Best Aquarium Lights Reviewed to Help You Select the Best One

Best Aquarium Lights Reviewed to Help You Select the Best One

You have to take care of so many things when keeping an aquarium and one of the trickier aspects is aquarium lighting, which is often overlooked by many hobbyists. The choice can be a bit confusing because of so many types of aquarium lights currently available in the market. Obviously, you'd want to buy the best aquarium lights, which would be bright enough to highlight the activity going on in your aquarium and still provide support to your plant aquariums for proper growth. 

Remember, light is important for fish because inadequate lighting wouldn't enhance the colors of your fish, but it's critical for your aquarium plants because they just can't survive without proper lighting. Therefore, you should take your time, consider the types of fish and plants you have in the aquarium and then finalize a purchase.

To avoid confusion, here are some of the very best options to help you buy the best aquarium lights.

Best Aquarium LED Lighting: Our Top Picks

Reef LED Lighting for Saltwater Aquarium

BEST for Marine Tanks

  • Great for reef tanks
  • Durable

Rated by: Amber

Koval LED Lighting


  • Modern design
  • Good lighting
  • Great for planted tanks

Rated by: Amber

Finnex Aquarium LED Light

Best for Rimmed Tank

  • Easy to use
  • Customizable
  • Suitable for rimmed aquarium

Rated by: Amber

1. Reef LED Lighting for Saltwater Aquarium

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for one of the very best aquarium led lighting options for marine tanks, you may want to put your money on this product. It delivers great performance and works amazingly well to improve the colors of your saltwater fish.

Installation won't be a huge issue with this LED light because it comes equipped with extendable brackets. You can install everything within minutes even if you don't consider yourself handy with tools.  Another good thing is that the light comes with various lighting modes. It means you can change settings to suit your needs. It's easy to control the settings using the remote control you'll find in the package.

By using the remote control, you can change settings and make the light become dim periodically. It will go a long way in creating a clouded over effect, evening mode, and storm mode.  Interestingly, you can also use a sunset and sunrise setting to help your fish relax at night.

Another great feature that impresses many buyers is the fact that you can sync your aquarium pump with the light. So, overall, it's a good LED product with nice build quality, but it's  worth mentioning that some people don't like the fact that it comes with very limited mounting options.


  • It is suitable for reef tanks
  • It's  quite durable
  • It features various lighting modes


  • It comes with limited mounting options

2. Koval LED Lighting

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

For those looking for a highly efficient LED aquarium light, Koval has the solution. This low-energy lighting is perfect for any aquarium and helps you save money in the long run.

Installing the light won' test your skills because it comes with an extendable bracket. You can mount the lights on the extendable brackets with utmost ease.  The lighting is available in different sizes too, so it will be easier to find one as per the tank size you have.  The light can make your aquarium quite impressive because they contain 129 lights with full color spectrum in five different colors.

Another interesting feature is the availability of three control modes. By using the settings, you can use white and blue, and only blue LEDs lights if you want. Blue LEDs and white leds have their own set of benefits. These LED lights are supposed to be quite durable; in fact, the manufacturer claims that the lights function well for at least 50,000 hours.  Even if the light doesn't last that long, you'll still get a good return on your investment.  

Overall, the lighting system delivers nice performance, and though it's a bit expensive, it still gives a good bang for the buck. But, do keep in mind that the brackets don't feature a locking mechanism, which is quite disappointing actually.


  • It features a slim-line design
  • It produces amazing lighting
  • It's suitable for planted tanks as well


  • No locking mechanism on the brackets

3. Finnex Aquarium LED Light

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

For planted aquarium, you can always trust this Finnex LED light. It's highly customizable, which is one of the big reasons behind its popularity. You can use different settings to customize it as per your unique needs and requirements.  By using it properly, you can create various types of lighting to suit your fish and planted aquariums.

You can change lighting throughout the day – it can mimic a cool blue evening or feel like a bloody sunrise.  The change in light is to ensure that you get exactly what is suitable for your fish and plants. The change in lighting will also help create a natural environment for plants and fish to thrive.

The good thing is that you can change settings and lighting modes remotely. The remote control it has comes with four customizable slots, so it is extremely easy to create new lighting combinations and intensities.  In terms of design, the LED light will also impress you a lot. Quite interestingly, it can fit rimmed aquariums with utmost ease. With its extendible legs, you will find it easier to install, but some users have complained about legs extending too much to cause the light to fall out.


  • It is a customizable LED light
  • It comes with remote
  • It works well for rimmed aquariums


  • The power cord could've been longer

4. Current USA Orbit Marine LED Light

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

You will fall in love with this fully controllable marine aquarium LED light.  Installing and using this light won't be any issue whatsoever.  It features a guide, so you won't have a hard time installing it in any type of aquarium.

It works great and looks awesome at the same time. In fact, the sleek construction is one of the reasons behind its ever-growing popularity.  The model seems quite durable as well, thanks to its aluminum housing.  As it's durable, it completely justifies its price tag and becomes quite affordable over time.

This saltwater aquarium light also comes with an internal memory. This way, it becomes easier to program it as per your own requirements.  It will help create vibrant colors mainly because it comes with the dual actinic spectrum. The dual daylight mode is equally impressive and helps promote marine life growth.

 It is important to note that though the unit comes with a timer to manage everything , many users have complained about the timer failing after a while.


  • It features sleek aluminum housing
  • It is water resistant
  • It is full controllable


  • The timer is not of good quality

5. Roleadro Dimmable Coral Reef LED Light

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

You can consider buying this Roleadro light for your reef tank.  The most interesting feature is the material used to make the LED lighting. It actually uses a special type of acrylic material, which ensures better transmittance. Because of the material, the LED light acquires anti-aging properties and continues to serve you well for long.

Another interesting thing is that this LED light is full dimmable. It means you can easily change the intensity of the light – in fact, the intensity ranges from 0% to 100%. The LED lights use less power, which means you won't have to worry about a change in your electricity bill.

The operating noise won't be an issue either, which is something making it better than many other similar products on the market.  Quite interestingly, you will find a fan included to keep the heat to its minimum.  The heat dissipation is much better than other LEDs lights on the market, which is another positive point for this model.

Overall, the LED is quite affordable, comes with impressive lens, uses bright chips, and has low noise fans. The only consideration is that you may want to buy it if you have a large aquarium.


  • It is quite affordable
  • It features low noise fans
  • It uses bright chips


  • It might suit larger aquarium better
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FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

What is the Best Aquarium Lighting?

Depending on the inhabitants of your aquarium, you will have to switch between the types of aquarium lights you have available. You'll be able to select the lighting system once you've decided on the species you're going to keep. It makes great sense to do some research to identify the lighting requirements of different subspecies you're going to house before finalizing your purchase.

Keep in mind that most types of aquarium fish come from streams rivers, or clear lakes, which means they will obviously be much more used to the bright sunlight as well as warming rays associated with rainforest weather. Therefore, using bright aquarium light will do the tricky here, but you should ensure that it mimics the bright sunlight.

An important consideration is to choose the right light and place it in such a way that it still provides darker hideouts for the fish to hide when they don't like plenty of light. For this, you can also consider taking advantage of rock outcroppings and live plants. Similarly, you might need to avoid bright light altogether in some situations when the fish you choose come from the bottom of murky floodplains. They just prefer a dimmer environment, and you should keep that in mind when selecting any aquarium lights.

In case of fish aquariums, the best aquarium lights are the one that bring out the most vibrant color of your fish. Brighter lights usually work great to darken the pigments of fish and that helps them stand out. Again, you should do your research when using bright light to be able to differentiate between the myth and reality. For instance, many discus hobbyists are of the view that they don't like brightly lit tanks, but that is not true.  Yes, they may take some time to acclimate to the light, but they can do it eventually, and sticking with brighter lights would make their color even vibrant. The right lighting may also help them grow quicker, as it also helps improve the quality of water.

What is the Best LED Aquarium Lighting?

Speaking of quality, LED lights are at the very top because they help keep your aquarium brighter and its habitants happier. Again, the problem is that you can find various types of LED lights – some of them are brighter, while others are bigger yet dimmer. Keeping a few important points in mind will help you select the best LED aquarium lighting.

Consider the Size

Choosing the right size is important, and the fish tank size will have a big role to play here. Obviously, you will need longer lights to maintain larger tanks. Similarly, you will have to buy powerful LEDs in case you have a deeper aquarium; otherwise, the light won't reach deeper areas. Considering the quantity and species of the aquarium inhabitants is equally important.

 In case of plants, the lighting requirements could change drastically, as aquatic plants come with a wider geographic range. Similarly, the plant's age would also elicit a change in its lighting requirements. You usually need more light for plants that are still growing. Keep these points in mind and you'll be able to pick the right size fish tanks led lights.

Check the Light Intensity

The best LED aquarium light will have the right light intensity in relation to the size of your aquarium. You should bear in mind that some organisms are going to need a lot more light as compared to others, so knowing the requirements of your aquarium inhabitants matters a lot here.

Generally, you should have a good led fish tank light with 10 lumens for every liter of water in the tank. But, the rule may not apply to some species because they're more demanding and need at least 40 lumens per liter. Nevertheless, you can rely on this method and use lumens per liter to decide the light intensity needed for your aquarium. Still, you will have to ensure that the light can penetrate into deeper areas, so it sometimes means buying a light with higher intensity.

Check the Cost

It's obvious to be concerned about the cost of fish tank led lighting, but the best aquarium LED light is the one that fits in your budget but still manages to do its job well. In other words, you should consider price in relation to the features it has. Many modern day LEDs now come with various features besides the simple on and off control.

It's possible to find lights you can manage remotely. Some of these LEDs will rely on a timer to function properly, while others are capable of changing intensity as per your unique requirements. Similarly, it's possible to find LED capable of producing multiple colors in a range of wavelengths.

With a change in these features, the price will change too. There's no point in paying the pretty penny though if you won't benefit from those additional features or you don't know how to utilize the LEDs properly. Therefore, be sure to educate yourself about different LED features and then go on to select the best LED lights for fish tanks.

Is LED Light Good for Fish Tanks?

Yes, they are; after all, what' the point in spending money on keeping a beautiful aquarium that is a little too dark to showcase your fish, plants, and decorations properly. LEDs are basically Light Emitting Diodes designed to produce a cool and soft light. Each bulb on the LED light will come with a separate microchip responsible for converting electrical currents into the light. LEDs are much better than the traditional fluorescent light bulbs mainly because LEDs are designed to last a lot longer than traditional lighting sources.

LED lights are good for plants and fish tanks because they can simulate day/night cycles.  As you'll be keeping your aquarium inside, the chances are it doesn't get as much natural sunlight as necessary for your tank inhabitants to thrive. With a change in light, the behavior of your fish will change as well, and that can sometimes cause serious problems.

With LED aquarium lights, you will be able to control both lighting and temperature in the fish tank. They work amazingly well for plants and corals because plants require light to conduct photosynthesis. Corals, on the other hand, require light too because they're symbiotic with zooxanthellae, a photosynthetic algae. Without light, it won't be able to provide the coral enough nutrients. Therefore, it's important to work on finding the best LED lighting source for your plants or corals.

While LEDs are good for fish tanks, it's important to choose the right intensity. That's mainly because too little or too much led lighting for fish tanks can lead to certain problems. For instance, too much light in the tank may lead to the excessive algae growth. You may be able to resolve the issue by reducing the time for which you leave your aquarium lights turned on – it should be under eight hours in most cases. Keeping an eye on algae growth will also tell you if the lighting levels are satisfactory or you need to make some changes.  Just keep in mind that you should be lowering the little a little because inadequate light might harm your aquarium plants.

Do Fish Like Light at Night?

Lighting affects fish in more ways than you might imagine. It's true that plants are much more reliant on light as compared to fish, but a change in lighting can still illicit a change in the behaviors of your fish.

Different fish species have different light needs and not maintaining that level could cause serious consequences.  For instance, some fish species don't need as much light. That's especially true for species like tetras and cichlids, which can thrive on less light. It means that you should avoid going for too much supplemental lighting if you're keeping the species in the aquarium.

When determining how much lighting your fish needs, it's important to read more about their characteristics and behaviors. Similarly, you need to consider what conditions they might experience out in the wild.  In case of tropical fish, you might need more light, as they've evolved to withstand 12 hours of light daily. Therefore, you may want to use a combination of aquarium and ambient lighting for at least half the day if you're keeping tropical fish in the tank.

It can be a bit more tricky in case you're going to keep cold-water fish species in your aquarium mainly because they're from temperature climate zones where you notice a change in daylight hours from season to season. It suggests that you should be opting for adjustable lights that can change over the year to help create a natural environment for cold-water fish such as minnows, goldfish, danios, and ricefish.

It's also a good idea to use lights to mimic day/night lighting to create a natural environment, and for this, you can find many lighting options, including fixtures mimicking moonlights and nightlights. Using this option will also help you observe nocturnal behavior of your fish.

The Best Aquarium Lights to Buy

Choosing the right aquarium light will help keep your fish and plants in the perfect condition, as it helps create a natural environment. However, finding the best aquarium light may be a bit confusing, even if you check a participant in the Amazon program designed to provide info. Many affiliate advertising program designed by Amazon or services llc associates program may offer details and reviews. To avoid it, you may want to put your money on Koval LED lighting because of its reasonable price tag and great value for money. It doesn’t require any serious skills for installation, which is an added benefit. So, give it a shot!

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