If you’ve chosen to use LED lighting in your aquarium, it’s probably because you want it to look as attractive as possible!
Sometimes you will make the right choice of lights, other times not.
This is because there are so many similar products available today that you might end up being confused on which to choose.
The best LED lights for a reef tank have certain features that make it stand out as the most exceptional quality. This might include better performance, great design, or a number of others.
To help you in deciding which to buy, below is a guide for you to follow.
Table of Contents
Benefits of LED Lighting for Reef Tanks
Brighten Up the Aquarium
LED lights are designed so that they can deliver the best possible visual effects in aquariums. It does not matter what type of effect you want, you can always make the adjustments on the product control panel to enjoy more effects.
Some of the light systems come with a remote control allowing you to make adjustments from the comfort of your couch. With these great new technological advances, you can now make amazing effect changes with just the press of a button.
Safe to Use
The LED lights are made to be safer to use than the old metal halide and T5 fluorescent lights.
This is because there are no metal filaments or noxious gasses found in the LED lights. The manufacturers are also evolving their system to make them water-resistant too.
They Generate Less Heat
You can expect that LED lights will produce some heat, but its heat is not enough to make the temperatures in the reef tank higher than you want it to be. The amount of heat produced by LED lighting is nothing compared to that produced by other types of lighting.
With the low heat of LEDs, it is possible for you to keep the power consumption of your aquarium lighting to a minimum.
Better Growth of Plants and Marine Animals
You will be surprised at how much the lighting you use will affect the environment in the aquarium. This means that the LED strip lights could be excellent for the health of your coral and plant life.
Most of the LED lights produce between 8000K and 10000K of lighting, which should be sufficient to promote the growth of a wide variety of plants and the other organisms in the water.
You will find that most of the LED lighting systems are designed to be compact and easy to make adjustments to.
Being compact means that you can place them nearly anywhere around the tank that you want to. It is also possible to mount them in the tank in a way that allows for space and maneuverability so you can easily clean and maintain the fish tank.
Some manufacturers are also making waterproof LED lights so that you can even mount them underwater and easily clean the tanks whenever needed.
The 10 Best LED Lights for Reef Tanks
To help you easily select the right LED combination for your coral reef tanks, we have reviewed a number of top products below.
From the reviews, you should be in a position to make an informed decision about the best options to choose when it comes to LED lighting.
LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals, Reef Tanks Reviews
1. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light
Right from the start, it is easy to fall in love with this product. It is made to be simple, yet fully functional. Its slim, sleek look makes more people love it even more.
The thin look should not fool you—the product has an impressive brightness that will transform the appearance of your aquarium.
You can make all the lighting changes right from your couch using the remote control instead of having to stand up each time you want to change the lighting mood.
Additional memory settings allow you to customize your settings and save them for later quick access. You can easily select them later on and load them into the aquarium without having to set them afresh.
The sliding docking legs are an additional feature you will love, as they allow for easy adjustments for various types of installation.
The LEDs used in this system are made to consume less energy compared to other models. The low voltage is not only good for maintaining low power, but also safe for aquarium use. The 120-degree dispersion angle of the light provides optimal spread and color blending.
Also, most LED lighting doesn’t work in a saltwater reef tank, making this a very popular feature as well.
2. VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Dimmable LED Aquarium Light
Not many LED lights can beat the value and quality you get from this model. It is designed to deliver a performance impressive enough to satisfy the beautification needs and desires of the most discriminating aquarium owners.
The inbuilt timer makes it easy to control the LED light system. Even if you’re not technically inclined you’ll be able to quickly and simply program it to turn on at a specific time or change the color at specified intervals.
The manufacturer claims that the overall design of the full spectrum system was based on input from their customers. It is amazing how the company took advice from its customers in order to intelligently create a more valuable product.
This decision on the part of the company has brought this model year of success, as they have created the best possible LED light for its customers.
The type of light conditions it delivers have been seen to be great for photosynthetic corals. A variety of different marine plants will all have an easy time absorbing the light and using it for photosynthesis.
You could start with low-intensity light and increase it slowly until you find just the right level that works great for your corals.
3. AquaIllumination AI Prime 16 HD Reef Aquarium LED
This new light gives you some interesting features you are sure to find valuable. You no longer have to be restricted to a fixed amount of power. This means that you can always get more light with this model.
To understand just how much difference this light brings, you have to compare it with other models. You will discover that the HD power gives it an edge over all the other models available in the market.
Controlling this light is simpler than many people realize. You can use the Wi-Fi control to manipulate several of its features. This can be done using software installed on your PC, or through an app on your phone.
The best part is that the dashboard is quite intuitive. You have no need to worry that it will take a long time to learn how to operate it. The software will give you access to numerous settings so that the light is customized for your tank.
When it comes to mounting, it is simple and will take only a minimal amount of time. The manufacturer offers you clear instructions on how to get the job done quickly and safely.
4. Kessil Tuna Blue A80 LED Light w/ mini gooseneck
This is one of the smallest LED lights that you can buy today. For that reason, you may find it great if you are faced with a tight spot in which to install a reef tank light.
Many people will love the choice of aluminum construction. This type of material is great for durability and also heat management. Keeping in mind that this light lacks fans for cooling, this material helps a lot with the cooling process.
The Tuna blue model is meant for marine and reef aquariums. You will have to choose the Tuna Sun if you have planted or freshwater tanks.
Having a small slim form factor makes it ideal for smaller and shallow tanks. You can know the right light is lighting up your aquarium when you get this light today.
For a light this size, you might have expected the manufacturer to keep it simple. Amazingly, it comes with just as many impressive controls and dials as the other models. These controls allow you to vary the intensity, choose the color, and a lot more. This just goes to show the surprising versatility of this light.
The model comes with an impressive lens and reflector that manage the performance of the model. There is no doubt this light offers great value for your money and you will always be happy to have chosen it.
5. HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light
The strength of this model is in providing users with the best possible quality of light. You get the high-powered Cree LEDs, which deliver premium aquarium lighting. The manufacturer designed this light to deliver the proper proportion of white and blue light. This is important for boosting the health of the plants and animals in the aquariums.
The LED lamps in the device use the 90-degree three-in-one acrylic lens. The aim is to ensure that you always get a high-efficiency light and also remarkable color uniformity.
The presence of 3 dimmable modes helps achieve the right lighting intensity. The light is fully adjustable, from 0% to 100%. This means that you can set the precise light intensity the fish or coral reef need for their growth. Also, the light intensity will allow the growth of any SPS or LPS under it.
To ensure exceptional durability, the manufacturer has used super-premium quality materials. You can be sure that this light is going to last for years. It also comes with an adjustable bracket that assures ease of installation.
You will also find that this product is generally easy to operate. Installation takes just a few minutes and you will be up and running.
6. MarsAqua Dimmable LED Aquarium Coral Reef Light
Lighting is so important for your fish tank and coral reefs. The MarsAqua brand is an excellent choice because it has two light combinations. These beams are designed specifically for aquatic plants.
You have two switches that allow you to adjust the luminosity the way you see fit. Of course, you want something that is completely transparent. These LED lights are designed to be 25 percent brighter than ordinary lenses.
Therefore, the lights reach down to about 1 meter in the tank without losing their energy or luminosity. You are going to be impressed with the copper inside. This helps to promote thermal conductivity.
You also get an advanced venting system for blowing air. This is better than suction. That means you don’t have to worry about the unit overheating.
It’s also possible to combine LED lights. One is ideal for a 55-gallon coral tank. If you have a bigger tank than that, you can set up multiple sets and don’t need more sockets to do so.
Plus, this lighting system is designed to mimic the natural light of the sun. That way, fish and corals achieve balance and can grow and be healthier.
There is also a built-in time available with two settings for blue or white light. This means you can have it turn on and off when it is most important for your corals.
7. Fluval Sea Marine Nano Bluetooth LED Light
For those who want to maintain their saltwater aquarium, the Fluval LED light can be highly beneficial. It is a desktop and Nano spectrum LED light that runs on 20 watts. It also features the smart app technology from the brand (using Bluetooth).
This light is designed to work for 24 hours, but it has gradual settings. You can choose midday, sunrise, night, and sunset. Plus, it is all programmable.
There are seven band waves available, giving you full-spectrum results. If you choose the optional habitat light configuration, you get more LED lights. These can include deep-sea glow, sunny reef, and color burst.
With the high-efficiency LEDs, you have a better spectral quality and an improved light output. However, it doesn’t use any more power than other LED products.
The smooth, sleek frame of the light is also worth mentioning. In the past, these types of lamps were quite heavy, but this one is up to 50 percent lighter. Of course, it is also waterproof with an IP67 rating, so it has everything you are going to need to light up your tank.
This light is only 5 inches wide and is square. You get a bracket to attach it to your tank.
8. Phlizon Dimmable Full Spectrum Aquarium LED Reef Decoration Light
The manufacturer offers you a wide spectrum of options when it comes to using this particular type of light. You can switch between the use of UV Blue, Purple, White, Green, and Red lights.
The blue UV light has been shown to be great for promoting the plant’s defense mechanism. The purple light, on the other hand, is important for sterilizing the habitat and protecting the fish growth. The white and red lights come in handy for the coral reef growth.
The design is all about the light delivering on the needs of the aquarium’s inhabitants. The best part is that you can use it for both saltwater and freshwater applications. No need to get a different product for each.
You still get the option of using a dimmer with this model. The aim of the dimmer settings is to acclimate the plants and the fish to the new light, then slowly increase the intensity.
The dimmer also comes in handy to help in simulating the night and day in the aquarium.
9. Lominie LED Aquarium Nano Fish Tank Lights
Those who want something that looks and works differently are going to like the LED light from Lominie. It is a full-spectrum light with a built-in 90-degree lens. You also get 24 chips, which provide stronger penetrability.
This makes it ideal for a marine aquarium because there is uniform illumination. The full spectrum includes six colors (royal blue, white, blue, red, UV, and green). Corals and marine life have an amazing glow with this light.
Of course, it also comes with a remote and four dimmable channels. Therefore, you can customize the lights for this LED directly from the remote. It’s also possible to adjust the intensity from 0 percent all the way to 100 percent.
If you have one, you can use an external time with this light system. You are going to be impressed with the fan-less design, too. It features an aluminum heatsink, which transfers heat so that the operating temperature is less than 50 degrees Celsius.
Without the fan, you don’t have to worry about noise. That means you can put your aquarium in any room of the house and use the light without fear of being woken up. Plus, not having a fan means the failure rate of the product is lower, too.
10. Current USA Orbit IC LED – LOOP COMPATIBLE
Those who want something high-tech are going to enjoy the Current USA brand. It features a full-spectrum light, so you get amazing color rendition and eye-popping colors. The full-spectrum control ensures that you get the right options for your reef.
You’re going to find a powerful blend of dual daylight white and dual actinic blue lights. The RGB LEDs are combined with a spherical optical lens that can rotate 90 degrees. This delivers you the right light blend for fluorescence and healthy coral growth.
Of course, new technology is what most people like best about this product. It delivers amazing brightness and color, but it’s capable of much more. You can make it roll clouds across the reef or produce pulsing waves and surging water currents.
There are multiple modes available with this light, too. You can dim them periodically to create ‘clouds,’ but there is also a storm mode, evening modes, and much more. It is sure to add a touch of intrigue and excitement to your aquarium.
This product is easy to install, too. It comes with extendable brackets, so it can fit tanks between 18 and 24 inches wide, which is ideal for many coral reef growers.
See also: Best Nano Reef Light for Nano Reef Tank
Features of the Best LED Lighting for Reef Tanks
LED lighting uses less power, but you still need to power them. Consider choosing a system designed to use the least amount of power for your particular needs.
Saving on power is the dream of most people who are always looking to brighten their reef tanks without spending extra money on energy.
Not everyone is great at all the technical stuff, so naturally most people want something easy to use. Some manufacturers make it easy for the buyers to install their LED lighting by assembling most of the parts.
All you need to do is simply attach the system to amount and power it. You can search on YouTube and watch videos of people who have installed the same type of LED lighting before.
Ease of Use
If you are one of the less technically inclined, choose a product that is designed to be easy to operate. Some lights might be great in terms of functionality, but if using them is a nightmare, not many people would want them.
Most of the time, you will find that it is lights with the most controls that are the most difficult to handle.
The lighting capabilities discussed here refer to the type of light you are most likely to get when using the LED lighting. Some of the LED lighting systems will have different channels that can show different colors that you can easily use starting right away.
Some will have controls to help you make some changes to the lighting so that you can experience the best possible lighting, which will help create a better mood in the room and promote the growth of marine life.
The manufacturers will often indicate on the product label its expected durability. You can find some lasting even up to 30,000 hours. You should be able to use such a product for a long time without having to replace it.
The durability is also affected by the type of material used to make the product. Some materials are better for durability while others are less so.
The brand of any product is important to the new owner. Sometimes you might end up having issues with a product, simply it is a brand known for making the worst quality products.
To help you identify the best brands for LED lighting, you need to choose one from the ones mentioned. This should give you a chance to enjoy the product even more.
It is easy to see now that having the best LED lighting for reef tanks is something that you too could wish for. Well, there is no need to keep on wishing when you can buy one today.
Proceed to check out some of the mentioned aquarium LED lighting products to see which one could provide the best led lighting for aquarium.
You should still keep in mind some of the considerations still mentioned such as the tank size, power consumption, and many others when making the purchase.