Interior Lighting

Best LED Aquarium Lighting

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 harnesses for your horse, they are used every day for so many different things, whether for safety or essential care and your home aquarium is no exception.

Awesome lighting for fish tanks makes all the difference to your aquarium and the health of the fish that inhabit it. These types of LED lights will also enhance any plants and corals etc that you have in your tank.

Top 5 Best LED Aquarium Lights

Choosing the best LED light for aquarium lighting is quite different from choosing one 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 tank.

Don’t worry, we are always here to help you out in finding the right LED light solution whatever your needs. Here we have the top five best fish tanks lights and not only done the aquarium lights reviews for you but have included a quick buying guide with more detail and information.

1. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED

Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light for Aquarium

The Satellite LED+ Plus is a great LED aquarium lighting solution that gives you the chance to completely change the atmosphere of your tank with effects from moonlight to cloud cover and lightning strikes at the touch of a button. This particular system is optimized fully for use in freshwater, the wireless LED fish tank light bar consists of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) +White bulbs all controlled with a handy remote.

The LEDs have a color temperature of 6500K and can produce an incredibly bright white along with the full range 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.

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You get the option of two lunar lighting modes for nighttime, along with two storm modes, that simulate cloud cover and storms along with the option of dimming the blue fish tank light and the white LEDs either separately or simultaneously. But these lights go further than the blue and white lights, this also features effects that mimic real-world aquatic conditions.

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 there is a good selection of sizes and the docking can be adjusted to fit slight variations, definitely one of the top-rated LED aquarium lights.

2. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Automated Aquarium Lights

Finnex Planted+ 24 7 CRV Aquarium LED Light

Another fully customizable fish tank LED lighting solution that will take you from the beginning of a cool sunrise to the warmth of the sun’s glow in the day and then through the starry moonlit night is this Finnex model.

With a 7000 Kelvin multi-color blend designed for the plants, this is definitely down as some of the best LED aquarium lighting for plants that are on our LED aquarium light review list. Most lights are placed on top with brackets but this option actually has mounting legs made of a clear material and are adjustable to the size of your tank.

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Monitor and control the settings using the wireless remote control that connects through the infrared sensor, along with being able to switch between 4 different personalized and saved settings of your preference.

The LED lights emit 4 different colors, red, green, blue (often just referred to by RGB), and 7000-kelvin white, each is dimmable which allows for the creation of your own preferred settings.

3. BeamsWork EA Timer LED Aquarium Lights

BeamsWork EA Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Fish Tank Light

Next on our LED aquarium lighting review list is another great option you need to consider if you are looking for the best fish tank lights on the market and is this great fixture from BeamsWork. What do we love about this lighting solution?

Well, it’s made with 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, the highlighted model is the 48-inch one. The lights are divided into 45 x 6500K white lights and 9 actinic lights.

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

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 with features.

Sometimes you just want a lighting solution for your aquarium that is simple, but effective. This unit will brighten even the gloomiest and dullest looking tank, and is more than capable of doing the job it was designed to perform. It comes prewired for the Beamswork timer module, but please note that it is not supplied.

4. Mingdak LED Aquarium Lighting

MingDak LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Submersible LED Aquarium Light

Now for something different, with this budget-friendly, plain and simple underwater light. This awesome little tank light from Mingdak, who has 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. As well as illuminating the tank itself and provide attractive lighting, it also helps to bring out the colors and can help with the daylight requirements for your aquatic plants and corals.

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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, it does extremely well and is a great investment if you don’t want the fuss of complicated settings.

5. Koval Colorful Full-Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish LED Tank Light Hood with Extendable Brackets

Koval has come in with a new and improved model with full-spectrum of 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, just use the extendable brackets to hang it over the aquarium and plug it in, although there are two different sizes for handling both small and large tanks.

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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 salt and freshwater plants. This is something to look out for when choosing the right light.

LED Aquarium Lighting Guide

When looking around for the right aquarium lighting, there are a few things you need to know beforehand. These are what kinds of species 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 for LED lighting aquariums.

Match the Light to the Plants

Match the Aquarium Light to the Plants

The type of plant in your aquarium is a key factor in deciding what kind of lighting is most suitable. There is a difference in lighting requirements between salt and freshwater plants and 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. For a coral reef aquarium, you will need to switch to halides or LED’s if the tank has fluorescent lighting fitted for the health and growth of the coral.

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 the health of aquatic plants as 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.

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

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 and depth 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 you do not shock anything with 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.

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 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 LEDs being extremely cheap, you probably won’t even notice the few dollars on your bill each month

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

Here’s a recap of our three best selling LED aquarium light picks;

OUR #1 PICK
Current USA Satellite LED Fish Tank Light

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

Check Amazon →
Read our review
FULLY AUTOMATED
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED

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

Check Amazon →
Read our review
FULL SPECTRUM
Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light Hood

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

Check Amazon →
Read our review

Frequently Asked Questions

We all love our aquariums and once you have all the fixtures sorted out and set up, such as the filters and heat source, along with all the fish type foods, plants, and of course the fish all that is left to do is find the right lights for the plants to thrive and give the plant growth that you would like.

Not only do fish tanks with lights look absolutely wonderful, but an aquarium plant light will also ensure that everything survives and stays in top condition whether the tank is saltwater or freshwater. Below we will answer some of the questions that we are often asked about fish tank light bulbs.

What is the best LED aquarium lighting?

When you are considering what is the best LED aquarium lighting there are a few things to take into consideration, but the main thing is to know the size, including the depth, of your tank, and ensure that you know the brightness of the fish tank bulbs that are required for the correct amount of light.

This will of course also be affected by the type of fish and plants that you wish to keep in your tank, just like the various foods that you feed with there are various lighting conditions that different species may require for your tank to thrive.

Is LED light good for fish tanks?

LED lights are good for fish tanks because they are very long-lasting, do not emit heat that can affect the temperature of the tank along with the fact that LED aquarium light bulbs are extremely energy efficient.

They also help the plant life to thrive and with all the different brands and types of aquarium light bulbs that are available there is an option to suit everyone. Having a good lighting source will also make your aquarium wonderful to sit and watch and a beautiful feature for your interior design.

Do LED lights cause more algae in an aquarium?

There is nothing to say that LED lights cause more algae in an aquarium than any other type of light source, in fact, some keen fish hobbyists tend to think the opposite.

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