Best LED Aquarium Lighting

Heather Clouse
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Not all the fish need the same types of light, for example, Yoyo loaches and Rosy barbs need lots of light but there are people who say that most of them do not need it at all.

On the other hand, most of the fish like light, but most of them need different colors of it. Just to name a few those who need lots of light: Yoyo loaches, Black Neon Tetra, Tinfoil, Albino Corydoras, Green Corydoras, Loricariids, Drosera, and lots of plants.

Anubias, Cryptocoryne, and Aponogetons like a little light, especially the ones that can grow emersed, like Wallei and Fosters. If you have, let’s say, a Black Neon that is really withdrawn from the light, and you want it to grow in full light, you will have to provide it with a lot of light.

Now, let’s talk about lighting types. Some people like Metal Halide (MH) lighting. Its light seems to be the intense blue ones. They are suited for planted tanks with plants that need lots of light, but some people say they carry a risk of algae blooms.

NameCategoryProduct
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED LightBest OverallFinnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED Light
MingDak LED Aquarium LightBudget PickMingDak LED Aquarium Light
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus LightUpgrade PickCurrent USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light

1. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED Light

Our rating: 9 / 10

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED Light

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Pros:

  • 3 W/ Gallon Coverage
  • Full spectrum white LEDs
  • Perfect light for plants
  • Eco-friendly
  • Safe for fish, corals, invertebrates, and plants
  • Reliable and sturdy

Cons:

  • Short LEDs means the light doesn’t reach the bottom of the tank
  • A little larger than other LEDs
  • The power adapter can get warm

Though the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV LED Aquarium Light is a bit more expensive than other LEDs, the investment is worth it. Even if you have a tank with a dozen or more aquariums, this one will work for them all.

If you want a plant-friendly spectrum light for your fish, this is it. I personally prefer the natural white LEDs and this one delivers a true white color.

The 24/7 coverage light provides full spectrum color, including blue and red-which mimics natural sunlight. The lights are larger than other LED lights, which is why they provide better coverage.

2. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light

Our rating: 8 / 10

Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light

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Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Naturally simulates the sunlight
  • Energy efficient
  • Perfectly bright for planted aquariums

Cons:

  • Does not include reflector
  • May be too bright for live plants; the light gets hot

Over the last several years, one question I’m often asked is what the best light is for a freshwater aquarium. While there are many factors to consider, such as water depth, plant species, and water temperature, I’m a firm believer in the promise of LED technology.

Of course, everyone is looking for a bright and vibrant tank but with naturally generated light.

The Current USA Satellite LED Plus is the best LED aquarium light for showcasing your freshwater fish. Not only is it compact but it simulates sunlight and is energy-efficient!

3. BeamsWork EA Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Fish Tank Light Freshwwater Plant Extendable Timer

Our rating: 8 / 10

BeamsWork EA Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Fish Tank Light Freshwwater Plant Extendable Timer

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Pros:

  • Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light
  • 72 Watts of a bright LED
  • Available at a variety of wattages
  • Full color spectrum
  • Light extendable for greater control
  • Easy to use pull-out cord
  • Makes it easy to see what you are doing while adding style
  • Easy to clean
  • Terrarium light
  • Extendable water timer

36W w/ 4500k.

If you want to make the most out of your aquarium and give your fish a window to the world outside your tank, consider the Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Fish Tank Light from Beamswork.

The full spectrum LED light features 72 watts of bright LED bulbs for a total of 4500k with nearly a trillion color options. The dimmable controls allow you to adjust the light to your favorite color scheme.

4. MingDak LED Aquarium Light

Our rating: 8 / 10

MingDak LED Aquarium Light

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Pros:

  • Available in different lengths up to 48 inches
  • Create a gorgeous underwater paradise

18-24inch.

Ever dreamt of having an aquarium right in your home? This is the next best thing. This LED light gives your fish tank a beautiful glow along with LED pink accents.

When you are setting it up to make sure you place it where it is level so the water can flow properly. It is not necessary to tighten it. Perfect for a 10-gallon tank, but can also be used in a larger tank as well.

5. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED

Our rating: 7 / 10

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED

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Pros:

  • Built-in timer with a 7 day programmable cycle
  • Accommodates up to 48 inches long
  • Set it and forget it
  • The controller has a bright blue LED display
  • Molded mounting bracket makes installation a breeze
  • The light changes through all of the visible colors
  • 12 built-in underwater copper prongs
  • Put your betta on display
  • Attractive appearance

Cons:

  • Accommodates only 12 inch depth
  • The controller has been known to malfunction

We have a lot of respect for the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED. The 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED boasts the ability to function in a maintenance-free way.

Aside from the programmed 7-day cycle, customers think this is a solid product for the money. Customers also have great things to say about the 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED timer.

The unit is super easy to install. Some customers did have a little trouble figuring out the programming cycle but found it easy once they read the instructions.

6. Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light Hood

Our rating: 6 / 10

Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light Hood

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Pros:

  • Nearly 4-star rating on Amazon
  • Compact and easy to install
  • Includes 24-hour timer
  • Comes in white and blue LEDs
  • Includes 35+ inch extendable trough fit for most tanks
  • Energy efficient

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a power adapter
  • Reportedly flimsy trough
  • Your fish may show extreme aggression

Koral Aquarium Lighting… does exactly what it says it does. Good LED aquarium lights for fish tanks are tough to find.

As many experienced fish lovers know, tanks come with a variety of lights and can be confusing to set up and somewhat of a pain to maintain over time.

The Koral brand aquarium lighting comes with what you need and nothing you don’t. You don’t need to worry about whether it’s compatible with your existing equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best LED aquarium lighting?

There are so many aquarium lights on the market that it can be hard to choose. In our opinion, the best LED lights are the SeaLife SunRay. They literally carry the SeaLife brand, and they are stiff competition in the aquarium light segment. We don't know of any other LED lights on the market that carry such a reputable name.

In terms of specs, the SeaLife SunRay comes with warm to cool white light, which is easy on the eyes for viewing while preserving the natural look of your fish. They emit a nominal of 10 watts. The LifeSun also has lower light modes that simulate dusk, dawn, and nighttime that make it a great choice for those species that require different feeding, activity, or rest times to various natural light patterns.

These lights also have a built-in heater, which is a main drawback of many LED lights. Keeping your tank warm is especially important for fish, because they need stable temperatures for a healthy life.

Is LED light good for fish tanks?

Great question, and the simple answer is yes. LEDs are very energy efficient, which means they not only run cooler than traditional fluorescent lights but also save you money on your electric bill. I like to use cool white and red lights during the day and then put my tank in Stygian mode at night.

LEDs are also known to generate less light pollution in your home than traditional lighting. The last thing you want to do is blast your aquariums with bright light that can interfere with terrestrial plants and animals. Not to mention, it’s not a great thing to view your aquarium under those florescent lights anyway.

What color light is best for fish tank?

I spoke to a marine biologist that told me that, fundamentally, the wavelength of light that is most essential for live plants and fish is red. But blue is also necessary. Plus, almost all fish, turtles, and plants seem to thrive with other colors of light added to the spectrum.

What is the best LED light company?

There are many manufacturers out there that have developed LED lights for aquariums. I would say they are all just as good as each other. They all tend to make affordable products that do not break the bank. So you have a lot of options in basic light fixtures and accessories that would work well for any tank.

It’s easy to get carried away with the frills and other accessories that aquariums and their accessories can have. I would recommend focusing on the basics before going overboard. I like LED lights because they are affordable, sustainable, and immersive.

Conclusion

LED is king when it comes to aquarium lighting. The best LEDs are full-spectrum, can be dimmed, and are energy efficient. Some LEDs offer great power, but aren’t dim-able. Still others offer full spectrum but require a large fixture.

The LED Aquarium Light Guide will help you understand which LED is best for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED LightBest OverallFinnex Planted+ 24/7 CRV Aquarium LED Light
MingDak LED Aquarium LightBudget PickMingDak LED Aquarium Light
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus LightUpgrade PickCurrent USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light