Choosing the best LED aquarium lighting for plants is one of the most essential aspects of maintaining a planted aquarium. Without enough lighting, your plants will not be able to live and grow. Not only does an aquarium light support your planted tanks, but it also adds to the attractiveness of the whole setup.
However, many aquarium lights in the market are poorly constructed and have faulty LEDs that can waste money. So to help you, we tested a dozen lighting systems for fish tanks and compiled our favorite ones in this list. Let’s get straight into it.
|Product||Power Consumption (in watts)||Dimensions (in inches)|
|25||40 – 50|
Handpicked Review of The Best Aquarium Light for Plants
Let’s look at our list of the best LED lights for plants.
- 24/7 light cycle
- Can be customized
- Value for money
- The 24/7 cycle is not customizable
The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Aquarium LED is a low-profile LED light with an ultra-thin profile. The light is equipped with a set of legs that firmly place the device on your tank’s surface. These legs are adjustable to fit smaller tanks, include screws for rimless tanks and a detachable inner section for larger rimmed tanks.
It is aimed to care for a large number of the plants in your aquarium. To provide the appropriate lighting, the fixture has strong LED bulbs that can produce 7000K daylight. This light, like actual sunshine, is vital because it helps aquarium plants in photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis requires about 8-10 hours of light every day for the plants in your aquarium. However, excessive lighting is harmful to your fish and plants. Therefore, it is essential to turn off the lights on time. Fortunately, the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light includes a controller that can automatically turn on the lights and switch them off when required.
The controller is programmed with a 24-hour automated lighting cycle, which provides a hands-free operation without any hassle. The 24/7 function also simulates the sunrise and sunset in nature, giving your aquatic plants a sense of the natural day and night cycle.
Integrated Colored LEDs
Apart from ensuring proper plant growth, the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 includes blue, green, and red LEDs. They offer various lighting effects that add to the appeal of your tank both day and night time. However, if you don’t want to use the 24/7 preset on this device, you can cycle through some ready-to-use presents built into it and choose the one that suits your preference.
The 24/7 cycle begins in the morning, progresses to a rising sun, and ends at noon. It then develops into a red sunset and, eventually, starry blue moonlight. On the next day, the lighting cycle is repeated on time. It is automatically regulated by the built-in controller, removing the need for daily fixture management.
The lighting system is made of high-quality aluminum, which provides adequate cooling and heat dispersion and increases its durability. Additionally, it is equipped with a water-resistant splash guard that adds to its durability.
The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC is one of the best lights in the market. It is available in different sizes ranging from 20 to 48 inches, making it a versatile lighting system for variable tank sizes. These lights provide a natural habitat for your plants in the tank. The automated dawn and sunset setting is the most noticeable feature of these lights.
Furthermore, the 7000K temperature provides a brilliant cool tone that allows the plants to perform photosynthesis. Aside from dawn and sunset, there are several more settings to choose from, like a starry night, thunderstorms, and even a gloomy day.
- Bluetooth compatible
- Premium build quality
The Fluval Plant Spectrum Bluetooth LED 3.0 is an excellent choice for a densely planted tank that requires consistent lighting. This planted aquarium light is highly efficient and completely customizable.
Similar to the Finnex LED lights, it also has a 24-hour timer, and the LED bulbs in this light are High Thermal Efficiency certified so that they will serve your aquarium for a long time. They also have 120 degrees of light spread, so your entire tank will be evenly illuminated with no dead zones or gaps.
Bluetooth Integrated Light Fixture
Additionally, this light fixture is Bluetooth integrated so that you can adjust it simply from your phone. To control this light, you must first download the app that enables you to modify every element, including the color, brightness, and time. Although this fixture includes numerous pre-programmed lighting cycle options, you can easily create your own using the app.
It is easy to set up the light for a 24-hour cycle, and you can decide when it starts and ends. As it rises to full daylight mode, it will go through a morning cycle. The light will then begin to dim at the next preset time for sunset. You can then specify how long you would like the moonlight to continue before turning off for the night. We encourage experimenting with the light spectrum in the day and night sections of the mobile application.
Once you modify the settings, there is no way to automatically restore the light to its default configuration values. So, make sure to list down the light preset settings before you begin experimenting with it.
When it comes to installation, the Fluval 3.0 lights provide a lot of conveniences. It features extendable brackets that can be adjusted smoothly, allowing you to manage the light to match your tank. Furthermore, this light fixture is available in various sizes. The largest is 60 inches, making it ideal for larger aquariums. Even though it’s a bit pricey, all these features make it a reasonable bargain.
The Fluval Plant 3.00 LED is one of the best lighting systems for planted aquariums in the market. What makes it unique is seamless Bluetooth integration and a mobile application that gives complete lighting control in your hands. It comes with many presets ready to use, or you can create your own in the app.
- Great for small and shallow tanks
- Ultra-thin structure
- Unit is not customizable
The Finnex Stingray LED lighting fixture is meant to be used with smaller planted aquariums starting at 5-gallons in size. It is the ideal lighting unit for a betta tank and is designed to keep up with the demands of low-light plants and highlight your fish’s colors. It is also an affordable choice that gives a variety of functions in your hands.
Size and Weight
The Stingray is available in seven different sizes ranging from 11 inches to 47 inches so that you can find the right one for your preferred tank size. In addition to that, the Stingray will take up very little space in your aquarium so that you can have an unobstructed view of your pets.
Another remarkable quality of the Finnex stingray aquarium LED light is its ultra-light structure with a 24-inch pencil-thin fixture. It features one of the most contemporary designs on our list that will look fantastic in your tank. Moreover, it is quick and straightforward to set up, so you are ensured that your tank will get proper illumination without the need for heavy equipment and tools.
It has a 13-watt power capacity and 7000k daylight with blue and red LEDs to light the entire tank. The red LEDs contain a 660 nm spectrum, which is essential for plant development and encourages blooming and seed germination.
This device is effective for small tanks and can also be used as a color-enhancing light to improve aquarium decor. Moreover, a set of transparent plastic legs and a pair of mounting clips are also included in the box to keep the device in position.
Quality of the Materials
Speaking of its build quality, the overall structure of this lighting system is minimal yet durable. So, if you have a tiny betta tank or a beginner planted aquarium with a few small fish, the Finnex Stingray is an excellent option to consider.
If you are looking for a decent LED lighting system for your planted tank but are limited by a fixed budget, we highly recommend checking out the Finnex Stingray LED lights. It is highly efficient and incorporates modern technology 660NM lights that are ideal for photosynthesis. Moreover, it is suitable for small to medium-sized tanks, and you can have a well-lit aquarium without putting a hole in your wallet.
- High-quality lighting system
- Wide color range
- Extension brackets don’t lock into position very well
The Koval Lighting Aquarium Fish Tank Light Hood is an excellent addition to any planted aquarium. It is one of the best lights in the market that comes with a plethora of noteworthy features. Moreover, it is available in several sizes so that you can find the perfect fit for your tank.
Depending on the product size, the system includes LED lights in a number ranging from 78 to 156. They include a vibrant spectrum in five different hues that you can mix and match according to your preference. The five colors in the panel are blue, pink, white, red, and green.
LED Colors, High Functionality
This LED aquarium lighting for plants contains 129 colored LEDs that cover the whole color spectrum and have a lifetime of up to 50000 hours, saving you the stress of frequent bulb changes. The power supply in this system is positioned on the side and has a waterproof connection. It is highly efficient at lighting the entire aquarium without costing a lot in terms of power consumption.
Most LED lighting systems usually do not function properly, and if one diode stops working, it can also cause the rest of the diodes to malfunction as well. However, that’s not the case with this lighting system. One of the most notable features of its design is that the LED lights continue to function even if one diode has burned out.
Speaking of its construction, the lights are encased in a durable aluminum alloy body. Unlike ordinary lights, which have a plastic build, these lights offer a robust performance while being highly durable.
It is an excellent option for you if you are on a low budget and need an energy-efficient device. You will get the light panel, an adapter, and two extendable brackets with this package.
The Koval Aquarium Fish Tank Light Hood is the ideal option if you want a bright LED fish tank light. It comes in five different hues, and the LEDs are pretty bright. They are designed to be as efficient and energy-saving as possible. It also has a low energy consumption and can help you save money while ensuring your fish tank is well-lit.
- Natural spectrum
- Value for money
- Simple and sleek design
- No additional features
The Beamswork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater is a great mid-tier option. You can consider it if you want to avoid poor-quality lighting systems but can’t afford a model from a premium brand.
High Quality Materials, High Efficiency
It is made from high-quality materials and has an energy-efficient light fitting that incorporates a single tube fluorescent light. This aquarium LED light is modern and elegant, leaving other LED lights to appear dull in contrast. The LEDs are long-lasting and will not require any bulb replacements in the near future.
LED Colors and Other Options
The Beamswork LED aquarium light comes in five distinct colors and is ideal for aquarium plants. It has a Kelvin value of 10000k and covers the whole light spectrum required for optimal plant development. Also, it provides the appropriate light combination of white, green, and blue for the best plant growth.
You can use the daylight and moonlight effects to help your fish tank’s aquatic environment feel more naturalistic. Furthermore, they are highly tensile and offer a simple installation and maintenance for beginners.
Low-priced, Highly Customizable
The device is relatively low-priced, mainly because of the lack of additional unique features available in other models. However, for a relatively inexpensive product, the sunlight spectrum distinctively brings out the colors of your fish while keeping your plants healthy and adding a pleasant hue to the whole look. Additionally, you can find these lights in various sizes, so you can pick out the one that best suits your aquarium.
The Beamswork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium light is a basic LED system designed solely for freshwater aquarium lighting. While it lacks the advanced features of all the other units, it is ideal for people on a tight budget. This light fixture is among the popular ones for less expensive alternatives, all because of its basic yet high-quality features.
Key Aspects To Consider When Buying Aquarium Lighting for Plants
When it comes to choosing the best LED aquarium lighting, it’s essential to consider all your needs. Following are a few factors you need to keep in mind before buying an LED lighting system for your aquarium:
– Plant Type
Different species of plants require different levels of light intensity to grow and perform photosynthesis . While certain plants require extremely intense lighting, others thrive on subtle lightings, such as mid-ground plants. Not only that, but the number of plants in your aquarium also influences the type of LED system you should have in your fish tank
If you want to promote better development in your plants, expose them to a brighter light source for a more extended amount of time. If you wish to limit the growth, use aquarium LED lights with lesser wattage. In a nutshell, knowing what kind of plants you have in your aquarium will help you choose the correct LED lights for them.
– Light Color
The color of light is determined by the spectrum, which is measured in Kelvin. Freshwater plants are more tolerant and may use a broader spectrum than saltwater plants. Anything between 5500K and 6500K will be enough for them. However, saltwater corals require a specific actinic light to grow and develop.
– Saltwater or Freshwater
There is a significant difference between how you install your LED lighting system for a saltwater aquarium and how you set it up for a freshwater aquarium. Corals in saltwater aquariums need specific actinic light, while the plants in freshwater aquariums do not. The bright blue light is not beneficial to plants in a freshwater tank. Therefore, you must consider the type of aquarium you have before investing in a lighting system for it.
As mentioned earlier, there are countless lighting systems for aquariums in the market. Each alternative offers unique features that are best suited for certain types of fish tanks. That’s why you should take your aquarium type and requirements into account before investing. The goal is to purchase the best possible setup for your aquarium without investing in unnecessary features that are incompatible with your aquarium.
All of the devices discussed in this article are sure to bring out maximum growth in plants since they are user-friendly, long-lasting, simple to use and add an impressive appeal to your aquarium. The Finnex Planted Aquarium LED Light stood out to us as the best out of all the lighting systems. It is intended for use with smaller planted aquariums, making it suitable for a betta tank.
This light fixture is ideal for low-light plants and displaying the colors of your fish. The equipment is simple, with no complex customization possibilities, but Finnex is a renowned brand whose devices are well-regarded for their quality and durability. Overall, the product offers fantastic value for money. This lighting system is the best aquarium light for plants if you have a tiny betta tank or a beginner planted tank with a few little fish in it.
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