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Best Aquarium Lights for Planted Tanks: Our Top Picks 2024

Every good aquarium needs to have a good aquarium light, especially if you have a planted tank. Those plants require a good deal of light to survive, and this is exactly what we’re here to find today. I have five great aquarium lights for planted tanks that I want you to take a look at, so let’s not waste any more time. 

Best Aquarium Lights

Top 5 Best Aquarium Lights for Planted Tanks

I’ve got five great aquarium lights for planted tanks for you to look at, so let’s get to it.

1. NICREW C10 24/7 LED Aquarium Light: Our Top Pick

Sale
NICREW C10 24/7 LED Aquarium Light for Plants, 12-18 Inches, 9W, Full Spectrum...
  • HIGH-QUALITY LED: 6500K white LEDs and tri-colored RGB LEDs blend for plant growth. 90 CRI makes...
  • 4 PRESET MODES: Aquarium lights are available in 5000K warm white, 7500K cool white (max), 12000K...

This aquarium light is designed for tanks anywhere between 12 and 18 inches in width, and it features an adjustable mounting rack to suit aquariums of this size. It also comes in five other sizes, including for tanks up to 48 inches wide.

It features 6500K white LEDs along with red, green, and blue LEDs designed for ideal plant growth. It comes with four preset modes including a moonlight, bluish white, cool white, and warm white mode, plus the spectrum is fully adjustable.

The white, blue, green, and red lights can all be adjusted anywhere between 0 and 100% to fit the needs of your tank.

You might also like that it comes with a 24-hour cycle mode that accurately simulates sunrise and sunset.

This unit is also fully adjustable with a total of 10 daily time slots so you can customize the intensities and colors at any given time of the day. It even comes complete with a remote control for ease of use.

Pros

  • Ideal for low-light tanks
  • Four colors – fully adjustable
  • 10 time slots to set
  • Can recreate a daily sun cycle
  • Comes in many sizes

Cons

  • Not ideal for tanks that need a lot of light

If you have a small tank that needs just a limited amount of light, this is certainly a light worth considering.


2. Hygger Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light

hygger Auto On Off LED Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light with LCD...
  • ☘️【Upgraded High-quality LED Light】This aquarium light uses WRGB lamp beads. The three...
  • ☘️【Three Programmable Usage Modes】The DIY mode has 8 time periods, covering 24 hours, the...

This aquarium light comes in various sizes and wattage options to choose from. This ranges from a 14 Watt model that is ideal for tanks up to 18 inches, up to a 42 Watt model that is ideal for tanks up to 54 inches in width. There are a total of 6 power options to choose from.

This LED light uses a variety of white, red, green, and blue LED lights. This means that it can accurately recreate natural sunlight to allow for fantastic plant growth and tank illumination.

This unit comes with a controller so you can accurately control all aspects of this light, including which of the colored LED’s you have on at any given time.

This controller tells you the current mode, the current time, the current light color, and the brightness. These are all things that can easily be adjusted.

This model also features an IP68 waterproof rating, and it’s made with a 1.2 millimeter premium aluminum shell for fantastic heat transfer and overall durability.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable and safe
  • WRGB colors for natural sunlight recreation
  • Various modes to choose from
  • Comes in many different sizes
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May cause some algae growth

If you’re looking for an aquarium light that won’t break the bank, this is a great model to keep in mind.


3. DaToo Aquarium Light

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DaToo Aquarium Light Small LED Clip Light for Fish Tank, 1 Yr Warranty
  • DaToo Aquarium Clip Lights - How to enjoy your beautiful fish at night? DaToo Aquarium Clip Light...
  • High Brightness And Energy Saving - DaToo Aquarium LED Light uses German high-brightness and...

If you’re looking for something extremely small and simple, this light is likely the best option on the list today. One of the reasons why this is such a good option is because mounting it is very easy. It comes with a simple screw-on mounting system that allows you to easily attach this unit to any tank.

The clip should easily fit any standard tank. It’s easy to mount, but also very secure. 

On a side note, this aquarium light is made out of environmentally friendly, sturdy, and durable plastic. The light can also be rotated and adjusted in many different ways to suit your needs.

This is a very basic LED light, but it also puts out a good deal of brightness considering its small size. 

Here, you can choose from a 1.5, 7, or a 10-Watt model. As you can probably tell, this is designed for very small aquariums that have limited lighting needs.

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Very easy to mount
  • Easy to adjust
  • Several wattage options
  • Ideal for smaller tanks
  • Sturdy considering the low price

Cons

  • Only for the smallest of tanks

If you’re looking for an aquarium light that won’t take up much space, this is probably the best option out there.


4. MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light

MingDak Submersible LED Aquarium Light,Fish Tank Light with Timer Auto On/Off,...
  • 3 LIGHTING MODES: The white, the bule or the white & blue light brings out the color of everything...
  • GOOD FOR PLANT & FISH: Ultra-bright 7000-7500k White LEDs and rich 460nm blue light are sufficient...

Here we have an aquarium light that comes in various wattage options to choose from, including 4, 6, 8, and 11 watts. It features ultra bright 7500K white LED lights, combined with 460nm blue light.

Thanks to the white and blue light, this option is ideal for both fish and plants alike. It features three different modes, including a blue, white, and blue and white mode. There is also a dimmer, so you can easily adjust the brightness of the light output.

This unit also features a built-in timer with three timing durations, including 6, 10, and 12 hour modes.

What really stands out about this aquarium light is that it is fully submersible, unlike any of the other models we’ve looked at today. 

The fact that you can mount this aquarium light underneath the water using suction cups is pretty neat, and it has three layers of sealing to ensure that it is indeed 100% waterproof.

Pros

  • Fully submersible
  • Easy to mount
  • Adjustable brightness
  • White and blue light
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not overly bright

If you are looking for a submersible aquarium light, this is likely one of the best options available to you.


5. KZKR Upgraded Aquarium Light

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KZKR Upgraded Aquarium Light Multi-Color Remote Control 72-84 inch LED Hood Lamp...
  • Sunrise and sunset: Just press the corresponding time to waking the fish up in soft lighting and...
  • DIY Mode: Timing+Color+Brightness+Dimmable can be set. The start time, end time, aquarium light...

This is a very large and powerful aquarium light, with this model being ideal for tanks up to 84 inches. This is a very big light that comes complete with literally thousands of super bright LED beads that have a great service life.

This is a full spectrum light that features white, blue, red, and green light, which should therefore be more than ideal for planted tanks and fish alike. Keep in mind that this unit is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater tanks that have low to medium light requirements.

What is nice is that this unit comes complete with a controller that allows you to accurately control exactly which of the four colors are on, and it also comes with 10 preset lighting modes, each of which are ideal for slightly different situations.

Thanks to the simple design of this aquarium light, it’s also very easy to mount. What’s neat is that you can actually break it in half and use only half at once, or use both halves together. 

What’s also convenient is that it comes with a timer system so you can easily control the light schedule on a daily basis.

Pros

  • Many size options
  • High-quality LED beads and overall build
  • Extremely durable
  • Versatile and easy to mount
  • Ideal for all sorts of tanks
  • Many modes – easy to control

Cons

  • Higher price point

If you need a high-end aquarium light, and you’re willing to spend a good deal of money, then this is by far the best option at your disposal.


Aquarium Lights Buyers Guide: What To Look For

Let’s take a quick look at the main considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing aquarium lights for a planted tank.

Width and Mounting

Perhaps the most important consideration is how wide the light is. Different aquarium lights are designed for tanks of different sizes, and you’ll need to pay attention to this, or else you won’t be able to mount the light on top of your tank. 

Always make sure that the light in question is designed for your size of tank. On that note, there are also lights that you can simply place on top of the tank, whereas others clip on.

Wattage

You then need to consider how strong the lights in question are. As you can see from my reviews, these aquarium lights can differ greatly in terms of their wattage. 

aquatic plants and oxygen bubbles on leaves.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to use about 5 watts of light per every gallon of tank space, particularly for freshwater planted aquariums. Remember however, saltwater aquariums that have coral reefs need up to 8 watts per gallon.

Light Color

If you’re worried about just your fish, some white or yellow white will do fine, but if you want your plants to grow properly, you need to recreate the light spectrum produced by the sun, which means you need to provide your plants with some blue, red, and green light as well.

Adjustability

Going for a model that is fully adjustable is important as well. You should be able to control exactly which colors of lights are on at any given time, how bright they are, and when they are on. A good aquarium light should also come with various preset modes as well as timed modes.

Durability

You also want to make sure that you go for an aquarium light that is fairly durable and made out of high-quality materials. You especially want to look out for the seal, because you don’t want moisture getting into the light and breaking it.