Nicrew ClassicLED Plus Aquarium Light PAR Tested, Reviewed, & Compared 2021

The Nicrew ClassicLED lighting fixture is the latest update, including full spectrum LEDS, an aluminium alloy housing, and adjustable mounting brackets.

On paper, it looks like a great budget option.

To find out, I purchased this kit, along with 4 other aquarium LED lights for planted tanks and tested them.

Looking at PAR, installation, customization, reliability, appearance and economy, in the process, I was able to find out just how good this LED lighting kit is.

Here are the results:

Quick Overview For Nicrew ClassicLED Plus

I don’t recommend this light. Yes, it’s fairly inexpensive, but so are some of the other planted aquarium lights we reviewed & tested, and those have WAY better features than this Nicrew light. This light came in dead last in our head-to-head challenge.

Planted aquarium LED lights comparison

You might be able to get away with it on a low tech set-up, but the lack of PAR wouldn’t be suitable otherwise.

If you’re in need of a budget-friendly light, I would recommend you go for the Hygger LED lighting fixture.

Preview Product
NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Plants, 36 to 48 Inch, 27 Watts NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater...
hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode, Adjustable Timer Adjustable Brightness Fish Tank Light with Extendable Bracket 7 Colors for Planted Tank hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode,...

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How I Tested The Nicrew LED Light

We purchased five different LED plant lights for a head-to-head challenge to see how they compared.

We tested the lights in two ways:

  • PAR Readings – using a waterproof PAR meter, we measured the PAR of each light. We took readings from three different depths:
    • 0.5 inches (1.25 centimeters) below the surface
    • 11 inches (28 centimeters) below the surface
    • 19 inches (48 centimeters) below the surface
  • Real World Testing – each of these lights were installed on one of my aquariums and used day in and day out for several weeks so that we could get a sense of the true user experience. We rated the lights by these five categories:
    • Installation and Set Up – how hard is it to get the light installed and set up?
    • Customization – how much can you customize the light? Can you change the spectrum of the light? Is there a built-in dimmer? Does the light have a built-in timer?
    • Reliability – does the light save your settings if it’s unplugged?
    • Appearance – does the light make the tank look attractive?I know this is subjective, but after several weeks of looking at the light on the tank, I am comfortable giving my opinion.
    • Economy – how expensive is the light compared to the others in the group? 

Nicrew ClassicLED Plus Light Review

Nicrew ClassicLED Plus LEDs turned on

What’s in the Box?

Nicrew clsssicLED light unboxed

Unboxing this Nicrew light is pretty simple. There’s just the light, power cord and instruction sheet.

This light has a wired remote that is part of the power cord.

When we examined the features we were looking for, this light wasn’t so great in some ways:

  • Installation and Set Up – setting up this light is very easy since there’s not much that you can customize. The legs are easy to slide back and forth so you can get them the right length for your tank.
  • Customization – there’s not a whole lot that you can do with this light as far as customization. The wired remote has three buttons, labeled B, W and M. These let you  make the blue, white or red LEDs dimmer or even turn them off completely, if you want. There’s no way to fine tune the light’s spectrum.
  • Reliability – this light does not save any of your settings if it’s unplugged.
  • Appearance – I really did not like how this light made the tank look. The white LEDs cast a greenish yellow light that I thought made the tank look unattractive. 

What I Like and Don’t Like

Pros: 

  • Low PAR might be good for some low tech tanks

Cons: 

  • Very low PAR readings; insufficient for plants that need strong lighting
  • No built-in timer
  • White LEDs produce an unpleasant yellow-green color
  • Not very customizable
  • Does not save changes if unplugged

How Does it Compare To Other LED Lights?

Nicrew Classic LED lighting fixture set up on thank

Sadly, this Nicrew light did not do well when compared to the other lights we tested for this article. In fact, this light came in dead last in the overall rankings.

This chart shows how all of the lights compared when it came to PAR readings:

Planted aquarium LED lights PAR test comparison

As you can see, the Nicrew light came in fourth when it came to PAR. 

This Nicrew light fared even worse when it came to the feature testing.

This light is fairly economical, but the low price tag doesn’t automatically make it a good deal. At the time this article was written, the Nicrew light was the same price as the Hygger light we tested as part of the head-to-head challenge. 

But the Hygger light has much better PAR and features than the Nicrew. So, the Hygger is a phenomenal deal, but the Nicrew, not so much.

This light also isn’t very customizable and has no built-in timer; it’s the only light we tested that didn’t include some sort of timing function.

And this light does not really make the tank look attractive. The white LEDs on this light give off this kind of sickly yellow-green light. I did not like the look of it at all.

Final Verdict

I’m sorry to say that I really didn’t like this light. I didn’t like the features, PAR or even just the overall appearance.

I would not recommend buying this light, any of the other four would be better by my reckoning.

If you want a lower PAR light for a low tech tank with low light plants, I’d recommend going with the Beamswork light. It looks better and has awesome features, like a built-in timer, that this Nicrew light is missing. 

If you want higher PAR and a bunch of super nifty features, but still need an economical light, I’d highly recommend the Hygger light. It’s around the same price as this Nicrew light but it’s way, way cooler.

And of course, if you’ve got the dough, my highest recommendation goes to the Fluval Plant 3.0 LED that pretty much destroyed the rest of the competition.

I hope you find this article helpful.

I wish you and your fish the very best!

Preview Product
NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Plants, 36 to 48 Inch, 27 Watts NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum LED Fish Tank Light for Freshwater...
hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode, Adjustable Timer Adjustable Brightness Fish Tank Light with Extendable Bracket 7 Colors for Planted Tank hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode,...

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Katherine Morgan
Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. A nunchuck specialist, I've kept aquariums for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast. If You'd like to see more of my tanks, check out my Instagram

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