When most people see a teeny tiny LED light, their first thought is probably of nano reef aquarium applications. Naturally, a physically small light is ideally suited for smaller tanks, but we also see diminutive LED light engines like the AI Prime as a perfect light to compliment contemporary lighting, like T5s and metal halides.
The AI Prime has already shown itself to be a beautiful light fixture on the surface, that also casts a beautiful, balanced and bright light on smaller tanks, so this much we already knew. However over the last month we’ve been testing and experimenting how well the AI Prime can hang with some large 250w and 400w metal halide lights.
The best, and really the only way to get the most out of metal halide lamps is to pair them up with large, well-designed reflectors. But these large metal halide pendant reflectors usually don’t leave much room for other lights to squeeze in and help balance out their spread and their spectrum. You’re lucky to be able to squeeze in a few T5 or VHO tubes to provide the all-blue dawn-to-dusk lighting that we like to see when the main lights are off.
With the AI Prime not only can you squeeze in a lot of power in a tiny little package, but you also get multi-spectrum blue, red and green color support, all of which is extremely easily accessible through direct connectivity. The AI Primes don’t even come close to competing with the light intensity cast by the large halide pendants in use over our current showroom aquarium, but they definitely help to fill in some of the shadows and dark spots that the halides aren’t quite reaching. Furthermore, the balance of the overall tank color and appearance that they bring is invaluable for making a reef tank go from looking good to looking great.
The other feature of the AI Prime that makes them a great choice for accent lighting is the mounting system with a ball-mount allowing them to be angled about 30 degrees from the horizontal so you can really angle them and spotlight your reef where the corals and rockscape might be more vertically oriented.
For years the Kessil A150/160 and the larger A350/360 LED spotlights have been our go-to spot supplemental light to squeeze into conventional lighting setups. But with more direct connectivity and lower price of just $199 per AI Prime, we now have even more choice for rounding out the sheer power of lighting that is cast by large halide pendants.
But really, the direct connectivity of the AI Prime is what really brings home their value and performance and while they are an easy no-brainer light to use for small and nano tanks, if you’ve already got a full-on lighting setup but have been interested in adding some accent and supplemental lighting, you should really consider the AI Prime LEDs at the top of your list.