Deciding between Kessil and AI Prime

Which light would you choose?


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LookItsAdam

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I currently have a Fluval Evo 13.5 nano tank with the stock lightning. I'm looking to upgrade to something which allows me more control over the settings, and to eventually keep some more advanced corals. I also plan to use this light on a future lagoon tank build which will be about 30g.

My two front runners right now are the Kessil A160we and the AI Prime 16HD.

Does anyone have experience with either, or both, that can share the pros and cons of each?
 

Xxxweezyxxx

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I had the the same dilemma but what it csme down to was kessil charges for their remote while Ai has an app to work their settings Kessil remote is 100 bucks The lights themselves are similar enough. I’m happy with my purchase of the ai Kessil has a better reputation from what I heard but I think the app will find it more convenient with the ai
 

shorediver

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I just went through this decision. The Kessils are a bit more expensive if you get the controller, whereas that's included with the Primes (via WiFi).

What finally helped me decide was a trip to my LFS. They had both and I was able to compare. The Primes had visible color fringing, the Kessils didn't: that simple. That kind of thing bothers me, but not everyone. I went in there hoping the Primes would look as good, but nope. I got the Kessils and decided not to bother with the controller yet.
 

Bfragale

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I currently have a Fluval Evo 13.5 nano tank with the stock lightning. I'm looking to upgrade to something which allows me more control over the settings, and to eventually keep some more advanced corals. I also plan to use this light on a future lagoon tank build which will be about 30g.

My two front runners right now are the Kessil A160we and the AI Prime 16HD.

Does anyone have experience with either, or both, that can share the pros and cons of each?
I have 4 AI Prime 16 HD- on my 80g bow front. I love these lights. I have never personally used the kessil, but I really like the controllability of the AI app. Super easy to use and adjust intensity and colors and easy to set up. And they are a bit cheaper.
Hope this helps. Take care and happy reefing.
 

shorediver

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Congrats on your purchase! Post some pics!!

Thanks and I will - though I'm maybe a little ashamed to say that I looked at them in the LFS then bought them online, saving $90. So they're still in a warehouse in AZ. Only a little ashamed that is, because the LFS salesman managed to take $40 off me for a cheap digital thermometer. His kids won't starve, is what I'm saying.
 
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LookItsAdam

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I just went through this decision. The Kessils are a bit more expensive if you get the controller, whereas that's included with the Primes (via WiFi).

What finally helped me decide was a trip to my LFS. They had both and I was able to compare. The Primes had visible color fringing, the Kessils didn't: that simple. That kind of thing bothers me, but not everyone. I went in there hoping the Primes would look as good, but nope. I got the Kessils and decided not to bother with the controller yet.
I've heard people say the AI Primes "disco ball" and reflect differently off the water and in photos. Is this what you mean by color fringing?
 

JCrowe86

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I have primes and I tend to fiddle with them too much because they have such easy control over spectrum. Kessils are the more set it and forget it approach for sure.
 

shorediver

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I've heard people say the AI Primes "disco ball" and reflect differently off the water and in photos. Is this what you mean by color fringing?

Yeah exactly. Apologies if remainder of this post is an egg-sucking tutorial; I went for completeness rather than assuming you know what I've only just found out:

When you see that nice shimmer on the sand bed, you see constantly moving brighter and darker patches of white/blue a bit like the sun on the sea bed if you go snorkeling in shallow water. With the Kessils, there's no separate colors visible. With other lights, you'll see the same thing, but you'll be able to make out different colors (whatever the LEDs are, red and green for example) as well as the nice blue/white sun-looking color. I think (again, it's personal) it looks artificial and migraine-y. Not what I want from my relaxing reef!

All LED aquarium lights make quite a busy shimmer, because, like the sun, they're "point sources" unlike say T5s. Metal Halide bulbs do this too, and it's gorgeous to look at (personal taste again!) LEDs are trying to get close to the Metal Halide effect. Now imagine that, but imagine you can see colors too. Again some people care, some don't. I wish I didn't because in every other way the Primes were perfect for me (price, size, coverage, controllability, look).

But check these vids out.

Here's a vid of some Kessils:

And here's the Primes:
(But note this is from a company making a diffuser for the Prime to improve the shimmer, so it's in their interest to make the "before" look as bad as possible.)

If you hate the shimmer entirely, then get T5s or a heavily diffused LED. I like it so didn't research that too much.
 
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LookItsAdam

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Thanks! I agree the AI Prime shimmer would probably annoy me after a while.

As far as output, would these be high enough for my future lagoon build? The tank would be roughly 30g (~26in wide but only 12.5in deep) and contain mostly LPS, Zoas and possibly a bubble tip anemone.
 

shorediver

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As far as output, would these be high enough for my future lagoon build? The tank would be roughly 30g (~26in wide but only 12.5in deep) and contain mostly LPS, Zoas and possibly a bubble tip anemone.

This is a great resource I used: https://www.marineandreef.com/Articles.asp?ID=121

Kessil says about 24x24" coverage for softies, 20x20 for mixed reef, so... maybe not quite enough to get to the edges. Primes are similar coverage.
 

piranhaman00

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Prime for sure, I don’t get the appeal to kessil. They are the most expensive and you have to buy a separate controller.
 

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