When it comes to owning a successful planted aquarium, proper lighting’s essential.
Without good enough lighting, your plants won’t get the energy they need to thrive and grow.
Choosing the right LED light for your planted tank can be tricky. There’s a lot of options. That’s why we’ve done the research for you.
In this article, you’ll learn about planted aquarium lighting 101, don’t worry, there’s no complicated stuff, just simple guides.
Then I’ll recommend some of the best LED lighting for planted aquariums currently on the market.
How to Choose the Best Planted Aquarium LEDs
When choosing your LEDs, you’ll need to consider the following:
Why a Timer is SO Important
The Light Spectrum
Tank Size vs. Light Intensity
What Plants are in Your Tank?
Best Planted Aquarium LED Lights Reviewed
1. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED [Top Pick]
Summary: A truly automated system for your freshwater aquarium. It will mimic natural daylight throughout the day from sunrise to sunset.
2. Aquatic Life LED EDGE
3. Marineland Accent Hidden LED System
4. Kessil A160WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light: Tuna Sun [High-End LEDs]
These LEDs aren’t like the others on this list. Kessil design and manufacture purpose built LEDs, and have been for over 27 years.
This ability to control the tech from the start with a specific purpose in mind sets them apart.
The materials used to make this LED fixture is durable and means it’s got a high chance of lasting a very long time.
Featuring two control knobs, you can control both the light spectrum and intensity. Meaning this light can adjust to different tank depths and plants lighting needs.
The controls a very easy to use and could be a fantastic option if you’re not the most tech savvy person.
You’ll also get the added ability to daisy-chain multiple lights, which you can control from a stand-alone controller.
Summary: Top of the line wide angle LEDs offer quality results. Easy to use and program, this is one the best lights available today.
5. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Light [Budget Option]
A more budget friendly option, the Current USA Satellite is a mix of 6500K white and 445Nm blue LEDs.
It comes in four sizes: 17”, 23”, 35” and 47”.
It also features adjustable mounting brackets so you can adjust the fit to your tank. Installation is a snap, just adjust the mounting brackets to sit on top of the tank and you’re done.
This light comes with a wired remote that lets you turn the light on/off and dim the white or blue LEDs independently. You can also choose from different modes like storm effects with lightning, cloudy day and evening modes like lunar and dusk.
It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee to ensure that you’re happy with the light.
Summary: Although not the most advanced light on the market, this is a solid choice that won’t break the bank and features cool lighting effects.
6. Koval LED Aquarium Light [Best for Plants That Need Low-Medium Lighting]
The Koval aquarium LED offers wide spectrum light that won’t completely drain your wallet. The array features white, blue, red, green and pink LEDs.
The outer shell is made of aluminum alloy, much sturdier than plastic casings.
Although this light is great for viewing your tank, it may not be bright enough to grow plants with high light demands or on a tank over 24” deep.
It is easy to install. It mounts on the top of the tank with adjustable mounting brackets.
The biggest drawback to this light is that it is not adjustable. There is no way to dim the lights or change the intensity of the different colors. It only has three modes: off, full on and blue only.
Summary: For tanks under 24” deep, this light is a great way to get a wider light spectrum while still staying under budget.
My Top Pick for the Best Planted Tank LED Light
It comes down to two for me:
The Finnex and the Aquatic Life. If it’s in your budget, I would say go for the Aquatic life.
Yes, it’s slight more expensive, but you’re getting a better build quality.
However, having said that. The Finnex is more than capable of providing the light you need and any other customizable options. It’s also much cheaper.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Current USA and Koval both offer great value for money.
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Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API