Best LED Lighting For Reef Tanks – Reviews & Buying Guide

Lighting is indispensable to anyone who aspires to fulfill their dream of having a successful reef aquarium. For the most part, the best LED lighting for reef tanks will provide your little fishes and highly-selected plants with the light needed to grow and flourish healthily. Nonetheless, there are a host of products being on offer for the past few years, and getting to know the essentials of this kind of lighting device is nothing but a must if you don’t want to indeliberately collect trash for your adorable house.

The following list is about the top 5 of the best LED lighting for reef tanks that you may be concerned about, hopefully.

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Top 5 Best LED Lighting For Reef Tanks For Your Needs

Top 1 of the best LED lighting for reef tanks: Current USA Orbit Marine LED Light

Plus points:

  • Brighter: Your aquarium is designed to possess a great potential for decoration but you guys seem to have been oblivious of this feature. If so, let this LED light on behalf of you discover it. Packed with ultra-bright LEDs in a wider color spectrum, your corals and fish in the aquarium look even brighter somehow. Furthermore, the provision of both light and pump control uplifts your experience to a whole new level, believe me!
  • More colorful: A higher percentage of actinic blue spectrum LEDs balanced with full mode harmoniously creates an extraordinary combination for fish, inverts, live rock, and even corals, which greatly gives you a sense of happiness whenever getting home from work. Picture this: comfortably sitting on the sofa, attentively listening to a folk song belonging to many moons ago, and looking at your little fishes cheerfully swimming around the reef tank… That sounds amazing!
  • Multiple modes: Your body itself contains a substance called adrenaline, which means you are barely interested in something mundane and repetitive, right? Let your hair down with this special function programmed to create cloud cover effects, whose modes dimming periodically and blowing you away completely. Your aquarium has its hidden beauty that only is discovered when there comes the participation of a LED lighting from this brand.
  • Easy installation: with tanks that are 18-24 inches wide, extendable brackets intentionally allow this LED light to perfectly fit in without any concern related.

Minus point:

  • It is obvious that if you wanna actually take more control over the newer lights compared to the old ones, for example, to change how long you want daylight to run compared to ramp up, etc; you have to purchase an overpriced bluetooth controller to open up functions that normally are included in all their older light models, apart from having this only.

Top 2: BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater


Plus points:

  • High-quality lighting: Some customers have already gotten bored of the typical single tube fluorescent light and the number of those who lean towards energy-efficient lighting products is on the rise. With the provision of high-quality lighting that has been inspected carefully by loads of electronic lighting experts, this brand offers you a unique chance to be different and renew your aquarium’s look as much as your desire.
  • Durable: Even when you are playing the role of a critical customer to choose the most durable materials when it comes to purchasing household appliances, you are still likely to be convinced by this LED lighting’s enterprise. With long-lasting LEDs, no bulb replacement is required at any point during the time of use.
  • Good customer service: Chances are you would make a transaction right after being informed that this brand is a top-ranked name in the list of the best customer service lighting companies around the globe.

Minus point:

  • Due to the great intensity of lighting, this device seems to be a bit out of place when chosen for a planted tank, but if you still insist on buying it, I guess it somehow brings you advantages in its own way.

Top 3: VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Dimmable LED Aquarium Light

Plus points:

  • Balanced: This V165 aquarium light has been introduced widely in the market so far for its highlighted function to keep the balance of the PAR output and coverage.
  • Automatic: The internal timer is scientifically engineered enabling you to separately turn the light on or off with ease. I don’t think that there are any users unsatisfied when it comes to automatic operation as a plus point of technological advancement, for sure.
  • Dimmable feature: Provided by the manufacturer, this kind of function allows you to easily adjust two channels’ brightness separately.
  • Highly compatible: It is recommended that you use this lighting device for all kinds of photosynthetic corals. However, you should acclimate your aquarium or new corals to the new light respectively by increasing their direct exposure to the light.
  • Good warranty: I guess, to some of you, a 1-year local warranty is not an expected period for claiming, however, there is a plus of 30 days of satisfaction or return guarantee, which obviously enhances your experience to the maximum level.

Minus point:

  • In some unexpected situations, the device can cause electric shock.

Top 4: Kessil Controllable LED Aquarium Light

Plus points:

  • Highly adaptable: When a human moves from a residence to another, chances are it takes a great deal of time to adapt to the new culture, the new climate, the new living environment not to get an initial shock. However, when it comes to the acclimation mode of this electronic device, the brand ensures the best moments of the product standing by you.
  • Special features: Some other striking features like weather effects perfecting your space as a visual aid; or beautiful shimmer and full-spectrum light all contribute to the whole lighting performance of this model. I am at a loss for words when describing this light, so having and perceiving it yourself seems to be better than taking a glance at another person’s sharing.

Minus point:

  • Due to the uncertainty of the internet connection or sometimes on account of some undefined defects from the manufacturing process itself, this light cannot have access to the internet. This of course lowers its grade overall.

Top 5: WILLS Newest LED Aquarium Light

Plus points:

  • Advanced spectrum: A range of colors from red, blue, purple, white to green.. help to perfect a full spectrum layout that can apparently boost photosynthesis of aquatic plants inside your aquarium with the promise of enough oxygen for those little creatures and simultaneously enhance a healthy living environment here.
  • Two dimming channels: “The more, the better” – a catchphrase that you may have seen or heard thousands of times. Personally, I feel the aforementioned cliche a little bit right, when it comes to the doubled dimming channels of this lighting product. It is you who gets benefits with this noticeable upgrade, the one that makes sure your light shines on its best when needed.
  • Secondary optical crystal lens: With the provision of a 90′ crystal lens, the penetration to the depth of water is obviously possible, meaning that the water is brighter and cleaner, helping to enhance optimal lighting conditions to the highest standard.
  • Best service: In the event that your delivery has any arising problem or after a time of use, you are not completely happy with some imperfect functions, you can fundamentally keep in touch with your rigorous team of customer service to troubleshoot any issues.

Minus point:

  • It can be inevitably seen that the cord coming with the lights is sort of short. It does not allow you to hang the lights above your tank as wished.

Important factors to consider before making decisions

Why do you need to choose the right aquarium LED light and how to choose as such?

Before purchasing your own one, take a look at some tips below to get to know more about the reasons why and how to choose light as the best:

Fish and Plant Needs

You need to have a light on your aquarium to enjoy the beauty of the harmonization between the fish, plants, and decorations concomitantly. In addition, the fish need to see so that they can swim around with ease, find food and interact with each other. But there are other considerations that you need to keep in mind that fish and live plants have specific light needs. Some fish inhabit rivers, streams, and lakes, where the light is naturally bright almost all day long. The same reasons apply to plants; some grow in shallow or open water, where the light is constantly bright throughout the day. Others are found in deeper water lines or the shadow of taller plants or even shrubs and trees as well. It’s essential to choose a light that is appropriate for the types of fish and plants you keep.

Light Intensity And Spectrum:

Intensity and spectrum are normally less essential in aquariums or with artificial plants also, although some lights may boost natural colors better than others. A light that’s too intense will likely promote algae, for non-planted tanks, in particular. Where live plants are concerned, proper intensity and spectrum can make or break the success rate of keeping fishing inside any aquarium in the end. 

FAQs about Best LED Lighting For Reef Tank

What are the basics of some types of aquarium lighting?

  • Standard Fluorescent: Once the most prevalent type of aquarium lighting, standard fluorescents come in wattages between 15 and 40 with a wide range of size and color options. This is the type of lighting that is most often preferred in aquarium kits that come with a hood light, for sure. Standard fluorescents are affordable, easy to find, and beneficial for simple tank setups as well.
  • Compact Fluorescent: Described as another version of the standard fluorescent, this type of bulb is far smaller but it surprisingly produces a higher intensity of light than the other. Compact fluorescent bulbs come in wattages up to 130 and the bulbs can last for up to 28 months without even basic replacement. Like the type introduced above, compact fluorescents come in different wavelengths consisting of daylight or actinic.
  • T-5 High Output: Also known as T-5 HO, this kind of fluorescent lighting is an advance from compact fluorescents regarding intensity. These bulbs come in wattages as long as 54 and they can last for around 16 to 24 months. Even though these bulbs produce really high-intensity light they do not run hot like some of the other lighting systems as such.

Do fish really like LED aquarium lights?

Your fish won’t surprisingly start talking and express their gratitude if you add LED lights in your tank, but they as sure as hell don’t detest LED lights at all.

For starters, the lights are adjustable to some degree, which means you can have various light intensities in your fish tank being dependent on the type of fish that you have. Most tropical species like longer light hours and get a little agitated whenever the lights switch off. Whereas, those from temperate regions and the Amazon ecosystem, for example, where the water is far more darkened, appreciate moderate to low light settings, as scientifically proven.

Are LED lights good for aquarium plants?

A question most aquarists maybe pose about LED aquarium lights is whether they are good for planted aquariums.

Yes, of course, LED lights are good for plants, but there is a small caveat for you. In comparison with metal halides, LED lights are essential for growing plants that require high-light intensity, but they are probably perfect for some moderate light plants.

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