Displaying your aquarium:
Showing of your prized fish and planted aquarium relies on having the best tank lighting. There are many options to choose from for your tank and depending on what you want to put in your tank will determine what lighting is best for your aquarium. Tanks with only fish need less lighting than planted tanks or tanks with corals. By choosing the right kind of lighting for your tank you can ensure that your aquarium is displayed properly and its occupants thrive.
LED vs. Fluorescent:
The main two types of lighting available are fluorescent and LED. Fluorescent lighting is easy to come by and the less expensive of the two in the short run. Fluorescent bulbs that are optimized for plants and corals are available which makes it easier to change your lighting set-up if you decide you want to change what you keep in your aquarium. LED lights for the most part are fixed in the types of aquariums they support. Because they produce lower intensity light compared to fluorescent, specialized LED lights are needed for planted aquariums. Most manufacturers recommend that fluorescent lights are replaced every six months, as they tend to lose their intensity and spectrum rather quickly. In addition, these systems tend to use more energy than their LED counterparts. Therefore, LED lighting although initially more expensive can be more cost effective in the long-run.
Best Aquarium Lighting 2018
Best LED Aquarium Lights
This LED light is the best for general aquarium use. The NICREW light comes with adjustable metal brackets, two lighting modes, and a one-year limited warranty. The daylight mode produces a bright white light with a shimmer effect that will enhance the display of your aquarium and the nightlight uses low level blue LEDs. The light works well for minimal planted aquariums and general fish aquariums. Affordably priced, this light is an excellent first light for a tank. If you are just starting out an aquarium for fish only this light will provide you with the right amount of light for your fish at an affordable price that’s sure to last for a couple years.
The Beamswork LED light comes with a day and moonlight operating mode, multispectral LEDs, and an optional timer configuration. The timer model is also available from Beamsworks to simplify the tank lighting cycle. This light is suitable for freshwater plants and fish alike and produces a high intensity light with Blue, Red, and Green lights. Its power configuration is compatible with 110V and 220V power sources. Ranging from 24” to 72” this light is a great addition to a planted aquarium or fish aquarium and is a great long-term investment in high quality lighting.
The Koval Aquarium light comes in three adjustable sizes with five color, full spectrum LEDs that are made to last a minimum of 50,000 hours. The system comes with a power adapter and two extendable brackets. Housed in an aluminum alloy shell, the light system produces little heat and is highly energy efficient. This light is optimize for use with planted freshwater tanks and provides a variety of spectrum to enhance the environment for your fish. This lighting system comes in at under sixty dollars and provides a high quality light that is made to last for many years.
This slim LED light comes with a dual light setting with a high intensity day white LED and Blue lower spectrum LED for nighttime viewing. There are multiple sizes to choose from ranging from 16” to 80”. This light is suited for both freshwater and saltwater tanks, as well as planted aquariums. The Zeiger light is a high quality, energy efficient aquarium lighting system and comes with a 2-year seller warranty. At the higher end of pricing this light represents a long-term investment for your aquarium.
The Mingdak LED light is a super bright, energy efficient, and long-lasting LED system. Out of the box it comes with adjustable mounting brackets and two light operating modes. The daylight mode utilizes both the blue and white lights to illuminate your tank, while the nightlight uses only the blue LEDs. This lighting system meets the basic lighting requirements for a fish only aquarium. The Mingdak LED light is energy efficient and provides the necessary light for an aquarium at an affordable cost.
The Fluval Aqua Fresh Plant LED lighting system represents the top of the line in freshwater aquarium lighting. This system provides full spectrum light with multi-spectral LEDs for optimal photosynthetic activity and fish viewing. Furthermore, extendable mounting brackets allow adjustments for any tank size. This light is recommended for planted freshwater aquarium and provides the best environment for plants and fish to thrive. At this price point, this lighting system is recommended for heavily planted aquariums.
Similar to the Zeiger Eco LED, the AE-SHOP LED lighting system is optimized for freshwater and saltwater use. With multispectral red, green, blue, and white LEDs this light produces optimal light for fish, plants, and corals. The aluminum alloy shell allows for heat dissipation and longevity for the light, which the manufacturer claims that it is good for 50,000 use hours. There are also two operating modes, the daylight all-led mode and the night mode, which uses only the blue LEDs. Overall the AE-SHOP LED light is an affordably priced higher end aquarium light for use planted, freshwater, or saltwater aquariums.
The Marineland LED Aquarium light is an excellent starter light for a fish only or minimally planted aquarium. With long lasting LEDs this light is built to be energy efficient and produce vivid light for the aquarium. There are two operating modes, a blue-only nightlight and an all LED daylight mode. The Marineland LED light also comes with a one-year performance warranty.
The Current USA LED Plus lighting system comes with super bright white LEDs paired with RGB LEDs that are custom controllable from an included remote control. Example light modes from the manufacturer include, “Cloud cover, fading lunar, dusk, and lightning”. Housed in an aluminum alloy unit for heat displacement, the lighting system comes with adjustable docking mounts and ranges in size from 18” to 60”. The wireless remote allows users to adjust the lighting modes quickly. At the higher end of the price range the Current USA light provides highly customizable light that is optimized for freshwater fish and planted aquariums.
The Aqueon LED light is a great first aquarium light. This light comes with one “Day White LED” strip with expandable slots for two more strips. For this reason it ranks as number ten since, if you would like to have increased brightness for fish display or plants you will need to purchase additional lighting strips. The Aqueon LED works well for general aquarium use and is priced well for a starter LED light system.
Starting with an LED lighting system is the best way to ensure high quality aquarium lighting that lasts for years. LED systems offer large energy savings compared to usage of traditional fluorescent lighting systems. Choosing the correct lighting will ensure that your aquarium fish and plants thrive for years to come.