So many factors go into running a successful aquarium. One of such important factors is the lighting. Not only does it light up your aquarium and make it beautiful, but it’s also needed for plant and coral growth. Hence, it is necessary that while purchasing aquarium lighting, you go for the best LED aquarium lighting. In this article, we review the best products available on the market, factors to consider, and how to install an aquarium light.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of LED Aquarium Lighting
- Factors to Consider When Buying A Best LED Aquarium Lighting
Top 8 Best LED Aquarium Lighting Available on the Market
- 1. Koval Aquarium Lighting
- 2. Finnex Planted + 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED
- 3. BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light
- 4. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED
- 5. MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light
- 6. Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture
- 7. Kessil A360WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light
- 8. Aquallumination Hydra Twenty-six + HD LED Light
- How to Setup LED Aquarium Lights?
- FAQs on LED Aquarium Lighting
Benefits of LED Aquarium Lighting
You may be looking to set up an aquarium light or replace an existing one. If you are wondering what the advantages of a LED aquarium light is, here they are:
Low Energy uptake
LED aquarium light makes use of less than 80% of electricity than other aquarium lights. This, therefore, saves you a lot of money that could have been used on electricity bills.
Low Dissipation of Heat
LEDs do not generate a lot of heat as compared to fluorescent lights. Therefore, your aquarium remains cool. Since they still require air circulation, the heat produced won’t degenerate the life expectancy of the LED chip.
LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours (approximately six years) as compared to other types of lights which only last for some months.
The light intensity can be adjusted
With LED lights, the lights can be dimmed at sunset and bright at sunrise. This feature is ideal for nocturnal plants and fishes as the moonlight can stimulate their growth. These LEDs can also be programmed to be sensitive and adjust to temperature and plants’ growth stage, and with this information, you select the right wavelength and color to match the aquarium.
Wide Variety of Color Option
LED lights come in a variety of colors which adds spark and beauty to the tank. You can choose your preferred color from a broad spectrum. These colors are not just for fancy. For instance, the 8,000k white spectrum encourages plant photosynthesis; a magenta color gives support to plants and so many other benefits.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Best LED Aquarium Lighting
It wouldn’t do to just up and buy any aquarium light that catches your fancy. There is a need to pay attention to important details as this will help you make the best choice. These factors include:
Different plants need a different level of light intensity to grow. While some plants such as carpet plants located at the bottom of the aquarium require very bright lights, others such as mid-ground plants only thrive on low lights. Therefore, know the type of plants you have in your aquarium as this will help you purchase the right LED.
Size of the Aquarium
Aquarium LED lightings come in various sizes, so it’s essential to consider the size of your aquarium before making a purchase. This is because a larger aquarium will require more light while a smaller aquarium will require less light. If you are going to be buying a LED light for a large aquarium, then go for the LED light that has broad light coverage and also high intensity which can cover the whole aquarium.
Features and Budget of the LED Light
It ultimately comes down to cost. There are LED lights to suit your pocket, and although the LED lights may have different features, there is always one available that you can afford which will also have the right features you are looking out for. This is why they come at various ranges and prices. To buy an ideal aquarium LED light, first consider the features you want the LED to possess, and after that buy one that is within your budget.
Top 8 Best LED Aquarium Lighting Available on the Market
Purchasing LED aquarium lighting is much easier now that you know what to look out for, yet there are so many brands on the market, and this makes it difficult to choose one. Not to worry, we have made matters easy by rounding up the top 8 LED aquarium lighting on the market. They include:
1. Koval Aquarium Lighting
We start our list with the Koval Aquarium lighting. This upgraded version is one of the top-rated aquarium lightings on the market. It comes in five different LED colors which expand over 78 LEDs. It is ideal for those who desire LED lights of high quality for their aquarium tanks.
The panels are composed of six blue LEDs, sixty-two whites, four reds, four pinks, and two green lights. This light can also work in three different modes which are: blue LED on, all turned on, or all LEDs turned off. It functions for up to 50,000 hours; therefore, you are assured of its durability. The panel has an aluminum alloy shell, another feature that ensures its durability as against panels made of plastic.
On the inside of the package, you will discover the light panel, along with an adapter and two extendable brackets. If you desire something much bigger, you have two other options to choose from, a panel with 129 LEDs and then another one of 156 LEDs. This is a good option for anyone with an eye for quality.
- Ideal for saltwater aquariums
- Features 78 different lights as well as five colors
- Has two lighting options
- It is durable
- There have been reports of a high number of defective units
2. Finnex Planted + 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED
This is an entirely customizable LED light that allows you to produce the ideal light for your plants and organisms. It comes with a remote control that makes it easy for day elements such as thunderstorms, sunny days, and moonlights to be made active just with a click of the remote. It has a 24/7 feature that begins with cool lit dawn, then transforms to a warm sunrise in the morning after which comes in a bright color blazing during noontime, this is then followed by a red sun drowned sunset and finishes off with a starry blue moonlight color, this cycle repeat itself over and over all through the day.
With this feature, your fishes and plants have optimum exposure to an environment that is almost a replica of a natural environment. The fixtures available with the Finnex Planted + 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED can be easily attached to your aquarium and is sturdy enough to hold the LED in place. It is made of high-quality aluminum and also comes with a water-resistant splash guard. You don’t want to miss out on one of the best-LED lights for planted tanks.
- It’s a customizable unit
- It has a remote that is simple to use
- Fits well with rimmed aquariums
- It has a stylish design with a modern casing
- Its extendable lengths can fall out when it’s on full extension
- Has a short power cord
3. BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light
Your aquarium could be looking drab as a result of poor lighting; if you wish to turn things around and have your aquarium looking amazing, then it’s time to purchase the BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light.
It is made of high-quality materials and has an energy-efficient light fixture that takes the place of a single tube fluorescent light. This light fixture is installed beforehand and is done with a 10000K, and Actinic which measures 460nm, red 620nm, and a green 520nm spectrum LED lights.
This aquarium LED light is contemporary and has a sleek design that makes any other LED light look boring in comparison. The LEDs are durable and you do not need to replace their bulbs. It also features two modes of operation which allow full power during the day and then the moonlight mode that comes on at night.
Each of its fixtures is pre-wired and can be used along with a timer module (this is optional and is usually sold separately). Its power supply (driver) can work well within 110v to 220v of a power source. Give your aquarium that appealing look with this LED light.
- It is ideal for freshwater, cichlids, and plan
- The lights are very bright
- It has a sleek design
- It is durable
- Has a questionable power supply
4. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED
The Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED is not just bright; it’s super bright. It has 6500k white LEDs, and a rich 445Nm blue LED which assembles in a fantastic sleek fixture while it’s well in tune for freshwater aquatics.
It comes in multiple modes, one which dims to create a cloud cover effect, a storm mode for times when there’s a thunderstorm, and then the evening modes which includes the lunar and dusk all of which adds spark and excitement to your aquarium and the environment.
The installation process is another thing that this aquarium LED light gets right. It features slide docking legs that enable adjustment to be fast and easy and can also be used for various installments. This same feature allows you to add multiple fixtures in the quickest time possible.
Beyond the white and blue lights, you see, its satellite LED also replicates a natural aquatic environment, thereby giving your aquarium a realistic effect. It features a 30-day money-back warranty as a refund will be made within the time frame if for any reason you desire it. A fantastic option if you ask me.
- It features multiple modes
- It is durable
- Has a realistic effect
- 30-day guarantee
- There is a danger of water damage with regular use
- It is not programmable
5. MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light
The MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light is another great option to choose from. With its two light beam combination which was explicitly designed for the aquatic plants, the plants grow well as all the spectrums necessary for increased growth have been provided. It features two switches that enable you to adjust the luminosity to suit your taste.
The LED lens has a transmittance that is 25% higher than a regular lens, and this is because its converging light beam gives room for light to go as far as 1m into the tanks, this is done with minimal loss of luminous energy.
Again, there’s the fact that it’s cool at all times. This is made possible because it uses copper, a material with a thermal conductivity beyond any other metal, this is in conjunction with its advanced venting system which rather than taking the suction approach blows air into the tank.
Also, it features a dual universal cascade. Ideally, 300W LED light is ideal for a 55-gallon fish coral tank which measures 38″ x 24″, then a 165W LED light is suitable for a 30-gallon fish coral tank with a measurement of 24″ x 24″. If the tank is bigger, you can combine a set of LED lights in series at the same time without making use of more sockets.
It comes with a three-year warranty with a support service center located in California. What’s more, it comes with a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee if anything should go wrong.
- It keeps cool at all times
- Comes with a three-year warranty, service center, and 30-day money-back warranty
- Features a wide range of colors
- Very bright lights
- It is expensive
6. Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture
This is a game-changer in the world of LED aquarium lighting. It was designed to specifically improve the lives of aquatic animals and plants while being invincible over your tank. It also has five colors which have 120o dispersion. With its 0.5W Watt LED you are assured of a full light spectrum that is needed by the plants and animals in the aquarium. To ensure it fits most aquariums, it was designed in three sizes which are 24″, 36″, and 48″.
The Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture also comes with advanced features that are advantageous to both amateur and expert aquarists one of which is the sunset and sunrise features which enable the LED to be programmable in that they can be turned on or off in the space of ten minutes over a two-hour period which in turn creates a variety of sunrise and sunset effect.
Furthermore, it comes with a new and simple to use 3-channel timer which allows independent control of the LED’s mixed color, bright white light as well as its moonlight LED thereby creating a replica of the aquarium’s natural environment. While the three designs were created to give as much light as possible, they also avoid heating the aquatic tank.
- Designed with state of the art LED technology
- Comes in three different sizes
- Feature a 3-channel timer
- Improves aquatic life
- The transition between the sunset and sunrise is not smooth
- Can be damaged by water
7. Kessil A360WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light
The Kessil A360WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light was designed with specific colors which are geared towards blending and maximum coral growth. In this new design, users can find the perfect light spectrum as well as a color all with one knob while the intensity of the light can be adjusted with the other knob unlike what was obtainable with its previous design.
It features external controllability along with manual controllability and a pair of ports which allows the fixture to be ruled by an external device. This control interface works with a range of 0 to 10vdc range, thereby ensuring its fits with several external controllers.
Its shimmering and beautiful effect gives your tank a natural and sunlit which rivals the MH look while its tunable spectrum which can be independently adjusted to color channels of your choice enhances coral growth and color.
It has a single light source that removes the spotlight effect and instead spreads powerful light all over a wide region. Its UV light which functions no matter the spectral point encourages coral color. The lens comes in two designs, one being maximum penetration, and the other being the maximum coverage area. It has also been designed to work with reef aquariums and is an ideal choice for those looking to buy an aquarium LED with a high-intensity light.
- Produces very bright light
- Its spectral shimmer rivals that of MH
- It has external controllability as well as a manual controllability
- It comes with different colors
- It is expensive
- Does not last so long
- It’s affected by dust
8. Aquallumination Hydra Twenty-six + HD LED Light
To round off our top eight LED Aquarium Lighting is the Aquallumination Hydra Twenty-six + HD LED Light. With this LED light, you are no longer limited to a fixed amount of power for each channel but can now adjust the power available to each color by using the HD power; this is done by borrowing power from the colors, not in use. This gives you the most vivid and colorful spectrum ever seen by your aquarium tank.
The Hydra HD series is enough to produce an inexhaustible amount of spectrum combination which fits your tank’s need no matter how exerting it may be. There is no need of purchasing an additional controller so you can use your light properly as the Hydra HD series comes with an in-built controller. You can make use of your iOS, Android, or any internet-connected device to control the Hydra HD from anywhere in the world.
Its twenty-six output LEDs of high quality which are energy efficient along with its seven independent controllable colors and the 80o color blending lenses make this product one of the best LED aquarium lightings you can ever come across. It’s sure to give you value for your money.
- It features seven independently controllable lights
- The Hydra HD can be controlled from any part of the world
- It has twenty-six LEDs which are of high quality and energy-efficient
- It is durable
- The lights don’t match the color spectrum
How to Setup LED Aquarium Lights?
The ease or otherwise of an aquarium LED setup depends on the type of LED purchased. Your LED must be set right because a wrong setup can lead to the death of your aquatic organisms.
Since different LED lights come with varying methods of setup, having a general guideline may not work. Fortunately, manufacturers have made things easy by including a setup manual in their products. So, to set up an aquarium LED light, follow the process and diagrams that comes with the product manual. It should be up and running in no time.
FAQs on LED Aquarium Lighting
1. How long should my aquarium lights be on?
Ideally, most aquarium lights should be on for just about eight to twelve hours each day but then again, the duration depends on a number of factors such as types and number of live plants in the aquarium, the amount of ambient light always present in the room, species of fish and the algae level in the aquarium.
2. How much light does my reef tank need?
Generally, it is recommended that you use four to eight watts per gallon and that the coral reef aquarium should be no deeper than 24 inches.
3. Should I turn LED Aquarium Light off at night?
It is your choice to turn off your aquarium light anytime you wish just as long as they are on consistently for about twelve hours or off for the same duration.
4. What light color is best for an aquarium?
The best color for an aquarium is a blend of 10,000ok white light and a blue actinic light. This combination promotes photosynthesis in coral growth while also being pleasing to the eyes.
5. What type of Light Should I use for my aquarium?
In general, aquarists can use fluorescent, incandescent, or LED lights however note that fluorescent and incandescent lights produce a lot of heat which may kill the fish, so it’s best to stick with LED lights as they produce less heat.
6. Why do my fish change color when the aquarium light is on?
The fishes change color because the pigment on their skin is more pronounced and illuminated, thereby causing a color change.
Read more: FAQs about the best LED work lights.
LED aquarium lighting come in different brands, with each having their pros and cons. When it comes to selecting the best LED aquarium lighting, it’s good to put into consideration the features, size, budget, and other factors which have been discussed in this article.
Any of the products discussed above is guaranteed to produce maximum output from your aquarium as they are user-friendly, long-lasting, easy to use, and give your aquarium a breathtaking beauty not forgetting that they encourage fish and coral growth. So go ahead and make your choice, you will be satisfied with any decision made.