Choosing the best aquarium light timer is critical to control the lighting in your saltwater aquarium.

A timer helps regulate the aquarium conditions to keep your fish healthy. Moreover, it can also power your other devices and prevent them from consuming too much energy, which could ultimately trip the outlet.

This guide will aid you in finding the best timer for your aquarium light. By the end of this article, you will be able to find one that matches your fish tank.

Comparison Table

Products Weight Dimensions (in) Size Light Source

3.2 oz 5.9×3.15×0.85 Single-channel LED
Nicrew Dual Channel

5.6 oz 6.0×4.75×0.75 Dual-channel LED

3.2 oz 3.54×1.57×0.59 Single-channel LED
Way2Top 1.76 oz 3.66×2.52×1.06 Single-channel LED

The Best Aquarium Light Timers

1. Nicrew Aquarium Light Timer


  • LED light with push-button control.
  • It stimulates the natural day and night cycle.
  • Can automatically turn the lights on and off.
  • It comes with internal memory with pre-programmed settings.
  • You can use it as a dimmer.


  • Only a single lighting channel.


This aquarium light timer is suitable for most fish tanks out there. It can simulate the natural sunrise and sunset timings for the fish in your tank. It can automatically turn the lights on and off for your convenience, and you will only have to set the schedule once.

This device also comes with its internal memory. It can store any pre-programmed settings for you to deal with a power failure. You can conveniently use it as a dimmer and adjust its brightness from 1 to 100 percent.

The device ideally works with the CLassicLED by Nicrew as well as the ClassicLED Plus and BrightLED. It can also work with other lights, thanks to its standard power connectors of 2.5mm/2.1mm.

The light is pretty easy to install and reprogram according to your requirements and preferences. You can manually turn the lights on and off if you want to override the program. It also features a 24-hour digital clock. You won’t have to worry about your fish tank’s light scheduling ever again with this programmable aquarium timer on your side.


You only need to make sure that the lamps you are using are dimmable. The rest is up to this little device as it can automatically schedule your fish tank’s lighting without any interference.

2. Nicrew Dual Channel Light Timer


  • Can simulate the natural sunrise and sunset times.
  • Automatically schedules the day and night timings.
  • You can control the blue and white light separately.
  • Very easy to install and use with a large LED display.
  • Schedules can be saved automatically to tackle power outages.
  • Compatible with all standard lights.


  • It doesn’t work with CO2 tanks.


This digital aquarium timer can conveniently simulate the timings of sunrise and sunset in your area. It means that it can provide a natural environment for your fish to live in. This light timer can control the blue and white lighting modes individually and after them according to the light available requirements.

The light timer is easy to install, and you don’t have to go through much to get it synced with your tank. Just make sure you are not using CO2 tanks. Otherwise, it will create a harmful environment for your fish, and they won’t survive for too long.

There is a large LCD on this device that allows you to track time conveniently. And the best part is that it can automatically save the lighting schedules and settings for you, and you won’t have to set them again and again.

Moreover, it’s a valuable feature that will come in handy if you deal with any power outages. Your fish will continue to live in the environment that is best suited for them.

This light dimmer is compatible with other LED light types, including the ClassicLED G2 light by Nicrew, 30W Reef LED light, and HyperReed 30 light. But make sure that it’s a barrel connector that is 2.5mm/2.1mm in size with 120W.


This dual-channel light timer is pretty efficient in its performance. It can automatically schedule your fish tank’s light times with the natural sunrise and sunset timing in your area. It can also automatically save your schedule, and you don’t have to set it again.

3. MingDak Aquarium Light Timer


  • Fully programmable 24-hour lighting controller.
  • Can simulate sunrise and sunset timings for half an hour during those times.
  • Pre-programmed settings.
  • Automatically adjust light brightness.
  • Simple to install and use.
  • Two modes, including on/off and on/out with ramping up.


  • No controls for the ramping uptime.


First of all, you have to make sure that the lights present in your fish tank are dimmable and come with a DC connector. This light timer works well with a light that has 0V to 30V output. It can effortlessly simulate the sunrise and sunset timings for about half an hour during that time of the day and arithmetically increases the light brightness to keep it natural for the fish.

You can schedule this programmable light timer for 24 hours. You can increase or decrease the inbuilt ramping-up times of these lights. Still, they can automatically raise and reduce according to the day’s hour for 15 minutes. It means that the timer will automatically ramp up the lights when they turn on and then slowly dim them down before shutting them down completely.

It allows you to keep the lights on/off at the same time and maintain a schedule for you. Your fish will feel relaxed thanks to the rhythmic increase and decrease of the lights. Also, this timer has a manual button so you can turn the lights on or off yourself.


It’s a neat-looking light timer with a huge display screen. Reading and scheduling the time with it is not a problem at all. But make sure that you have a consistent flow of electricity in your area because a power failure would require you to reset the program.

4. Way2Top Aquarium Light Timer


  • The light brightness increases and decreases gradually.
  • It also comes with a night light mode.
  • One hundred levels of dimming or brightness.
  • You can use the gradient mode to reduce any effects on your fish.
  • Eight different time brightness settings.
  • Installation is a breeze.


  • The dim lights only work when ramping the lights up and down.


The S2 model is a serious upgrade from the previous version, where there was no dim light feature. This time around, you get to dim the lights while ramping up and down at the time of sunrise and sunset. The transition from dim light to full brightness is pretty natural and smooth, so your fish won’t feel anxious during these times.

There are 100 different brightness levels present on this light timer, but 20 levels are used for the ramping-up period. The rest of the 80 levels stay on during the max power. So, there is no 30 to 70 level working during the day.

However, the dimmer does work pretty well to simulate the natural timings of the day. Installation is pretty smooth and straightforward too. However, you will have to check and confirm that your power supply and lamp are below 100W.

You can also check the lamp’s interface and connect this modulator within the series between the power supply and the lamp. In some cases, you might have to go with a connecting adapter to make it work.

The controls on the light dimmer are pretty simple to use, and you can manually dim or brighten the light according to your fish’s requirements and needs.


Overall, this light timer works pretty well for a variety of fish tanks. It effectively does its job by gradually dimming and brightening up the light according to the time of the day. The installation process is pretty simple and so are the controls on this device.

Why Does Your Aquarium Need a Timer?

If you have a fish tank and enjoy watching your fish living their lives in a tank, you might not need a light timer. Many fish tank hobbyists don’t need one at all.

But if you find it a hassle to turn the aquarium equipment on and off now and then and do a part-time duty, you will need to have a fish tank light timer. Of course, you don’t want too much light in your tank because it can cause algae to grow at a rapid pace. Additionally, leaving your lights on at all times can cause your fish to be stressed.

Rather than turning the light on/off manually or forgetting to do so, you can automatically program them using light times. There are also automatic aquarium lighting timers for other equipment in your fish tank, UV sterilizers, CO2 injectors, and pumps.

Different Types of Aquarium Light Timers

If you take a look underneath your aquarium, you will find a cabinet. And in that cabinet, you will see some timers. Below, we will discuss these timer types in detail.

1. Traditional Plug-in Timers

It is the most popular one of them because it is readily available and is pretty affordable. You can plug it in your outlet and then plug the tank equipment in this timer. After that, you will need to program the timer for the aquarium light, and voila!

However, these timers only work with a single product. You cannot add other equipment to it, so you will have to buy another timer for the separate piece of equipment.

2. Ramp Timers

These light timers for fish tanks are not that common, but they do come in handy as they dim and brighten the light simulating the day and night’s natural lighting. There is not just the turn-off and turn-on feature on this timer. It effectively works as a dimmer for your aquarium.

Your lights will gradually get brighter with time, resulting in a more natural environment for your fish and plants. Of course, you can use the manual on and off switch when you need it.

Are All Aquarium Timers the Same?

No, not all aquarium timers come with the same features and operations. And the reason is that most aquarium manufacturers don’t make timers for their aquariums. Some of these timers are mere rebranding.

It is essential that you are careful in finding the right one that meets your needs. Your local fish store might have a variety of these timers, but not all of them are going to work similarly. Some of them are quite large while others are not too big. That is why you need to look at your aquarium’s size and consider the light timer’s size accordingly.

Benefits of an Aquarium Light Timer

There are various advantages of having an aquarium light timer control the light equipment in your fish tank. The most important one of them all is that you won’t have to worry about turning your fish tank on or off. It is critical for those who don’t have a consistent schedule or tend to forget it altogether.

Another advantage of having an aquarium light timer is that it can mimic the natural day and night schedule, resulting in better stability within your tank. The fish, coral, and plants have a circadian rhythm of falling, including other invertebrates.

Therefore, they have to perform specific processes during different periods. By having this timer, you can regulate the light time and fall into their routine. Otherwise, you will have to deal with algae and coral outbreaks and various other fish behavior.

Drawbacks of an Aquarium Light Timer

An aquarium light timer has its advantages. However, there are some disadvantages of these light timers as well. They are bulky that can easily cover multiple outlets just to fit snuggly. It can take up much valuable space for other equipment in your aquarium.

You will also have to keep in mind that these light timers are an additional expense you will have to bear. Some high-end light timers come with Bluetooth capabilities. If you are going to go for this reliable device, you will need to spend more on it.

And of course, just like any other piece of equipment, they can fail as well, and that goes without any notice. These products may malfunction without any alerts, and one day they die out. It can cause extended photoperiods and can mess up your tank big time.

However, with light timers, the pros outweigh the cons significantly in the long run.

Things to Consider When Buying an Aquarium Light Timer

There are various factors that you need to consider before buying an aquarium light timer. Most of the features are pretty basic, and you won’t have to do much to assess them.


It’s the most crucial feature, especially if your fish tank is not that big. A large device can take up a lot of space on your outlet or inside your cabinet. Therefore, you need to consider the size of the device and buy it accordingly.

Number of Channels

These light timers come with different channels. It means that you can conveniently connect more aquarium equipment with them, including pumps, CO2 injectors, and UV sterilizers. In most cases, you will find a single channel timer and a dual-channel timer.

You can go with a single channel timer for a small-sized tank, and it will continue to work pretty well. If you are looking to only focus on automating a single piece of equipment, a single channel will work for you.

Dimming Function

With this function, you can conveniently dim or brighten your lights according to your fish’s needs and requirements. Some models also come with automatic dimming functions that simulate the sunrise and sunset timings.

Preset Programming

Preset programming is another function where a timer comes with different pre-installed settings. You only have to set the schedule by pressing a single button. Resetting these timers according to the requirements of your tank is pretty simple.


The winner of this roundup for the best aquarium light timer is the Nicrew Aquarium Light Timer. It can conveniently simulate the sunrise and sunset dimming of the day to provide your fish with more of a natural environment and keep them relaxed. It will also prevent any algae outbreaks from occurring in your tank.

The installation and operation of this timer are simple.

The Nicrew is designed for saltwater fish tanks, but you can also use them for freshwater fish tanks if you want. Just make sure your tanks come with dimmable lights before buying this unit. Also, make sure that the voltage outputs on your tanks are compatible with the timer.


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