Interior Lighting

Top 5 Best LED Aquarium Lighting

Top 5 Best LED Aquarium Lighting

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LED lights for your home seems like a given in today’s world. They are energy-efficient, long-lasting and can really turn your house into a different place. But what about LED lights for your pets? 

From LED dog collars to LED harnesses for your horse, LEDs are used every day for so many different things, whether for safety or essential care. And your aquarium is no exception.

Awesome LED lighting makes all the difference for your aquarium.

It not only creates a pretty display but also mimics the natural habitat of the aquatic plants and fish.

Choosing the best aquarium lights is quite different from choosing an LED light bulb for your living room. You need to pay closer attention to the light intensity, color temperature and how these match with the size and kinds of plants of your fish tank.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Don’t worry! Here are our 3 best LED Aquarium Lighting picks;

Current USA Satellite LED Fish Tank Light

  • 6500k White LEDs
  • Multiple Modes
  • Easy to Install
  • Realistic Effects

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Read our review
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED

  • 4 Customizable Channels
  • Multi-Color Blend
  • 24, 30, 36 Fixtures
  • Comes with Controller

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Read our review
Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light Hood

  • Extendable Brackets
  • Makes Phycophyta Vivid
  • High Efficiency
  • Full Spectrum of LEDs

Check Amazon →
Read our review

Top 5 Best LED Aquarium Lights

Don’t worry, we are always here to help you out in finding the right LED lighting.

We’ve already selected the top five best fish tank lights and included a quick buyers guide for more details.

1. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED

Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light for Aquarium

Light Colors White and RGB
Total Watts 30 Watts
Sizes Available 18 – 24”, 24 – 36”, 36 – 48”, 48 – 60”
Brightness 2000 Lumen

The Satellite LED+ Plus is a great LED aquarium lighting solution that gives you the chance to completely change the color of your fishy home at the touch of a button.

This particularly lighting system is optimized fully for use in freshwater, wireless and consists of RGB+White LEDs. All controlled by a handy remote. The LEDs have a color temperature of 6500K so produce an incredibly bright white LED along with that full spectrum of colors.

There are so many great features that this lighting system gives you including three different fade modes to provide effects like cloud cover.

Made by Current USA, a company always focused on ‘what’s next’ in the industry, who are always pushing the boundaries and producing high-tech and cutting-edge features and accessories..

You get the option of two lunar lighting modes for nighttime, along with two storm modes, providing cloud and storm cover effects and the option of dimming the blue and white LEDs separately or simultaneously.

The light comes in a very slick and robust aluminum housing and is ready to use out of the box. It doesn’t matter what size of tank you have as the docking can be adjusted to fit.

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2. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Automated Aquarium LED

Finnex Planted 24 7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED Lighting

Light Colors Blue, green, red and white
Total Watts 46
Sizes Available 20″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 46.5 – 48″
Brightness Dimmable

The Finnex Planted+ has similar features as the Current USA Orbit Marine. The difference lies in the type of placement used and light colors.

Most lights are placed on top with brackets but this Finnex Planted+ model actually has mounting legs made of a clear material. These are adjustable to how big the tank is.

Similar to the previous model, this design also has a 24-hour cycle that mimics the different stages of the sun and moon.

It also has separate settings that include different weather conditions.

You can monitor and control the settings using the wireless remote control that connects through the infrared sensor. Using the remote control you can switch between 4 different personalized and saved settings.

The LED lights emit 4 different colors, red, green, blue and 7000-kelvin white. Each of these lights is dimmable so you can create your own preferred settings.

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3. BeamsWork EA Timer LED Aquarium Light

BeamsWork EA Timer LED Aquarium Light

Light Colors White and blue
Total Watts 27 Watts
Sizes Available 18”, 24”, 30”, 36”, 48”, 72”
Brightness 2600 lumen

Another great option you need to consider if you are looking for the best fish tank lights on the market is this great fixture from BeamsWork. What do we love about this lighting solution?

Well, it’s made up of 54 little 0.5-watts LEDs that combine to produce a total brightness of 2600 lumens. That’s a great level for the size of the system, as the highlighted model is the 48-inch one. The lights are divided into 45 x 6500K white lights and 9 actinic lights.

Although it is not nearly as full of features and extras as others in this guide, it does benefit from having a timer that can be set by hours and minutes. And has two different lighting mode options – for daytime and nighttime respectively.

The LEDs are cool to the touch and are more energy-efficient than other lighting types such as fluorescent lights.

Most importantly, this lighting setup is suitable for freshwater, tetra, discus, cichlid, and all aquarium plants. Given its relatively low price, we can forgive and forget that it’s not tricked-up.

There’s also the fact that sometimes you just want a lighting solution for your aquarium that is simple, but effective. As this will brighten even the gloomiest and dullest looking tank, it is more than capable of doing the job it was designed to perform.

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4. Mingdak LED Aquarium Lighting

Mingdak LED Aquarium Lighting

Light Colors White
Wattage Options 1.5 Watts
Sizes Available 7.5”, 11”, 14.5”, 18.5”
Brightness Not specified

Now we have this awesome little tank LED light from Mingdak, who take the goal of providing high-quality products to their customers using their expertise in aquarium illuminations.

They are known for their high-performance and this is no exception. The fact that it has the Mingdak name on it, gives you the assurance that this is a worthy investment.

This light is also suitable for use in reptile tanks, turtle tanks and even ponds.

As well as illuminating the tank itself and provide attractive lighting, it also helps to bring out the colors of your fish and can help with the daylight requirements for your aquatic plants.

As it’s submersible, it makes sense that it has a high waterproof rating of IP68, thanks to its crystal glass protective layer and the plastic and rubber used in its construction. It’s designed to be easy-to-install with the strong suction cups that mean you can position and place it in just about any position possible, securely.

This is, again, another that’s not exactly brimming full of features, but what it does, i.e. light up your tank, it does extremely well and is a great investment if you don’t want the fuss of complicated settings.

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5. Koval Colorful Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

Koval Colorful Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

Light Colors White, blue, green, pink and red
Total Watts 20 watts
Number of LEDs 156
Brightness adjustable

Koval has come with a new and improved model with full-spectrum LED lights in 5 different colors: white, blue, green, pink and red. This light bar comes with a total of 156 individual light-emitting diodes.

This is another bracket light bar model so installation is very simple. Use the extendable brackets to hang it over the aquarium and plug it in with the provided electrical cable.

These lights are also very bright with a daylight light of 8000 kelvin. For comparison, cool white light is rated at 6000 kelvin.

This is a very durable model. The LEDs alone already have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours but the rest of the aquarium is made of durable aluminum material.

Another benefit of the Koval model is that the LED lights are suitable for both saltwater and freshwater plants. This is something to look out for when choosing the right light.

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LED Aquarium Lighting Guide

When looking around for the right aquarium led lighting reviews, there are a few things you need to know beforehand. These are what kinds of plants and fish you will keep in it, at what growth stage they are and the dimensions of the tank.

Below is an overview of what you need to know to make sure that you get the best aquarium lighting.

Match the Light to the Plants

The type of plants inside your aquarium are the key factor in deciding what kind of lighting is most suitable. There is a difference in lighting requirements between saltwater plants and freshwater plants but also the stage of maturity that they are in.

First, check the product details for whether the light is suitable for freshwater and or saltwater plants. This is usually related to the color spectrum.

Different Color Temperatures for LED Aquarium Lighting

It is best to choose a light that has a wide spectrum. This way, the same LED lights can cater to different sorts of plants that photosynthesize under different color temperatures and have different natural habitats.

Blue and red zones of the color spectrum are the most important for aquatic plants. These are what they use to photosynthesize.

It is also better to have a light with control for the light intensity. Especially for growing aquatic plants, the light intensity needs to increase slowly over time so that the plant has time to adjust.

Buy the Right Size

This one is also very important and a common mistake that you can easily make if you are not paying attention. Measure the dimensions of your aquarium before you place an order.

Aquarium LED Lighting Sizes

Most tank lights are placed on top of the tank using brackets. So, you need to know how long your aquarium is so that you can order the right size light.

There are also other design types where the light is not directly connected to the aquarium. Even in this case, you need to know the dimensions of the tank.

Get the Right Brightness for the Tank Size

Other than the size of the light, you also need to check the brightness. Depending on the size of your aquarium, you may need a light that is brighter with greater light intensity.

It is not just about the specific brightness value but also about how the light spreads. Perhaps the LEDs have a specific angle so that some parts of the aquarium are less lit.

Larger tanks need larger lights. However, make sure that the brightness is still dimmable so that your plants and fish are not shocked by a sudden intense light.

Do You Need Extra Lighting Features?

Some lights offer extra features like a 24-hour cycle, a memory for preferred settings or weather condition features. Though these are not essential, they do add to the experience of owning an aquarium.

Advanced Aquarium Light Settings

Extra features like this are not only beautiful to see but it is also pleasant for the fish and plants because it mimics their natural habitat. However, these extra features do come with a greater price tag so it is up to you whether you want to accommodate for this in your budget.

Simple On/Off Switch or Cycles?

A commonly asked question is how long the aquarium lights should be left on. The exact times are flexible but it is important, especially for the fish, that there are a few hours of darkness or night time lighting.

This also relates to how much electricity you want to use. Of course, a 24-hour cycle requires more electricity than a simple LED aquarium light that you switch off for a few hours at night. But with the cost of running LED lights being extremely cheap, you probably won’t even notice the few extra dollars on your bill each month

Just consider what kinds of plants you have and adjusting the lighting times to their specific needs. Each plant and fish are different. Are you looking for LED lights for your outdoor fish too? Check out our list of the best LED pond lights. 

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