to find a customizable light fixture that is easy to control and can promote growth while properly highlighting my tank.
In my search, I found the AquaIllumination AI Prime HD Aquarium LED. I was impressed by its customization options, Wi-Fi controls, and overall quality.
This AI Prime HD review will look at some of the pros and cons of this handy lighting solution and whether or not this is the right product for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Aquarium Light
Aquarium lighting needs to bring out the colors in your tank, provide the right intensity and coverage to promote growth, simulate a natural environment, and not transfer heat into the water.
LED lights are an excellent solution as they can often be customized, and their unique engineering means they don’t give off heat like fluorescent or incandescent lights do.
You should buy an LED system if:
- You are growing difficult corals
- You have a small to medium size aquarium
- You want a quiet system
- You have trouble with heat transfer
- Fluorescent or incandescent lights don’t properly illuminate the colors of your aquarium occupants.
If you don’t relate to at least one of these points, then you probably don’t need to spend the money on an LED system. Instead, look at incandescent lights if you have a freshwater tank with less vibrant fish and plants.
Fluorescent lights also work well for freshwater tanks, or for larger saltwater tanks that need a wide area of coverage. LED lights can be expensive, and trying to light up large tanks with LEDs can get pricey fast. Fluorescent lights are less expensive and can promote good growth in large polyp stony corals (LPS corals) and other saltwater organisms that are relatively sturdy and easy to grow.
AI Prime HD Review
The Prime LED light from AquaIlluminations is based on their original Hydra series but is smaller and more compact. This gives you the same adjustable power settings and a brilliant mix of colors from their original line, but in a single-cluster option that is more suited for smaller and shallower tanks.
The AI Prime HD LED is a great option for anyone trying to grow soft polyp stony corals (SPS) or other challenging saltwater organisms that require specific light settings.
If you have a freshwater tank or a larger saltwater setup, you should instead check out the company’s Hydra or Prime Freshwater options instead.
- Wi-Fi controls
- Variable power, color, and light levels
- Significant promotion of coral growth
- Tricky mount
- Higher price point
- Low Wi-Fi connection security
AI Prime HD Features & Benefits
What’s Included With The AI Prime HD
The AI Prime HD Aquarium LED comes with a power adapter, 10-foot power cord, and a quick reference and set-up guide. The mount is sold separately, which is pretty common for most aquarium light manufacturers these days.
Design & Construction
This LED light is sleek and modern, comes in either black or white, and is perfect for minimalist tank design.
The light is enclosed in a hard plastic case with a mesh-covered fan and illuminated AI logo on the top and the cluster of LED bulbs and a small reset button on the bottom.
AI Prime HD Size
The AI Prime is compact, measuring approx. 5 by 5 inches, which is about the size of a smoke detector.
My AI Prime HD Review found that the best feature is the built-in Wi-Fi controls that allow you to adjust light intensity by color specificity via an app downloaded onto your smartphone.
This light also comes with some easy-set features that run on timers and use your desired transition time to simulate sunrise, sunset, and midday. It even has a storm setting and a setting that will mimic the phases of the moon in real-time.
LEDs are able to produce bright light while conserving energy. The AI Prime continues this conservation trend by redirecting its output to increase the brightness of some colors when other colors are turned down.
So, for example, if you only wanted to use 50% of the green spectrum, you could increase the brightness of the violet lights to 150%.
This light is rated for an 18×18 inch tank with a depth of 12 inches. Another AI Prime HD review I came across stated that the brightness is enough to sustain up to a 24 by 24-inch tank, but I have noticed that even with an 18-inch tank, there are shadows around the edges. Really, a single light is only bright enough to support soft polyp corals in a 16-inch section at the most.
Adjustability for Different Tank Types
This light is designed to be used for nano tanks, but you can cover a larger tank if you buy more than one.
The mount is supposed to fit on rimmed or rimless tanks, but a common complaint found on other AI Prime HD review pages is that it’s often difficult to get the clamp tight enough on a rimmed tank to secure the light. However, you can always get creative and wall-mount or suspend your light, which is my preferred option. Several AI Prime reviews suggested designing your own light attachment configuration if you plan to use more than one of these to cover a large tank.
How Does The AI Prime HD LED Compare To The Competition?
AI Prime HD vs Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED Light
The Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED Light is almost half the price of the AI Prime, but it isn’t Wi-Fi-enabled, and – while you can adjust the settings somewhat on the Tuna Blue – it’s not nearly as customizable as the Prime. If you don’t need or want complex customization or Wi-Fi controls and are trying to keep your wallet happy, this could be a better option for you.
AI Prime HD vs Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light
The Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light is also less expensive than AI Prime. It only has two light channels which can be customized somewhat, but it’s not nearly as varied as the AI Prime’s 7 adjustable light colors.
The Orbit isn’t Wi-Fi enabled, but it does come with a separate remote.
You might want to consider purchasing the Orbit if you’re trying to light a large tank without spending a lot of money and your tank’s occupants aren’t picky about light levels.
AI Prime HD vs MICMOL – Smart LED Aquarium Light
The MICMOL Smart LED Aquarium Light is another inexpensive option if you’re looking to cover a large tank. It’s rated for up to 66 inches and has the same 7 customizable color channels as the AI Prime. Unlike the Prime, the MICMOL can’t be controlled from your phone, though it does have a separate smart controller.
This LED light could be the right choice for you if you have a large tank but still want multi-channel light customization without being as expensive as multiple AI Primes will be.
Saltwater tanks need a lighting system that will encourage coral growth, be easy to control, highlight the dazzling colors of the tank’s occupants, and won’t transfer unwanted heat.
The AI Prime HD is able to do all of this and more. It’s highly customizable and can be controlled from your smartphone, has a stylish design, and allows for higher-intensity color-specific lighting to meet the needs of even the fussiest coral.
We hope you have found this AI Prime HD review helpful. Click here to check out this impressive little light for yourself!