Best Aquarium Led Lighting For Corals & Live Plants 2023
When choosing the best aquarium LED lighting and getting the most out of your aquarium visually it's important to have the best lighting you can get even more so when you have corals and live plants. The fish will love you for it and if you have a planted tank the plants will love you even more. You want to have the light as natural as possible so it copies real-life conditions.
So when choosing the best aquarium LED lighting It's about having the right spectrum of light the deeper the tank the more lighting you will need, compared to say a shallower tank.
Best LED aquarium lights comparison table
waterproof IP67 rating
Technology of LED aquarium lighting
Technology has moved on by leaps and bounds when it comes to lighting up an aquarium.
LED aquarium lighting is relatively new, within the last 5/6 years before that was the old T5 fluorescent light bulbs which over time the gas would degrade in about 12 months they can produce half as much light from when they were new so you'd end up having to buy replacements.
Now compared to the LED lighting that will be putting out the same amount of light after 3 years they might be 1% down from when they were new. So LED tank lighting is the way to go they are also just more efficient.
Choosing the right led aquarium lighting
There are a lot of different types of LED aquarium lighting available for your aquarium. You can easily get overwhelmed when first looking to buy them, Some background knowledge makes it a lot easier to decide which lighting is best for your tank. Some LED lighting might for work for one tank but not another tank so we need to decide which LED lighting is best for your aquarium.
Size of your aquarium
Now the size of your aquarium isn't just the length or width that's an important factor, it's also the depth as the light fades with the depth of water, so a shallower tank would need less light that a deeper aquarium. A nice widespread spectrum of light is what we want. However, it's never easy to light the corners of an aquarium but this can be beneficial for the residents to have a darker place for them to relax in.
LED lighting for planted tanks
If your aquarium has plants then that is another important factor to consider, As plants thrive on good lighting. Some plants need different lighting intensity. white light is about 6500 Kelvin the reality is plants don't mind too much. now a good range would be between 6,500 up to 10,000 Kelvin. So the range is vast plants are more concerned about the amount of light rather than the actual lighting intensity. Having a timer is important when growing plants they like a regular light at the same time of the day. so a LED light with a timer would be a great choice for a planted tank.
Some of the features of LED aquarium lighting
The next thing to consider when looking for the best aquarium led lighting is the budget. There are a lot of choices depending on what features you want and how much you want to spend. If you're just starting out then you might not want to get the most expensive with all the features, you might not need. However at least if you buy the best LED aquarium lights you can you won't have to worry about having to upgrade in the future.
Fully waterproof IP67 lighting rating
This is an important factor when choosing your lighting for your tank. As this rating means the LED lights can withstand water splashes and are fully waterproof, which also means you can mount the light as close to the surface as possible without having to worry about the light taking on water and failing. Not all aquarium LED lights have this IP67 rating. So worth considering when purchasing your new aquarium lights.
My list here will be a mixture of IP67 rating lights and some that are not IP67 compliant. As for some, this isn't an important factor as having particular features the lights might have.
The coverage of the light some LED lights can have a lower coverage beam than others so a 120-degree light dispersion is good.
Different color spectrum LED's which can be white for full exposure and also blue which brings out the fluorescence coral colors.
Remote control lighting
Being able to control your light from anywhere in the room
Dimming adjustable LED lights
Having the option to be able to control the strength of the light.
Value for money LED lights
Longevity and built quality.
Here are the best LED aquarium lights available in 2018
The choice of these has come down to each one having some good benefits and features from the latest technology and value for money. Remember to make your decision based on the needs of your aquarium now and maybe in the future.
Fluval A3997 AquaSky Tank LED 24"36"
First up is the Fluval Aquasky LED light, this model is IP67 rated so fully waterproof. It is designed for freshwater planted tanks that only require a medium to low light, or fish only saltwater aquariums.
The LED's are ultra bright 6500K these really light up the tank well, They are fully dimmable and adjustable. There are a series of RGB led's that allow you to set the right amount of red green and blue to get just the right color combination for your aquarium.
With a 120 degree, light distribution means the light is spread evenly around the tank.
With the unit being IP67 rated it allows us to have the light nice and close to the water service without worry about the light getting wet, the closer a light is to the service the more light penetration it will have.
The skypad allows full control of the light with 4 presets that are sunrise sunset and in the middle, you have cloud and sun, with also the ability to adjust the RGB and white LED components and save up to 4 of your own settings you have designed which can be programmed into the skypad. There are many other functions like the thunderstorm mode.
Fully compatible with the Fluval duel lamp 24hr timer, that can be set up to allow a nice gradual sunrise/sunset. or just as an on/off timer function.
Fixing to the tank is very easy with an adjustable sliding bracket that sits on the tank so nice and simple.
They also do a 36" to 48" and a lager 48" to 60" model
IP67 fully waterproof rated
Doesn't come with a timer
VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Series LED Lights.
The Vipaspectra It features a full spectrum lighting system with remote control The different color LED's are placed in a way to give the best possible lighting options. they are arranged in a criss-cross pattern mixed with the white LED's it might look random but the layout has been intensively researched to maximise the effectiveness.
With having a full spectrum of light and many different combinations for the best effectiveness for coral reef photosynthesis to make sure they thrive and show their potential and full colors.
With the grouping of the different color LED's into programmable channels, you have full control with the light intensity and color with the added benefit of when you have the lights on and off with the built-in timer function which makes this a truly customizable aquarium lighting system. The programmable light function of when you have the lights on and for what intensity is great for planted tanks as you can see what works best and see them thrive.
extremely powerful light
Nicely laid out setting up
Not IP67 compliant. however, does have a 3-year warranty
Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light
This Orbit marine LED lighting system has a bundle of features from the different presets that simulate normal daylighting scenarios from Moonlight, Sunrise to sunset. which are fully programmable that is all done via the remote control so don't lose the remote!
Choosing the dynamic effect you want is very easy with the remote control so you can have your aquarium looking exactly how you want with just a push of a button.
With the timer, it's very easy to programme the schedules which allows you to have the lighting come on and off at different times during the day with an intensity you want on each of the schedules, that allows a nice ramp up and down over a 30 minute period so you can replicate a nice gradual sunrise or sunset and vice versa.
This is a popular led lighting system for planted tanks aquarists as you can control the intensity to allow you to get it just right for your planted tank, but not too much to allow lots of algae bloom.
You can have various sizes depending on the length of your tank from 18 inches right up to 60 inches with the adjustable handles that sit nicely on the tank.
Has a Dual Daylight and Dual Actinic multi-chip LEDs.
The combination of 8,000K/12,000K white along with 445nm/460nm actinic blue creates the perfect spectrum for marine fish.
Not IP67 compliant
Euphotica Programmable 16" / 24" / 32"
An intelligent LED aquarium light designed for optical visual experience and engineered to enhance your tanks coral growth it's made to suit every marine aquarist lighting dreams offering features such as adjustable lighting channels and programmable schedules.
Programmable Light Cycle
The programmable feature allows up to 48 points of fully customizable light intensity that allows you to have durations of moonlight into the daily light schedule for some night time viewing. With the violet lighting that's included in the layout, this will make fluorescing coral really glow so vibrantly under the actinic setting.
2 Channels and Moonlight with Digital Intensity Control (0-100%)
When acclimatizing corals to a new led lighting system is made easier with the adjustable light intensity which you can fine tune down to 1% increments. With a fully programmable lighting cycle and the 2 channels also including the moonlight features. and the great sunrise sunset effect this really does give you many options on how you want to light your aquarium.
LCD Panel with Capacitive (Touch) Control
It features a capacitive touch-sensitive control panel that allows you to adjust the settings even with wet hands. The LCD is backlit is nice and easy to read no matter how much light you have in the room.
The unit can be operated fully with it's included wireless remote (Even when using multiple units)The smart power outlet management gives you the option to power multiple units off of one power outlet which is a nice feature.
Easy Adjustable Hanging Kit that is included features a unique lock assembly to make it nice and secure above your aquarium. With height, adjustability gives you the room while working on the tank for the access needed. With the adjustable tilt angle to make sure the light is perfectly placed over the tank.
Can power multiple units off one power supply which keeps everything tidy.
good aftercare from the manufacturer
No IP67 rating.
not the cheapest unit.
Beamswork DA 6500K 0.50W Series LED Pent Aquarium light
The beamsworks aquarium led lights are a minimalist light for when you don't want many features to worry about.
It has blue and white LEDs with 3 settings that are blue and white, blue only and off. when you have the blue and white together you don't really notice the blue light that much. however, it does produce good light for the money. from 3000 lumens for the 24" and up to 8000 lumens for the 72".
It doesn't come with a timer but you can add one separately if you want to use one. and with the beamsworks timer, you can have just the white lights on and not the blue, which is something you can't do without the timer option. and also with the timer option, you can control the algae a bit easier.
The size options are 24"30"36"48 and 72" in length. The sizes are set so you're unable to adjust them. they are all 5" wide.
value for money with up to 8000 lumens for the 72"
Good for planted tanks.
COODIA Aquarium Lighting Color Changing Remote Controlled
This coodia led lighting system has multiple colors and lighting modes which can be beneficial when growing plants to just get the right level of intensity and color that the plants can thrive in.
There are 3 sizes to choose from that are adjustable an 11" to 19.5" 19" to 28" and 28" to 35"
It doesn't have a timer, but you could add a timer separately. You do have the option to dim and brighten the lights with 5 different intensity setting built-in so when you first turn the lights on have them on the lowest setting so it then isn't too bright for the fish and they can get used to it.
The Coodia is a features a 2.4G remote control rather than an infrared control, so you can even control the light through a wall if you want to be able to do that!
value for money
not IP67 rating
Hipargero LED Aquarium Lighting Touch Control Function
This hipargero led light boasts that it has specially designed spectrum for corals and is able to maintain LPS and softies. which is great for all the coral lovers out there.
It has two dimmable LED channels that are white and blue, that also is easy to adjust the light intensity by easy touch. No programming need just touch and go and it's ready.
It has built-in temperature controlled fans that monitor the temperature of the light and adjust as necessary to keep the temps of the lights nice and low which is good for longevity. The fan is nice and quiet.
The 3W high power Cree LEDs are a stronger penetrating light to produce a powerful light for your aquarium and they boast a longer lifespan.
The fixing of the light is an adjustable clamp system that fixes to the rimless aquarium, the tank doesn't want to be any thicker than 0.8" 20mm for the clamp to be used.
adjustable clamp system makes it easy to fit.
Cree LEDs for longer life
KOVAL 156 LED Aquarium Light
The Koval has a full spectrum of light, which will fit most needs of any aquarium even planted tanks as long as they aren't too deep.
featuring 156 LEDs with 5 different colors to give this Koval light some very nice options. it has 3 options when in use all colors, just blue LED's and off. The just blue light is perfect for night time viewing to give the aquarium a nice warm atmosphere.
The LED colors are 132 White, 12 Blue LEDs, 4 Pink LEDs, 4 Red LEDs, 4 Green LEDs.
One of the features this Koval boasts is when one of the LED's fails the others aren't affected and the light will still perform well. so this is one of the best LED aquariums lights you can buy. they are also low energy LED's so you don't have to worry about the cost of having them running.
The extendable bracket makes fitting on the tank a breeze and there are many size options to cater for most tank sizes.
Good color options with the LEDs
Easily adjustable fittings
Not IP67 rating