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AI Prime 16HD LED Light - Aqua Illumination (Black)


Item #: 3Z0925

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You may be asking, "Is it possible to make the most popular aquarium lighting in the world any better?", and Aqua Illumination will tell you "The Prime 16HD, Hydra 32HD, and Hydra 64HD!" The new Primes will give you MORE COLOR, MORE SPREAD, MORE POWER and MORE REFINEMENT without any sacrifice, keeping the along the lines of AI greatness. Better yet, the new Prime and Hydras are offered at the same price as their predecessor, giving you more bang for the buck!

What`s New and Cool:


The plastic construct of the new Prime and Hydra lineup benefits in two ways: better efficiency and better looks. The improvement to efficiency reduces the demands on active cooling for longer component life. Improvements to design a thinner fixture reduces their profile and presence over your aquarium.


Design improvements were made to the new Prime and Hydras to make them more water resistant, meaning that they are more resilient in moisture rich environments.


A dedicated moonlight LED and channel has been added, so now you can control moonlight separately from the other channels allowing for simulation of the natural lunar color and intensity.


myAI® app is free to download to control your lights simply and quickly with direct BLE connection.

Optics and Output

Referring to PAR, the output, color mixing and spread has all been improved. With more LEDs, providing a full spectrum is targeted with TIR lenses that shape the ouput of the light while improving efficiency. As a result, there is more color pop, a wider spread, and higher average PAR. The combination of LED placement and lens geometry help blend the light cluster, reducing the color separation.

The New Prime and Hydras share the same cluster of LEDs with the new optics.


The HD function of routing the power not being used by one channel into another is still a loved feature among the HD lineup - if it isn`t broke, don`t fix it, right?


Mounting hardware as previously available for Hydra and Prime fixtures will work with the new version lights. The exception is the Hydra Flex arm which will require a different light bracket due to the size difference in the new fixtures. The Flex arm bracket will change with he new fixtures. Older flex arms being used to mount the new lights will need a new light bracket.

New Feature Breakdown:

  • More LEDs
  • More PAR
  • More spread
  • Improved optics
  • Improved water resistance
  • Thinner form factor
  • Dedicated moonlight channel
  • More channels for a wider spectrum

Aqua Illumination Still Impressive Features:

  • The best value Aquarium lighting on the market
  • MyAI® app control
  • HD overdrive capability (route power to the spectrum you need)
  • AI customer support
  • The Prime 16HD can be mounted using AI`s existing Prime and HMS mounting accessories
  • Numerous mounting options. The bracket for the 32HD and 64HD on the flex mount will change in the Flex Arm packaging. HMS mounting solutions are identical. Prime mounting solutions are identical

Model Comparison

Model Dimensions Color Channels Total LEDs TIR Optics Wattage

Prime 16HD

Smart Reef LED

4.88 x 4.88 x 1.3in

7 (+ 1)

16 (+ 1)


Hydra 32HD

Smart Reef LED

7.28 x 5.375 x 1.42in.

7 (+1)

32 (+ 2)


Hydra 64HD

Smart Reef LED

11.875 x 5.375 x 1.42in.

7 (+1)

64 (+ 4)


What`s Included:

  • AI Prime 16HD LED Light Fixture
  • Power Supply
  • Quick Start Guide

Manufacturer information

Founded in 2007, C2 Development, Inc. (AI Life Illuminated) is the leader in high performance, high efficiency reef aquarium lighting systems. We are constantly pushing the limits of illumination technology.

5 Stars


Reviewed on
February 20, 2021

Yes, I would recommend this.

Good affordable lights.

Pros: Small and powerful.

Cons: Bad app

Overall they have great color and are very powerful. My only issue is the app. It is just clunky and in need of a serious overhaul. Once you are setup it is fine, it just takes a while to get there.

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Reviewed on
February 11, 2021

Yes, I would recommend this.

Good, but...

Pros: price and par levels

Cons: “ At less than 100%, differences can be seen in the color output between units.”

I like the lights, I have 2 over my Reefer 250, but as another reviewer noted... “At less than 100%, differences can be seen in the color output between units.” So after prime hours one side of my tank is “bluer” than the other side. Drives me nuts, LOL. Other than that, good light.

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Reviewed on
February 05, 2021

Yes, I would recommend this.

AI Prime 16HD

I now own 3 of these lights and I feel it would be a foolish move to purchase any other brand . Realistically it's not that expensive considering the life span of the light and its superior performance. Why would someone waste there time purchasing a cheaper light then stock there tank full of expensive corals. Not saying you cant have a successful reef tank without it but what I am saying is that for the price no other light on the market can compare to its capabilities and its user friendly interface. Once you put living things inside your aquarium you take on the responsibility of caring for them. There is a difference between thriving and surviving.
AI Prime = Thriving

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Reviewed on
January 30, 2021

Yes, I would recommend this.

Love it

Pros: Wifi, fully controllable

Cons: None

Great light. Built in wifi, fully controllable. Love the growth from this light. I prefer multiples of these light versus two or three hydras.

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Reviewed on
December 05, 2020

Yes, I would recommend this.

Nice Light

Pros: Great shimmer effect. Controllable.

Cons: At less than 100%, differences can be seen in the color output between units. App is a bit of a challenge.

Quality light with some drawbacks.

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Reviewed on
September 10, 2020

No, I would not recommend this.

Noisy Fan

Pros: Nice color, good output

Cons: Unacceptably loud fan

Fan is very loud. I have been purchasing AI lights for years and this is the loudest model yet. Hydra 52 are silent compared to Prime 16. Removing the screen doesn't help.

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Reviewed on
August 13, 2020

Yes, I would recommend this.

great quality

love my new lights. great quality and looks really clean with my tank.

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Reviewed on
August 12, 2020

No, I would not recommend this.


I trusted marine depot when they said these lights were amazing. Within 2 weeks these lights broke and they will not refund or replace. NEVER BUY THIS.

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Reviewed on
July 23, 2020

Yes, I would recommend this.

Great Functionality

Pros: Light Spread, Functionality, Scheduling

Cons: The cooling fan can be a bit noisy if you are in a room of complete silence.

The functionality of the Prime 16HD is amazing. The app itself can be a bit difficult to figure out, but once you figure that part out, the possibilities are endless for scheduling. The spread of the light itself is awesome as well. I have ours placed about 12-13" above the tank.

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Reviewed on
July 16, 2020

Yes, I would recommend this.

Great light

Pros: Looks great. Love the app. Not expensive

Cons: Lack of physical buttons

Primes reputation speaks for itself. Great light that looks great and works better. I have two over my RSR 170 and I have never looked at another manufacturer. The only thing I would suggest is the addition of some physical controls of some sort. Just a power button and maybe an all on all off schedule type setup for tank maintenance. Sometimes you don't have your phone next to you and you can't control your lights.

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