Even if the light isn’t fundamental for an aquarium, it’s almost unusual to see one without any light. And since LED lights are both functional and appealing, it makes perfect sense why LED aquarium lights come in such variety.
Just like with everything else related to your aquarium, you cannot just go ahead and buy some LED lights, hoping that they’ll work. You need to put some effort into the selection process. After all, you want the LED light to benefit your livestock, plants, or corals, without disappointing on the appearance. Not quite the easiest choice, right?
Page Table of Contents
- TOP 7 Best Led Aquarium Lights
- What to consider when choosing the LED aquarium lights?
- FAQs on LED aquarium lights
TOP 7 Best Led Aquarium Lights
1. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light
Just because you’re going shopping on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you should go back empty-handed. The NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light with Extendable Brackets (24in), is the example of dependable and performant LED aquarium lights for a very low price.
As a matter of fact, the light fixture will make the perfect addition to many aquariums. It features bright, energy effective, and durable LEDs that lead to a soft shimmer to your aquarium. The metal brackets are easy to adjust, fitting aquariums ranging from 18 to 24in.
The light fixture doesn’t disappoint on adjustability either, and you can choose one from the two lighting modes. You may set the blue LEDs for a nightlight, or with white and blue LEDs during the day. The two lighting modes can create a soothing atmosphere in any tank.
It’s a low voltage light fixture, which makes it really safe for use. For best results and energy efficiency, you shouldn’t use it for more than 8-10 hours. You may confidently mount it over a glass aquarium cover or panel.
It’s a great light fixture for low-light plants, and you shouldn’t skip when shopping on a budget.
Let’s give them good things a second look:
- It includes durable and bright LEDs
- You may choose between two lighting modes
- It features adjustable metal brackets
- It’s safe for fish and great for low-light plants
The downsides aren’t significant:
- The led cover is a tad loose
- The design could use some improvement
A penny saved is a penny earned, and the LED light fixture is a keeper for anyone looking for a first option without making a splurge.
2. Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank
Don’t let the affordable price of Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light mislead you, as the LED light fixture comes with many great features and impressed with its value.
You may enjoy the bright LEDs with five different colors (red, pink, white, blue, and green), which ensure a full spectrum. It’s really lovely to use for phycophyta. The LEDs are high quality and take the use for at least 50,000hrs. Should one of the LEDs not work, none of the other LEDs are going to be affected. The LED light fixture stands out with low energy dissipation and high efficiency.
Anyone looking for algae to grow more luxuriant or trying to make the aquatic plants have a more vivid color should give it a try with the light fixture.
The extendable bracket turns the light fixture into a versatile model, fitting aquariums of all sorts of sizes.
The adjustability isn’t skipped, and you can choose one from the three control modes: All LEDs on, only Blue Leds, or close.
The metal housing has a durability feel to it, and the light fixture is lightweight.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- It includes five different colors for the LEDs
- It’s high quality for the LEDs
- It comes with an extendable bracket
- You can use three modes
The cons aren’t significant at all:
- Some doubt its durability
- Make sure that you don’t drop it in the aquarium since it’s not sealed
The goods outweigh the bad, and the LED light fixture is an excellent choice for many aquariums, especially considering the price.
3. Current USA-Aquarium LED Light
In all fairness, the Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light doesn’t even need a description due to its high popularity amongst aquarists.
The light feature comes with a new Orbit Marine LED, which is ultra-bright and makes the colors of fish and corals look amazing. It’s in the LOOP, so it provides both light and pumps control. Besides, the Orbit Marine leads to the endless number of the color spectrum. The high ratio of actinic blue spectrum LEDs balanced with the whole range create a mesmerizing color combo for inverts, fish, corals to fluorescence. The lenses have a wide-angle dispersion, spreading the light evenly over the aquarium.
You may select from several modes, with evening modes, lunar, and dusk being the most impressive ones. The Orbit Marin mimics perfectly the effects of sunrise, daylight, but also sunset and moonlight. You can even set a 24-hour natural biorhythmic lighting cycle, with on-demand dynamic weather results.
The extendable brackets ease out the installation, and the LED light fixture is a reliable option for aquariums from 18-24 in full.
Let’s not forget to highlight that the light fixture includes wave pump control, so you may easily link a Wave Pump HUB and add three eFlux wave pumps.
It’s difficult only to list the best parts, but we’ve tried our best for a list of pros:
- The light fixture includes ultra-bright Orbit Marine LED
- It comes with light and pumps control
- It creates an endless number of color spectrums
- It has adjustable tank mount brackets and mimics natural effects
The shortcomings are no reason to change your mind:
- Some find it tricky to program
- The remote may have inconsistent performance
Regardless of the minor flaws, the light fixture is one of the best models to use for your aquarium on any given day.
4. Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture
Feature-rich and dependable, the Aquatic Life LED Aquarium Light Fixture comes with six colors of LEDs, creating a complete spectrum of light for your marine aquarium.
The list of great features may very well begin with the three-channel timer with backup control for the white LEDs, blue moonlight, and mixed color LEDs independently. You may program the LEDs to turn on/off slowly after some time, leading to a natural sunrise and sunset effect. The light fixture comes with built-in Moonlights, which create a shimmering effect inside the aquarium. Here are the colors to enjoy on this light fixture: white, blue 454nm, blue 440nm, red, violet 400nm, and violet 420nm. There is up t0 120-degree dispersion for the colors.
Many will also enjoy the sleek and low profile of the light fixture, which is made to create beautiful lighting without standing out with its profile.
The light fixture addresses the modern aquarist that goes for the apps and remote control. This one has Wi-Fi Edge 4-Channel built-in timer that you may easily control through the Smartphone app.
The LED light fixture uses low power, and the acrylic bottom cover lens eliminates the risk of condensation.
We like a lot the following aspects:
- It features three channel times with backup control
- There are six colors to choose from and to control separately
- It features Wi-Fi Edge 4 Channel timer for power through the Smartphone app
- It creates impressive light effects in your marine aquarium
The pet peeves shouldn’t stress you at all:
- It may not be bright enough for corals
- The quality of the build could be improved
All things considered, the light fixture is a smart option for the gadget frenzy aquarist that handles a marine aquarium in modern ways.
5. DSunY 3X LED Aquarium Light
The DSunY 3X LED Aquarium Light 360W Saltwater Lamp is designed to imitate the natural sun for LPS SPS reef coral and marine fish.
For just one price, you get three full-spectrum panels and one smart controller. The beam angle for the lenses is 120-degrees, and the LEDs are supposed to take the use for 50,000-80,000 hours.
The light fixture features a smart PWM fan that runs quietly at night mode. There are 40 pieces of LEDs for every panel. Thanks to the unique design of the lens, the light fixture is 30% higher efficiency.
You may go with one of the preset modes: fast growth/ slow acclimation/vivid color/4 season cycle/coral fragging/sunset/sunrise. There are eight-point timers with auto ramps. Don’t hesitate to play a bit more with one of the additional modes: storm, cloudy, lunar, or moon off.
The build is excellent, and the cord is waterproof, for safe use. You may use the panels for aquariums ranging from 48-60″. Every set comes with one controller and one end panel, but you cannot connect two sets.
Should you ever run into a problem, the customer service is fantastic and happy to help.
Let’s give the ethical aspects another look:
- You get three full-spectrum panels and one controller
- The light fixture is highly effective
- There are preset modes to choose from
- The build is rugged, and the cord is waterproof
We’re not changing our mind over some minor pet peeves:
- The English in the manual isn’t great
- The power supply should be better quality
On the off chance, you still don’t know which LED aquarium light to use, and this one is a great option to check.
6. AquaIllumination Hydra FiftyTwo+HD LED Light
There are many positive aspects to note about AquaIllumination Hydra FiftyTwo +HD LED Light, Black, and the 52 energy efficient high output LEDs may be the selling point.
The customization and versatility are also on that list, which counts so much for an aquarist. The 80-degree color blending lenses are bright and reliable for quite some time.
The light fixture is made with HD technology so that you may obtain the spectrum you want. In the era where everything has to be controlled with an app, this one doesn’t disappoint at all. It presents AiFi wireless connection, and you can use it with MyAI app. Basically, you can control the light no matter how far you are from home. The app works very well with Android and IOS, or another internet-connected device. The wireless function also allows you to connect the different units, running more than one module. The built-in controller is a great feature and eliminates the need for a controller.
When it comes to colors, we have to highlight that the light fixture will create endless spectral combinations. The corals will look amazing when using the light fixture.
As for the install, you should know that the light fixture comes with a hanging kit for a straightforward mount.
Let’s take a look at the best parts:
- It includes 52 high-output LEDs
- The spectrum is incredible
- You can control it with an app
- The colors can be set individually
We’re not shocked by the downsides since they’re minor:
- The power cord is a tad heavy, so you need to take care when mounting it
- The warranty isn’t amazing
Dust for prints, the light fixture is a wise investment to make for your aquarium, especially if you have corals that you want to thrive.
7. Kessil LED Aquarium Light
You cannot call yourself a dedicated aquarist unless you’re willing to pay the extra buck for some LED aquarium lights. Joke aside, the Kessil LED Aquarium Light doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every single penny, nevertheless.
Many are going to be attracted by the built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to use it with an iPad app, but the truth is that the light fixture is a lot more than that.
For instance, the Hybrid Optics come from the newest generation of Dense Matrix LED arrays, creating the effect of Metal Halide T5 combo. It also ensures up to 48” of coverage. You don’t know, but the light fixture was designed and tested for providing the best spectrum at all times, helping the corals grow.
The LED channels are independently adjustable, so you may select the color you want every time. Moreover, the Kessil Logic sustains consistent coral growth across the tunable spectrum. The light fixture has weather effects, lunar cycles, and acclimation mode, ticking most boxes within the category. The shimmer is fantastic too.
It’s easy to set up the light fixture. It comes with a canopy kit, but you can also use the mounting arm or the hanging kit- whatever works better for your aquarium.
The housing is appealing, and the fan runs quietly. What’s not to like about it?
We should highlight the best parts:
- It has built-in Wi-Fi and iPad app
- You may set the LED channels independently
- It creates the best spectrum for coral coloration and growth
- It allows various mounts
Bells and whistles aside, here’s what we like less:
- The connection to the Wi-Fi may take a while
- It’s not cheap
Wrapping it all up, we can honestly say that the light fixture will take the aquarium lighting to the next level, and the only thing stopping you may be the price.
What to consider when choosing the LED aquarium lights?
Selecting LED light for your aquarium isn’t easy, as the lights can be crucial for your livestock or aquatic plants.
With the impressive variety of models on the market, it makes perfect sense that you know a thing or two about LED aquarium lights before buying.
Here are the most important factors to check before placing your order:
- Size of aquarium
It’s the very first thing, to begin with when buying LED aquarium light. Most manufacturers provide ratings for the lights so that you know where to use them efficiently. Some LED lights are perfect for a small tank, whereas others can be ideal for large aquariums.
- The marine life of your aquarium
You don’t need to be the most experienced aquarist to know that LED light can help or alter the livestock or plants you have in your aquarium. The coral life is as important as the size of the aquarium. When the corals are still growing, you have to give the LED light a unique piece of attention.
All reputed manufacturers will describe the light intensity for different kinds of aquarium fish and the phases of coral’s growth that they’re suitable for.
We live in modern times, where everything is digitally controlled with an app from your phone. You should be able to control the LED lights, and remote control is ideal. You don’t want to go to your aquarium to change the lighting too often.
Bear in mind that some LED light fixtures may be easy to control, whereas others can be quite tricky to set.
- Light penetration
The light penetration is essential for the animals and other marine life in the aquarium. It counts, especially when you have a deep aquarium, which needs excellent penetration of the LED lights.
- The LED color temperature
Every time the light passes through the water, the colors of low wavelength gets absorbed on the surface. It’s why most deep waters are blue.
- Spread and lighting effects
The spread matters since it lets you check the inside of the aquarium effortless. The spread of LED light depends on the kind of lenses and a reflector.
You should also give the lighting effects a thought since they can help your aquarium be spectacular. Various designs create more impressive dramatic results, and manufacturers sure to provide you with plenty of options to try.
- Updating options
Thanks to modern technology, you may very well do the updates on your own. Making the upgrades yourself is even cheaper and spares you of the problem of future spending.
Some LED lights come with updating possibilities, and you only have to swap out the current lights with the latest editions. Otherwise, you have to go through the selection process all over again.
- The lifespan of the lights
One of the main benefits of LED lights is that they’re more durable than traditional bulbs. However, the lifespan ranges from one manufacturer to another. A respected manufacturer displays the expected lifespan of the lights, so you should check several manufacturers before deciding.
- Quality of the build
The overall value and quality of the construction will tell you about your investment. The more you’re willing to pay, the more you should expect in terms of the durability of the build. The outer cover has to be hard, whereas the lenses should work for a long time with a low risk of blowing. Some LED lights are waterproof, and others are made for freshwater or saltwater. Regardless of the type of aquarium, you should always go for LED lights with a hard outer so that they can make a splash.
- One fair conclusion
Selecting the LED aquarium lights is just another matter to address if you want your marine life to thrive and look fantastic. At the end of the day, it’s all about how dedicated you are as an aquarist, no matter the size of your wallet.
FAQs on LED aquarium lights
Q: What are the benefits of LED aquarium lighting?
A: Lighting is essential for a planted or reef aquarium, and LEDs are the most powerful option to consider. They ensure intense light, which is ideal for corals and plants, especially corals and plants from African lakes or tropical reefs. A brighter light speeds up the growth of photosynthetic life too. In addition, LED lights have a lower energy consumption, saving you on the energy bill. On top of everything else, they last long, eliminating the need for replacing sooner than 30,000-50,000hours.
Q: What are the downsides of LED aquarium lights?
A: Even if LED aquarium lights are high from so many points of view, they also come with several pet peeves. They’re not deal-breakers, but you may want to give them a look so that you have the whole picture. LED lights aren’t cheap, and they can be quite expensive to replace. Moreover, not all aquariums come ready for LED lights. Also, keep in mind that LED lights will only give low to medium lighting.
Q: Is it challenging to install LED aquarium lights?
A: Many aquariums come with built-in lights, but it’s almost never LEDs. You have to buy and install them externally afterward. The majority of LED lighting comes with fittings that permit attachment to the lid or the aquarium’s walls. Nine times out of ten, it’s going to be a breeze mounting the LED aquarium lights.
Q: Do LED aquarium lights have to be submersible?
A: It goes without saying that not all LED aquarium lights are submersible. Should you need to place the LED lights inside your aquarium, you need to look for the models specially made for it. However, you want your LED aquariums lights to have a hard outer case that can take a splash any now and then. Waterproofness is essential only if you’re going to place them inside the aquarium.
Q: Can you use LED aquarium lights for all aquatic plants?
A: The simple answer would be “yes,” but there’s a twist. Different aquatic plants need different levels of light. And LED lights can provide various levels of light. Don’t forget that you also need to consider the aquarium’s size, the biomass, the PAR, and so on. Long story short, you may use LED lights for your planted aquarium, but you need to do your bits and bobs before buying.