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Best Lights for a Planted Aquarium

Top 10 Buying Guide

Best Lights for a Planted Aquarium

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In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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Best Lights for a Planted Aquarium
Your Authors and Guides
Article Author
Heather
Patton
Article Author
Jennifer
Trimbee
Article Author
Samantha
Dewitt
Your Authors and Guides
Article Author
Heather Patton
Article Author
Jennifer Trimbee
Article Author
Samantha Dewitt

How to Choose the Best Light for a Planted Aquarium

Planted tanks have special lighting requirements that other tanks don’t. Why? Because you have to make sure you provide your plants with just the right lighting to stimulate photosynthesis. The best light for a planted aquarium is essential to keeping your tank healthy and strong. We researched some of the top-rated, best-selling products available to help you find the right setup for your planted tank. Before we get started, let’s take a look at some of the main features to keep in mind.

Best Lights for a Planted Aquarium

Brightness: Brightness is measured in watts and the higher the number, the bright the light. Larger aquariums need more wattage because you have to make sure there’s enough light to penetrate to the bottom of the tank.

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Light Color: White light is generally light that resembles natural sunlight. It’s bright and a little crisp. Some of these products have a wide range of color options to choose from as well as different lighting effects like storms, dusk, and moonlight.

How to Choose the Best Light for a Planted Aquarium

Submersible: None of these lights is submersible which makes perfect sense if you think about it. Natural sunlight comes from above and since recreating natural light is what you’re trying to do, there’s no need to submerge them.

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Remote: Some lights come with a remote control so it’s easy to switch from one color or lighting mode to another. As we mentioned, some of these lights have a lot of colors to choose from so a remote comes in very handy.

Best Lights for a Planted Aquarium

Size: Something great about most of these lights is that they can be adjusted to fit a variety of tanks. There are some other styles that clip on one side of the tank or hang from above that are a little less versatile.

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Warranty: Most of these lights are covered by some kind of warranty. They range from 30 days to 2 years. Some of them also include a satisfaction guarantee on top of the warranty. Make sure you know what’s covered for the light you choose.

Top 10 Products

Now that you know a little more about what to look for, let’s move into our aquarium lights buying guide. Here’s how it works. We put our top and budget picks first so they’re easy to find. They’ll give you a good idea about the range that’s available. All of these products are great, though, and some are truly unique so stick around if you can. You never know which one will be the right one for you. Okay, are you ready? Let’s get to it.

Finnex FugeRay Planted Aquarium Light

Finnex FugeRay Planted Aquarium Light
When it comes to planted aquarium lighting, our top pick is the Finnex FugeRay Planted Aquarium Light. The ultra-slim, simple design incorporates multiple high output LEDs that deliver impressive light output. There are different modes, too, so you can activate a moonlight setting after the sun goes down. This light uses true red LEDs which have been found to be one of the most effective wavelengths to encourage photosynthesis. To make sure the bulbs last as long as possible, the circuit boards are made of high-quality aluminum and the fixture acts as its own heat sync to prevent overheating. The wide 120-degree light spread illuminates even large aquarium and the unique design allows you to mount this light to various aquariums and sump setups.
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NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light

NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light
If you’re looking for cheap aquarium LED lighting, take a look at the NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light. It features 6500K white LEDs as well as full-spectrum RGB LEDs to promote low light plant growth. Each LED strip has its own light control and the in-line switches were designed to protect against moisture, extending the life of the unit, though the manufacturer recommends using a glass or acrylic canopy for even more protection. The extendable mounting bracket adjusts to fit a variety of different aquariums and the low light levels are ideal for plants like java moss, java ferns, banana plants, anuba, and hornwort. Not only does this light come with a 1-year warranty, but there’s also a 30-day money back guarantee so you can try it with no risk.
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Current USA Satellite Light

Current USA Satellite Light
Next up is the Current USA Satellite Light which features super bright 6500K white LEDs as well as full-spectrum RGB LEDs so you can choose just about any color under the sun. That’s not all, there’s even a handy remote control so you can make all the changes you want from across the room. Each color is independently adjustable, too, so the options are endless. If you’re not sure where to start, try out some of the presets: cloud cover, storm, lightning, dusk, and even fading moonlight. The sliding docking leg design is easily adjustable to fit just about any aquarium and the 120-degree dispersion angle spreads the light evening and blends colors naturally. This is a great choice for a newbie or a seasoned pro.
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Beamswork LED Aquarium Light

Beamswork LED Aquarium Light
Another great choice, if you’re looking for LED lights for planted aquarium, is the Beamswork LED Aquarium Light. This high-quality, energy efficient fixture comes with 10000K white LEDs as well as actinic, red, and green, a combination that’s suitable for freshwater planted tanks. Set this light to full power during the day and switch to moonlight mode at night to give your plants a realistic day and night cycle. There’s also a compatible timer for this model that can change from day to night automatically, though it is sold separately. Installation is really simple. The sleek modern light fixture has extendable brackets that simply slide over the edges of your tank. They’re easily adjustable to any length and can easily fit a variety of tank sizes.
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COODIA Aquarium LED Light

COODIA Aquarium LED Light
The COODIA Aquarium LED Light is a great choice for someone looking for aquarium lights with a lot of different lighting modes and colors. You can use the remote to choose the color you want and then decide whether you want the light to be bright, dim, or slowly fade from one color to the next. You can also blend up to 15 colors at once so the possibilities are practically endless so you can choose the ideal light for viewing and give your plants what they need to thrive. An easy-to-use extendable bracket adjusts to fit just about any tank and the aluminum housing is durable, lightweight, and dissipates heat well to avoid high temperatures and extend the life of the unit.
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VIPARSPECTRA LED Tank Light

VIPARSPECTRA LED Tank Light
If you’re looking for the best reef aquarium LED lighting, we recommend the VIPARSPECTRA LED Tank Light. This light was designed for all photosynthetic corals and features a proprietary layout that’s been proven to deliver successful results. It has a full spectrum of color that mimics natural light to help you get the best possible results from your coral tank and everything can be adjusted using the remote control. An internal timer lets you turn the lights off and on automatically and each channel can be adjusted individually, too. The upgraded aluminum heat sinks keep the temperature down to protect the circuitry and help the light last as long as possible. This hanging system includes two kits for easy installation. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty and 30-day satisfaction money-back guarantee.
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Pawfly LED Fish Tank Plant Light

Pawfly LED Fish Tank Plant Light
Next up is the Pawfly LED Fish Tank Plant Light, a simple design that has a lot of awesome features. The long-lasting energy efficient LEDs mimic natural light and help promote growth in your planted tanks. There are 46 LEDs in all in white and RGB and there are seven different brightness levels to choose from. Use the lowest setting at night and turn it up during the day for health growing coral and plants. One of the cool things about this one is the memory function so if you turn them off or use a timer, the lights will return to the previous setting when they come back on. The adjustable length and width fit tanks from 18 to 24 inches that are less than ½-inch thick.
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ONF Planted Aquarium Light

ONF Planted Aquarium Light
The ONF Planted Aquarium Light has a clean design that allows you to adjust the angle and height to suit both the physical and aesthetic needs of your tank. One of the really convenient things about this setup is that you can easily move the light off to the side, giving you complete and unobstructed access to the tank for maintenance and cleaning. The ColorFul LED lights can be dimmed in increments of 25% and the memory function will returns to the previous brightness level when it’s turned off and on again. ColorFul LED delivers a full spectrum of light that’s closer to natural light than other LEDs that adds a bit of dazzle to your planted tank. This unique light has a cool modern look and is covered by a 1-year warranty.
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Lominie Planted Fish Tank Light

Next up is the Lominie Planted Fish Tank Light which has a simple design and a unique tailored look. It might look small but it’s equipped with a secondary lens that increases performance and creates strong penetrability. The solid aluminum housing and sleek body use a simple on/off switch and gooseneck that adjusts 360-degrees so you can choose the exact angle that you need for your setup. There are aluminum fins that act as a heat sink and a silent fan to keep the temperature under control. This light is meant for cube tanks up to 24 inches long with glass less than or equal to 0.95 inches thick. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty as well as a 30-day 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee so there’s no risk to try.
Next up is the Lominie Planted Fish Tank Light which has a simple design and a unique tailored look. It might look small but it’s equipped with a secondary lens that increases performance and creates strong penetrability. The solid aluminum housing and sleek body use a simple on/off switch and gooseneck that adjusts 360-degrees so you can choose the exact angle that you need for your setup. There are aluminum fins that act as a heat sink and a silent fan to keep the temperature under control. This light is meant for cube tanks up to 24 inches long with glass less than or equal to 0.95 inches thick. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty as well as a 30-day 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee so there’s no risk to try.
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KINGBO Plant Aquarium Light

Last up in our aquarium LED lighting review is the KINGBO Plant Aquarium Light. This is a full-spectrum six-band light that features white as well as RGB, the perfect combination for your reef or planted tank. Upgraded aluminum housing heat sinks effectively dissipate high temperatures, increasing the lifespan of the light so that it can last as long as 50,000 hours. This light is designed to fit a standard bulb socket, although bear in mind this is just the bulb and you’ll need to provide a lamp or bulb holder of your own. In addition to the 12-month warranty, you also get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, return it in the first 30 days for a complete refund.
Last up in our aquarium LED lighting review is the KINGBO Plant Aquarium Light. This is a full-spectrum six-band light that features white as well as RGB, the perfect combination for your reef or planted tank. Upgraded aluminum housing heat sinks effectively dissipate high temperatures, increasing the lifespan of the light so that it can last as long as 50,000 hours. This light is designed to fit a standard bulb socket, although bear in mind this is just the bulb and you’ll need to provide a lamp or bulb holder of your own. In addition to the 12-month warranty, you also get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, return it in the first 30 days for a complete refund.
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Article last updated on:

May 23, 2019

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TOP PICK

Finnex FugeRay Planted Aquarium Light

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