View Full Version : Cautionary review: AI Nano

09-20-2012, 02:12 AM
I purchased an AI Nano about three weeks ago from a LFS in the Vancouver area, and wanted to share my thoughts about the light.

First of all, I want to say I am not bashing AI here! This is my experience with the AI Nano thus far, and I know this is not a reflection of every consumers experience with the light.

The Good:

- The external touch pad control-ability is very cool. Since my new aquarium is not set up yet and I own a Profilux, I did not purchase the controller and am running the light manually every day. It is very easy to control light levels manually, and ensure that light intensity is constant.

- Very bright, my Crocea clam looks much healthier and colorful under the AI Nano in comparison to my old 6 bulb T5 Tek light.

- Small size, and Apple-esk looks.

- Easy to take apart to fix any issues.

- I recommend one AI Nano per 10"x10" surface area. I'm not sure how deep to recommend as it is currently lighting a tank only 10" deep.

- A large number of mounting options.

- The power cord is at least 10 ft long.

- Good customer service from AI.

The Bad:

- Right out of the box, the fixture was covered in a very difficult to remove glue residue. The glue was off of the bubble wrap the fixture was wrapped in. I attempted to remove the glue, but after a half hour of cleaning it with water and windex, it was still not removed. I gave up and attempted to return the light to the LFS at this point and was refused since I had apparently scratched the light as I was removing the glue, although I did not notice the scratch before I went to the store. I ended up dealing with this issue through AI. They promptly sent me a replacement housing, and it was very easy to swap the housings. The new housing was a huge improvement over the out of the box housing. I was charged $20 for shipping, which I did not think was appropriate given the Nano's condition out of the box.

- The fan emitted a high pitch noise that could be heard from 15+ feet away. The LFS told me this was normal at the store, and still would not accept the light on return. AI sent me a new fan, along with the new housing, to fix the issue. Again, it was easy to install. Unfortunately even the replacement fan is still making the noise, and I am still working with AI to resolve the issue as it is not normal.

- The new housing that was sent to me does not fit the screws that came with the mounting arm. The old housing did. Not sure what is up with that.

- To save your light settings manually on the Nano, you have to touch both buttons briefly at the same time, and the light will blink several times to confirm the save. Unfortunately, it takes me several tries to save the settings manually. Usually either the white or blue channel will blink, indicating that you have selected the channel for dimming.

I think the AI Nano actually has the potential to be an awesome light. I am confident this is the case with most new Nanos. With my Profilux, this light is more controllable than any other comparably priced fixture I know of. Unfortunately, the multiple issues I have encountered with this specific Nano have over shadowed the positives. I believe I got a factory dud, and/or the LFS sold me a previously returned light.

If you do want to purchase this light, I recommend you open up the box first and take a look at it! This was stupid on my part.

AI's customer service has been helpful and has offered to send me a new light if I pay the shipping costs. I will likely take them up on that offer if the fan noise does not go away within a week.

I am disappointed with the way the LFS dealt with the issue, to say the least.

AI Nano with new housing


Couldn't get the colors right for the life of me, but this is blues at minimum brightness, whites off.

Comparison of housings. Glue is visible, but does not show well in pictures.

New housing on left.

Close up of glue.

I would have posted more pictures of the light working, but I couldn't get the colors accurate.

Anyways, hope this was informative.