Whenever you walk into a room with a lighted aquarium, you are immediately drawn to its beauty and you want to stare at it longer.
That’s why it is important that you choose the best light for your aquarium.
When you are buying the light, it is not just about choosing one that works great and provides enough light for the plants in the aquarium.
This calls for looking for the best LED light for planted tanks. Having the right light spectrum will help a lot with the photosynthesis process.
- How To Choose The Best LED Lights For A Planted Tank?
- What Size LED Light For Aquarium?
- How Much LED Lighting For A Planted Tank?
- How To Choose The Best Planted Aquarium Leds
- My Top Pick For The Best Planted Tank LED Light
How To Choose The Best LED Lights For A Planted Tank?
Choose the Right Brand
If you are going to end up with the best LED light for your aquarium, you must always consider the brand. Choosing the right brand is important because the models available from the different brands vary.
When comparing models, make sure the one you choose comes from a reputable brand, not a generic or economy brand. You can learn more about each model by checking out its product description.
Keep in Mind the Light Spectrum
The light spectrum is a important factor for getting you the right type of output necessary for the growth of the plants.
The right spectrum should include as many colors as possible. This ensures that the plant will receive light that will promote the best possible photosynthesis process.
Consider the Control Features and Modes
One of the great features in some models is the different modes now available. You can have lights that can simulate sunrise, sunset and even nighttime.
With these modes, you can always switch between them to get the most out of the aquarium light so that it makes the room look great as well as nurturing your plant life.
As for the control features, you need a model that is easy to control. No need to have a complex model that makes it hard to get the right combination that you want in your planted tank.
The Ease of Installation
The installation process is always important to the user. You can have lots of trouble installing the aquarium light if you get one with a complex installation procedure.
You have to make sure to purchase a model with easy steps. It is possible to find a model that comes with adjustable frame and legs so that fitting it on the tank takes less time.
Check out what other people are saying about the model before you get it for yourself. You can tell from the reviews whether the model is easy to install or not.
The Durability of the LEDs
You would not want to end up with a model that doesn’t deliver consistent performance over time. You have to make sure that the model you choose has the best possible durability.
The durability is dependent on the material used to make the unit, and the type of LEDs used. Some LEDs might work great at first, but later on end up burning out in a short time.
What Size LED Light For Aquarium?
Once you have decided that LED lights are best for your aquarium, it is important to get the right size. LEDs are highly energy-efficient and give off less heat than other bulbs. As such, they tend to last longer.
The light needs to make your fish feel comfortable. If there is too much or too little, it can disrupt eating and sleeping cycles.
Sizing for the Lights
The size of your tank and light matter. Most tanks require between one and three watts per gallon and plants need up to five watts a gallon.
Because the tank should mimic nature, you need downtime. Most kits illuminate the tank at night using blue shades. It’s also possible to find lights with timers to automatically change illumination to copy natural environments.
How Much LED Lighting For A Planted Tank?
Before you can buy the LED lighting for your planted tank, you have to understand the needs of the plants in your aquarium. Without this consideration, you just might end up with a lighting unit that does not deliver on the needs of the plant.
- Low-light plants need an average of 60 lumens per gallon.
- Average-light plants need about 110 lumens per gallon.
- The high-light plants need more, about 150 lumens per gallon
As you can see, some aquarium plants demand more light, based on their type. Learn more about the type of plants you plan to have in the aquarium before you buy the aquarium plants and light.
How To Choose The Best Planted Aquarium Leds
When choosing your LEDs, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Does it include a timer?
- The light spectrum
- Tank size vs. Light intensity
- What plants will be or are in your tank?
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED
Designed for planted tanks, it uses a 24/7 automated system that allows you to mimic the Sun’s natural movement across the sky.
- This will run on real time and repeat daily.
- If you don’t want to use this, you also get four memory card slots. Where you can save your favorite color combinations and lighting intensities.
- It includes dimmable red, green, and blue LEDs, as well as 7000K daylight LEDs. You can control everything with the remote.
- Including the option for custom weather settings: thunderstorms, sunny and cloudy days etc.
- You can choose from five sizes: 20″, 24″, 30″, 36″, and 48″. The legs can also adjust, allowing you to optimize the length.
- This is a great option for low tech, mid-tech, and show tanks.
- 24/7 automated day time/night time cycle
- Custom weather settings
- Remote Control is easy to use
- Specially designed for freshwater planted aquariums
- Easy to program
- High build quality and looks great
- Water resistant splash guard
- Short power cord
A truly automated system for your freshwater aquarium. It will mimic natural daylight throughout the day from sunrise to sunset.
Aquatic Life LED EDGE
- A great option for both experts and novice hobbyists. It offers easy to use advanced features.
- Featuring a simple bright LCD timer on the end gives you quick, easy access to all the programming and timing functions.
- The 3-channel timer allows you to control the white, mixed color, and moonlight LED’s independent of each other. You gets more color combinations and lighting which replicates daylight, sunrise/set, and moonlight.
- You’re able to customize the ramp up and fade between 10 minutes and 2 hours.
- The backup battery will save your settings if it loses power.
- This light comes in a 24, 36, and 48″ light strip, and it’s very good looking.
- A acrylic cover lens protects the lights from accidental water spray and condensation. Improving the lifespan and durability.
- Easy to program
- 3-Channel timer
- Internal battery backup that saves settings
- Dense array of LEDs provide even lighting
- Slow ramp up and fade (10 minutes to 2 hours)
- Instruction manual isn’t the greatest (use YouTube)
- Built to sit on your tank, so cannot be hung over it
The Aquatic Life EDGE offers easy to use advanced features, making it good for both expert and novice aquarists.
Marineland Accent Hidden LED System
- A popular lighting system, the slim design is available at 17″. The legs will also adjust, allowing for a secure fit.
- The fixture includes 6500K white and RGB LEDs, providing you with the full spectrum of light.
- The controls are very easy to use and include lunar and daytime settings. The integrated timer allows for a consistent photoperiod.
- Dispersion lenses on the LEDs help to properly blend the light, dispersing it evenly throughout your tank. The 6500K LEDs feature a polycarbonate lens, which adds a nice natural shimmer.
- The ease of use and features available make this suitable for both beginner and seasoned hobbyists.
- Very easy to program
- Integrated timer
- Dispersion and polycarbonate lenses
- Slim modern design
- Excellent customer service
- Can get very hot after a few hours of running
Nothing over the top here, the Marineland LED fixture provides the full light spectrum for a budget friendly cost.
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.
There is no doubt that you have seen some changes when it comes to aquarium lights. The technology has changed over the years and is now something that people want to use in their aquariums.
As a user, you always have to keep in mind, when choosing the type of light you are going to get, that not all of them providing the best light for your particular plants and fish.