Best LED Lighting For Reef Tank for 2021: Ranked by Type And Price

There is a whole new world underwater. Reef aquariums are colorful, serene, and delicately designed to give you the tour of a lifetime of underwater creation. However, keeping reef tanks is no child’s play. It has so many things that go into play to help you run a successful reef aquarium. Best LED lighting for reef tank is one of the vital components to keep a lively and healthy reef tank.

Best LED light on top.jpg

The glass aquarium tank with water plants and has a bright LED lamp on top

In this article, we are going to look at how you can get the best-LED lights for reef tanks in this market filled with so many similar products but different quality and functionality.

When faced with such a challenge, it is easy to have buyer’s remorse after buying what you thought was the best-LED lights for a reef tank.


Best LED Lighting For Reef Tank List To Reviews and Comparison Table

hipargero led aquarium light

Hipargero LED Aquarium Light

4.1 of 5 Stars
viparspectra 165w

VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control 165W

4.3 of 5 Stars
Lominie LED Aquarium Light

Lominie LED Aquarium Light

4 of 5 Stars
MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light

MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light

4.3 of 5 Stars
current usa orbit marine aquarium led light

Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light

3.9 of 5 Stars

Depth Review Of Each Of This Best LED Lighting For Reef Tank

1.Editor’s Pick: Hipargero LED Aquarium Light

hipargero led aquarium light

We look for functionality, user and pocket-friendly, durability, quality, and the service provision before a product cuts it as the editor’s pick. One of the LED lighting for saltwater that comes at the top is the Hipargero LED aquarium light. The Hipargero LED aquarium light is designed for marine tanks with a touch of advanced modern technology.

It mimics the ocean with its 3W high-power Cree LEDs, which provide accurate proportions of white and blue light. It contains two dimmable channels that can be adjusted between 0 to 100%. This feature helps you mimic the natural conditions that your corals can thrive in. Color uniformity and light efficiency are ensured by a three in one 90 degrees acrylic lens. Another interesting fact about these LED lights is that any LPS and SPS can flourish under it.

The manufacturer uses high-quality material in the designing of the Hipargero LED aquarium light. It’s super thin and comes with an adjustable bracket to make your installation process painless. If you have any questions about the product, their customer response is made within 24 hours. The touch controls are well-designed to suit the slippery situation in an aquarium.




Overall rating :  4.1 / 5


  • It has top quality LED lights.
  • Both SPS and LPS can flourish under it.
  • Compact and tough design.
  • It has the feature to adjust the light intensity.


  • It is not suitable for rimmed tanks that are over 0.8 inches thick.

2. Runner’s Up: VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control 165W

viparspectra 165w

The VIPARSPECTRA timer control V165 LED aquarium light dimmable feature stands out. It’s essential when it comes to getting the right intensity for your aquarium and mimicking the natural reef life. It is also engineered with the perfect PAR coverage and output balance.

It is crucial to have uniform PAR coverage. This LED marine light comes with an in-built timer that is easy to operate. It comes in handy, especially when you are not around. The feature that impressed us the most is the independence of the two channels of this LED light. You can switch them off or on separately, and you can also adjust their light intensities independently.

Some of the accessories that this LED light comes with is a remote control. So, now you can adjust the mood you want at the comfort of your couch. It also comes with a hanging kit and a lock assembly to ensure it does not fall into the aquarium and harm your fish and corals. 




Overall rating :  4.3 / 5


  • It comes with an in-built timer and remote control.
  • This LED light is easy to install and use.
  • It has two channels that can be operated separately.
  • It is durable and can last up to 100,000 hours.


  • It is only convenient for small tanks.

3.Budget Pick: Lominie LED Aquarium Light

Lominie LED Aquarium Light

It can be a challenge to get the best lighting for reef tank if you have a nano tank. You want something to compliment your tank and not look like a Frankenstein experiment. The Lominie LED aquarium light is designed for nano tanks, and it’s both suitable for marine and freshwater aquariums.

This aquarium light comes with Pixie 30, designed with a 90-degree lens. Its full spectrum consists of six colors, which are royal blue, blue, white, green, red, and UV. With four dimmable channels that can be adjusted from 0 to 100%, you can manipulate it to fit the mood you want and illuminate the beauty of your tank.

The Lominie aquarium light utilizes high-quality aluminum heatsink as its cooling system. This feature reduces the noise that is produced by aquarium fans. The bracket is waterproof and flexible and is able to fit a wide range of aquarium rim thickness.




Overall rating :  4.0 / 5


  • It comes with four dimmable channels.
  • It is made of high-quality material.
  • It perfect for both freshwater and marine aquarium.
  • It has a silent cooling system.


  • It’s only suitable for nano aquariums.
  • The remote is not convenient.

4.Upgrade Pick: MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light

MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light

The best lighting for reef tank should mimic the natural lighting. The MarsAqua aquarium light is designed to provide day and night mode combinations. These LED lights are designed to facilitate the growth of live plants in your aquarium.

The LEDs are genuinely transparent and give a transmittance of 25% higher than the standard LED aquarium lights. The light penetration is able to uniformly reach each corner of the aquarium with depths of up to 1 meter without losing its luminous energy.

The MarsAqua LED aquarium light uses copper as part of its cooling system. Copper’s thermal conductivity is highly rated as compared to other metals. This ensures that the LED aquarium light does not overheat and hike the temperature in your aquarium. 




Overall rating :  4.3 / 5


  • It comes with an advanced cooling technology system.
  • Its transmittance is 25% higher than other LED aquarium lights.
  • It has both day and night modes.
  • It is suitable for big tanks.


  • The suction cups do not work as expected.

5.Niche Pick: Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light

current usa orbit marine aquarium led light

Orbit Marine is one of the reputable brands when it comes to making LED lights for aquariums. You might have given thumbs up to Current USA Orbit Marine Pro, but does Current USA Orbit Marine aquarium LED light meet its hype? This model is as user-friendly as it can be considering the technological ingenuity that it contains.

Its sleek design is made from quality materials that are designed to guarantee it’s longevity. The Current Orbit Marine LED comes with an LCD display and remote control to promote its effectiveness.

That’s not all for this model. The comes with different modes that mimic the natural light situations. The LED lights mimic the slow sunrise, sunset, and moonlight with other modes that mimic storms and lightening. Sounds cool, right? Now, imagine having a cloud effect in your aquarium.

The Current USA Orbit Marine LEDs have a mode that gives the cloud movement effect. Your reef tank lighting schedule can mimic whatever is going outside your house. Wow! Current Orbit Marine LED coral growth is well defined. 




Overall rating :  3.9 / 5


  • It comes with multiple modes that mimic natural lighting in different weather conditions.
  • It comes with remote control and an LCD display.
  • It is made from high-quality materials to guarantee its durability.
  • It is easy to install and use.


  • Its programming can be challenging for beginner aquarists.

Benefits of LED lighting for reef tanks

You might wonder why you need LED reef aquarium light while you have enough natural light. Well, reef LED lighting is not meant to substitute the natural light. It comes with its set of advantages that most may not realize.

Nano reef lighting plays a crucial part in the growth of your corals. Here are some of the benefits of LED lighting for reef tanks:

Brighten up the aquarium

Reef tanks are beautiful and colorful. LED lights for reef tanks are designed to illuminate the beauty of your aquarium. You are able to get the serenity you long for even when there is no natural light.

These LED lights come in various temperatures to sooth the mood you want your reef aquarium to inspire.

Safe to use

LED reef lights are made from more robust materials as compared to other lighting systems. You don’t expose your fish to fluorescent gases or metal halides. The intensity of light is crucial if you have live corals. LED reef lights emit just the right that your aquarium may need.

They generate less heat

When you are fish keeping as a hobby, you’ll also want to save as much money as possible. The LED lighting function well with low energy consumption as compared to the other lighting system. It also means that they produce less heat as compared to the other aquarium lighting systems.

The T5, PC, and metal halides produce megatons of heat, which require you to buy an aquarium cooler. You’ll end up using more than you intended on the maintenance of your aquarium.

Better growth of plants and marine animals

Reef tanks are susceptible to the light that you decide to install. For example, corals can be very picky about the intensity and temperature of light exposed to. Most LED reef lights are designed to provide different ranges of light intensity and temperature.

The best-LED lights for reef tanks replicate the light intensity of the fluorescent lights, which were famous for a long time for being the best for reef aquarium. However, they produced tons of heat.

Mostly compact

Compared to other aquarium lights, LEDs are very compact and flexible. The best saltwater aquarium LED lights are designed to be waterproof so that you can install it where you deem fit even inside your aquarium water. Their flexibility makes them easy to install and remove during cleaning and maintenance of the aquarium.

Features of the best-LED lighting for reef tanks

Few features set aside the best products from the mediocre ones. We are going to look at features that the best-LED reef lights should have.

Power consumption

Well, there is no dispute that the lighting range should be able to cater to your aquarium. However, LED lights need to be powered, and they have different energy consumption levels. Since having them is one of the recurrent expenditures of maintaining the aquarium, you want to for LED reef lighting with the lowest consumption without compromise on quality.

Installation process

Most of the LED lights for reef aquariums are designed for the simple installation process. In addition to that, some manufacturers provide a detailed manual of the installation and maintenance process. However, there are a few variables that you need to consider, like the shape of your tank or the complexity of the LED lights you are purchasing. Some LED lights are designed for more complex tanks and can be quite challenging to install if you are not familiar with them.

Ease of use

The LED reef lighting technology is advancing each day. More features are included in LED lights to give the best experience. However, some of the additional features can make using your LED reef lights a bit of a headache. Access controls should be simple and easy to use. There are plug and play LED lights that still give you the best experience.

Lighting capabilities

The lighting capabilities are to help with the growth of your aquarium’s life and promote the mood you want to inspire. Some LED lights come with controls that you can adjust the color of the LEDs or the intensity of the light produced. So, get something that will provide everything you need, and your aquarium’s life requires.


The durability of the LED reef lights you choose is paramount. You don’t want to spend more money replacing spoilt LED lights than you have to. Some manufacturers give a lifetime warranty. It means that the product can be expensive, but they have faith in it that it will serve you diligently for long. There are cheap reef lights in the market, and cutting costs can seem like a good idea at the moment, but in the long-term, it will cost you more.

Reef LED lighting: What you need to consider

We appreciate the fact that our Best LED lighting for reef tank might not work for you. However, our goal is always to help you get the best product that will perfectly suit your needs. Here are things that you need to consider before getting a reef LED light that you think is the best:

Longevity and built quality

In these fluctuating economic times, you need to get the value for your money for anything you purchase. The Best LED lighting for reef tanks can be the difference between you enjoying the experience of being an aquarist or giving up on the hobby because of the recurrent expenditures. You need to consider the longevity of the LED lights that you get for your reef tank.

Mostly, the durability of the LED lights is determined by the quality of materials used in building them. Some of the things that you can interrogate to ensure that you get the best LED lights is the cooling system, brand, availability of spare parts, robust design.

Internal aesthetic appeal

Coral reef aquarium scene

Coral reef aquarium scene

Apart from the best LED lighting for reef aquarium providing light for growth for life in the aquarium, it is also designed to inspire the mood you want your aquarium to give. The color of the LED lights should blend well with your aquarium animals and decoration. Ensuring that the LEDs produce as minimal disco ball effect as possible is also an advantage.

Now, most aquarists keep aquariums because of the serenity and peace that they inspire. However, the aquarium is not just the gliding fish only. You have to consider the small parts that make your aquarium inspire the serenity you need. 

Best lighting for coral reef aquariums should be able to inspire the visual effect that you want when you look at your aquarium.

Software and controllability

It is essential to be able to set the mood you want to inspire at the moment. Most of the LED lights for reef aquariums come with features that allow you to alter the appearance of light’s color, temperature, and even the intensity. While some have a manual system of setting, others use apps to give you what you to want. Consider going for something that will be easy for you to use and give you the range of features that you are looking for.

The color temperatures

The warmth and coolness of your LED lighting for saltwater tank are essential when it comes to illuminating your aquarium’s contents and mood. The location of the aquarium is also another aspect that you’ll need to consider to get the right color temperature. For example, in an office space, you will not want a color temperature that will pose as a distraction.

Brand, warranty support, and available parts

Reputable brands always have a reputation to keep, and that’s why they still produce excellent products. On top of that, they offer warranty support that will deter you from incurring an extra cost of repair. However, there are some upcoming brands with also good products and compelling warranties that you can try out. Whatever you decide to go with, ensure that the repair parts are readily available.

The aquarium size

One of the most important things you need to consider when getting the best LED light for reef tank is the size of your aquarium. You don’t want too much or too little light in your aquarium. The light affects the growth of the plants in your aquarium, and getting the right amount of light intensity in the tank is crucial.

The marine life in the aquarium

Marine life comes with different sets of needs. If you are keeping live plants in your aquarium, then you need to provide the right light intensity for them to grow and develop properly. Your plants can have stunted growth or in worst cases, die if the light intensity is not right. Most of the LEDs are, however, lenient on the plants, but it does not hurt to be cautious.

LED lights lifespan

The lifespan of the LED lights for the reef tank that you choose is important. You want your LEDs to maintain their light intensity, color, and temperature even after being used for some time. Get something that will not be faulty after a few hours of usage.

Lighting effects

Reef tanks work best if the conditions available mimic the natural habitat. LED lighting helps the aquarium mimic the day and night light. Go for LED lights that will provide you with the array of settings you want. You should also ensure that the LED lights you settle for can spread light evenly throughout the aquarium.

See more: How many LED modules? Selecting and spacing reef tank LED lighting options


We have seen some of the LED lights for reef tanks in the market today, but the LED that has impressed us the most is the Hipargero LED aquarium light. It might not be the cheapest in the least, but the features that it comes with and their functionality has earned it a place at the top. However, if the Hipargero LED aquarium light does not work for you, our guide is guaranteed to help you get the best LED lights for your aquarium.

FAQ: Best LED Lighting For Reef Tank

1.  What are the Best LED lighting for reef tanks?

  • One thing we have to agree on is that there are good products but may not suit everyone. The best LED lights for your reef tanks should be able to serve your needs and that of your aquarium at no extra cost.

2.  Can you grow coral with LED lighting?

  • Yes. You can grow coral in your aquarium with the right light intensity. Check with your supplier the light of intensity your coral needs because they differ, and you are good to go.

3.  How many watts of LED lighting do I need for a reef tank?

  • Most of the LED lights in the market are energy-saving, and that reduces the number of watts you would use. You’ll need approximately 1000 lumens per square foot. However, this number can change depending on the type of coral that you keep. Some corals require more than others.

4.  How long do LED reef lights last?

  • Assuming that you got the best LED lights and they are well maintained. They should last to approximately 50,000 hours. Since most people use the LED lights for about 10 to 12 hours a day, you can use your LED for up to 14 years.

5.  How much LED light for reef tank?

  • The size of your tank and corals play a key role in determining how much LED light you need for your reef tank. However, there is a recommended PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) for each tank. Once you know which tank you have, then you’ll know how much LED light you need.


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