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LED lighting will be essential if you have a reef tank. The right lighting system will mimic a real water environment for your coral and fish and help them stay healthy and strong.
But with so many different LED aquarium lighting systems available, how can you be sure that you’re buying the best-LED lighting for reef tanks?
We’ve done all the hard work for you so that you don’t have to.
Quick List Best Led Lighting All Tanks
- Best Fish Tank Light Overall: Aquaillumination Aquarium Light
- Best Planted Aquarium Light: Finnex Planted+ 24/7
- Best Budget Aquarium Light: NICREW ClassicLED
We took a look at all the LED aquarium lighting available on the market today and examined their suitability for reef tanks to come up with the top 5 products for your tank.
We looked at factors such as color spectrum, the noise of the cooling fans, built-in timers, dimmer options, and many more – and we’re confident these are the best of the best when it comes to LED lighting reef tanks.
There’s even a handy buyer’s guide down below to show you all the factors you need to bear in mind when choosing the right LED lighting for your reef tanks, as well as some helpful frequently asked questions.
Short on time? Check out our top pick below!
- Quick List Best Led Lighting All Tanks
- Top Pick: HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light
- Second Pick: Lominie LED Aquarium Light
- Third Pick: VIPARSPECTRA LED Aquarium Light
- Fourth Pick: NICREW LED Aquarium Light
- Final Pick: Phlizon LED Aquarium Light
- Best Led Lighting for Reef Tanks Buyers Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Pick: HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light
Our top pick is the Hipargero LED aquarium light. This product has everything your reef tank needs in order to flourish.
The Hipargero LED aquarium light uses three carefully selected Cree LEDs; royal blue, blue, and white.
This particular aquarium light combines all three LEDs to mimic the deep-sea environment, which will help make your coral bring out their fabulous colors and make them pop.
The Hipargero LED aquarium light uses a top-quality 90 degree three acrylic lens to ensure that you get a higher light efficiency and remarkable color uniformity.
This will be the perfect addition to your reef tank set up!
You can easily adjust the lighting intensity of these particular LED lights with touch control to match the animals or sea pets you’ve got in your reef aquarium.
It can be adjusted from 0% to 100% depending on your tank’s requirements and can be used to encourage the growth of SPS and LPS corals.
The blue light, in particular, will be ideal for your reef aquarium, as it will help to promote the production of vitamin D3, which will help your coral to absorb calcium.
This, in turn, will help your coral to appear brighter!
This particular LED lighting uses premium materials to create a premium product. It uses authentic Cree chips, which are high quality and will have a much longer lifespan than alternative LED lights.
The aquarium light also has two-rollers silent fans, which will keep working until they are unplugged.
The fans have a lower noise standard than 44.7 dB and use a fast heat transfer to help you create the ideal environment for your reef tank.
The sleek appearance of this particular LED aquarium light will make it a wonderful addition to your tank set up.
The body of the aquarium light is super thin and only has a height of 1.2 inches.
The Hipargero is suitable for tanks between 10 and 18 inches in length and tanks with a glass thickness of less than or equal to 0.8 inches. All you have to do is plug it in, and it’ll be ready to go!
- Combines three Cree LED lights; royal blue, blue, and white.
- Uses three in one acrylic lens for higher light efficiency and color uniformity.
- LED lights are touch-controlled to adjust the intensity for your tank as needed.
- Comes with two-rollers silent fans.
- The sleek, super-thin body of 1.2 inches.
- It May not have as many fancy features as a more expensive product.
Second Pick: Lominie LED Aquarium Light
The Lominie LED aquarium light is the perfect choice for your reef tank if you’re looking for a smaller light that will still pack the punch of a larger product.
This particular LED aquarium light has a compact base and is perfect for long tanks between 8 and 18 inches. Ideal if you’re looking for a compact light for your nano reef aquarium!
This particular LED aquarium light is remote controlled. You can control your reef tank’s lighting with the handy remote control that comes with the product.
The light also features a gooseneck so that you can move it to suit your tank; the neck is 360 degrees adjustable and rustproof.
The light also comes with both 60 and 180-degree optical lenses for you to pick and choose which ones you would like to use.
The Lominie LED aquarium light uses super bright COB multi-color LED lights.
These are designed to provide your tank with evenly distributed illumination, be energy efficient, produce a full spectrum, have strong penetrability, and create a beautifully illuminated aquarium.
Perfect for lighting up your reef tank!
You won’t have to worry about this light getting too hot if it’s left on for long periods of time.
It features a quality aluminum cold forging heatsink to provide an efficient cooling system and evenly dissipate heat.
So not only will it perfectly light up your reef tank, it won’t get too warm in the process, either! This efficient cooling system is also designed to prolong the life of the LEDs.
Lominie offers 12 months of friendly customer service with the purchase of this particular aquarium light to give you extra peace of mind.
- Perfect for nano reef tanks.
- Remote controlled LED lights.
- Fully adjustable 360-degree gooseneck with two different optical lenses.
- Efficient cooling system to evenly dissipate heat.
- Comes with 12 months of friendly customer service.
- This particular light is better suited for nano reef aquariums.
Third Pick: VIPARSPECTRA LED Aquarium Light
The VIPARSPECTRA LED aquarium light gives you everything you need in order to create the optimal environment for your reef tank.
This aquarium light is designed to balance the PAR output and coverage to maintain the optimum environment for your coral and fish.
The great thing about this particular product is that it comes with two different light channels for you to use.
It does this so that you can pick and choose the different spectrum demands of different coral and creatures, proving it to be a truly versatile aquarium light.
You can choose between the blue and white channels to find the optimal lighting to encourage your coral and fish to grow healthily.
You can easily adjust the lights’ brightness to acclimate your coral or any new additions to your aquarium.
The brightness can be adjusted from 0% to 100%, and you can even set a 24-hour effect with the built-in timer.
This will be especially useful if you want to get your new additions gradually used to the brightness levels over time.
This particular LED aquarium light is controlled by remote control.
This allows you to easily increase or decrease the brightness of your aquarium light at the touch of a button, as well as set up the working time to suit your coral better.
Perfect if you’re looking for an LED aquarium light that is simple to use!
The VIPARSPECTRA LED aquarium light has been designed to be suitable for all water creatures.
No matter whether you’ve got a vast array of coral or fish in your reef tank or even a mix of the two, you can rest assured that this product is ideal for your aquarium.
- Designed to balance the PAR output and coverage.
- It comes with two different light channels for you to choose from; blue and white.
- Easily adjust brightness from 0% to 100% to acclimatize your tank.
- Comes with a built-in timer feature.
- Designed to be suitable for all water creatures.
- More expensive than other LED aquarium lights we found.
Fourth Pick: NICREW LED Aquarium Light
The NICREW LED aquarium light has everything you need to get your reef tank flourishing.
It comes with a combination of 445nm and 460nm blue, 10,000K white, and RGB LEDs for you to create a beautifully lit reef tank and help you to create the perfect saltwater environment.
You can easily switch between bright daytime and cooler nighttime lights to create the ideal environment for marine fish, corals, and live rock.
This particularly LED aquarium lighting comes with a dual-channel timer.
You can easily control the blue and white lighting channels separately. It even features a handy 24 hour LED aquarium lighting control so you can set it to suit your tank.
You can use this timer to simulate a gradual sunrise and sunset to create a more natural environment.
What’s really great about this particular LED lighting system is that it comes with adjustable brackets so that you can easily fit it into your tank.
It can fit tanks from between 30 to 36 inches. You can easily mount the LED lighting onto framed or frameless aquariums with an extendable mount.
It’s recommended that a glass or acrylic canopy be used to extend the unit’s life and prevent moisture from affecting its performance over time.
This LED light is the perfect choice for supporting LPS corals, soft corals, live rock, and saltwater fish.
If you have any SPS corals in your reef tank, it’s recommended that you use two of these lights so that they can work effectively.
The NICREW LED aquarium light can offer you full-spectrum lighting so that you can produce natural color and shimmer for your tank.
This gives you plenty of choices to create the ideal color spectrum for your reef tank! This LED aquarium light comes with three lighting modes for you to choose from.
- Combines a mix of blue, white, and RGB LEDs for you to use.
- Comes with a dual-channel timer.
- Has adjustable brackets to fit tanks of between 30 and 36 inches.
- Perfect for LPS corals, soft corals, live rock, and saltwater fish.
- Full-spectrum lighting with three lighting modes.
- You will need to buy two lights if you’re looking for a product to suit SPS corals.
Final Pick: Phlizon LED Aquarium Light
The Phlizon LED aquarium light has everything you need packed into one handy lighting system. This particular aquarium light is perfect for reef tanks, as it combines a full spectrum in order to better suit your coral and any fish you may have.
The full spectrum includes blue, purple, red, white, and green LED lights. The purple light can sterilize and protect fish growth.
The white and red lights are essential for coral reef growth. The blue lights help produce more vitamin D3 in your tank, which helps your coral better absorb calcium.
The green lights will help you to control any aquatic plants you may have. All of these LED lights will combine to help you create the perfect reef tank for your aquarium’s inhabitants!
This particular LED lighting system comes with a double dimmer option.
You can set it to gradually acclimatize your reef tank inhabitants to the new light, slowly increasing the intensity over time.
What’s great about this particular dimmer feature is that it works for two separate light channels; a blue and a white channel. Ideal if you want to set both channels to a specific brightness without affecting the other channel!
Both channels can easily be adjusted from between 0% to 100%.
The Phlizon LED aquarium light is constructed using a durable metal case to be more long-lasting.
So you’ll know you’re buying a product that will last you for many years to come!
This particular light can also easily be joined up with multiple lights to create a daisy chain if you wanted to buy more than one of them for your tank.
There are low noise cooling fans included in this LED aquarium light. The fans work to dissipate the heat the light unit creates and prolong the product’s life in the process.
The fans only have a decibel rating of between 50 to 60 dB, so you can rest assured that it’s not going to disturb your reef tank or your home environment.
- Uses a full-color spectrum in your tank.
- Ideal for both saltwater and freshwater tanks.
- Combines blue, white, red, purple, and green LEDs.
- It comes with a double dimmer option to dim both the blue and white channels.
- Low noise cooling fan of only 50 to 60dB.
- A timer would need to be bought separately if you wanted to set the lights to switch on at a certain time.
Best Led Lighting for Reef Tanks Buyers Guide
If you’re not particularly technologically minded, it can be tricky knowing how to pick the best-LED lighting for your reef tank.
What are the key factors you should look for in a product before you actually buy it?
While it may be tempting to buy the first LED lighting you can find, you should wait and make sure that it will be the right one for your reef tank first.
Not sure what you should be looking for? Take a look at the points below!
All of these factors will be important for creating the ideal environment in your reef tank, and your aquarium inhabitants will thank you for considering these.
Take a look at the factors below!
This will be crucial for creating the ideal environment in your reef tank.
LED lighting with a full-color spectrum will allow you to alternate which colors illuminate your tank, allowing you to personalize it to meet the specific creatures and coral requirements.
Blue lights will be essential for helping your tank to produce vitamin D3, which will, in turn, make it easier for your coral to absorb the calcium they need to stay healthy.
White lights are also essential for encouraging the growth of coral.
Most LED aquatic lights will offer a mix of both blue and white light, but the more color spectrum your chosen LED lighting can offer, the better.
Some models will also come with a double channel – splitting the blue and white lights – which will be handy for personalizing your lighting system to the creatures you have in your reef tank.
A built-in timer will be handy if you plan on keeping your LED lighting on for long periods of time.
You can set it to suit the certain time periods that you want your reef tank to be lit for and help your inhabitants flourish under your care.
Not all of the models we looked at come with a built-in timer – some of them offered them as an optional upgrade.
Take a look at the timings that the built-in timers can offer you, too. A timer with a 24-hour operation will be a lot more versatile than a timer, which can only work over several hours.
A dimmer option will be a lifesaver for creating a healthier tank. Several LED aquarium lights can offer this as a built-in feature.
A dimmer option allows you to acclimatize new inhabitants to your tank by gradually increasing the lights’ brightness.
This will also be a handy feature if you want to mimic the natural sunset and sunrise that your coral and fish would encounter in the wild.
Some of the models that we came across were able to offer two separate lights and a double dimmer option to match these.
Efficient cooling system
You won’t want to have spent all that money on a product that will eventually stop working because it’s overheated.
Take a look at the cooling system that comes built-in to your chosen lighting system. How efficient is it at dissipating the heat that will build up from everyday operation?
It’s also worth bearing in mind how noisy the cooling fans will be. Try to look for a quieter system if you can, as it will blend in seamlessly with any other equipment you may have running.
Louder equipment will not only be annoying for yourself, but it may disturb the life you have in your reef tank.
Easy to mount
Most LED lighting systems will need to be mounted over your reef tank for them to work effectively. Please take a look at how easy it will be to install your chosen LED aquatic lights.
If you have to buy a mount to attach it to your reef tank’s setup, it’s worth knowing before spending your money on that particular product.
There’ll be nothing worse than getting your new LED lighting in the mail only to find you need to buy something else to use it!
- Best Fish Tank Light Overall: Aquaillumination Aquarium Light
- Best Planted Aquarium Light: Finnex Planted+ 24/7
- Best Budget Aquarium Light: NICREW ClassicLED
Frequently Asked Questions
What lighting is best for corals?
It’s widely considered that LED lighting is best for corals. The lighting your coral requires will entirely depend on the type of corals you have in your reef tank.
Soft and LPS corals will do well in even the lowest lit conditions, whereas SPS corals will need more light. LED lighting should help you adapt the lighting to suit the coral you have in your reef tank.
How many hours of light do corals need?
Corals will need at least 10 hours of consistent light. A timing system can help you achieve this if you’re not constantly monitoring your tank.