One of the most important aspects of maintaining a planted aquarium is selecting the best freshwater plant light. Your plants will not be able to thrive without proper lighting. The aquarium light not only supports your plants, but also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the entire setup.
To help you, we have tested a dozen lighting systems for fish tanks and compiled a list of our favorites. Let’s get started.
10 Best Freshwater Plant Light Reviews
1. Finnex Planted Aquarium LED Light
- 24/7 light cycle
- Can be customized
- Value for money
- The 24/7 cycle is not customizable
The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Aquarium LED is a low-profile LED light with an ultra-thin profile. The light features legs that firmly place the device on the tank’s surface. These legs are adjustable to fit smaller tanks, including screws for rimless tanks and an inner section for larger rimmed tanks.
As the fixture has strong LED bulbs that can produce 7000K daylight, it can provide the right level of lighting to care for a large number of aquarium plants. This light is essential since it helps aquarium plants in their photosynthesis.
The plants in your aquarium require about 8-10 hours of light every day for photosynthesis. However, excessive light can harm them, so it is important to turn off the lights when you are done. As a result, the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light comes with a controller that automatically turns on and turns off the lights at the right time.
A 24-hour automated lighting cycle allows for hands-free operation without any hassle, while simulating sunrises and sunsets in nature for your aquatic plants.
Integrated Colored LEDs
With the Finnex Planted+ 24/7, you can ensure proper plant growth as well as add to the aesthetic appeal of your tank at night and during the day. Additionally, it comes with blue, green, and red LEDs. You can, however, choose from a variety of ready-to-use presents built into this device if you do not want to use the 24/7 preset.
In the morning, the sunrise begins, followed by the setting sun, and then the setting sun ends at noon, followed by a red sunset and then a starry blue moonlight. The lighting cycle is repeated on time the next day. With its built-in controller, it is automatically regulated, removing the need for daily fixture management.
With a water-resistant splash guard, the lighting system is durable and provides adequate cooling and heat dispersion.
It is one of the best lights on the market. Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED KLC is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 20 to 48 inches, making it a versatile lighting system for variable tank sizes. It provides a natural habitat for your plants. In particular, these lights have an automatic sunrise and sunset setting.
The 7000K temperature also creates a brilliant cool tone that allows the plants to perform photosynthesis. Apart from dawn and sunset, other settings include starry nights, thunderstorms, and even gloomy days.
2. Fluval Plant 3.0 Planted Aquarium Lighting
- Bluetooth compatible
- Premium build quality
It is highly efficient, completely customizable, and ideally suited for densely planted aquariums that require consistent lighting.
As with Finnex LED lights, the light has a 24-hour timer, and its LED bulbs are rated for high thermal efficiency, so they can be used for years to come. In addition, your tank will be evenly illuminated with no dead zones or gaps since they spread light 120 degrees.
Bluetooth Integrated Light Fixture
You can also control this light fixture using your phone thanks to its Bluetooth integration. To use the light fixture, download the app that enables you to change every aspect of it, including color, brightness, and time. You can easily create your own lighting cycle using the app, although there are many preprogrammed options for this fixture.
The light can be set up for a 24-hour cycle, and you can choose when it starts and ends. As it rises to full daylight mode, it will go through a morning cycle. At the next preset time for sunset, the light will dim. We encourage you to experiment with the light spectrum in the day and night sections of our mobile app. You can specify how long the moonlight should continue before turning off for the night.
You cannot automatically restore the light’s default configuration values after you modify the settings. So, before you experiment, list down the light’s default settings.
It is very convenient to install Fluval 3.0 lights. With its extendable brackets, you can adjust the light to match your tank with ease. Furthermore, this light fixture comes in a wide range of sizes. The largest is 60 inches, which makes it ideal for larger aquariums. Although it’s a bit pricey, it’s still a great deal because of all these features.
One of the best lighting systems for planted aquariums is the Fluval Plant 3.00 LED. A mobile application gives you complete lighting control with seamless Bluetooth integration, or you can create your own presets. It comes with many presets you can use, or you can create your own.
3. Finnex Stingray Aquarium LED Light
- Great for small and shallow tanks
- Ultra-thin structure
- Unit is not customizable
A Finnex Stingray LED light fixture is designed for planted aquariums of up to 5 gallons in size. The ideal lighting unit for betta tanks is designed to keep up with low-light plants and highlight the colors of your fish. It is also a great choice at an affordable price.
Size and Weight
You can choose from seven different sizes, ranging from 11 inches to 47 inches, so that you can find a Stingray that fits your tank size perfectly. In addition to that, the Stingray will take up very little space in your aquarium so that you can have an unobstructed view of your pets.
One of the most remarkable features of the Finnex stingray aquarium LED light is its ultra-light structure with a 24-inch pencil-thin fixture. It features one of the most contemporary designs on our list that will look fantastic in your tank. You don’t need heavy equipment or tools to set it up, so your tank will get proper illumination.
The red LEDs contain a 660 nm spectrum, which is essential for plant development and encourages germination of seeds. It has a 13-watt power capacity and 7000k daylight color temperature to illuminate the entire aquarium.
A set of transparent plastic legs and mounting clips are included in the box to keep the device in place. This device is effective for small tanks as well as color-enhancing lights.
Quality of the Materials
If you have a beginner planted aquarium with a few small fish, or a tiny betta tank with a few small fish, this Finnex Stingray lighting system is an excellent choice.
Finnex Stingray LED lights are an excellent LED lighting system if you are limited by a fixed budget for your planted tank. In addition, it incorporates modern technology 660NM lights that are ideal for photosynthesis and is highly efficient. Furthermore, it can be used for small to medium-sized aquariums, and you can have a well-lit aquarium without breaking the bank.
4. Koval Aquarium Lighting
- High-quality lighting system
- Wide color range
- Extension brackets don’t lock into position very well
In any planted aquarium, the Koval Lighting Aquarium Fish Tank Light Hood is an excellent addition. Aside from its plethora of noteworthy features, it is also available in several sizes so that you can find the right size for your tank. It is one of the best lights on the market.
The system consists of 78 to 156 LED lights. Each LED light has a spectrum of five colors that you can mix and match depending on your preference. The five colors are blue, pink, white, red, and green.
LED Colors, High Functionality
This LED aquarium lighting for plants contains 129 colored LEDs that cover the whole color spectrum and have a lifetime of up to 50000 hours, so you do not have to worry about frequent bulb replacements. A waterproof connection is available on the side of this system, which lights the entire aquarium very efficiently without consuming a lot of power.
It’s common for LED lighting systems to fail, and if one diode stops working, the rest of the diodes may also malfunction, too. In contrast, this lighting system does not do that. The design of this LED light continues to function even after one diode has burned out, one of its most notable features.
The lights are made of aluminum alloy, unlike ordinary lights, which are plastic-based. These lights provide robust performance while being highly durable.
This package includes a light panel, an adapter, two extendable brackets, and is an excellent option if you are on a budget and need an energy-efficient device.
Designed to be as energy-efficient and energy-saving as possible, the Koval Aquarium Fish Tank Light Hood is a great choice for those who want a bright LED fish tank light. It comes in five different hues, and the LEDs are pretty bright. Additionally, it consumes relatively little electricity, so you can save money while making your tank well lit at the same time.
5. BeamsWork DA FSPEC Aquarium Light
- Natural spectrum
- Value for money
- Simple and sleek design
- No additional features
This Beamswork FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater is a great mid-tier option if you don’t want to use poor-quality lighting systems but can’t afford a premium model.
High Quality Materials, High Efficiency
It is made from high-quality materials and has an energy-efficient light fitting that incorporates a single tube fluorescent light. There is no need to replace the bulbs in the near future since the LEDs are long-lasting. This aquarium LED light is elegant and modern, leaving other LED lights dull in comparison.
LED Colors and Other Options
LED aquarium lights from Beamswork are available in five distinct colors, making them ideal for aquarium plants. A Kelvin value of 10000k ensures that the entire spectrum of light is covered for optimal plant growth. Additionally, it provides the optimal combination of light for plant growth, including white, green, and blue.
It is a great way to enhance the naturalistic feel of your aquarium’s aquatic environment. Furthermore, these filters are highly tensile, so beginners can easily install them and maintain them.
Low-priced, Highly Customizable
Due to the lack of additional unique features available in other models, the device is relatively low-priced. For an inexpensive product, the sunlight spectrum is exceptionally effective in bringing out the colors of your fish and keeping your plants healthy. It is also possible to purchase these lights in various sizes, so you can choose one that is perfect for your aquarium.
The Beamswork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium light is a basic LED system designed solely for freshwater aquarium lighting. Even though it lacks the advanced features of all the other units, it’s great for people with a limited budget. Due to its basic yet high-quality features, this light fixture is one of the best cheaper alternatives.
Key Aspects To Consider When Buying Aquarium Lighting for Plants
It’s important to consider all your needs before buying an LED lighting system for your aquarium. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
For plants to grow and perform photosynthesis, they require different levels of light intensity. Some plants require intense lighting while others thrive on subtle lighting, such as mid-ground plants. The number of plants in your aquarium also influences the type of LED system you should put in your aquarium.
Exposing your plants to brighter light for longer periods of time will help them develop better. In a nutshell, knowing what kind of plants you have in your aquarium will help you choose the correct LED lights for them. If you wish to limit the growth, use aquarium LED lights with lower wattage.
A light’s color is determined by its spectrum, which is measured in Kelvin. The spectrum of freshwater plants can be broader. Anything between 5500K and 6500K should be fine for them. However, for saltwater corals to grow and develop, they require a specific actinic light.
Saltwater or Freshwater
You need to set up your LED lighting system differently for a saltwater aquarium than you do for a freshwater aquarium. For corals to thrive in saltwater aquariums, specific actinic light is needed, while for plants to thrive in freshwater aquariums, it is not necessary. As bright blue light does not benefit plants in a freshwater aquarium, you must consider the aquarium you have before choosing a lighting system.
As mentioned earlier, there are countless lighting systems for aquariums in the market. Each alternative offers unique features that are ideally suited to certain types of fish tanks. That’s why you should take your aquarium type and requirements into account before investing. When purchasing your aquarium setup, the goal is to avoid wasting money on unnecessary features that are incompatible with it.
In this article, we discuss several devices that are easy to use, long-lasting, simple to use, and will help your plants grow to their fullest. Finnex’s Planted Aquarium LED Light stood out to us as the best among all the lighting systems. It is made for smaller planted aquariums, making it perfect for betta tanks.