Top 10 Best LED Light For Planted Aquarium 2021

Aquarium led LightTo new aquarium owners, a fish tank would not be complete without corals and plants on it. Along with it, you need an LED light to provide proper lighting essential. If your aquarium lacks enough lighting, the plants will not be able to have the energy they need to live and thrive inside the fish tank.

Choosing the best-LED light for a planted aquarium is not as easy as you think it is. There are lots of options. So, to help you find the right product for your aquarium, we have reviewed some of the LED lights that you can consider buying.

In the latter part of the article, you will learn more about the planted aquarium lighting — everything you need to know when buying the LED lights. At the end of the post, we will recommend the product we think possesses the best features.

 

LED Light for Planted Aquarium Reviews


1. Hygger Full Spectrum Aquarium Light

If you are looking for a high-quality full-spectrum LED aquarium light, the Hygger is the brand you can trust. It has extendable mounting brackets that are made for aquariums that measure 12-52 inches.

The brand uses 5730 LED lights to provide brighter and energy-saving light that will make the aquarium looks sparkling clean. The lights brighten the red and green plants under the water, which makes it even more attractive.

The lights come with two metal and two plastic mounting brackets, which can be extended easily. You can install the lights easily on any aquarium tanks, with cover or no, with rimless or with rims.

You can adjust the light brightness from 10% to 100% based on the lighting needs of the plants. If you control it externally, set the light easily within 3, 6, or 12 hours.

Things We Liked

  • Durable aquarium light
  • Adjustable brackets
  • Brightness and timing
  • Three LED light color modes
  • Equipped with timer

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Poor quality power supply

 

2. AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light

To provide your aquarium an extraordinary look, this Aquaneat LED aquarium light full spectrum light is a good product. It features a total of 42 LEDs that consists of 30 pcs white LED, six pcs of the blue LED, pink LED 3 pcs, and 3 pcs green LED.

It can fit the aquarium tank that measures 18 to 24 inches in length and with mounting brackets that you can adjust easily. The lights do not require a replacement fast since it will last longer. The mode is an all light on and off. At day the aquarium benefits from white lights, and at night mode, all the lights enhance the look of the aquarium.

Aquaneat LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum has super bright and energy-saver LEDs, best for all freshwater fish tank. You have to keep in mind that the light should be far from the splashing water.

Things We Liked

  • With adjustable brackets for easy mounting
  • Best for freshwater fish tank
  • Enhances the look of your aquarium
  • Energy-efficient LEDs
  • Has a super bright LED

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Bright but a bit flimsy

 

3. NICREW SKYLED Aquarium Light Planted Tanks

The NICREW SKYLED Fish Tank Light is ultra-thin that is easy to mount and with a sleek look on any aquarium. It is known as one of the affordable planted tank LED lights that perform well in low light plants.

It has bright white LEDs that are equal to 6500K illumination. At night time it has blue moonlight glow. The brand fits different sizes of aquariums such as 10, 15, 20 extra high with 26 bow front, 20 high, 16 bow front, and 30 extra high.

NICREW SKYLED illuminates the aquarium beautifully, providing a clean, crisp, and shining light. It is available in different sizes to make sure it will fit most of the aquariums. They are designed to improve further the look of the fish tank recommended for freshwater fish.

This brand provides full-spectrum light that supports the healthy growth of aquatic plants and fish as it illuminates the entire tank brightly. It features a lightweight aluminum alloy shell for incredible durability. NICREW SKYLED is available in four sizes and includes extendable brackets on both ends to support different tank sizes.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Budget-friendly but provides excellent value for money
  • With simple design but very functional
  • Has adjustable mounting brackets

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The product is not water-resistant
  • Does not have a built-in automated timer

 

4. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Light for Aquarium

Current USA Satellite Freshwater is a budget-friendly LED light with a combination of 445Nm blue and 6500K white LEDs. It is available in four sizes 17, 23, 35, and 47 inches.

The LED light also features adjustable mounting brackets to adjust it easily to fit your tank. Easy to install, it only takes you a few minutes to complete it. Adjust the mounting brackets to fit it on top of the tank, and you are done.

Current USA LED light is equipped with a wired remote that allows you to turn the light on and off and even dim the blue or white LEDs independently. There are different modes that you can choose from like storm effects with lightning, evening modes, and cloudy day.

The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure that the consumers are satisfied with it.

Things We Liked

  • It is easy to use
  • Installing will take a few minutes
  • Lighting modes that mimic nature
  • Good value for the money

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Missing green and red spectrum lights
  • Without a built-in timer

 

5. S SMIFUL LED Aquarium Light

S SMIFUL LED has 15 RGB LED lights that are controlled by wireless remote. It comes with 16 color four modes and can make your fish tank very colorful. This LED light is used in cisterns, pet cages, fish tanks, rockeries, and others. Your tank will appear like part of the oceans with its bright LED bar. You can see the fishes and reptiles swimming and moving around.

It has two buttons – the rise and down found at the left-top of the controller to adjust the brightness of the light. You can also choose the right mode fade, smooth, strobe, or flash, then press the brightness to button down or up to change the speed color.

This equipment is waterproof. You can place it underwater or out of the water, whichever will fit you. But make sure that the switch, remote, and power adapter are not submerged in the water. Attaching the light bar to the fish tank is easy with two suction cups. You can position the item at the bottom of the fish tank or anywhere you want to place it, to enhance the look of your fish tank.

Things We Liked

  • Energy-efficient and safe
  • Four different modes to choose from
  • Easy to install and use
  • Waterproof

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not as durable as other brands

 

6. Aqueon Aquarium Clip-On LED Light

Easy to use and affordable options in adding LED light in any aquarium. Aqueon Aquarium has elegant thin clip-on LED lights that can be adjusted over the fish tank that provides better lighting for a bright environment for your fishes.

The lights are easy to mount on framed or frameless fish tanks with using the functional mounting screw. It is also equipped with three-way soft-touch control. You will be impressed with the 60 bright LEDs that help in growing the aquatic plants—recommended for planted fish tanks up to 20 gallons.

Things We Liked

  • Help aquatic plants grow
  • Can be mounted both on frameless and framed fish tanks
  • With three-way soft-touch control
  • Recommended for planted fish tanks up to 20 gallons
  • Offers the best lighting for a better and brighter aquarium

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The lights may tend to become very hot.

 

7. Phlizon 165W Dimmable Full Spectrum LED Light for Fish Tank

This full-spectrum LED light for aquarium includes ultraviolet light with purple, red, green, and white color. The blue UV light is designed to protect the plant’s mechanism. The purple light is used to protect and sterilize fish growth. For coral reef growth, the red and white light is vital. These lights are well-matched to make the aquarium attractive and healthy.

Phlizon 165W Dimmable unique design is different from the other LED lights. The main difference is that the lights are focused on the healthy growth of aquatic plants like the coral algae and the moss. Lights promote photosynthesis to boost the oxygen level in the water, so the fish will have the needed oxygen to survive. It is recommended for both seawater and freshwater plants.

The double dimmer model is used in setting the lights to adapt easily to your fish and aquatic plants to the new light. The dimmer feature can be used night and day. It works for two separate channels that help adjust the brightness individually.

Things We Liked

  • Each LED has a specific purpose of keeping the fish and aquatic plants alive
  • The light helps promote photosynthesis to boost the oxygen level
  • Helps the fish and plants adapt easily to light
  • One-year warranty with 30-days money-back guarantee
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Single power supply

 

8. ECtENX LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light

This classic fish tank light has a stable ultra-thin feature. Because of this, it provides an impressive, elegant look. Also, the aquarium light is easy to adjust, which makes it perfect for any scenario. Ideal for fish tanks up to 5.5 gallons.

You don’t have to worry about your power bills as it consumes less energy plus low heat output best for various tasks and saves a lot of energy. It also features two working modes that include the blue plus white light and the blue light only. Because of this, you can easily improve the coral’s color or fish. Lovely stunning light effects night and day.

Your aquarium will surely impart a stunning natural view with 15 white and three blue lights. The brackets are secured easily to the glass aquarium, which makes it stable.

Things We Liked

  • Consume less energy
  • Provides a stunning natural view
  • Very stable
  • Works in two-mode
  • Elegant looking

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The wall plug is too big.

 

9. BeamsWork EA Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Fish Tank Light

Beamswork EA Full Spectrum LED light has a sleek and modern design that provides a neat and fresh look. The light will not ruin the meticulous design of your aquarium. It includes multiple different size lights with the smallest being 18 inches in length, and the biggest is at 72 inches.

To provide better lighting for your aquarium, it is quite wide, with about 5.2 inches in width.  The light provides the illumination the aquarium needs to live healthily and help the aquatic plants grow beautifully. Beamswork EA mimics the natural sunlight that brings a full spectrum of light waves.

LED lights are 90% more energy-efficient than fluorescent bulbs. Also, the lifespan of the Beamswork EA Full Spectrum is much longer. Thus you don’t need to change the bulb often. The light has two modes of operation – moonlight and daylight mode. The light is at full power and spectrum when it is on daylight mode.

Things We Liked

  • Energy-efficient light
  • With timer options
  • Lighting helps the aquatic plants and fishes to live healthier
  • Priced reasonably
  • With moonlight and daylight lighting modes

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The adapter can become very hot
  • Lights flicker while in use

 

10. Lominie LED Aquarium Light

The Lominie LED Aquarium light uses an aluminum cold forging sink cooling system in extending the lifespan of the LEDs. After being on for some time, the casing tends to become hot. However, the temperature remains within the tolerable range. It has a manual dimmer to switch the dim light to bright. Its rustproof gooseneck is adjustable up to 360 degrees.

Lominie COB LED offers an equally-distributed illumination, energy-efficient, efficient penetrability, and slim structure to produce impressive illumination effects for planted fish tanks. Durable construction that measures 2.7 inches in diameter, ideal for 8 inches to 18 inches long tank.

The primary role of this fish tank lighting is to enable the hobbyists to observe aquarium inhabitants. But more essential is that this freshwater aquarium LED light provides the energy needed for photosynthesis of the plants as well as the tropical fishes. Properly installed aquarium lighting is vital for any aquarium that contains photosynthetic organisms.

Things We Liked

  • Extended cable with 1.5M in length
  • Rustproof gooseneck clamp for flexibility
  • Manual dimmer switch
  • Reliable heat regulation
  • 6500K white lights is an excellent growth stimulant

Things We Didn’t Like

  • As compared to others, it has a lower warranty
  • It does not come with a remote

 

Factors You Need to Consider When Choosing LED Light

We have discussed in details the factors you need to consider in choosing your LEDs:

Timer

One of the essential features you should check out when buying your LED lighting system. A timer enables you to maintain consistent lighting for your fish tank. The timer helps you to have a constant photoperiod to have healthy corals in your aquarium. You might think that you can handle controlling the light without a timer to save some money. But if you forget to turn it off even once, it could be a disaster. It will take you longer to fix the mistake. The timer is essential, so don’t ignore its purpose. Whether it is built-in or you buy it separately, you need one.

Light Spectrum

The light spectrum is an essential factor when choosing the right type of LED light for a planted aquarium. It is needed for the proper growth of the aquatic plants. An ideal light spectrum includes as many colors as possible. This will ensure that the plants will get the light needed to complete the photosynthesis process.

Control Features and Modes

One of the features you need to check out before buying is the modes. Some models have lights that can mimic the sunset, nighttime, and the sunrise. With these modes available, you can easily switch them so the aquarium plants will not just the light needed, but it also makes the tank look great.

Choose the one that is easy to control. Don’t pick the one with complicated controls that is hard to handle. Getting the right combination of light for your planted tank makes it hard for you.

Ease of Installation

It is always important to consider the ease of installation. You may have some trouble installing the fish tank light if you purchase the one with hard to follow installation instructions. It’s a must that you buy a model with easy to follow steps. If you can, choose the one with an adjustable frame and legs so it will fit on the tank perfectly.

Check the user’s reviews and read what they are saying about the model before buying it. Thru these reviews, you can assess whether the model is easy to install or not.

LEDs Durability

Of course, you don’t want a model that does not provide consistent performance in the long run. Make sure that the model you pick is very durable. The materials used in making the unit should be of premium-quality and with the best type of LEDs to keep the plants live longer. Some LEDs might function well at first, but may wear out later on and may burn out.

Better Ventilation and Splash Guard

Ventilation is yet another essential factor you need to keep in mind. The LEDs can produce the heat that will build up over time, so the light should be able to distribute the heat efficiently. The LED lights should not get in contact with the water. A splash guard will help keep the water away. It is best to check different models first to determine which one possesses such a feature.

Kelvin Rating

The right rating in terms of Lumen or Kelvin should be considered. Kelvin is the measurement of the different outputs of the LED lights in terms of color temperature and overall visible light. The majority of the planted aquariums have the light operating at 6500K to 7000K ideal to keep the aquatic plants grow healthy. It helps the unit work efficiently and provide a natural light source.

 

Reasons Why LEDs Are Used for Planted Aquariums

There are lots of options available for you when it comes to planted aquarium lighting. You might be wondering why LEDs. It’s because they are more superior as compared to other types of lights. Here are some of the reasons why:

Ease of Use

LED lights are easy to install and set up. T5 and metal halide fixtures required constant adjustments and tinkering. While LEDs are set and forget. Once you plug them, you can leave it there.

Lifespan

LED light fixture’s lifespan could last for five to seven years, sometimes even more.

Temperature

In the past, metal halide, PC, and T5 lights were being used in the past. However, they all have similar flaws – they easily get hot. The heat the light produces can raise the water temperature and result in sudden fluctuations. LEDs do not provide the heat the mentioned lights generate. It is energy-efficient and makes your tank more stable.

Size Advantage

LED planted aquarium lights are smaller as compared to other types of fixtures. Having a smaller light means it is more streamlined.

The Plants Grow Better

The LED lights help the aquatic plants grow better. Because of LED lights, it is possible to keep high-lights plants, which are quite hard and expensive to do in the past.

 

The Ideal Size of LED Light for Fish Tank

Now that you have decided that LED lights are the best for your fish tank, you need to choose the right size. It was mentioned several times in this guide that LEDs are energy-efficient and generate less heat as compared to other bulbs. And because of this, they tend to last longer.

It is also available in various lighting styles. For instance, this type of light can cover the entire tank. You can also choose LEDs that are clumped together to serve as a spotlight for different parts of the tank.

 

Wattage Considerations

Making the fish feel comfortable is one of the purposes of adding LED lights. The water temperature can affect their eating and sleeping cycles. Wattage is the amount of energy produced by the LED. You need to make sure that the lighting is well distributed in the fish tank.

A 175 watts LED light can light a tank that is less than 22 inches deep. Therefore, if your aquarium is around 22-28 inches deep, you need to find a 250-watt LED light. If your aquarium is deeper than 28 inches, you need 400 watts LED lights.

 

Size of the Lights

The size of the light and the tank matters a lot. Many aquariums require one and three watts per gallon, and plants require up to five watts a gallon. LEDs work differently as compared to conventional lights when it comes to energy usage. Most of the time, LEDs output is up to three watts in every bulb. Thus, the more LEDs you install, the higher the wattage.

Manufacturers design LED lights with different sizes, most of the time in tank size. But, they may also contain the lumens or the wattage. Like for instance, 18 watts in LED is equal to 175 watts for traditional lights. So, 24 LEDs will provide 250 watts. But this is intended for smaller lights, like 12 inches long.

 

Night and Day

Since it’s a must that the tank should mimic nature, it needs to have some downtime. Most LED lights illuminate the tank at night with the use of blue shades. You can also find LED lights with a timer that changes the illumination automatically to copy the natural surroundings.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some of the popular questions with answers about the product:

How much LED lighting do I need for a planted tank?

Low light plants require around 60 lumens/gallon

Average light plants need 110 lumens/gallon

High-light plants need 150 lumens/gallon

Some fish tanks may require more light, depending on their type. You need to know the kind of plants you plan to have in the tank before buying the light. Manufacturers often provide the lumen rating, so you will see where you can use it.

 

How much light is needed for your aquarium plants?

It depends on the type of fish tank plants. When it comes to growing plants in your fish tank, light is the most vital factor. It’s because, for the plants to grow, they need light. Some plants need more light, and others don’t.

Keep in mind that plants that require a lot of light are more challenging to grow. There are lots of factors that you need to consider for these kinds of aquatic plants to grow. You need to consider not just light and focus on any changes in the water, pruning, and maintaining the new growth.

Too much light can also cause algae to breed. The low light plants are much easier to breed since you worry less about it.

 

How many hours should you let the lights on for planted aquarium?

This is quite important as many of the LED lights are designed with a 24-hour cycle. The aquatic plants should get light from 8 to 12 hours a day. It is somewhat similar to plants inland where they light only when the sun is up and not 24 hours. The sign that your plant is getting too much light is when there are too many algae. Change your lighting and useless light for the same amount of time, or you can shorten the amount of light the lights are left to only 8 hours.

It is best to find an LED light with a programmable or preset cycle or the one equipped with a timer. With this type of lighting, there is no need to worry if you forgot to turn off the light.

There are some exceptions. If you will be adding new plants on the tank, it is best to leave the light on a little longer than usual to give them some time to flourish and take hold. Once you see the algae is appearing, stop and return to the regular schedule. During winter, you can leave the lights on a little longer since there will be less natural light.

 

What do WPG means and how to calculate it?

WPG or watts per gallon is a way of calculating how much light your aquarium has. To calculate the WPG, divide the total number of watts to the number of gallons your tank has.

For instance, a regular 55-gallon tank has 2 18 watt bulbs a total of 36 watts. To calculate the WPG, it would be 36 divided by 55, which equals 0.65 WPG. For a 55 gallon tank, you will require around 110 watts of lighting. However, the WPG does not apply to LED lighting. It is used if you are using fluorescent lighting and US gallons.

 

Final Thoughts

LEDs have improved a lot since the time they have debuted. You can choose from a wide variety of different features. We hope this list helps you in the selection process. For our top pick, we select the Full Hygger Spectrum Planted Aquarium LED light.

Its built-in timer can give you peace of mind that your aquatic plants will have the needed light even without you monitoring it.  The timer will make maintenance much easier. The product is very durable and will surely last longer.

However, if you prefer something with more controls on it, there are lots of great options available. Focus on the length of time you leave the light on so your plants can live an algae-free environment.

For questions or if you have some ideas that you want to share, feel free to comment below.