The 5 best LED aquarium lighting for plants in 2021

The best LED aquarium lighting for plants below will not only light up the aquatic world inside your fish tank but also keep those species develop naturally.  

Overview

A successful fish tank essentially relies on freshwater quality, oxygen, fish food, or plant fertilizer. However, do you know that good light also plays a vitally important role in the survival of aquatic creatures? This is why today, more people pay more attention and interest in equipping their aquariums with high-quality LED lights to ensure the best performance inside the tank.

When it comes to lightening your aquarium with LED lights, there might be hundreds of questions that pop up in your mind. Don’t worry, you will find the answers for all these wonders and figure out why LED lights are crucial for planted aquariums in this article. In addition, to help you ease the shopping process, we would like to suggest the top LED lights for aquarium plants that are most sold on Amazon.     

Our top picks of LED aquarium lights for plants

BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater

BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater
BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater

The best overall LED aquarium light that we highly recommend from Amazon is the DA FSPEC light from BeamsWork. This Amazon’s Choice product is available in five dimensions, allowing you to choose the suitable one for your fish tank’s size. 

You will have to pay a little more at first, but the result will certainly satisfy you. With a better quality light outcome and long-term use, you are actually saving money. The BeamsWork LED aquarium light emits 5200K light, which is on the best range color temperature for aquarium plants. The product comes with two modes of daylight and nightlight to mimic the natural cycle. 

NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light 

NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light
NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light 

For those who are looking for a cheaper option of LED aquarium light, this one will be perfect. NICREW provides the LED aquarium fixture with two light modes: blue light for the night and blue and white for the daylight. There are also five-size variants for you to opt for depending on your fish tank dimension. 

The adjustable bracket allows you to easily control the dimension of the light to fit your aquarium. The light can also be set on 5% to fully 100% brightness to create different shades and resemble real light exposure to planted aquariums. Another good thing about this product is the high-quality plastic material that is ideal to lengthen its lifespan by protecting it from moisture from the fish tank. 

Hygger Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

Hygger Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light
Hygger Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

The Hygger LED aquarium light is the top smart option. You can dim the light with ease via five buttons for five brightness levels. Not only providing different intensity shades, but the light also offers three light spectrum selections: white LEDs, blue+white+red LEDs, and blue+red LEDs.  

There are three setting timers, for every three hours, six hours, and twelve hours, the light will be at its dimmest level without being turned off. Therefore, if you want to literally turn off the light, you need to do it manually. With a 6500K color temperature and widely range adjustment bracket, this item will cover your fish tank with an adequate amount of good light. 

MingDak LED Aquarium Plant Light 

MingDak LED Aquarium Plant Light
MingDak LED Aquarium Plant Light 

The fourth recommendation comes with a reasonable price and useful features. The LED light from MingDak will work in a freshwater aquarium and provide 6500K light to make your fish tank look more lively and flashy. 

The dimmable level is from 10% to 100%, which is divided into separated buttons to easily adjust the desired brightness. The natural white light with blue and red tones included will bring several shades to your aquarium. There will be no bad colors that might promote algae growth so you can feel great and safe when using this MingDak LED light.  

Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light

Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light
Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light

If you have a humble fish tank with small fish species and plants, this choice is ideal. Although the price of the Hagen nano LED aquarium light is relatively high, it shows the best performance to prove the product is worth the price. In this case, it makes sense when saving money on giant aquariums and creatures and investing in a high-quality LED light. 

The Fluval Plant LED aquarium light from Hagen brand can be connected to any of your smart devices to manage the light outcome. It is also easy to install with the new over-the-glass mounting fixture. With numerous amazing features, the Hagen LED aquarium light receives so many good reviews from Amazon customers and a high recommendation from us. 

Why use LED lights for aquarium plants?

LED aquarium lights deserve praise for their amazing features that are beyond compared to traditional fluorescent bulbs. Here is why: 

Long lifespan

Generally, LED lights are sold at a higher price than the standard lights such as halogen, fluorescent, or incandescent counterparts. However, LED bulbs last longer than the aforementioned lights, which turns out to be an economical way in the long run.

You can expect a LED light bulb to 10 or 20 times last longer than the traditional bulbs. So for a typical good LED aquarium light, it can stay with you for at least five years or more. 

Brighter but more energy saving

LED lights will deliver brighter and clearer light to your aquarium. This will greatly enhance the colors from the inside creatures, creating a beautiful and lively picture of a small aquatic world. What makes the LED aquarium light ideal is it’s brighter but doesn’t cost you more money on electric bills. With an equivalent light outcome as a traditional bulb, the LED counterpart will draw fewer watts, then save up your energy consumption.

Temperature

Your aquarium fish and plants will definitely not enjoy a too hot environment. Luckily, LED lights are less likely to emit heat to the outside environment, keeping the aquarium water at an adequate temperature, which is ideal for aquatic creatures inside the tank to develop and behave naturally. 

What to consider when buying LED aquarium lights for plants?

You can buy the most modern and expensive LED light doesn’t mean you bring the best condition to the planted aquariums. There is so much more than just the price or technology to consider when buying LED aquarium lights for plants. Refer to the following factors that might affect how you choose the most suitable light for your fish tank:

Color spectrum

The good news is aquatic plants can grow under a wide range of the color spectrum. However, we should know that the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colors are best for this environment. Therefore, when choosing LED aquarium lights, you can look for the ones that offer a full-color spectrum or either red, green, or blue shades rather than just a simple white color. 

Brightness

As mentioned above, RGB is ideal for planted aquariums, but how bright should the lights be?  The exact answer will actually depend on the kinds of plants you are growing inside the tank. In fact, different plants require different light intensities, making it quite complicated to adjust the perfect brightness that suits any plant kind. 

However, we would say that a 6500K to 7000K color temperature is considered the most suitable range for the LED light outcome because it is closest to natural daylight. Our advice is you should start building your own fish tank with low-light-intensity plants such as anubias or crypts because these plant kinds are beginner-friendly. 

Tank size and light spread

You cannot just randomly pick a somewhat LED aquarium light from a store and install it in your fish tank. Before shopping, you need to measure the tank size to make sure that you will buy the light with the proper dimension. For instance, if you have a big and long aquarium, you might need multiple LED lights or a long-tube one that can cover and spread the light to the entire tank and deep down at the bottom. Thereby, plants at the bottom of the aquarium can receive a good amount of light to keep growing. 

In fact, most manufacturers provide aquarium lights that have a good one-foot light spread deep down. Some brands also offer higher-quality LED lights for fish tanks with a high degree spread (about 120 degrees), allowing the light to even reach outside the aquarium area. 

Features and price

Not all LED aquarium lights are the same, each manufacturer will provide different features on their lighting products. Some LED lights are equipped with new technology, such as remote control via smart devices, or color and light intensity changing based on a timer setting. As a result, the price for each kind of light will vary either. Generally, the more features the light has, the more expensive they are. 

FAQs about LED aquarium lights for plants

Is the light from LED bulbs good for aquarium plants?

Yes, LED lights are essential for aquarium plants. LED lights play an important role in the progress of plants in your fish tank. It provides just the right amount of light and temperature to nourish and grow different types of plants in the aquarium. 
So now you know that LED aquarium lights are not only born to decorate or lighten the tank, it is more meaningful to the life of aquarium creatures. The only con you should consider when using LED lights for aquarium plants is it will be a little more expensive than the standard and traditional fluorescent counterparts. 

Are LED lights good for fish?

Yes, your fish will be fine under LED lights. This is also what people really care about when it comes to LED aquarium lights because their tank doesn’t only contain plants but also the home of their favorite fish. But don’t worry, LED lights are no harm to fish at all. However, it is believed that fish will enjoy their environment the most when living under a soft-toned light color

Which color LED lights are good for aquarium plants?

When shopping for aquarium lighting, you should opt for green, blue, or red colors. The reason is these three basic hues resemble the most colors that appear on aquatic creatures. 
For example, green plants prefer green light, while the red aquarium fish or red-leaved stem plants will look much more brilliant under a good shade of red. Green, blue, and red will not only enhance the colors of the beautiful creatures inside your fish tank but also are beneficial to their development. With an adequate amount of the RGB spectrum, you will create an ideal lighting environment for your aquarium. 

Do LED lights cause more algae in the fish tank?

The correct answer to this question will not only depend on the type of LED aquarium light but also how you use the light above your fish tank. The fact is algae is almost unavoidable under improper intensity and too much light on too long. 
That means if you use the light on more than the recommended time, you will definitely encourage algae growth in your fish tank even if it is from incandescent, halogen, or smart LED lights. However, it is true to say that LED lights are considered to be a better option in general because they have lower intensity, less product heat, and therefore tend to discourage algae in aquariums. 

Do I need to turn off LED aquarium lights at night?

Of course you should. It is even recommended to turn off the LED aquarium light at night to ensure the best developments of aquatic organisms inside the tank. By turning the light off, you will imitate the natural cycle of day and night like in the real wild environment, which is ideal for any creature. 
Moreover, aquarium light is not supposed to leave it on for over 12 hours per day because it encourages the growth of algae and might threaten the normal life of fish. Therefore, if you are too busy to remember this task, you better set daily alarms to remind you to turn off the LED light over your fish tank. 

Conclusion

So now you know that LED lights perform a vital role in the aquarium. Besides the most common purpose of using LED lights as a decorative accessory to enhance the color of objects inside the tank, it promotes the natural growth of plants and fish or shrimp. Keep in mind the following suggestions to equip the best LED aquarium lights for plants: BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater, NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light, Hygger Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light, MingDak LED Aquarium Plant Light, and Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light. Goodbye and see you on another topic!