Choosing the right lighting for your aquarium is extremely important for the health of plants, fish and other aquatic life.
Buying lighting for your aquarium and also when using the lighting, there are various criteria that you have to consider. While some lighting for your aquarium will be well worth the money, some are just expensive gimmicks that will never satisfy the look you want. Of course, quality lighting does cost money but with the advancements in technology, you don’t have to break the bank to get one that fits your aquarium lighting needs.
If you’re in the market for new lighting for your aquarium, then we’ve got just the list for you. Check out the best lighting for almost every aquarium below.
- Top 10 Lighting For Your Aquarium in 2020 Reviewed
- 1. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light with Extendable Brackets
- 2. hygger Full Spectrum Aquarium Light with Aluminum Alloy Shell Extendable Brackets
- 3. DOCEAN Aquarium Color Changing Lights with Remote Control
- 4. COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting
- 5. MLJ LED Aquarium Light
- 6. HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light
- 7. VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Full Spectrum Aquarium Light
- 8. CURRENT Orbit Marine IC LED Saltwater Reef Aquarium Light
- 9. MQ 8-20 Submersible LED Aquarium Light
- 10. ECtENX LED Aquarium Light
- Facts to remember and questions to answer when buying lighting for your aquarium
Top 10 Lighting For Your Aquarium in 2020 Reviewed
1. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light with Extendable Brackets
The NICREW LED lighting for your aquarium is:
- Comes with white and blue LEDs
- In can also provide effects for your aquarium
By using two lighting modes you can create a spectacular atmosphere that really showcases the fish and creates a beautiful addition to any fish room.
NICREW Classic LED provides the ultimate opportunity to create a realistic underwater home-aquarium environment. NICREW is ideal for freshwater or saltwater fish and low-medium light level plants.
This lighting for your aquarium is compatible with NICREW Single-channel timer and Single-channel timer Pro. It gradually turns the light on to simulate sunrise, dims the light to simulate sunset
A glass or acrylic canopy is highly recommended to extend the life of the unit by preventing moisture from affecting it
|Two lighting modes||Without a glass or acrylic canopy, this lighting for your aquarium can be affected by moisture|
|Bright, energy efficient LEDs|
|Low voltage, super safe for use|
|The recommended lighting time is 8-10 hours|
|Fits Aquarium Size: 10, 15, 20 Extra High, 20 High, 30 Extra High, 16 Bow Front, 26 Bow Front|
|This appliance is recommended for use over a glass aquarium cover or panel|
Get the NICREW lighting for your aquarium HERE
2. hygger Full Spectrum Aquarium Light with Aluminum Alloy Shell Extendable Brackets
The hygger lighting for your aquarium comes with:
- White blue red LEDs
- An external controller
It is perfect for freshwater fish tanks.
The aluminum alloy metal shell of the hygger aquarium lighting has a nice touch feel and fast heat dissipation.
It comes with 2 pairs of mounting brackets which are extendable on each side to about 5 inch and are specially designed for most fish tank (12-52 inch. One pair is the metal bracket and the other pair is plastic bracket.
- It uses 5730 Leds
- It is brighter and energy saving
- The soft light will make your aquarium water looks sparkly clean
- It makes the green or red plants under the water looks more bright and beautiful
|The whole light shell is aluminum alloy metal, nice touch feel, fast heat dissipation.||Only suitable for saltwater tanks|
|Comes with 2 kinds of extendable mounting brackets.|
|External controller has memory function when timer is off in case of power-down.|
|You can set light time to 3h, 6h, 12h. 24 hours is a cycle.|
|3 light modes: white leds, blue+white+red leds, red+ blue leds.|
|Under each light color modes, you can adjust the light brightness for 5 levels.|
|Easy to install on covered or uncovered, with rim or rimless glass or acrylic fish tanks.|
Get the hygger lighting for your aquarium HERE
3. DOCEAN Aquarium Color Changing Lights with Remote Control
As great lighting for our aquarium, DOCEAN uses RGB LED lights with 16 color 4 modes that can remotely be controlled.
The DOCEAN LED lighting turns your fish tank into a colorful landscape. It really mimics the ocean with fish and reptiles seen like swimming or moving in part of oceans.
It comes with strong and removable suction cups to fix to aquarium tank.
It uses 12V low working voltage which is safe for people and fish.
|Compared with other led, our 5050SMD led bead is more brighter, energy efficient and long lasting. It can last for more than 50,000 hours.||IR receiving sensor and adapter can not be submerged in water completely|
|Built in IR receiving Sensor and 24keys RGB remote controller, this submersible aquarium light can give off 16 kinds of monochrome static lighting effects(10 level adjustable brightness), and 4 kinds of dynamic effects (flash, strobe, fade, smooth ) with 10 level adjustable speed.||IR signal can not pass through objects, so remote controller must aim at receiver without obstacle during remote.|
|The IP68 waterproof acrylic fish tank light can be submerged in water without any damage.|
|The explosion protection acrylic glass provide more clear and safer light for your aquariums.|
Get the DOCEAN lighting for your aquarium HERE
4. COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting
The COODIA lighting for your aquariums come with:
- Extendable brackets make the light fit different size of tank perfectly
- Aluminum housing that provides a better dissipation that makes sure that the light will not get hot even in long time of use.
- High quality RGB LEDs with embodied ideal wavelength for growing plants which provide enough brightness for viewing
The COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting comes with a lot of features that include:
- A remote control
- A lifespan of 100,000+ hours
- Comes in five different sizes ranging from 11 inches to 54 inches
- Beneficial for aquarium plants
- Multiple lighting modes
|It has very responsive controls||It is a bit complicated to set up and use|
|The COODIA lighting is very custimizable|
|Compare to other products, it is very light|
|You can get the COODIA is a wide variety of sizes available|
|Its is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments|
|It is very well price and every aquarium owner can afford it|
Get the COODIA lighting for your aquarium HERE
5. MLJ LED Aquarium Light
The MLJ LED lighting has an IP68 rating which means it is waterproof and the light Bar could be submerged entirely under or above the water.
It comes in different sizes from 7 to 44 Inch.
The bright LED Bar completely transforms your aquarium with your fish and reptiles seen where they’re swimming or moving.
Due to its low voltage of 12V, the MLJ lighting for your aquarium is safe and won’t cause any harm to people or fish.
|It is waterproof||The dimensions are predefined. That means you can only work with the set lengths|
|It comes in different sizes from 7 to 44 inches|
|The LEDs are energy saving and color stable|
|In comes a highly transparent and explosion-proof acrylic lampshade|
|It is easy to use|
|It is durable and easy to clean|
Get the MLJ LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
6. HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light
HIPARGERO LED lighting for your aquarium comes with real CREE LEDS and a professional spectrum designed to mimic the deep-sea environment. It is purposely designed to help coral pop and bring out the colors.
It uses top quality 90 degree three in one acrylic lens, ensure higher light efficiency and remarkable color uniformity.
You can also adjust the saltwater lighting intensity 0% to 100% which makes it easy:
- To dim appropriate lighting for different sea pets (coral reef or fish)
- To promote the growth of any SPS and LPS flourished under it
- To promote producing the amount of Vitamins D3 which will help coral absorb Calcium so that coral will appear brighter, colorful which is suitable for coral, platypus and other creatures
HIPARGERO LED lighting has two-roller silent fans that stay on until they are unplugged. The fans have very low noise standards below 44.7 db(A).
|It comes with touch control to weaken or strengthen the white/blue light intensity and the whole light in general||The fan only turned off when we unplugged the unit.|
|You can turn it on and off from the remote control|
|If comes with two-rollers silent fans that keep working until unplugged with noise standards lower than 44.7 db(A)|
|It is designed for fast heat transfer|
Get the HIPARGERO LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
7. VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Full Spectrum Aquarium Light
The VIPARSPECTRA lighting for your aquarium comes with the following notable features:
- Full spectrum that mimic natural light to help corals/fish achieve the best balance.
- Built-in-Timer with two on/off settings one for blue and the other one for white.
- Two channels brightness can be adjusted from 0% to 100% separately.
- Advanced high speed quiet fans and upgraded aluminum heat sinks are easy for heat dissipation.
- One remote in hand, everything is simple. Easy adjustable hanging kits.
You can easily control the blue and white light spectrum individually.
|It has a 90 Degree optic lens that ensures the light is more concentrated. This reduces light loss and improves high PAR/Lumen output and maximize yield.||It is not ideal for plants. You would need to get a different set of lights just for plants|
|It provides full color spectrum to optimize coral and fish growth.|
|There are two ways to setup the light fairly. One setting system with Remote, another setting system with Control Knob. It’s very simple and easy to setup.|
|It ha a timet that can turn the light on and off automatically and set different intensities for two channels (blue and white channels) individually.|
|The spectrum of the LED aquarium lights are specially designed for water creatures such as coral, reef, etc.|
Get the VIPARSPECTRA LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
8. CURRENT Orbit Marine IC LED Saltwater Reef Aquarium Light
The CURRENT lighting for your aquarium comes with a wireless smartphone control is designed to make reefing easier and more enjoyable.
It is equipped with a powerful blend of Dual Actinic blue 445nm/460nm, Dual Daylight white 6,700K/10,000K and RGB LEDs combined with 90° spherical optical lenses delivers the perfect blend of light for strong coral growth and amazing fluorescence.
|It has a seamless aluminum housing which is only ½” thick and keeps a low profile without sacrificing performance.||It is ideal only for saltwater tanks|
|It offers a thermally efficient LED design that requires no cooling fan and runs completely silent.|
|The Orbit Marine IC has a Bluetooth control which includes a LOOP controller for the LED light.|
|It uses the LOOP app on iOS or Android mobile devices.|
|The App is simple, intuitive and requires no wifi network.|
Get the CURRENT LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
9. MQ 8-20 Submersible LED Aquarium Light
The MQ 8-20 lighting for your aquarium comes with 16 colors to choose from.
It has a remote control that you can use to:
- Easily control the light on/off
- Control the color options
- Adjust the lighting speed
The MQ 8-20 LED lights are good for fish, plant and other pet.
It creates a great ambience that makes your tank look like part of oceans, and your fish and reptiles seen where they’re swimming or moving.
Fo beginners, the following feature makes the MQ 8.20 very ideal:
- This LED light Bar could be submerged entirely under the water or put it out of the water
- The aquarium light can be installed inside or outside the tank, above water, under water, under rock and any where you want to.
- This light bar is very easy to attach to the fish tank with 2 suction cups (included), make it very easy to place on fish tank.
The MQ 8-20 LED aquarium lights can easily be installed inside or outside the tank, above water, under water, under rock and anywhere you want to.
MQ 8-20 LED lights come with 5050 SMD lamps that are safe, low heat and long-lasting. This makes them ideal for use in fish tanks, turtle tanks, reptile tanks, ponds and so on.
|Colorful Visual Effect||The Power Adapter, Switch and Remote are Non-submersible|
|Lighting Brightness Adjustable|
|It can be installed inside or outside the tank|
Get the MQ 8-20 LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
10. ECtENX LED Aquarium Light
The ECtENX lighting for your aquarium comes with the following features that make it one of the best aquarium lights for beginners:
- It emits enough bright light for a healthy and growth environment fish and other inhabitant.
- It helps your plant grow better and maintain a vibrant color which provides great night viewing.
- It is easy to install and provides the perfect lighting for your aquarium.
The ECtENX two-color LED lighting (blue and white) illuminates your tank’s inhabitants, great for night viewing.
It enhances colors in fish and corals and can be used to provide stunning lighting effects in the day or night.
|Easy to install clamp fits most rimless and framed fish tanks up to 0.39 inch thick||The light clamp mount doesn’t fit tanks with black top boarder which thicker than 0.39 inches.|
|Very bright with 40% energy-saving and long lasting LEDs|
|Comes with a gooseneck clamp/mount aquarium with a soft arm that can be adjusted to any angles and position|
|It promotes calcium absorption of the coral, synthesize vitamin D3|
Get the ECtENX LED lighting for your aquarium HERE
Facts to remember and questions to answer when buying lighting for your aquarium
Key aquarium lighting facts to remember when shopping
- through lighting, the plants in the aquarium can produce photosynthesis, prevent algae growth and promote the health of fish and other inhabitants
- LED tubes are the most efficient and energy-saving lighting, and fluorescent tubes are also used in older aquariums
- 30-50 lumens per liter of water provide sufficient brightness
- the light should be daylight white (light color: 6,500-8,000 K)
- the ideal lighting duration is between 8-10 hours
- UV lamps disinfect the water and can contain the algae infestation
Answers to aquarium lighting questions you might have
Why is lighting so important for aquariums?
Correct lighting creates an artificial day-night cycle in the aquarium. The plants in the aquarium need the light for photosynthesis. This removes nutrients from the water. If this does not happen, algae are happy about these nutrients and enrich the water with oxygen. This affects the water quality and the health of the fish and other aquarium inhabitants.
Is daylight sufficient for lighting my aquarium?
Natural daylight alone is not sufficient lighting for your aquarium. You should make sure that neither direct nor indirect sunlight falls on the aquarium. Because algae can multiply through daylight and the water temperature can also increase significantly.
Does it have to be LED lighting for my aquarium?
Not only LED lamps are suitable as lighting for the aquarium. Often there are also fluorescent tubes (neon tubes), compact fluorescent lamps or HQL / HQI gas discharge lamps. Mostly, however, fluorescent tubes or LED tubes are used as lighting for an aquarium.
Fluorescent tubes are available in two different lamp types: T8 and T5. T8 fluorescent tubes have a G13 base and a diameter of 26 mm. They are often installed in older aquariums. T5 fluorescent tubes, on the other hand, are mostly used in newer aquariums. They have a G5 base and are significantly slimmer with a tube diameter of 16 mm.
Why should you still use LED tubes? LEDs offer significantly lower power consumption and, at the same time, better light quality, for example through flicker-free light. In addition, with LED tubes, no heat is generated during light generation. This extends the service life many times over compared to neon tubes. LEDs are also available as T8 and T5 tubes, making switching to LEDs particularly easy.
How much light do I need for my aquarium?
The recommendation for the amount of light in the aquarium is around 30 lumens per liter of water. This allows most of the plants to thrive in the aquarium. Since some plants also need more light to grow, you can provide up to 50 lumens per liter. Plants that have a higher need for light will also be satisfied with this.
The value of 30-50 lumens per liter is, however, a pure rule of thumb. How much light an aquarium actually needs depends entirely on which plants are used in the individual case. Here you can get more detailed information from specialist dealers for aquarium plants.
Too much brightness in the aquarium lighting can result in increased algae growth, but too little has a negative effect on the growth and health of the plants. If you increase the light intensity for your aquarium, the plants also carry out more photosynthesis and accordingly need more CO2 and nutrients.
Why is lumen so important for LED lighting in my aquarium?
The unit lumen (lm) describes the brightness of a lamp and is therefore decisive for the selection of your LED lighting for the aquarium. Watt, on the other hand, indicates the power consumption of a light source and is not particularly meaningful in terms of luminosity, especially with LED lamps.
Which light color do I need for my aquarium?
In general, the following applies: The light color daylight white is best suited for illuminating aquariums. Light is most similar to natural sunlight and has the best mix of red and blue wavelengths in light.
These are both needed for balanced plant growth. In addition, blue light penetrates deeper into the water and can therefore also illuminate the aquarium floor. Aquatic plants also process a higher proportion of blue light for photosynthesis, as more of this reaches them. Red light is spectrally filtered by the water and is therefore not very useful for illuminating aquariums with LEDs.
The light color or color temperature is measured in the unit Kelvin. The lower the Kelvin value, the higher the red component in the light. Since we need daylight white light for the aquarium, LED or fluorescent tubes with a color temperature of 6,500 K to 8,000 K are suitable.
How long should the aquarium light be switched on?
A lighting time of 8-10 hours is ideal. This ensures that a day-night cycle is adhered to. Plants need a minimum lighting period of 6 hours, for example to be able to carry out sufficient photosynthesis.
Make sure that the lighting does not exceed 12 hours. In freshwater aquariums it is also possible to take a lunch break of up to 4 hours during which the light is switched off. Please note that this break is not advisable for saltwater aquariums.
Regular lighting of your aquarium is also important. This means that the lighting should be switched on at the same time whenever possible. A timer is best for this.
Why is the water in my aquarium cloudy?
Cloudy or greenish water is caused by the increased occurrence of algae and bacteria. It doesn’t have to be bad for plants and fish, but it looks ugly. Cloudy water in the aquarium can also be caused by unsuitable lighting. To remedy this, you can use UV lamps in addition to the normal LED lighting for the aquarium. These have a disinfecting effect and contain the algae infestation.