Best LED Lights For Aquarium-How To Picking The Right One

There are a few essential components when setting up an aquarium. You want the environment to mimic the natural habitat of the fish you are keeping. The substrate should be similar to what they are used to.

Their food should also be a close reflection of what they eat in the wild. The lighting in your tank helps define day and night for your fish, just like daylight and nighttime.

What is the best-LED light for your aquarium? The perfect LED light for one tank may not work at all in another tank. Because of this, there is not just 1 LED light that is the best. There are LED lights specifically for reef tanks, freshwater, and planted tanks, and you can also choose hoods that are integrated with LED lights.

Choosing the best-LED light will depend on your aquarium set-up and what you are trying to achieve.

Because there is not just one specific LED light that is best for all set-ups, we will provide you with the best beginner LED lights, the best-LED lights for a coral tank, and popular LED lights for other set-ups.

This article should give you plenty of choices when you are ready to set up your tank. Let’s start by explaining what an LED light is and what its purpose is. 

LED Lighting, What Is It?

Many people opt for the bright LED lights to show off their fish, plants, and other decorations. But there is more to LED lights. As I stated earlier, the lighting mimics the day and night cycle that the fish need. Their behaviors change with the lighting change. They are more active when the lights are on, and they are calm and “resting” when the lights are off.

LED lights are an option to use to help control temperature and lighting in your tank. LED lights are ideal for the plants and coral that you put in your aquarium. Your plants, just like plants in nature, need sunlight for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is what helps them to thrive and grow. Without it, they would eventually die.

Most of your aquariums will come with lights installed in the lid/hood, so you will need to purchase the LED lights separate from your aquarium kit. 

Choosing Your Aquarium Lights

There are quite a few things that you will need to do to achieve the best-LED lighting for your aquarium. There is a large variety of LED’s to choose from, and they each have their benefits. 

First, you need to take a look at the different color combinations. You can find color guides that will help you choose the color spectrum that is the best for the set-up that you want or that you already have.

Once you figure out what lighting/colors are best, you can check out the different settings and features to decide what makes your tank the most appealing.

DimmersThese are perfect for adjusting your brightness and for blending the colors. At night, you can dim them down so that it signifies night-time for the fish.
Enhance your fishUse the color guides to help you determine which color combinations will best bring out the beauty of your fish and their colors.
Make your coral stand outIf you have coral in your tank; we suggest that you choose to light in the royal blue range if you have polyp coral, select a degree that has magenta tones. 

Benefits Of LED Aquarium Lighting

There are many benefits to having LED lighting for your aquarium. I have listed the top 4.

  1. Low energy: LED lighting can use up to 80% less electricity. The money you save on your electricity bill will more than compensate you for the extra capital that you had to spend on the LED set up in the long run.
  2. Long life: LED lighting lasts so much longer than traditional lighting. The lifespan of incandescent lighting is 2-4 months. For standard luminescent, you can get up to 18 months of use, and the metal halide bulbs can last up to 24 months. With LED lights, you won’t have to replace it for 70,000 hours or up to 6 years, saving you a ton of money in the long run. 
  3. Low-heat: your LED lighting will not produce near as much heat as the standard aquarium bulbs, so your LED lights will not affect the water’s temperature in your tank. 
  4. Coverage: LED lights most always come in strips, giving you more lighting in the broader tank space. 

Best Beginner LED Aquarium  Lights

Here are a couple of the best choices for those new to having an aquarium in their home. They are easy to use, affordable, and give you everything that you need for your aquarium.

Low-Energy and Affordable LED Lighting

These LED lights are great for beginners as well as season aquarists. If you have a pretty strict budget, then the following will be perfect and easy on your wallet.


As you can see, there are many different types of LED light set-ups to choose from. It is all going to depend on the set-up of your tank, whether it is a planted tank, coral tank, freshwater tank, or other set-up.

The LED systems are going to cost you a bit more, out of pocket, but in the long run, it is going to save you money. Your electric bill will be lower than if you had standard or normal lighting and you are not going to have to replace the bulbs nearly as often as the other styles. 

Remember to check out the color guides to find the best color options for your set up. These color guides help you to bring out the best features of your aquarium as far as the colors of the fish, the vibrance of your plants, and the boldness of your other decorations. 

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I'm passionate about fish pets and love sharing everything I learn about them.

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