Best Aquarium Lights For Planted Tanks (LED – 2024) PAR Tested & Reviewed

In the case of having an aquarium that is productively planted, the right lighting is essential.

The freshwater planted tank represents the highest point of the freshwater aquarium hobby. You might have seen stunning aquascaped aquariums with great-looking plants and contests at trade show events.

The success of a freshwater planted tank begins with the right lighting as well as a spectrum. The best aquarium lights for planted tanks to be used in planted aquariums are LEDs because they provide excellent functionality and flexibility as well as the ability to customize.

Selecting which best LED lights for planted tanks could be a bit difficult because there are so many lights available in the market.

If you don’t have adequate lighting, your plants will not have the energy they require to flourish and grow.

The right LED illumination for your garden tank can be a challenge. There are a variety of choices. This is why we’ve conducted the necessary research for you.

You can light up your tank with more color, the cool fluorescence of neon signs not only sets the mood for your tank, but those colorful lights can also add a special touch to any space. Custom neon can give your tank a personalized look, whether it’s the lettering or the color of the glow to suit your needs, adding a wonderful ambiance to your life.

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Here, we’ll discover the importance of planted aquarium lighting. Be assured that there’s nothing complicated only simple guidelines.

Then I’ll give you some best LED lighting for planted aquariums that are available.

Freshwater LED lighting can be broken down into 3 elements:

The 3 elements of Freshwater LED lighting

  • Spectrum
  • PAR
  • Spread.

1. Understand The Planted Tank Light Spectrum

There’s not a lot of information available on the web about the light spectrum which is a bit disappointing considering the number of LEDs available that are available. The intention behind the plants in the spectrum is to have a balanced spectrum with a focus on blues and reds.

What you’ll see in the majority of LED models available is that their spectrum is not as rich in blues and reds. It is recommended to get 40-70% of the light in the blue and red spectrum. This could mean that you need to look for the best lighting system or alter the spectrum for the LED model if it is an option.

The majority of manufacturers are looking for a 6500K spectrum light. While this is what you’ll see, however, other aspects will be important like the intensity and spread of light. Kevin’s Kevin rating is simply an image of the intensity of light.

2. Intensity Measurements With PAR

Similar to the saltwater tanks reefs also need to have a certain amount of energy that can be measured in PAR. We can divide PAR quantities into categories like:

Low Light Plants

25-50 PAR. This is the ideal choice for shade aquarium plants as well as low-light requirements plants such as Java Moss or Water Wisteria.

Medium Light Plants

100-150 PAR. With this light level, along with appropriate C02 regulation, you can cultivate any plant that is available at this level of intensity. It is possible that you won’t have the best coloration when you use plants with red hues, however. This light color is perfect for carpet plants like Eleocharis Dwarf Hairgrass.

High-Intensity Light Plants

150-250 PAR. This intensity range is ideal for aquariums with red plants. This lighting intensity provides high plant density and reduces the shading effects caused by larger plants. Since this light is stronger, it requires more care to trim plants and control algae issues.

3. Understand The Aquarium Light Spread

Spread can be a significant problem when you have a large number of planted tanks because taller plants obscure smaller plants when they increase. This is why an arrangement that has two or more sources of light makes the perfect showcase planted tank.

If you use only one fixture or bulb, you will likely have a high PAR level in specific zones of the aquarium. They may also have shadows or edges that are completely devoid of PAR.

This is especially worrying when one considers LEDs because they are a focused light, and not dispersed like T5. Your lenses’ quality as well as their angles are important in the case of LED lighting for planted tanks.

To give an illustration an example, the wide-angled LED light fixture could be able to have specific parts of the aquarium that are shadowed by the waterscape and plants, but T5 fixtures or a wide-angled LED array won’t have the same issue.

If you are looking for LEDs, you should look at LED arrays instead of pendants. More expensive LEDs may also have built-in diffusers that help with shadow issues.

Top Picks For Planted Tank LED Lights (Overview)

Fluval Fresh & Plant 3.0 Fluval Fresh & Plant 3.0 will be the most efficient LED lighting kit for tanks that are planted after testing. It’s powerful reliable, durable, and easy to program and personalize.

The Hygger Aquarium LED lighting fixture was a major surprise and is the best value alternative. It’s not as impressive as the Fluval but at a significantly less expensive price, it’s a great item at this price.

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How The Lights Were Tested

Here’s how I tried all of my LED lighting Kits:

PAR Readings Test

PAR is a shorthand for photosynthetically energetic radiation. You can say it five times quickly.

In essence, PAR is the measure of the radiation that comes from a source of light that organisms can make use of to complete photosynthesis. The greater the PAR number, the more energy plants can take advantage of the light source.

It’s a crucial test to determine if the light you choose to use is suitable for growing plants, and the type of plants it’s suitable for.

The fact that light can be seen by us and appears bright doesn’t mean it is in the correct spectrum to allow plants to thrive in the freshwater tank.

Additionally, PAR decreases the farther light travels. Thus, something that may have a PAR of 400 at the surface may only have a PAR of 70 once the light hits the substrate.

The majority of hobbyists have no method to determine what type amount of PAR the lights in their aquariums are creating.

Waterproof PAR meters can be expensive, which is why the majority of aquarists don’t have a way to gauge the amount of light their system produces.

Don’t be afraid!

In this article, we utilized a PAR meter to measure the readings of all the lights used in this head-to-head competition.

We measured readings 0.5 millimeters below the surface of the water 11, inches (28 centimeters) down, and 19 inches (43 centimeters) at the bottom of the 55-gallon (208 milliliters) tank we tested with.

We had some inconsistent results when we attempted to take PAR readings using the light source on one of our existing aquariums.

I believe it has a lot to do with the clarity of the water the water’s movement, the plants putting the shade on the tank, and sensor placement that was inconsistent because of the substrate inside the tank.

Therefore, we deleted all of our original information and did it again. There was an empty 55-gallon lying around. We filled it up with clean tap water so that we could conduct a new test.

The water we drink is clear and has a TDS in the range of 50. This means we had perfect conditions for testing and could get accurate PAR readings for all of the lighting fixtures.

We wanted to collect readings in the center of the tank but it’s difficult for us to maintain your PAR device at the identical position every time with a hand.

So, we placed an old cinderblock in the tank to have something to place the sensor to ensure it would always be at a constant distance from the water’s surface.

Be aware that lighting that has high PAR will stimulate any photosynthesis-related organisms in the tank to develop not only plants. Strong lighting will also stimulate algae and the growth of cyanobacteria. Here’s a comparison of the PAR readings we obtained from each lamp:

PAR Meter For Aquarium LED Light Test

Real World Testing

This part of the test wasn’t as scientific as PAR testing However, I think this is the most important aspect of the entire procedure.

I put all five of these lights in my tanks and utilized them every day for a few weeks so that I could experience the real-world experience of the lights:

  • Installation and Set Up – How difficult is it to turn on this tank illuminated and then perform the initial setup and programming?
  • Customization of The light is adjustable? Does it have an inbuilt timer? Color customization? In general what control can you exercise over the duration, intensity, and spectrum of light?
  • Reliability What happens if the power goes out or you cut power to make water changes? Do you need to change the program?
  • Appearance What is attractive about the light that makes your tank appear? I’ll admit that this rating is entirely subjective, but I have tested the lights for several weeks, and here’s my honest assessment of the way I felt they appeared on my tanks.
  • Economy – How much is the light in comparison to its competition?

I rated each category on a scale of 1-5 where 1 is the lowest with 5 as the most desirable.

Overall Ranking Scores

I merged the information from the testing in real-world scenarios along with the information from the PAR test.

For PAR I scored the lights based on their measurements on the surface. I then awarded each light a point based on their ranking. Thus, the light with the highest rank received 5 points, while the second-ranked light received 4 points, etc.

All these points were added to create the total points for the light

PAR Meter For Aquarium LED Lights Overall Ranking Test

Best Planted Aquarium LED Lights Reviewed

Best Aquarium Lights for Planted Tanks (LED):

1. Fluval Fresh and Plant 3.0 LED Light Fixture – Overall Score: 25

Fluval Plant 3.0 LED Planted Aquarium Lighting, 46 Watts, 36-46 Inches
  • Features programmable, gradual 24-hour light cycle settings (sunrise,...
  • Includes six unique band waves for full spectrum results
  • Includes optional pre-set habitat light configurations like Lake...
  • 120 degree light dispersion for full area coverage and uniform...
  • Extendable mounting brackets allow easy installation on a variety of...

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The light, quite simply, is amazing. It’s very customizable thanks to an easy-to-use application that you can download free on iOS or Android and then connect to the light via Bluetooth.

This light has the best PAR of all other lights at 850, which stunned us. Fluval also had the highest quality of the lights we tested since the entire settings of the light are saved in the app.

Simply connect the light using Bluetooth then it’ll re-run the program that you had previously created. As I mentioned, it’s awesome.

PAR Meter For Aquarium Reading

PAR Readings

  • Surface – 850
  • 11 inches – 193
  • 19 inches – 148

Note: I downloaded the Fluval app. I went into the daylight settings and set each spectrum to its highest. This needs to be done manually as the normal daylight settings will be a lot dimmer. This is however an accurate representation of what the light is capable of at its highest.

Installation and Set Up

Installation is easy using this lamp. The light comes with extendable brackets that are easy to slide, allowing you to make the light a perfect fit for your tank.

A lot of lights come with adjustable brackets that can accommodate various tank sizes, but this light features these unique black plastic “feet” on the ends of the brackets that rest comfortably on the tank’s rim.

Customization

I’m not sure of an easier light to personalize than this.

To program the light, install an application (available either for iOS as well as Android) that lets you modify every aspect of the light, including spectrum (color) as well as brightness, and timing.

The process of programming the light to run 24 hours is easy. You choose the time when the light will be turned on. It will then go through a “dawn” cycle as it increases to the full-daylight mode.

When the time is set for the next the light will begin to fade off until “sunset.” You can decide the amount of time you would like to allow the “moon” light to stay in place before turning the light off at night.

You can experiment using your spectrum of light during the night and day parts of the show.

As an example, as I am an absolute geek, I experimented with the moonlight and turned it purple instead of blue.

There was no reason to do this. I simply love purple and I thought it was cool. It is, and I would add.

Be aware you may need to note down the settings that the light is set to before you start messing around with the settings. You cannot return it to its factory settings if you alter the settings.

It’s up to you to play with it and hope that you achieve the same result as it was in the beginning if you want to go back to default settings.

Reliability

This light is among the top in terms of reliability.

If the power is disconnected, it will take away all settings. However, all of your settings remain in the application.

The only thing you have to do is open the app, click on the saved tank’s settings, and voilà! The application will reset your timer, clock, and dimmer as well as any other settings that you’ve saved.

Appearance

This light truly takes the cake in terms of design. It stunningly showcases the tank straight out of the box.

It’s amazing how vibrant the colors are of fish. I am awed by the ability to modify and alter it up and down the spectrum until it is exactly how I’d like it to be.

Furthermore, this light looks cool on the tank’s top. I think that the tiny plastic feet on the ends are much more attractive than the wire feet used in the majority of adjustable lights.

I know that this is an issue of personal taste I know, but this is my opinion. As with all other things, Fluval knocked this category off the mark.

Economy

It’s the only feature of this light that is somewhat unsettling. This light is the most expensive in the group.

But, I’m going to say that, after several some time with it, I believe it’s worth it. There’s not much hassle in installing it or returning your settings using the app following a water change.

If you’re able to swing it, I strongly would recommend the light. I am in love with it!

2. Hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light – Overall Score: 21

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hygger 36W 24/7 Lighting Aquarium LED Light, Sunrise-Daylight-Moonlight Mode and DIY Mode, Adjustable Timer Adjustable Brightness Fish Tank Light with Extendable Bracket 7 Colors for Planted Tank
  • 🐠DEFAULT MODE(24/7 Natural Mode): Gradient Orange light (sunrise)...
  • 🐡DIY MODE: Time + Color + Brightness can be set. ①Setting...
  • 🐟NEW UPGRADE: The separable adapter, if it is damaged, no need to...
  • 🌿HIGH-QUALITY LIGHT: The light is soft, the color rendering index...
  • 🦐PRODUCT PARAMETERS: ①Power:36W; ②Led...

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I like this light very much however I would like it to have done more effectively in its reliability area.

The light comes with the second-highest PAR and has a wide range of options for customization. It comes with a built-in timer and dimmer and also offers an active timer mode as well as the ability to run a 24-hour circadian timer.

There’s no way to make a “clock” on the light You must be sure to press one of the buttons on your remote that is wired at the exact time you wish to begin the cycle.

All your settings are lost each time the light goes out of power even if it’s only for a couple of seconds.

Hygger LED Light PAR Readings

PAR Readings

  • Surface – 408
  • 11 inches – 140
  • 19 inches – 103

Installation and Set Up

Installing this light is very simple. The bracket feet that slide are easy to slide around and get the correct size.

It’s fairly simple to set up. This light is wired with a remote that is pretty simple to understand how to switch the settings on, even without any instructions.

The only issue is that the light does not have an actual clock that can be adjusted.

Therefore, the timer for the light can be set to 6, 10, and 12 hours. You can also choose to let the light cycle through its 24-hour circadian cycle.

However, here’s the problem: because you aren’t able to create a clock to set the timer, you must hit the button to begin the timer at the exact moment you want to start every day.

If you do forget, like I did numerous times you must wait and try to recall on the following day or maybe the next day and the one following that…

Customization

The light can be made highly adjustable. I like the fact that it comes with an option that lets you go through a wide range of solid colors, including green, blue, red yellow, or one that gradually fades between different colors.

There’s an inbuilt timer according to my experiences, you’ll require it in a tank with low tech. This light produces lots of PAR which is second only to that of the Fluval lights.

If the tank is deep enough, the tank, it could not be enough light. It’s only the push of a few buttons to turn off the dimming.

There are two distinct timer modes:

  • Dynamic – switch the light on for 6 or 12 hours. The light goes off after the time.
  • 24/7 – operates in daylight for 8,10, 12 15, 18, or 22 hours, and then will switch to blue lights for the remainder of the 24 hours.

Reliability

However, reliability is the light’s most significant flaw. It’s all it takes is the tiniest power glitch and this light is wiped out of the settings that you’ve put in.

This could be major trouble. For instance, suppose you’ve set it to an all-day cycle with 50% power. It begins at 7 am.

However, you’ll have to do an oil switch in the evening, and the light is unplugged.

Since no clock can be set, you’ll need to keep in mind to set your timer to 7 am the following morning. If you don’t remember then you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

It might sound easy but, trust me when I say that it’s a pain in your butt when you forget to hit the button even though you were supposed to do it several days on the same day.

If Hygger has come up with a method to allow the light to keep its settings when power is off, this light could be near perfect.

Appearance

I love the way this light transforms my fish look, particularly the look of my Boesemani rainbow-colored fish. It makes their colors pop so beautifully.

In terms of appearance, I’d say this Hygger is in the same league as the Fluval light. Simply beautiful. I love how it stands out the blue hues on my fish.

Economy

I’m inclined to say that with the features you get from this light in comparison to its cost, this could be the most affordable of all.

This light is just a smaller amount of the Fluval and the Current USA but still has remarkable PAR and the ability to customize. It also has a lower loss of PAR since the light can travel to the bottom of the tank.

The Hygger significantly overcame that of the Current USA when it came to the amount of PAR reaching the lowest point of the tank.

I’d highly strongly recommend the light. Resetting the light every single time can be trouble however, at this price of a cost it’s worth the hassle.

3. Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED – Overall Score: 18

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Current USA 36-48" Inch Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Full Spectrum RGB+W Light for Aquariums | Wireless 24 Hour Remote Control Fish Tank Lighting (4507)
  • Full Spectrum LED Lighting: Provides natural-looking light for vibrant...
  • Remote Control: Allows you to adjust brightness and color temperature...
  • RGB+W Technology: Creates a wide color spectrum for improved...
  • Durable Aluminum Construction: Robust and long-lasting LED light...
  • Easy Installation: Mounts securely to aquarium glass with suction cups...

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I discovered the setup and installation of this light an immense hassle. I find that the program and settings of this lighting are unnecessarily complex and a bit superficial.

It offers many options to customize, but making use of the features of this light can be difficult and cumbersome.

The flimsy remote that you must use to program the light is unstable and not ergonomic. Additionally, the PAR from this light will not reach as far as some other lights which are cheaper.

The settings will be saved if the power goes off, but you need to reset the clock of your light every when the power is restored.

PAR Reading Test of Current USA LED Aquarium Lights

PAR Readings

  • Surface – 350
  • 11 inches – 91
  • 19 inches – 71

Installation and Set Up

I was not a fan of installing this light!

The configuration is complicated and frustrating I find it a bit confusing and frustrating However, I’ll do my best to help you understand it.

The light is loaded with many options and features to personalize it. However, getting the light programmed isn’t exactly user-friendly. All of your settings and settings are stored on a tiny box for controlling the light that has an extremely small LCD which you can program using the tiny wireless remote.

This controller box makes it difficult to navigate because it’s placed inline on the power cable.

A cord is dangling out of the light and connects directly to the unit that controls it. The control unit is then equipped with an extended cord that plugs into an electrical adapter.

Another cord is then connected through the box of adapters to a plug, which is then plugged into the wall.

It’s a hefty daisy chain that is made of angular cords and heavy, bulky devices.

To use the remote included equipped with the lamp, you must place the control unit on the tank stand to have a clear line vision to a sensor connected to the unit’s control via an electrical wire.

It’s a very difficult arrangement. The power cables connect to the controller at odd angles. You need to figure out how to position it so that you can make use of the remote to program the light.

In addition, the controller doesn’t have a waterproof feature. This means you need to protect it with this uncomfortable plastic protector to prevent it from being splashed. This only makes everything more difficult and clunky to put in place and use.

This Current USA lighting was the most difficult to set up. We tried it for a week but did not find an acceptable way to position the control unit and sensor for use in the daytime.

Customization

There’s an enormous range of possibilities you can do using this light. Its greatest appeal is in its versatility.

There is an inbuilt dimmer and two timer modes:

  • It’s a dynamic off/on mode. The light flashes off at maximum intensity when it is at “on” time and abruptly stops after the “off” time.
  • This model is closer to an actual day. The moment of start will trigger a gradual ramp-up until full daytime mode. The brightness of daylight is gradually reduced to sunset mode and then moonlight mode. The light shuts off to sleep and begins the process in the morning.

In addition to that, there are a lot of choices and options which you can personalize. The light comes with a comprehensive instruction manual that explains every option.

However, some of the settings are sort of silly, and I’m not sure I think it’s a good idea to include them.

For instance, there’s the setting for thunderstorms, which have lightning flashes or “lightning” that scare the fish in a loop. It’s not a way I’d want to use this setting in the real world.

Reliability

The remote is tiny and it’s a challenge to press the tiny buttons on the remote. I have difficulty pushing them with ease.

I’m sure I’m going to get old and trying to make use of this device to program items on this tiny and clunky unit is like programming a VCR during the 1980s. It’s awful.

The unit’s control panel comes with an LCD that has four numbers in the basic format, similar to a digital alarm clock.

It is necessary to press tiny buttons, which can be a complicated pattern to code things similar to when the old-fashioned Playstation cheats code.

In case you’re not able to tell I’m not a big fan of having to play around with this. Not at all.

The controller will store your settings even if power is not connected, however, you’ll need to adjust your clock to the correct time each time.

I found this to be extremely annoying because I hate working with remotes.

Appearance

In terms of appearance, the light is good for its purposes, but it didn’t impress me too much. It was able to show off the tank effectively however it was not an impressive display.

Whatever the setting regardless of settings, the colors of the fish did not pop the way they did in the Hygger or Fluval.

Economy

I would say this lamp isn’t the best option when you’re comparing prices against the ease of use and reliability.

It’s the second most expensive light on our list, however, you can obtain a superior PAR and design by using the Hygger lighting.

The light is also so costly that, for a small amount you could enjoy the complete splendor of the light.

This light isn’t awful However, I believe that the Hygger is a far better value.

4. Beamswork Vivio Full Spectrum LED – Overall Score: 16

Beamswork Vivio Full Spectrum LED Timer Adjustable Dimmer Aquarium Fish Tank Light Freshwater 12 20 24 30 36 48 (36" - 40")
  • High lumen output and High LED count for a super crisp and bright...
  • 5 levels of adjustable brightness.
  • 3 output patterns for different settings and preference.
  • 3 timer duration for auto shut off. Set and go.
  • Aluminum casing. Extendable brackets. Light Weight. Low Profile.

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Its Beamswork lighting is on the straightforward side. It’s a budget-friendly light that’s ideal for low-tech settings with low-demanding plants.

It has an inbuilt dimmer and a timer that can be controlled using the remote control.

The light will lose all its settings if it is unplugged. I highly advise this lighting if intend to plant low-light plants such as Java anubias or ferns and wish to keep algae at a minimum.

Beamswork Vivio Full Spectrum LED

PAR Readings

  • Surface – 250
  • 11 inches – 65
  • 19 inches – 43

Installation and Set Up

I was forced to take a few points from this category because the feet of the sliding bracket in this fixture are extremely difficult to slide into and out in some instances.

I’ve worked with a lot of lights that have these feet sliding and have not had such a difficult time using them before.

Apart from the feet making this light work, setting it up is quite easy.

Customization

The Light may not have the number of customization options available as its rivals, but it does have some great options.

The built-in dimmer comes with and timer. It is possible to set the timer to 4, 8, or 12 hours. The wired remote is simple to use.

There are three modes of light full-on, white/green, or night light with a red/blue mode. You can select between five different levels of brightness with the built-in dimming feature.

This is pretty much it. It’s simple and simple.

Reliability

This light doesn’t do well for reliability. Its settings will be lost when it’s disconnected from the power source.

Therefore, you’ll have to press that button to activate the timer to the exact time you’d like the cycle to start every day.

If you’re not able to attend? Oh well, and you’ll have to stay up for the day after to try to remember it next time. This could be a real pain.

Appearance

This light has a lovely appearance. It has a blue-green tone when in the normal daylight setting.

I enjoy the setting for nightlights. The combination of red and blue is amazing, in my opinion.

Economy

It is also the most affordable of the lot.

I have experienced firsthand that not everyone can splash out a huge amount of cash on one Tank of equipment, and the need for budget-friendly alternatives is often required.

This light is a great deal, especially if trying to grow simple low-light plants.

Then there’s the timer and dimmer included. I was forced to buy them separately for the majority of my lights and it’s nice to know that they’re in the package, especially at this cost.

5. Nicrew Classic LED Plus Planted Light 36-48″ – Overall Score: 13

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NICREW ClassicLED Plus LED Aquarium Light with Timer, 27 Watts, for 36 to 48 Inch Fish Tank Light, Daylight and Moonlight Cycle, Brightness Adjustable
  • The full-spectrum light combines 6500K white, 450nm blue, TRUE 660nm...
  • Provides more options to adjust the auto On/Off time and brightness....
  • Excellent color rendition with a high CRI of 91 for better...
  • Adjustable docking mounts on both sides provide an easy way for quick...
  • Aluminum alloy shell helps best heat dissipation, and this light is...

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This was the least enjoyable of the group. It has a low PAR and is not very user-friendly. I also didn’t like the way this light changed the tank’s appearance.

It had this strange greenish-yellow tint that I did not like at all.

Nicrew Classic LED Plus Planted Light PAR Reading

PAR Readings

  • Surface – 315
  • 11 inches – 115
  • 19 inches – 80

Installation and Set Up

Installation and configuration are easy. There’s nothing to say about this lighting.

It comes with an electronic remote that is connected to the power cord, and the usual wire bracket that can be extended feet that all adjustable lights come with.

Customization

There aren’t several options to customize the light. The remote has three buttons that are labeled B W, M, and B.

These buttons can be used to change the white, blue, and red LEDs on down, or off.

There isn’t a built-in timer. This is a traditional type of light. It’s intended for you to enter to turn the light on and off by hand. Just like we did back in the days of stone.

Reliability

The light won’t keep any settings you alter in the event of power loss. You’ll have to enter the settings that you are comfortable with each time the light is cut off.

Fortunately, this configuration is incredibly simple, which means it’s not a lot to get it set up once more.

Appearance

I truly, really didn’t like the look that this fixture had. It’s not a problem with the fixture’s appearance, which is perfect.

But the light it produces in the tank is unattractive. The white LEDs emit this disgusting green-yellow-green color that I was not a fan of.

I played with the limited color change options to help make the appearance better, but I didn’t have many results.

If when the white LEDs are turned on they release the same color. Yuck.

Economy

This Nicrew light at the time when this article was written was priced the same similar to it was the Hygger light.

Hygger Hygger is a better value. It offers a lot more PAR and lots of additional features.

Also, the Nicrew isn’t expensive however you don’t get much value for your price, but you can receive a lot more for your money if you get the Hygger.

My Top Pick

So, I don’t believe it’s difficult to determine why the Fluval Fresh and Plant 3.0 is the best LED lighting for a planted aquarium you have.

It’s not just the most powerful of lighting, boasting a massive PAR of 800, but it’s the most reliable and simple to program, and most flexible.

If you’re asking, “Is this Fluval light really that cool?”

The answer is, “YES! !” I love this light and would highly recommend it.

However, on the other side, I am aware that not everyone has the money to spend the amount for lighting for their aquarium.

If you think the Fluval isn’t enough for your needs, I’d suggest Hygger. Hygger is the most budget-friendly choice.

It’s not as simple to program or configure the timer however, for the price it’s a fantastic bargain.

Additionally, it gives the tank a great look. I love the way it makes the different colors of the tank pop out. It’s amazing.

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Choose the Best Planted Aquarium LEDs

When selecting your best aquarium lights for planted tanks, it is important to think about the following aspects:

  • Does it have an alarm clock?
  • The spectrum of the light spectrum
  • Tank size vs. Light intensity
  • What plants are present in your tank?

Why a Timer is So Important

One of the most useful features you’ll need for your LED lighting device. A timer lets you ensure constant lighting all day long.

A consistent photoperiod (the period during which your tank is exposed to sunlight) is essential for a successful planted aquarium. I realize… You might consider, “I don’t need a timer. I’ll switch it on when I wake up and turn it off when I’m home.” It’s possible.

Every day’s going to differ for 10 to 20 minutes or an hour! You might even forget. Forgetting to turn off the light even just once, could be catastrophic.

It could take hours trying to correct that error. A timer is essential. If it’s built-in, or you opt to purchase an additional one is irrelevant – you’ll need one.

The Light Spectrum

It’s the color of the light that is produced and is determined by Kelvin (K). For instance, true daylight is about 6500K.

The truth is that plants do not care about the spectrum of light. spectrum.

I know it’s true, they react to certain Kelvin ratings more effectively than others.

However, plants can perform very well from 2700k (warm shades: yellow – red) up to 10000K (white light with lots of blue).

However, LEDs that aren’t in this spectrum, such as the coral or actinic lights (the blue lights that are found on saltwater tanks) are not likely to perform well in tanks that are planted.

All else… its color could technically be used to cultivate plants. But just because it’s technically able to grow plants, it doesn’t mean that you’ll love the way it appears.

From the perspective of the plant, the light source is light. You may be thinking that light doesn’t work exactly as it does. I’m sure of it. The plants see green spectrums the most, while blues and reds the most.

I’m not going to overwhelm you with details, so this is a basic guide.

So long as it’s not above 10000K or in the blue light of coral, it’s acceptable. Knowing that plants thrive in these ranges All that’s left to do is choose the one you like.

The most well-liked choice for enthusiasts is about 6700K (the equivalent to that of the sun).

Tank Size vs. Light Intensity

The bigger your tank will be, the greater power it will require. It’s not difficult to understand by thinking of it in this way… When you shine a standard torch into the aquarium each four” of water requires two times the power to maintain the same intensity throughout.

In other words, if you’ve got an area of 1 foot deep You could have the luxury of the fixture powered by a lower power source and get moderate light.

However, if you place the fixture on an even deeper tank this will put you in the low-light category.

If you install a massive LED fixture in a one-foot-deep tank, it’s going to be so bright that it may make it difficult to cultivate plants.

Since you’ll need to add many fertilizers and CO2 into your tank to fight the light, it can make it harder for you.

This happens when you have a lighting fixture that’s too strong. This is why the ability to dim your LEDs is an excellent feature. It lets you modify the brightness following your tank’s depth as well as the kind of plant that you own.

What Plants Are in Your Tank?

It is important to know the species of plant that you can find in your aquarium, concerning their size.

Different plants will require moderate, low, or high-intensity light. This is why it’s important to possess a dimmable option that lets you adjust the level of light.

If you decide that you’d like to alter the contents of the tank, you don’t need to purchase a brand-new fixture.

FAQs

What LED Light Is Best For Aquarium Plants?

An all-spectrum RGB light is thought to be the top LED light for aquatic plants available. RBG lights represent three hues namely green, red, and blue.
These lights are crucial for plants with red flowers since they display more colors. Lighting options such as that of the Current USA Serene RBG are an excellent choice when you are looking to purchase the perfect RBG light.

Will Normal LED Lights Grow Plants?

Yes, they can grow plants, however, not optimally. The primary advantage of white LEDs is the quantity of PAR that is emitted. White lights emit the greatest energy.
However, you won’t get as much growth with white lights as the lights that are intended for planted tanks, like one RBG light.

What’s the Difference Between LED Lights and LED Grow Lights?

LED Lights are typically going to be designed to work with freshwater planted tanks, while LED light growers are expected to be made for indoor plants.
A normal white LED will typically give PAR/Intensity, whereas LED lights specifically designed for aquariums are designed to provide spectrum. Grow lights come with a distinct spectrum and are specifically designed for indoor plants.

How Long Should I Keep My Lights On For Plants?

The goal is to have your lights on for between 8 to 10 hours every day. This will permit the expansion of your plants while keeping algae from growing too much.

Are LED Lights Good for Planted Aquariums?

In the growth of exotic plants, LED lighting has made stunning progress with the help of some higher-end fixtures, however,even the cheapest LED fixtures specifically made for fish tanks will be sufficient for healthy and successful plant growth in a community tank.

Conclusion To Best Aquarium Lights for Planted Tanks

LED lights have made significant progress since they first came out. They come with a variety of features. Hopefully, this list can help to narrow your choices.

A planted aquarium can be very enjoyable and easy to install. For any concerns, you’d like to ask, leave your comments below. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.