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The demand for fish as pets has recently shot high in the last decade. People are leaving our furry friends and looking for something new.

Fish comes with its countless benefits when kept as pets. Who wouldn’t love to bring a piece of the beautiful nature right into their living room?

If you are looking to create a beautiful aquascape with various aquatic plants, you will need some equipment to support this ecosystem.

The most important equipment for a planted tank are the lights. In this article you will learn how to choose a LED light for your planted fish tank and which are the best LED lights for a planted aquarium.

Best LED Lights for Planted Fish Tanks

Best LED Lights for Planted Fish Tanks

How to Choose an LED Light for Planted Aquarium?

Since you already know that choosing the ideal LED light is the best thing you can do for your fish tank, then you better be careful with what you settle on.

Note that it’s not only about the lighting, you also need to put into consideration the growth pattern of the fish and aquatic plants.

Before we delve into our recommendations, you can begin the filtering process from these specifications.

Size of Aquarium

When choosing a LED light it is important to fit the length of your aquarium. However, you need to also take in consideration the height for your tank. Some LED lights have stronger light output, while other are dimmable and can adjust light level.

In a shallow tank you don’t want a very strong light, because that will only cause algae growth. For a taller aquarium, you will need a much stronger light, in order to provide the necessary light level for plants that are growing on the substrate of your aquarium.

LED Temperature

Light temperature refers to the number that is expressed in Kelvin. Lower Kelvin rating means warmer temperature, while higher Kelvin rating is considered cooler temperature.

The inner deeper parts of an ocean are darker than the upper parts. Well, when light passes through water, only the colors with stringer wavelengths make it past to the deepest part of the water column. Those with lower wavelength strength are absorbed, resulting in the darkening of the deeper areas.

LED light usually designed with light temperature of up to 20,000 K, which what most marine animals like.

On the other hand, freshwater planted tanks like much warmer light temperature, while they live in much shallower waters. Most freshwater aquatic plants thrive under 4,500-8,000k rated LED lights.

Aquatic Plants

As mentioned before, some aquarium plants require more light, while others plants can thrive in lower light conditions. Before you choose a LED light for your planted tank, you have to know what type of plants you are going to plant.

LED Lights Durability

You don’t want to buy something that won’t last. There are many companies that manufacture LED lights for aquariums. BUt which should you choose? Which aquarium LED lights are the most durable?

I’ve spent many hours of researching different aquarium LED lights

Below you can find my reviews of the best LED lights for planted fish tanks in the market today:

1. Current USA 18″-24″ Satellite Plus PRO LED Light

First on our list is this bad boy that everyone’s got hooked to. If you are into sleek designs, then this product is likely to catch your attention by first glance.

Some of the noticeable features include the super bright 6500K illumination power that brings up your fish tanks to life.

You will experience a series of cloud cover effects. It’s just to add extra flair and make it more pleasing to the eyes. The secret behind this idea is the multiple modes. An example is a dimming mode which may sweep you by your own feet. When you think it’s going down, it lights up with lightning strikes making the experience amazing.

Also, the LED lights targets to create a replica of the wild waters entirely. The features go beyond the whites and blues. From afar, you may think that it’s an actual ocean.

All these fantastic specifications come up with an installation guide that’s easy to follow. Not to forget, you get a free remote controller that you can use from the comfort of your couch.

 

2. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC Aquarium LED Light

Finnex manufacturers have been in the limelight for producing top-notch products. It’s therefore not a surprise that their LED light model for fish tanks appear on this list.

What you’ll notice with this LED light is the simulated sunrise and sunset effects on the top of the aquarium. You can imagine the first “sun rays” peeping through your window coming from your fish tank. ‘It’s incorporated with four color channels that are dimmable with different weather modes.

Like other LED lights, the product has a remote controller with a streamlined look. It has a susceptible signal that can work up to a distance of around 10 meters. The body is streamlined for ease of holding.

Some of the upgrades feature you will get include a color control mode. By this, you can save the colors within the one day program. If you set it, be sure not to forget.

 

3. Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light

Drawing the line between Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light and Current USA 18″-24″ Satellite Plus PRO LED Light may be an uphill task, maybe because the same company produces them. Most of their features are similar.

However, every coin has two sides, and if you draw closer, you’ll get one or two differences that the other doesn’t have. The notable one is the adjustable docking mount. Don’t worry if the size of your aquarium. The LED light can be adjusted to fit any size.

Some people shun from using LED lights because of the voltage. However, with this light, it shouldn’t be one of your worries. The voltage is only 12 VDC, which is safe for aquariums. They are also water-resistant.

The product is a game-changer in the fish tank industry. After carefully analyzing the trends, the manufacturers wanted to create something new. And that’s why they decided to create a full-spectrum remote control that was initially designed for a fresh-water aquarium environment. With it, you get different color themes that you can pick with two lunar night modes.

 

4. BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light

A single tube fluorescent does not give enough light to the fish tank. If you have used it before, you probably know the pain.

BeamsWork comes in handy to provide efficient energy that supports the aquatic life for the whole tank.

The item size is 80cm-30.” However, you can get different sizes with respect to the size of your -aquarium. The size ranges from 50cm-20” to 120cm-48”.

The lumen output is 4000, while the LED’s is 80 by 0.50W, just the right amount for aquatic life. The size measures 32 by five by 1.5 inches, and the built is a clear made with beautiful plastic. In short, it’s one of those simple items but has fantastic outputs to offer.

The physical design tries to catch up with Current USA 18″-24″ Satellite Plus PRO LED Light. It’s not similar, but at least it works to be on par with it. So if your pocket is not too deep and you don’t want to break the bank, you can opt for this LED light.

 

5. Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light

Another product from Finnex company and they have not disappointed. Most of the features are identical, but the line is drawn on the rays which are incorporated into numerous high output LED lights.

The physical features include the ultra-slim body design with dimensions of 10.5 by 2.5 by 9.5 inches. The item weighs a paltry 13.6 ounces. So it’s small enough to fit your aquarium and at the same time, not super-heavy.

Some of the amazing features you’ll fall in love with are the red LED lights. The primary reason for this color is to create a maximum condition for photosynthesis for the plants.

Sometimes the water may shake and splash to the LED lights. As you know, water and electrical appliances don’t stay in the same room. When this happens, it may be your first step to bid your LED light good-bye. With Funnex FugeRay, this should be the least of your concerns. The product has a PC splash guard that protects it.

 

6. BeamsWork EA Timer FSPEC LED Aquarium Light

It’s one of the most affordable LED light that was introduced to the market recently. If you are starting on this adventure, it will ideally suit you. We are not sidelining the experts; they also have a chance to try it out, which must turn out great.

If you want something that doesn’t have a big bite on your pockets, it’ll make a great fit.

Even with a 55-gallon tank, you will still love the output. The LED lights provide lights with up to 1700 watts. The output is in conjunction with the 36 by 0.50 w it harbors.

The fixtures are pre-installed with red 620nm, green 520 nm, actinic 460nm, and completed with 10000k. The combination of these spectrums brings out a beautiful look at the fish tank.

The LED light contains extendable brackets to give you room if you want to adjust the length. This is in good faith if you have lights with varying lengths.

If your aquarium looks boring, you can light it up with this sleek product that seems to enjoy the work it does.

 

7. Finnex Stingray Aquarium LED Light

Finnex Stingray may be your ideal choice if you have low-light plants like fern mosses and Bolbitis. The spectrum combination gives its rooms to provide colors that achieve better growth while still keeping the health of the fish in check.

One of the noticeable features is the slim pencil-size with thin multi-colored fixtures. You can hardly see it on top of any aquarium. The size gives it room for a comfortable fitting.

With a 7000K, the light is used to bring life on the aquarium. There are two more additions of Actinic blue lights and 660 nm red lights. Their function is to bring a mix of colors on the aquarium and to create a beautiful outlook.

The red light is essential in helping the aquatic plants get the right conditions to produce their food via photosynthesis.

The lights are easy to mount up, thanks for the new bright plastic legs. However, this is for those that want to attach it on a canopy.

 

8. Finnex FugeRay Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights

Like other typical Finnex LED lights, the appearance is sleek. With it, you will be treated to two light modes; moonlight and daylight. The moonlight is activated in the evenings to bring out the pleasant aquarium view.

The daylight is essential as it provides the aquatic plants with the right conditions for growth. The contemporary feature also offers more room to promote artificial marine life.

If you are in the search for a bulb that will serve you for a long time, you need not think twice. The durable bulbs can go up to 40,000 hours of usage, the longest in this category. And guess what! You can extend the lifespan of the bulb since you can upgrade any time.

The bulb also has a high-quality aluminum that gives room to allow cooling heat dissipation. Such are the few add-ons that contribute to the longer lifespan.

 

9. Koval Aquarium Lighting Fish Tank Light

The LED light is not only after providing your fish with light. It goes on to make your aquatic plants have more ornamental growth and keep their aesthetic value on check.

Koval Aquarium is created with a whopping 78 LED lights with five different colors. The resulting spectrum is a beautiful color combination that brings out a vivid color on the fish tank. The colors can serve you up to at least 5000 hours, which is very high in this category.

The color distribution is four pink LEDs with 465nm, white LEDs; 8000k, blue LEDs; 460nm, and green LEDs, which are two providing 500nm.

It’s useful in energy saving due to the low energy dissipation. With it, you can save a few bucks that you could have incurred when you purchase the custom lights.

The physical features include size of 4 by 5 by 1 inch with a weight of not more than 2.8 pounds. It’s one of the small-sized LED lights in this category.

 

10. VivaGrow DN RGB LED Aquarium Light

Last on our least is this amazing LED light from VivaGrow series. The product can produce up to 7000k of high LED output for growing plants. All thanks to the lumens which can reach up to 4400.

With your fresh-water setup, you will be treated to 4 colors changes that make incredible color spectrum that light up the tank. You can make a timer every 24 hours for changing the “weather patterns.”

With the remote controller on your hands, you can shift to the pre-set weather modes. The feature gives you a glimpse of the outside environment indoors and to your fish tank.

It weighs 10 pounds with dimensions of 47 by 3.8 by 1.5 inches. Each set comes with a full set power supply, brackets, and splash guard to prevent the effect of splashing water.

There you have it – 10 of the best-LED lights for your fish tank.

Is that all? Certainly not! If you are serious and want to buy something that will serve you better for longer, you need to throw yourself back into the deep again.

There are some questions that you may have in your minds before you make a purchase. The following are some of them and their answer according to experts’ view.

 

What Kelvin rating LED Light Should you choose?

This is a question that many ask, but because of lack of accurate information, they make mistakes that cost them in the long run.

Let’s set things straight. According to research done by “that Fish blog,” LED lights to come with different Kelvin rating from 5,000k to 20,000k. The higher the Kelvin rating, the higher it mimics the deeper environment.

With this in mind, the right Kelvin rating will depend on what you want to put into the water. If you are still in the dark, this example may help.

The daylight spectrum is suitable for freshwater fish tanks. Their Kelvin rating runs from 5000 to 10,000k. On the other hand, saltwater aquariums need higher Kelvin rating spanning from 6700k to 20,000k. This is ideal for reef aquariums.

What is the Ideal Lumen for Planted Tank?

The answer to this question will depend on your choice of the plants. However, the common ground for all plants begins at 10 lumens per liter. Below that may cause damage to the plants.

Now, light-hungry aquatic plants will not survive with such light. They’ll thrive in fish tanks with 40 lumens per liter. Medium plants would fall on the category that needs 20-30 lumens per liter.

All in all, the ball is in your court to determine the type of plant in the fish tank.

What PAR Value does Aquarium Plants Need?

A research done by Aquarium lighting helped to bring light to this controversial question that many have failed to wade through.

To begin with, PAR means the amount of light that passes through water that the plants use to photosynthesize. So the higher the PAR value, but not too much since it also has its downsides.

In their conclusion, the Aquarium lighting experts found out that PAR is divided into three categories of plants.

These are low light plants, medium-light plants, and high light plants. Their PAR level is 15-30, 30-80, and 80 plus, respectively. So if you know your PAR level, you can easily gauge your plants’ PAR level.

Do Aquarium LED Lights Produce Heat?

To answer this question, we can experiment. Use a standard bulb with at least 60 watts in a cold room for one hour and then exchange it with an LED bulb.

What’s your experience? You must have noted that the temperature increases when you used the standard bulb was more than when you used an LED light.

True to this experiment, Aquarium LED lights use 80% less electricity than the typical aquarium lights. So, they indeed generate heat, but in smaller quantities that’s not harmful to the fish or aquatic plants.

The Takeaway

When it comes to choosing the best-LED lights for your aquarium, everything should stand still. A simple mistake, and you may see all your aquatic life getting destroyed.

However, with these tips, you are on the right track. Feel free to check our 10 ten recommendations and pick your best from the list.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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