Best Aquarium LED Lighting Options for All Types of Fish TanksFinding the best aquarium LED lighting can help you improve both the look and growth of plants and animals in your fish tank.

However, with so many options available on the market with different features, finding the right one for your tank setup can be quite a difficult task.

Thankfully, we are here to help you out! After thoroughly testing many of the best aquarium LED lighting on the market, we have compiled a detailed list that will help you decide which one is right for you.

Comparison Chart

Name Suggested Tank Size (in Inches) Power (in Watts)
Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light

24-30 36
NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light

18-24 11
Hygger 14W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light

18-24 14
Koval Fish Tank Light Hood

24-30 40
Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light

18-24 18

Best LED Lights for Your Tank: Product Reviews

Let’s get straight into our list of the best aquarium LED lights:

1. Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • LCD
  • Sleek Design
  • Multiple modes

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

The Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light is a sleek and stylish lighting system that can improve the appeal of your tank setup. With a streamlined design made of black aluminum and plastic, this device adds a modern look to any tank and is an excellent addition to most medium-sized tanks.

Apart from the device itself, it also provides impressive lighting for your tank. Using various LED lights in colors such as dark blue, green, purple, light blue, etc., this lighting system can create light that is soft and mimics natural light. Also, with high-quality bulbs and lamp beads utilized throughout the device, you can expect at least 50,000 hours of usage from it.

To take full advantage of the powerful lighting system, Hygger has added four distinct modes that you can use for this device. The first, default mode, utilizes the all-optical and blue light to provide a lighting effect similar to sunrise and sunset and is excellent for most fish species.

The second mode is DIY mode and allows for nearly all the lights in varying brightness levels and stages according to your personal preferences.

Apart from this, the third mode, Gradient Mode, cycles between light blue, yellow, red, dark blue, green, and purple, which provides a unique appeal to most plants and fish.

Finally, the last mode is known as All-day All-optical Mode and allows you to customize the color of the lights on a pre-set level of brightness and time.

You might be concerned that the various modes and LED lights will create a lot of heat. It is not the case with the Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light, as it uses a unique fin design that works with thin aluminum to disperse heat efficiently. Thanks to this, the heat bulbs up in the aluminum and keeps the light cool, ensuring it doesn’t get damaged.

Moreover, the design is IP68 waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally dropping the device or spilling water on it. It also makes it very easy to clean as you can easily wipe any dust or dirt off the lights with a wet cloth.

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Overview

If you are looking for an aquarium light that will add to the aesthetic appeal of your tank, the Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light is an excellent option for you. It comes in a stylish design with a black aluminum finish that adds to the look and feels and improves the heat dissipation of the lights.

Moreover, this aquarium light comes with high-power LEDs and various customizable modes so you can ding the perfect lighting for your tank.

2. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light

Pros

  • Various size options
  • Easy installation
  • Adjustable brightness levels
  • Improved connector for greater life

Cons

  • No inbuilt timer

If you are looking for freshwater aquarium LED lighting, the NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light is an option you can consider for your tank. It is explicitly designed for freshwater fish tanks with low light plants such as Banana plants, Anubia, Hornwort, and other such species.

Utilizing high-quality 6500K white LEDs with rich 450nm blue LEDs, this device can bring out multiple blends of colors, perfect for bringing out color and growth in plants and tanks.

Also, while they work together well, you can use the lights individually on various color settings to get the exact tone and shade that works for your setup.

An added benefit of this device is that it is very easy to set up, thanks to the extendable mounting brackets built into the sides of the lighting system.

So, all you have to do is pull the brackets out to the edges of your stadium, and the light should be able to rest atop your tank without any issues.

Although, if you do end up facing any issues with the size of the device being too small or large, there is no need to worry! The NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light comes in four different sizing options, so you can easily find the one that fits into your tank best.

This LED aquarium light is also compatible with the additional single-channel timers from NICREW, which allow you to simulate sunset and sunrise timings for your pets. However, aquarium LED light these days come with built-in timers, so buying a separate one will cost you some extra money and time.

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Overview

The NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light is an excellent LED aquarium light for plants and freshwater animals. It comes with white and blue LEDs that offer an efficient blend of light to improve the color and growth of your plants.

Also, the device comes with extendable side brackets, making installation very easy. So, if you are a beginner, this is a device you can consider for your tank setup.

3. Hygger 14W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Aluminum alloy for improved heat dissipation
  • Adjustable metal and plastic brackets
  • Sealed with waterproof glue

Cons

  • Slightly less power output

The Hygger 14W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light is a great aquarium light if you have a tight budget. It is very reasonably priced and still manages to offer an array of valuable features that will help you keep your tank lit up and healthy.

While it may be one of the least expensive options on this list, this aquarium light is still built to last. Hygger has utilized a durable aluminum alloy metal throughout the device’s shell, which is highly resistant to dents and cracks.

So, you won’t have to worry about any small drops or accidents causing any problems with this device. This metal also aids in heat dissipation helping the light stay functioning for longer without issue.

Apart from this, the aquarium light also allows you to adjust the brightness level from 100% to 10 percent across five different settings. To do this, you have to use the external controller, which is also used to set light timing between three to twelve hours, depending on your preference. So, you can easily customize this LED light to match your aquarium ecosystem.

As for the lights themselves, Hygger has used 5730 large LEDs that offer super bright lighting to make your tank shine. Also, with a wide range of 18 to 24 inches, you won’t have to worry about lighting at all with this device.

The only problem we found was that the aquarium light was slightly less powerful as compared to the other options on this list. While it did have enough brightness and spread to keep our testing tank lit up, you might want to look for a more heavy-duty option for larger or more populous tanks.

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Overview

If you are looking for an excellent aquarium LED light for planted tank but don’t want to spend too much, the Hygger 14W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light is an option you can consider.

This reasonably priced device comes with a high-quality body and frame and large LEDs that offer a safe and powerful lighting experience. It also features built-in modes to adjust the lights, making it a great budget option on our list.

4. Koval Fish Tank Light Hood

Pros

  • Large size
  • Polished aluminum finish
  • Led lights work individually
  • Low energy usage

Cons

  • Prone to damage

The Koval Fish Tank Light Hood is an excellent aquarium light that offers reliable and trustworthy performance. With an efficient design that reduces energy dissipation and improves efficiency, you won’t have to worry about high electricity costs or dying bulbs with this LED lighting for aquariums.

That being said, if any of the LED lights do stop working, this aquarium light is designed to keep the others working perfectly. So, unlike other systems that can end up losing out on multiple connected light strips, this device will keep working with all other LEDs to keep your tank lit up and healthy. 

As for the lights themselves, Koval has used 78 high-quality LEDs with an estimated life of at least 50000 hrs. In various colors such as blue, pink, white, green, etc., this comprehensive system provides a broad spectrum of light that adds to the glow of all fish and plants, making your tank setup much more aesthetic.

There are also three unique modes so you can get the tone and color you want out of this aquarium light.

If you are a beginner, this option is one you should check out. With its extendable side brackets, this light is straightforward to install and can fit into most medium-sized tanks. So, you won’t have to worry about any confusing instructions or difficult mounts to get this light set up and running!

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Overview

If you are looking for a reliable device to light up your aquarium, the Koval Fish Tank Light Hood is an option you can check out. With a unique design that allows each LED light to run individually, even if any single light goes off, you will still be able to use the light for your tank.

Along with this, each LED has a life of about 50000 hrs, so you won’t have to worry about buying a new one for at least a few years.

5. Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light

Pros

  • Realistic lighting features
  • High-quality LED lights
  • Remote control
  • LCD for information

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

The Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light is a powerful and programmable LED aquarium light that is perfect for heavy-duty users.

With various controls and heavy-duty LEDs, this device is one you can use for nearly all tanks as you can easily change the settings to find one that is suitable for your pets and plants.

This aquarium light from the Current USA utilizes ultra-bright LEDs with a higher actinic blue ratio combined with a balanced full-spectrum white and RGB set of LEDs. So, this light provides a great combination that can help your plants and coral shine while also promoting their healthy growth. 

Along with this, we liked the amount of customizability offered by the light. Right off the bat, it comes with multiple modes that you can set to change the behavior of the lights.

These modes provide realistic lighting and can mimic effects like cloud cover by dimming the lights, storm by providing flashes of light, and more such as lunar and dusk modes that are beautiful to watch in an aquarium.

However, if the pre-set modes don’t suit you, the device comes with a remote control that can customize various things such as the timing of the lights, overall brightness, individual colors, and more. The controller itself is pretty intuitive, making it great if you are a beginner at using aquarium lights.

Another great thing you’ll like if you are a beginner is the easy installation process for this aquarium light. With extendable brackets on both sides, all you have to do is set them according to the length of your tank, and they should fit perfectly.

Also, the light itself is 0.5 inches thick so that it won’t take up too much space on top of your tank setup.

While all these features and customizable options make this a great device, it also adds to the price. Due to this, the Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light is one of the most expensive options on our list, making it one you might want to avoid on a limited budget.

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Overview

If you are looking for a heavy-duty LED light for your tank, the Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light is a great option you can look into. It comes with an array of white, blue, and RGB LED lights that can easily be set into the various pre-set modes for realistic lighting effects.

Also, the device comes with a remote control that allows for easy management of the timer, brightness, lights, and other features. 

Two Important Things To Consider While Choosing an Aquarium LED Lighting System

Here’s a list of some things you should consider when looking for an aquarium LED light:

Build Quality

While many people often overlook this factor, the build quality of an aquarium light is an important factor. Most people focus on their filter and pump as these devices are continuously pumping through water and air, due to which cracks can be quite damaging.

However, people tend to forget that a leak or breakage in a lighting system can also ruin the system and, subsequently, your pet’s lighting routine, which can cause them stress.

Due to this, when buying a new aquarium light, look for one’s built with sturdy materials and with fewer external parts. For example, instead of going for a fully plastic device, try finding metal ones that are less likely to break or chip under pressure.

Additional Features and Controls

Many lights available in the market today come with various additional features. These range from convenience features such as additional remote controls and timers to lighting features like heat dissipation and multiple control modes. All of these have different utilities, which may or may not benefit all types of tanks.

Thus, when looking for a new freshwater aquarium lighting system, try looking for beneficial features for your setup. For example, if you are looking for a light that simulates natural conditions for your pets, getting a light that has a sunrise/sunset timer along with full-spectrum lighting would be a great option.

On the other hand, finding a large aluminum light setup might work better for you if you want to avoid heating.

FAQ

Let’s discuss a few frequently asked questions related to aquarium LED lighting:

Are LED Lights Good for Aquariums?

Best Aquarium LED Lighting for a Beautiful Fish TankYes, LED lights are known to have many benefits for your plants and fish. Most importantly, lights used in a sunrise/sunset natural timing help your fish feel more relaxed and give them a routine to follow that can improve their overall health.

Apart from this, various lights are also known to promote growth in various plants and coral.

What Is a Full Spectrum Aquarium Light?

Full-spectrum light is a kind of lighting system that emits all wavelengths of visible light to match the effects of natural sunlight. It is done by utilizing a mix of various color blends throughout the spectrum to achieve a highly natural-looking light output.

Full-spectrum lights are great for aquariums as they help in the growth and health of plants and animals.

Do LED Lights Cause Algae Growth?

No, LED lights do not cause or promote the growth of Algae, and it is a common misconception that has developed due to algae development in various other lighting conditions.

If you want to avoid any algae growth, make sure to keep your light on lower brightness settings.

Can LED Light Be Too Bright for Fish?

While bright lighting is not known to bother most fish species, it can lead to other problems.

In particular, keeping your lights on for too long at full brightness can cause overheating issues and warm up the water in your tank. Also, bright lighting can lead to algae growth in your tank if you leave it on for extended periods of time.

Should You Turn the Light off on a Fish Tank at Night?

It depends on the kind of plants and animals you have in your tank, but it is advisable to turn your tank light off at night in most cases. It is because, just like other animals and fish in their natural habitat, the darkness at night is important for your pets to rest and sleep.

Thus, keeping your light on at night can stress your pets and ruin their overall health in the long run.

Are Fish Sensitive to Aquarium LED Lights?

No. LEDs add virtually no heat to your aquarium setup, unlike incandescent or fluorescent lights. It makes them a perfect alternative to other lights as they don’t harm your fish and require significantly less energy to keep functioning 24/7. 

Do LED Lights Help in Plant Growth?

Yes. If you have a planted tank, LEDs are a nice way to add light to your aquarium setup without spending a lot of money. Just about any spectrum of light will help in the growth of your plants. However, you should avoid the blue lights that are used for coral growth, as it is not suitable for planted tanks. 

Conclusion

While each product on our list has its advantages, our overall winner for the best aquarium LED lighting is the Hygger Aquarium Programmable LED Light. It is a sleek device that is a great addition to any tank setup and will improve the overall look of your tank.

Along with this, the black aluminum design makes it look thinner than it is and improves heat dissipation so that the LEDs can stay cool for longer.

As for the LED lights used in this device, Hygger has impressed us yet again. It comes with an array of LEDs in colors such as dark blue, green, purple, light blue, and more to offer you a broad spectrum of light to promote plant life and growth.

Moreover, with various modes and customizable options, you can easily adjust the high-quality lighting to match your tank setup perfectly.

We hope this list helped you find the best aquarium LED light for your tank!

5/5 - (15 votes)

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