Best Light Spectrum for Coral Growth – What You Need to Know

Best Light Spectrum for Coral GrowthIf you are an aquarium owner, you might be looking for ways to produce the perfect environment to help the coral grow. Aquarium enthusiasts don’t mind spending a lot of time and money on the essential tools and accessories the fish tank should.

The type of light you choose plays a vital role in providing the best light spectrum for coral growth.


Qualities of the Best Light Spectrum for Your Aquarium

If you are after coral growth, you need to know that there are different types of marine organisms present in the reefs. Searching the sweet spot for the best light spectrum is essential to make sure you get the organisms growing right. As soon as you get to know more about the best light spectrum, then you can mimic the conditions for your coral growth.

You need to know the variety of coral species living at different depths underwater. Some are thriving in shallow waters, while others can survive in the deep corals. Around 20% of the coral species are non-photosynthetic, which means that they do not require light to produce their food.

Since you only have 20% of non-photosynthetic, this only means that 80% are photosynthetic corals. Most home aquariums have the photosynthetic corals.

Based on the different studies done on the light spectrum, it is assumed that lights with wavelengths between 370 to 500nm are better for penetrating deep into the water. This type of light with this wavelength includes blue and violet parts of the light spectrum. These two can penetrate the seawater easily and reach the coral reefs to help them grow.

The yellow, orange, and green light are less helpful when it comes to penetrating the water. Red light has a 600 nm wavelength, which means it can penetrate only shallow water.


The Evolution of Marine Organisms

Some people might not know this, but the marine organisms also have undergone evolution so they can use what is available for them. To complete the process of photosynthesis, the organisms were able to use the violet and blue parts of the light spectrum. It’s because the two colors can easily penetrate deep into the water, which makes them available for many water organisms.

Corals that are found deep in the water are not sensitive to the red light. Terrestrial plants use the red spectrum to survive. So, if you are buying a light spectrum based on the type of the corals, then you probably know by now what you need.

The light spectrum is essential for coral growth. Therefore the coloration is not the same as the conditions for better growth vary. Keeping the conditions in the aquarium identical to the sea is not easy. Even the most experienced reef keepers have a hard time doing this. Having two identical in two different aquariums is almost impossible.

The coloration of the same coral will depend on three main factors that include:

  • Water purity
  • Light spectrum and intensity
  • Availability of food

You must have the right light spectrum to help the corals grow. The violet and blue light spectrums have proven to be the best with proven studies. The right light is good for the coloration and health of the corals.

Keeping the purity of the water is not a problem for many fish tank owners. Just make sure you will able to maintain the water purity within the recommended ranges. Clean the water regularly when it is scheduled, you should never delay it, or it could make the water less useful for the corals.

The corals also need the right amount of food. You just need to find the right coral food and feed them the right amount. You must feed them a high-quality food. Some experts believed that fish waste could be beneficial to the corals as well as the food particles that remain in the reef aquarium.

Light Spectrum for Coral Growth

Why is LED Light Technology the Recommended Lighting for Reef Tanks?

For many years, various types of lights have been utilized to provide light to the aquariums. LED lights are designed to provide the right light spectrum essential for coral growth. It’s because these LED lights are the standard type of lights used in the majority of reef aquariums.

Manufacturers know that yellow, orange, or green spectrum are of no use. You should know this to keep your light spectrum to a minimum. These color spectrums are very favorable to algae. You don’t want a reef tank full of algae.

The corals will surely look better with the blue light, but are you aware of what the Kelvin rating means. The lamp produces light color, and it is measured in terms of Kelvin that is abbreviated as K. Some people are confused about the value of K for being the brightness. Even if you get a lamp with the highest value of K, it does not mean that you will get a brighter LED.

The K ratings pertain to the color temperature. More value for K means you will get more of the blue light spectrum. A low K rating pertains that you will have a green or yellow spectrum. A 2000K lamp rating has a blue light spectrum. Even you will know when these two lights are in use.

Below are the advantages that are involved with the use of LED lights to generate the best light spectrum for coral growth. Here is what you can expect with LED lights.


1. It has Better Efficiency and Produces Less Heat

If you compare LEDs to the traditional fluorescent tubes, you will notice that they are efficient if it comes to converting the electric energy into light. The LED radiates only in one direction and will not block the light produced. If the right lenses are used, the LED light is focused in one place easily.

The lenses, when used together with LEDs, are compact and therefore take up a small space. It makes it easy to transfer the light to the water up to 90%. A traditional bulb can transfer 40% of the light, which makes them unreliable.

Keeping it on for long is also not enough. The LED lights can produce five times less heat than other sources. You don’t have to install an additional chiller to keep the lights cool. Also, some LED lights are equipped with a cooling mechanism to control heat dissipation.


2. LEDs Can Sustain Any Type of Coral

Your LEDs will depend on the type of coral you have on your aquarium. LEDs are capable of supporting tough soft coral light, the SPS coral.

Most beginners start with easy soft corals, but if you decide later that you want to venture into a stony coral, you should choose LEDs that can support any type of coral. LEDs can maintain a nice mixture of various coral types without worrying if they are getting the right amount of light.


3. LEDs Do Not Emit a Lot of Heat

T5, Metal Halide, and PC light fixtures may tend to release a ton of heat. And because of this, aquarium coolers are often needed to bring the water temperature down to its normal level.

LEDs can put off less heat than other types of light fixtures. This only means that you don’t have to buy the cooler, which helps you lower electricity bills and may cause less hazard to fire.


4. Longer Lifespan

The LEDs are the solid-state light source. These lights eliminate the need for taking away the parts that wear fast. The moving components can be found in the incandescent filament. It’s because LED lights degrade slower as compared to traditional lighting options. The LED lights may last for thousands for hours before you replace them. If you compare them to some of the conventional bulbs, it may take a lot of time.

With a longer lifespan, you don’t have to worry about having to replace them now and then. It helps you save a lot of money as compared to other aquarium owners who keep on changing lights every a few months.


5. LEDs are Adjustable

Adjusting LED lights these days is easy. You can get LED lights with dimmable drivers. It is much easier to adjust the LED lights depending on the needs of the aquarium. It’s because of this you can simulate a sunrise and sunset environment for your aquarium. A controller can be used to adjust the options when it comes to coral growth.

Aside from adjustability, it is also easier to upgrade with an LED light package than to other types of lights. Sometimes an upgrade is needed if you need to use the light a bigger tank or for other purposes that require more light.



Figuring out what your coral needs to grow and become healthy is not easy. But, now you can get lots of ideas on how you can get the best light spectrum. The violet and blue light spectrum should provide the best conditions so that your corals can live. Keep in mind that there are lots of factors that you need to consider, so make sure that you end up with the best-lighting coral reef tank.