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Many people love to decorate an aquarium and keep fish in it. These small aquatic animals are of diverse species, and with the right care, they can live happily in your aquarium for a long time. If you want to give your aquarium a completely new look, then best led lighting for reef tanks might be of great help.
The need for a source of light in an aquarium is really important. The small water plants and the fish will need light to flourish throughout the year. Since there are a plethora of LED lights for reef tanks available in the market, it can get quite confusing to choose the right equipment.
Thus, in order to help you choose the best led lighting for reef tank, we have researched all the factors you need to consider while buying one. Along with that, we have reviewed the top 12 LED lights for a reef tank that you can buy this year. Let us have a look!
Benefits Of Best LED Lighting For Reef Tanks
LED lights have become so popular for a reason. People have discarded the old T5 or fluorescent bulbs and have started using modern LED lights around the globe. In this segment, we are going to discuss the most important benefits of using LED for reef tanks.
Lights Up The Reef Tank
Lighting up the reef tank is the primary reason why people use LED lights. These are designed to offer the best visual effects and decor to the reef tanks. Regardless of which pattern of lights you like the most, you can always get it by making the required adjustments from the control panel.
Nowadays, many of the lights even come with wireless connectivity so that you can make adjustments to the light color and pattern. You will have the ability to mimic different light patterns according to the time of the day like dawn, sunrise, midday, sunset, dusk and even night.
Much Safer To Use
LED lights are much safer to use when compared to older T5 fluorescent lights and metal halide. LED lights are considered safe because they do not need any metal filament or any kind of noxious gases to light the LED cells. As technology is advancing, brands are now releasing LED lights which are water-resistant. Therefore there is no risk of electric short or breaking of glass due to extreme heat.
LED Generate Less Heat
As you might already know that LED lights generate much less heat than conventional lights. The amount of light produced is almost the same or even greater than the former. But it never affects the overall temperature of the water in the aquarium.
Nowadays, LED panels are integrated with cooling fans or passive systems that prevent the lights from getting too hot. It not only keeps the temperature under control but also increases longevity. The generation of less heat is brilliant USP. With such low heat, it helps to conserve a lot of power and helps to maintain the optimal condition in the aquarium.
Better Growth Of Plants and Marine Life
The light that comes out from the LED panels will affect the environment in your aquarium in a very significant manner. It is essential for the healthy growth of coral, fish and plant life.
Majority of the LED lights available in the market generate around 8000k to 10000K of lighting that is sufficient for the proper growth of several plants and other kinds of water organisms.
Proper lighting provides them with an adequate amount of vitamins and other essential ingredients for growth. Many of the LEDs also come with a Deep Water Light feature that mimics the exact kind of radiation that is essential for coral growth.
So here are the top benefits of using the best lights for a reef tank. Now we are moving to the next segment of our article that deals with what are the vital things to consider while buying LED.
What To Consider While Buying the Best Led Lighting for Reef tanks?
LED lights for the fish tank are available in different budget ranges. Each of them come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some essential points that you will need to consider when you are going to purchase the best-LED lighting for a reef tank.
Longevity and Build Quality
This is the most crucial you need to consider while choosing a LED light for your reef tank. Since you will be spending a lot of money on it, you would want to get the best service out of the LED fixture. Try to spend a few extra bucks and buy a branded LED light because their parts are more durable and you can get a much better value for money service.
Internal Aesthetic Appeal
If you want your aquarium to look good and well decorated, then you need to put a lot of attention on the internal aesthetics of the LED. You must ensure that there are no visual hotspots, the color blends well with the interior decoration, and there is minimal disco ball effect because it doesn’t look good.
The uniformity in the light spread should be premium. The lights should be able to reach every corner of the fish tank so that the entire ecosystem is lit up and looks gorgeous. Visit an aquarium shop and check their catalog for brand new ideas regarding aesthetic decorations.
Software and Compatibility
Most of the reef LED lights that are available in the market usually come with software and programming features. This allows you to change and customize the LED lights. Some of them can be modified with the help of a remote control, whereas some are integrated with Bluetooth wireless control. The more advanced the LED lights are, the better their features and compatibility will be. Many of the lights come with WiFi bridge that updates the firmware automatically for better features.
Length and Weight
You need to be extra careful while choosing the right LED light for your aquarium. The length and weight of the product matter a lot. If your product is not true to its length, then it will not be able to cover the entire aquarium and light up all the corners of the tank.
You will need to choose an LED panel that is long and powerful enough to throw light which can penetrate the water and spread across the entire tank. At the same time, purchasing a lightweight aquatic light will allow you to move it from one place to another easily. It also allows you to adjust its position without having to put in too much effort.
Brand, Warranty and Repair
Always purchase an LED light that belongs to a well-known brand. Do not buy cheap lights to save some money. They will be of no use in the long run. Branded lights are made with good quality parts and have better features than cheap ones. That is why they tend to last much longer than others.
Buying lights from local suppliers may not fetch you a warranty as well. But that is not the case with branded items. Big and successful companies have better customer support and help you when you want to claim your warranty. Having a good warranty on your LED is always a bonus. You will also see that it is much easier to find spare parts of your light if it is a branded one.
So these are some of the top things which you must consider while purchasing the best lighting for coral reef tanks. Now we will move to the most important part of our article where we have reviewed some of the best LED lights in 2019.
After a lot of reading and research, we have finally handpicked 12 LED lights which we think offer the best service. Take a look at these product reviews and decide which one suits your needs the best.
Top 12 Best LED Lights for Reef Tanks 2019
1. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light
It comes with Ultra-Bright LEDs that light up your entire aquarium with a much broader spectrum of colors. If you have corals in your aquarium, then they will light up in the most elegant manner.
The eye-popping colors and shimmering effects produce a massive pool of colors that looks amazing. The presence of wide dispersion lenses allows the light to get spread all around the aquarium. So the full tank blends well with the spectacular colors.
We were also impressed with the multiple modes that are provided. Periodically dim, cloud cover, storm effects and various other patterns of lighting look stunning throughout the day. The lighting and evening dusk modes are spectacular as well. The LED lights can brilliantly mimic different timings of the day like slow sunrise, bright daylight, dimming sunset and also the moonlight.
Biorhythmic lighting effects have made this LED light such a popular and favorite choice among the people. The Current USA Orbit Marine LED will surely add more excitement and aesthetics to your aquarium. Not many products in the market can provide such versatile features when it comes to aquarium lighting and decor.
It can be easily installed with the extendable brackets in any aquarium that measures 18-24 inches and requires a maximum power of 60 watts. The LED light supports wireless connectivity. Hence you can easily control the color patterns, customize the colors and do a lot of other things whenever you want. Available within a price tag of less than $300, this is easily one of our favorite products.
2. Hipargero LED Aquarium Lights
For those of you who are looking for a fantastic light for your aquarium, the HIPARGERO LED light can be your top choice. The very first thing that will impress you about this product is that it comes with Real Cree LEDs and a mind-blowing professional spectrum.
The manufacturer has carefully handpicked 3W high-power Cree LEDs that help to spread an equal proportion of Cree Royal blue, Cree blue and Cree White colors. It effortlessly depicts a beautiful deep-sea ambiance. If you have corals in your aquarium, then the colors will significantly pop out and look fantastic.
We found that the HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light makes full use of the high quality three in one 90° acrylic lenses. These lenses help to provide better light efficiency and stunning uniformity when the colors spread across your aquarium.
You will be surprised to know that this product comes with two dimmable LED light channels and a touch control panel. You can easily adjust this light from 0% – 100% for providing appropriate lighting to the wide variety of fish that are living in the aquarium.
With just a tap of your finger, you can increase or decrease the intensity of the light. The nearly perfect blue light helps to promote the growth of corals by generating a good amount of Vitamin D3. This element is essential for the essential for their growth and allows the coral to appear much brighter in color and beautiful in appearance. The build quality of this product deserves applause. Made out of super premium materials, the painted metal bracket is quite robust.
It can be adjusted according to the dimensions of your aquarium as well. The genuine Cree chips are made to last, and the two-rollers silent fans maintain a significantly low sound. Thus ensuring a comfortable environment at home.
The HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light comes with 1 year of the manufacturer warranty, and the seller also promises 30 days money-back guarantee if you face any problem with the product. If you are low on budget, but still want to decorate your aquarium, then the HIPARGERO LED light is the best choice you have under $100. Affordable price tag and versatile lighting make it one of the best lightings for a reef tank.
3. Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED
The Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED is available in two different colors – black and white, both of which look subtle and suits any interior decor. The design is compact, and you will have no problem in attaching the gadget over your aquarium. It is only 5.2 inches in size, and as for the weight of the panel, it is quite light.
The design and construction seem premium and has a solid build quality that ensures long-lasting service. Now coming to the most important part of the review, the Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED lights offers the users 13 powerful lights.
The constituents of the 13 independent LED lights include – 3 Cree XP-G2 Cool White m, 3 Cree XT-E Royal Blue, 3 Cree XP-E2 Blue, 1 Cree Deep Red 660 nm, 1 Cree XP-E2 Green, 1 Semi LED 415 nm and finally 1 Semi LED 400 nm. All these lights have been placed and packed tightly inside the panel.
The radiation from the lights can penetrate up to 24 inches inside the water. You will be surprised to see that the color sharpness and vibrancy is quite phenomenal and brilliantly radiates your entire aquarium.
The lights can be easily controlled with the help of an integrated Wi-Fi system. You can download the app and control the lights and their pattern from anywhere in the house, where the signal is clear. Fortunately, the app supports both Android and iOS devices. The optics of the AI Prime HD+ comes with 80° lenses which ensure a well spread and balanced light distribution.
According to the manufacturer, their lenses are custom made, which promises almost 90% efficiency in terms of optics and makes way for better color blending. Using the latest LED Technology and well-developed custom optics, the LED never fails to light up your aquarium in the best manner. Considering all the features it comes with and decent build quality, the Prime HD+ AI LED lights are one of the best buys under the price of $250.
4. Kessil A360WE Controllable LED Light
Small and very compact, this LED light will cost you anywhere between $350 – $400 at the most. Available in two different colors – Tuna blue and Tuna sun, you will be delighted to bring this product home.
The body has a reliable and robust build quality, that feels premium when you hold it. It is just the perfect device for any aquarium that has fresh water in it. The LED is integrated with 90W wide-angle lights which allow the rays to disperse to all the corners of the aquarium.
One crucial aspect is that the LED is very powerful, and the bright colors can make an excellent source for primary nutrition for the aquatic organisms and water plants. Hence, the entire ecosystem inside the aquarium will benefit a lot and grow healthier over time.
The color value ranges anywhere from 6000K to 9000K at the end of the spectrum. The Kessil A360WE LED comes with the Double Peak Technology that mimics the behavior of the sun and provides better wavelength. You can easily change the color of the light with the help of the Kessil Logic.
The easy and excellent customer support is also really helpful if you want a reliable after sales service. Since the chip for the spectrum will be built in house, the cost decreases significantly without affecting the performance. It fits comfortably and illuminates any aquarium that comes under its light within 24×24 dimensions. So, with such convenient features and brilliant specifications, the LED lights will undoubtedly provide great service.
5. Wills Newest 165W LED Aquarium Light
The long channel LED panel helps to distribute the light rays evenly, and therefore the entire aquarium pops up in color.
The product is available in three different color modes which include – the white channel, blue channel and full channel. The white channel is suitable for any freshwater aquarium.
It helps to promote the development of photosynthesis and as a result, growth among the plants. The blue channel is much more suitable for saltwater tanks which leads to the proper absorption of calcium and vitamin D3 in the corals.
The WILLS Newest 165W LED is also available in a full channel that consists of a full spectrum. The main aim of a full channel is to maintain a balance between the PAR/Lumen output and coverage. You can easily adjust the channels from 0% – 100% with the help of our built-in metal knobs.
You can choose to turn them on or off separately or even together. We found that the dual cooling fans were powerful enough and they fanned of the heat from the lamp quite well. So, not only does the performance of the lamp improve but the longevity increases as well.
The WILLS Newest 165W LED has a Daisy Chain Function which has been designed specifically for the irradiation of large fish reef tanks. It is one of the best saltwater reef tank lightings for a reason. The 90° LED lighting along with the crystal lens helps to penetrate through the water fantastically well. Hence your tank looks much more clear and bright.
Even though some users have complained about a few of the LEDs not working, the spare parts were easily available. Once you install this LED light, your aquarium will be nothing short of a small and beautiful underwater world. The product comes with an incredible 2 years of manufacturer’s warranty and a 30 day money-back guarantee.
6. Kessil LED Aquarium Light
The price is perfectly reasonable considering the amazing benefits it comes with. If you have aquatic plants, fish and even insects inside your water tank, the Kessil LED Aquarium Light will surely help them thrive inside it.
The very first thing that will catch your eye is the fantastic build quality. Yes! The entire panel has been made out of metal that provides significant strength to the product. In spite of being made out of metal, the LED light weighs 8 pounds, and you can carry it easily from one place to the other. The product has an in-built Wi-Fi base that can be connected via iOS application.
You can use this app to turn on or off the LED light and also to change the pattern of colors. One of the most exciting features of the product is that it allows you to get different lighting patterns. You can choose between several lunar cycles and a variety of weather effects that provides a mesmerizing atmosphere inside your aquarium. You will be able to create beautiful shimmers for the maximum coverage of the full-spectrum for superior light mixing.
Due to such unrivaled mixing of colors and clear details, the change in color patterns looks astonishing. The colors look natural, and the entire canopy seems to brighten up. We were delighted to see even with quite deep water in a few reef tanks, the light would penetrate to the bottom.
The integration of the full-color control fisheye optics provides clear and bright light in all corners. If you have a flexible budget and extend it up to $800, then the Kessil LED Aquarium Light is one of the best products that you can buy.
7. Current USA Fixture Orbit Marine Pro LED
The brightness of the LED panel is the very first thing that is going to take you by surprise. It is more than enough to light up an entire aquarium even if it is quite big in size.
Such powerful brightness helps the coral and other aquatic organisms to thrive around the tank and maintain a consistent ecosystem.
This model is recommended for those who have marine fish and coral that need lower levels of PAR to thrive. Usually, the range should be anywhere between 35-100, and this LED light can provide you with that.
The Dual Daylight and Dual Actinic multi-chip LEDs offers both high and low range of lighting. The dual daylight LEDs shine at 8000K/12000K whereas the dual actinic ones can provide the blue light at 445nm/460nm. The colors are vibrant and clear, which allows it to penetrate through deep water as well. There are different effects like the moonlight, waves and other scenarios which makes the aquarium look more aesthetic.
You’d always want to purchase a product that can be easily controlled. With the help of the wireless remote and simple controls, manipulating the light is very easy. The Ramp Timer controller makes it easier for you to control the panel 24 hours of the day. However, it does not include a cooling fan, the inclusion of which could have made the product an all-rounder in every aspect.
The installation process is quite easy, and you will be able to set it up all by yourself with the help of the manual. The sliding docking legs makes way for seamless installation. But make sure that it has been placed in a suitable place where you can get a clear signal while controlling. The Current USA Fixture Orbit Marine panel has a lot of things to offer and considering that it is available at a price tag of around $150, it is a package you cannot miss.
8. Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED Light
The Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED has quickly become a favorite among the aquarists in the recent time since it was launched. This LED panel has been specially designed for allowing corals and other reef organisms to grow with the right amount of nutrition.
The main light has been placed at the center, and all the controls are at the top of the panel. It has a pretty comfortable and quite versatile neck that helps to adjust the face of the light and move it in different directions.
The head of the light is not too big and is circular in shape. It measures around 12 cms with 2.5 cm thickness. So you can easily carry it with you if you ever need to or when you take it for servicing.
We were glad to find that the A80 LED light has a passive cooling system that does not allow the panel to get overheated. There is no fan or any cooler to do that as you would expect. But it uses a smart design that makes full use of powder-coated aluminum that effectively prevents the tray from getting overheated.
Available in a complete black matte finish, the A80 LED is a lightweight and subtle looking aquarium light that is suitable for any interior you place it in. The light distribution is quite impressive. It can easily cover an aquarium that is anywhere between 6 inches to 24 inches in length. However, the accurate details of the coverage would depend on the kind of coral and organic life you have inside the tank.
Thanks to the mini gooseneck, you can position the light according to the size of your fish tank. It uses the power of 15W and the penetration power of the LED light is decent. It is not the best we have seen, but not the worst either. If you have a massive amount of water inside your fish tank, possibly more than 24 gallons, then you would want to choose a different product.
Available for less than $200, the Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED Light is a medium ranged LED for your aquarium. It is perfect for those who have small to medium sized fish tanks.
9. Wattshine 180W LED Coral Light
If you are on a tight budget, but would not want to compromise on the quality of the LED light for your aquarium, then the Wattshine 180W LED is a good option. It is priced below $150 and promises significantly better performance than most other budget-oriented aquarium LED lights.
With this one LED light panel, you will be able to light up both freshwater and saltwater reef tanks. There are 60 units of 3W LED lights that help to light up an aquarium of up to 36 inches. The product is not at all heavy and anyone can change or replace it’s position or carry it anywhere they want.
The metal body promises better longevity, and it comes with a non-rusty coating. Hence, in spite of being used for a long time, the metal will not be eroded by rust or heat. The Wattshine 180W stays cool all the time, thanks to the big yet ultra-silent fan that does not produce too much sound. Therefore allowing you to maintain an optimal environment in your home all the time.
You will be able to hang the light over the fish tank with the help of four heavy metals brass hook holes. They offer much better stability and fixed positioning like no one else. We were impressed by the low power consumption of the LED lights. When compared to others, it consumes 70% less power.
Coming to the performance of the LED light, the Wattshine 180W LED Coral Light has 90° focusing lenses. These offer a deep and high level of penetration along with 31% higher PAR value into the water that keeps the entire aquarium well lit. The crystal lenses offer clear and more enhanced lighting in both freshwater and saltwater tanks. The lights are completely dimmable from 0% – 100%. Hence, depending on the aquatic life you have, you will be able to adjust the LED brightness.
But, you will not be able to program sunrise, sunset, or moonlight effects with this LED panel. It cannot be even daisy-chained. You will be delighted to know that the Wattshine 180W LED Coral Light comes with a stunning 3 years of warranty by the manufacturer and 30 days of complete replacement or guaranteed money back.
10. Micmol Smart LED Aquarium Light
One of the smartest and best LED lighting for reef tank we have seen in a while is the MICMOL Smart LED Aquarium Light. One could hardly imagine that within a price point of $200, aquarium lighting can come with so many smart features and provide you with an unmatchable performance over time.
The very first thing which we would like to state is that the LED panel is available in different sizes. From 25 inches to 66 inches, the aquarium lighting is manufactured in various lengths to support the needs of all types of reef tanks.
The product comes in a thin and slim unibody design that is available in different power outputs of 24W, 48W, 72W and 96W. The option to choose between separate power output allows the users to shop for the right one depending on the kind of coral and aquatic life present in their tank.
With regard to the lights, there are 7 bands of super bright LEDs that comes with a full HD spectrum and has a colorful combination to light up your entire aquarium. The 11mm unibody design can be easily moved and placed to fit into the right position anytime you want. The manufacturer has provided hanging kits and also super adjustable brackets that can be used for holding the LED panel in place.
The UL, Rosh, CE, SAA Certification Power Adapter is safe to use and does not pose any threat of short circuit. The cooling system is effective in keeping the device from getting overheated. The Smart Controller is one of the USP of the device. It has now been upgraded to iMOS 3.0, and you now have a plethora of different options that allow you to customize the lights. For instance, the controller comes with several lighting modes – the Clock, Auto mode, Manual mode, Lightning and Demo mode with 3 channels.
The auto mode is probably the most convenient one as the system changes the lighting pattern by itself. You can get the dawn, sunrise, midday, sunset, dusk and night effect, all from this one LED light panel. All the effects have been nicely customized and creates a nice and realistic atmosphere inside the fish tank. The colors are punchy, and the almost natural lighting effects make your tank look colorful and vibrant.
However, the user interface needs improvement and setting up the device is a real hassle. The settings menu is not easy to navigate through and takes time to become familiar with. If you can make do with the UI problem and want to enjoy a good budget-oriented reef LED lighting, then the MICMOL Smart LED is the best option available at this moment.
11. Phlizon 165W Dimmable Aquarium LED
The Phlizon 165W Dimmable Aquarium LED is a good option for those who are looking for a hanging solution for their aquarium lighting. The company has priced this one around $100 – $110 and that is quite impressive considering it is a fully dimmable LED light.
First things first, we would like to talk about the full spectrum that the Phlizon 165W offers. It includes Blue, Purple, Red, White, and Green Light all in one product. The Blue UV light is radiant and penetrative enough to reach the deepest portion of the aquarium and promotes healthy living in the aquatic ecosystem.
The Purple UV tends to sterilize and conserve fish growth in the tank. For coral reef growth and maintenance, the white and red light will help you a lot. All the light colors have been optimized decently to support the cause they are required to fulfill. All these lights together help you to establish a healthy and prosperous aquarium. The lights also promote the process of photosynthesis among the organisms that in turn produces a significant amount of oxygen. Thus, all the aquatic life have an ample amount of it to live on.
Regardless of whether you have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, this light will work well. The Dual dimmer mode offers 0% – 100% full dimmable lights. This allows you to adjust the brightness levels according to the coral and fish life that you have inside the tank. The dimmer can be useful for both day and night usage. The LED light suits a 24*24*24 aquarium tank in the most perfect manner. But it can also work well with different other tank dimensions as well.
It has a power consumption rating of anywhere between 65W to 165W, depending on the level of brightness and amount of light you are throwing into the aquarium. You cannot set the lights to program in different patterns like dawn, sunrise, midday, sunset, dusk and night. Yes, it does not come with that feature. But considering the price tag, we cannot complain much either. However, the clear and vibrant light penetration allows the entire aquarium to dazzle with different colors.
The brand has a well-known after sales service team, and the product comes with a 1 year warranty. Considering it is such a budget friendly option, you can choose to buy it if you do not have a flexible budget for now. It undoubtedly provides one of the best lightings for a reef tank.
12. Marineland Reef LED Strip Light
The final product on our list of the best LED lighting for a reef tank is the MarineLand Reef LED Strip Light. Not many people can purchase huge reef tanks to fit into their house. Many individuals love small sized reef tanks as well. For those of you who have a small fish tank, the MarineLand Reef LED is the best option.
It is available in 3 different sizes – 18 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches. Hence, you can choose which one is going to suit your aquarium best. The LED strip light costs as low as $30, thus making it such an excellent choice for people who cannot afford to set up a lavish aquarium in their home.
The Marineland Reef LED gives out a very bright and clear light which will allow your entire aquarium to dazzle gorgeously. Marineland has always been famous for its realistic and unique lighting solutions for underwater environments. The case is the same with this one as well. This LED strip features a brand new lining of LED lights that are 20% more bright and clearer than the previous set of LED strips.
They also promise a much longer and reliable service. The 14000K 1W LED light together provide a magnificent spectral output that penetrates deep into the aquarium. This ensures better growth of coral and marine life inside the fish tank throughout the year. The device has been integrated with a timer that allows the users to control the lunar and daytime settings automatically. For better flexibility in mounting, the device comes with mount legs for easier adjusting.
However, do not expect too much from the device. It does not have too many RGB lighting colors. The ability to change the color patterns to produce dawn, sunrise or dusk and night settings is also absent in this product. It is a simple device that provides simple lighting to your aquarium.
So here are the top 12 best LED aquarium lighting for corals that you can choose to buy in 2019. Only after extensive research, have we handpicked these few products for you. You can read our review for each of them and decide which one is going to suit your needs the best.
Maintaining an aquarium is not an easy task as many people would say. You will need to provide the marine life existing inside it with all the necessary ingredients. Apart from food, oxygen, and waves, light is one of the most crucial of them. With the help of the right LED light panel, you will be able to do so effortlessly.
There are many such products available in the market. But you would love to use the best among them, isn’t it? So we have discussed 12 best lighting for coral reef reef tanks. Make sure to take a look at them and we hope your aquarium crawls with healthy and prosperous marine life.