How to Pick the Best Led Lighting for Reef Tank in 2020 (Definitive Guide)

Are you searching for the best-LED lighting for reef tank but don’t know where to start? Maybe you need a professional opinion to be sure that you are going in the right direction? Then you have landed at just the place.

We will help you find the Best-LED reef lighting for your beloved corals and reefs so you can watch them flourish in their best versions.

With the help of this guide, you will be able to learn the benefits of LED fish tank lights, how to pick the right ones, their best settings, and also some suggestions from us for the top class aquarium led light for your reefs. So if you are ready, let’s dive right in: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost, By advertising

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Our top picks of LED reef lighting:

Benefits of LED Lighting for Reef Tanks:

  • Safer Option: Do you know that incandescent lights or other chemical-based lighting can harm the corals? Well, the chemical is not any good for them, and the incandescent light is not as tightly packed as Led reef lighting, which means there is a chance of reefs getting shocked. This because the light is directly under the water. LED fish tank lights, on the other hand, have tightly packed circuits that do not cause electric shock when underwater.
  • Economical: Compared to any other lighting option, be it incandescent or xeon, you will find aquarium led light to be way more energy efficient. Since you will be leaving the lights on for 10+ hours every day, non-Led lights can increase your electricity costs. LEDs also have dimming features that will further save energy.
  • They Help With Growth: Yes, it is proven that LED lights help the reefs and corals grow better and bring out their best colors. You just need to find out the right lighting schedule and color spectrum, and you are set to see your reefs grow bigger and healthier.
  • They Are Compact: One of the main benefits of getting the perfect led aquarium lighting is that LEDs are very compact. Since the lights are directly connected to the circuit without the help of any wires, a lot of space is saved. This makes LEDs a very good candidate for nano, small and mid-sized tanks. A lot of your tank’s space will be saved, and you won’t be compromising on the lighting need of your corals as well; it seems like a win-win!

What are the Best LED lights for reef tank? Things to Consider For Getting the Best LED reef lightings:

  • Build and Durability: You are going to spend a good amount of money on buying the best Led lighting for reef tanks, so this means you need to make sure it lasts a long time; preferably longer than your tank’s life. You do not want it to change output and lose its colors or just die out quickly. Therefore, we suggest going for the LED lights with at least 1 year of warranty. Another reason for getting LED light is that its average lifespan is 50,000 hours, so if you run it for 10 to 12 hours a day, that will be 11 years, which is a pretty good time.
  • Internal Visuals: LED reef lighting comes in different designs and colors. Like every reef enthusiast, you would want your aquarium to look colorful that brings out the exoticness of your reefs, right? Well the make sure to go for good color blending with other features like disco ball effect if you want. Explore the list of best LED fish tank light we have suggested below to find out different designs and color combinations.
  • Controllability: Some of the best lighting for reef tanks can be controlled with a remote or a mobile phone app. Make sure to look for this feature in the one you buy. You can easily set the schedule of the lights and also adjust their color spectrum for the optimal growth of your reefs.
  • PAR Intensity: The most important part of having lighting for your reef tank is the right PAR. The right amount of photosynthetic active radiation will help the corals grow better. All of the marine aquarium led lights we have suggested in this guide come with sufficient PAR intensity for the tank. But to give you an idea, it should be 50 to 350 depending on the tank; keep reading this guide till the very end to know more about PAR.

LED light settings for reef tanks- Best light spectrum for coral growth:

If you’re dipping your toes in the sea of LED lighting and reefs, then you can become easily confused when it comes to getting the settings just right.

Different corals have different needs, and you also need to be careful about how long you leave the light on. So you really have to understand things from the basics.

To help you get a clear idea, we suggest that you watch this video from start to end, and you should be able to adjust the main settings of your LEDs.

Best lighting for lps corals:

Finding the best light for lps corals can be pretty challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. There is a bombardment of brands from everywhere, and you can simply get lost trying to find that perfect match. So to help you, we have cleared out all the clutter and suggested the best lps coral lighting below:

Bestseller No. 1
Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light, 24 to 36-Inch
  • BRIGHTER, MORE COLORS- Your aquarium is full of spectacular colors, why not bring them all to life....
  • MULTIPLE MODES- With modes that dim periodically to create cloud cover effects, storm modes that will...
Bestseller No. 2
Wattshine Aquarium Light 180W LED Coral Light,Large Angle...
  • ▲ Super bright: The 180W LED Aquarium light was designed and made by WATTSHINE. Energy efficient and...
  • ▲ Adjustable and Fully Dimmable: you can freely adjust the light intensity from 0% to 100%. Two...
Bestseller No. 3
VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Dimmable 300W LED Aquarium Light Full...
  • VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control Series T300 LED Aquarium Light is scientifically engineered to keep the...
  • Internal timer allows you to turn the light on or off automatically and separately. Dimmable feature can...
Bestseller No. 4
MarsAqua Dimmable 165W 300W LED Aquarium Light 30 Gallon 55...
  • 🐠Day & Night: Two combinations of lighting beams specifically designed for aquatic plants, booming the...
  • 🐠Truly Transparent: Professional LED Lens with transmittance to be 25% higher than ordinary lens by...
Bestseller No. 5
LUXCARE Waterproof Saltwater Coral Reef Aquarium Light Full...
  • 🐠Up to 500μmol PAR/PUR value: 500 μmol PAR value at 12 inches height.
  • 🐠Full Spectrum COB LED: Professional full spectrum include royal violet 390- 400 nm),royal blue...

Blue led lights for reef tank:

Are you searching for the LED lights for reef tanks? Maybe you are overwhelmed by the massive amount of choices available in the market? Well, don’t fret, we have gone through the internet with a fine-tooth comb and have handpicked only the best LED reef lighting for you, have a peek at them below:

Bestseller No. 4
LEDENET 12" 18LEDs 5050 Blue Aquarium LED Strip Light for Fish...
  • Mix and match color spectrum, Crisp shimmer and color
  • Sleek, flat panel design that easily retrofits
SaleBestseller No. 5
MingDak LED Aquarium Light for Fish Tanks,42...
  • Great for night viewing,Great night light and tank illuminator,cool Blue LEDs add a moonlight appearance...
  • Mingdak's fish tank litht bar brings the light to the inside of your aquarium. The in-frame mounting...

Saltwater aquarium lighting guide (Reef Tank LED lights FAQ)

How many watts per gallon for reef tank needs?

When calculating the number of watts per gallon for your reef tank, you need to keep in mind the basic rule, which is 1-2 watts per gallon of aquariums having fish only. 2-5 watts per gallon for freshwater plan aquarium and 4-8 watts per gallon for tanks having reef.

Just remember that you are not under or overdoing things because some reefs are different from others, so their lighting needs might differ. We have given you a basic idea to get started; you can further ask the salesman you are getting reefs from for their specific lighting needs.

Can you grow coral with LED lighting?

Yes, you absolutely can, and in fact, we recommend going this route and ditching the old halogen or incandescent lights. LED lights are better, more powerful, and highly energy efficient.

Plus, due to their tightly packed circuits and hard casings, they are safer for your fish and corals. In case the light falls in the tank, the inhabitants won’t be at the risk of getting shocked.

Furthermore, the best Led lighting for reef tank provides excellent spectrums that can bring out the best colors in your reefs and fish that you may have never seen before.

Do corals need white light?

Yes, corals do need white light but not as much as you might think. Corals usually thrive in blue light rather than pure white. Therefore, we suggest that you mix things a bit and not just give them pure white light.

You can give out a major share of blue light and a smaller share of white light; for instance, you can experiment with 70% blue light and 30% white light.

How much led light for reef tank?

If you are planning to add the corals to your tank and are wondering how much LED light do they need, then remember, different tank types have different needs. You need to consider the PAR or photosynthetic active radiation quantity for different tanks, which as follow:

  • SPS majority tank = 350 to 250
  • Mixed reef = 350 to 75
  • LPS majority tanks = 150 to 50
  • Soft coral majority tanks = 100 to 50

You can always experiment with light quantity within these ranges and see how it goes for your reefs.

How long to run lights on reef tank?

Not for a very long time, to be honest. Keeping the lights on for the whole day will overdo things for your reefs and will also result in higher electricity costs.

We suggest that you don’t let the LED fish tank lights run for more than 10 to 12 hours. You can run lights in intervals like 3-4 hours during the daytime, 3-4 in the evening, and 3-4 at night time.


So there you have it, the guide to finding, purchasing, and setting up the LED aquarium light. Just make sure to go through the list of best LED lighting for reef tank that we have suggested above to get a bang for your buck.

Plus, all of the lighting settings we have discussed above are just to give you an idea; we suggest that you experiment with the lighting based on our mentioned settings and see which setting suits your reefs.

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Last update on 2020-09-27 at 21:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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