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What Are The Best LED Fish Tank Lights On The UK Market?

LED lights provide the best type of lighting for fish tanks and aquariums. LED lights produce less heat (making them safer to aquatic life), they use less electricity, they last longer and they retain the same colour throughout their lifetime, unlike fluorescent lights.

Choosing the right LED lights for your fish tank is not just about aesthetics; it also ensures that life inside the tank, particularly plants, thrives. Blue and white LEDs are better for plants than white-only LEDs.

In this buying guide, we recommend the best LED fish tank lights on the UK market, and give you some tips on how to buy the right ones for your aquarium.

If you don’t have time to read all the product reviews below, here’s a quick summary:

Best LED Fish Tank Lights (UK Market)

Image Product Rating Price
Our Top Pick

NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light

NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light

  • Super bright – improves the look of your fish tank
  • Two light colours
  • Improves plant growth
  • Adjustable length mounting legs
9.5

 

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For Aesthetics

GreenSun LED Lighting 5.8W Submersible LED Aquarium Light

GreenSun LED Lighting 5.8W Submersible LED Aquarium Light

  • RGB lighting with a wide range of bright colours
  • Great for aesthetics and plant growth
  • Includes remote control
  • IP68 water protection – safe for submersion
9.1

 

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Value For Money

DOCEAN LED Aquarium Lights, Waterproof Fish Tank Light

DOCEAN LED Aquarium Lights, Waterproof Fish Tank Light

  • Submersible
  • Two light colours – great for aesthetics and plant growth
  • Affordable option for smaller fish tanks
9.1

 

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For Small Tanks

Small Nano Tropical Cold Water Aquarium Fish Tank LED Light

Small Nano Tropical Cold Water Aquarium Fish Tank LED Light

  • Affordable
  • Perfect for small fish tanks
  • Promotes photosynthesis
  • Easy to install on tank rim
8.9

 

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For Large Tanks

NICREW ClassicLED Plus HO Planted Aquarium Light

NICREW ClassicLED Plus HO Planted Aquarium Light

  • Great for large fish tanks
  • Improves plant growth
  • Multiple colours
  • Can be installed with or without the tank hood
8.9

 

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Key Considerations When Buying LED Fish Tank Lights

A. Colour

The colour of the LED lights matter a great deal, for both aesthetics and the health of your fish tank.

When it comes to aesthetics, the best light colour depends on your preferences. Some people love simple white lighting, while others love blue or green lighting.

Most LED fish tank lights incorporate multiple colours within the same fixture, allowing you to switch to the colour you prefer at different types. Most lights also have automatic settings for switching colours at specific intervals.

Light colour is not just about aesthetics; you also need to think about plant life. The right LEDs will make your aquatic plants thrive.

Plants do best with lots of red and blue light. If your focus is on keeping your plants alive, or if you have high light plants, look for LED lights with blue, red and some green or yellow.

For medium or low light plants, get LEDs with blue and red colours, or white and blue.

B. Brightness

As with colours, brightness is also about aesthetics and plant life.

Bright lights will light up your fish tank well, making the plants and fish stand out. Bright lights are also great for growing plants.

But be careful not to make the fish tank too bright. It can cause an overgrowth of algae.

The max brightness you need is about 60 lumens per litre. For a 75-litre tank, that’s 4,500 lumens. But if you have low light plants, you could do with as little as 10 lumens per litre (750 lumens or a 75-litre tank).

For large tanks, you may need to use multiple fixtures to get to the right level of brightness.

  • Note: No matter how bright your fish tank lights are, never leave them on all the time as it can cause algae to grow and multiply. The recommended lighting period is 8 to 12 hours.

C. Installation

Next, check the kind of installation the manufacturer recommends. There are three ways to install LED fish tank lights depending on the level of water protection (IP rating).

  • Over hood installation – Some LED lights can only be installed over a glass or plastic fish tank hood. These lights have the lowest level of water protection, meaning they can be damaged even by condensation or water vapour.
  • Over water installation – LED lights with IP67 protection can withstand water vapour and condensation. You can install the lights over water with or without the hood.
  • Submersible installation – Submersible LED lights have IP68 protection, making them safe to install under water. These lights use suction cups to stick to the side of the tank or under the hood.

D. Size

Most fish tank LED lights are in form of a strip with smaller lights embedded within it. Check the length of the strip and make sure it’ll fit your tank.

Some LED lights have adjustable brackets, allowing you to adjust the fit to your fish tank.

E. Timer

Remembering to switch off the lights after 8-12 hours is a bother and it’s easy to forget. It’s also impossible when you are away from home.

The best way to control fish tank lights is using a timer. Some LED fish tank lights come with a built-in timer. In most cases however, you have to figure out how to attach the lights to an external timer.

You can do this in two ways.

A simple timer like this one from Zoo Med, works great. Alternatively, get a smart plug that you can control from your smartphone.

Plug the fish tank lights into the plug and then set a timer on the companion smartphone app. You can also switch the lights on or off anytime, no matter where you are.

Top 5 Reviews

1. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light with Blue and White LEDs, 11W

Our Top Pick
9.5/10 Our Score

The NICREW ClassicLED is the best LED light for most aquariums. It balances between aesthetics and maintaining aquatic life.

The light consists of blue and white LEDs (60 white and 12 blue), making it ideal for low and medium light plants. At 11W, the light is sufficiently bright for plant growth. It also makes the fish tank look great.

You can set the NICREW light in one of three modes: all lights on, blue lights only and all lights off. The light doesn’t have a built-in timer, so you’ll need an external one to switch the lights on and off automatically at specific times.

The NICREW ClassicLED is designed for installation over a hood or canopy. It can be glass or plastic. Do not install it over open water or submerge it in water.

Adjustable mounting legs allows you to adjust the fit of the light to the exact length of your aquarium.


2. GreenSun LED Lighting 5.8W Submersible LED Aquarium Light

Great For Aesthetics
9.1/10 Our Score

If you prefer a submersible LED light, we recommend the 5.8W GreenSun LED Lighting strip.

Instead of just two colours like the NICREW ClassicLED, GreenSun LED comes with a whole array of colours – 16 to be specific.

Using the included remote control, you can set up all sorts of light shows from fast flashing lights to a slow fade rhythm. You can also light up only the plant-friendly colours – red, blue and green.

The lights are bright enough to boost plant growth and increase your fish tank’s visibility.

The GreenSun LED light strip has IP68 protection, the highest possible. It’s safe to install it submerged in the water. Use the included suction cups to stick it onto the wall or under the hood of the tank.

The strip is 48cm long while the power cable is 225cm long.


3. DOCEAN LED Aquarium Lights, Waterproof Fish Tank Light

Good Value For Money
9.1/10 Our Score

DOCEAN LED Aquarium Lights are another good option if you are looking for submersible fish tank lighting. The IP68 protection prevents any damage to the lighting.

DOCEAN uses the same suction cup installation as GreenSun. You can stick the cups on the wall or under the hood.

The DOCEAN LED Aquarium Lights are designed for smaller fish tanks. The strip is 38cm long and the lights have a slightly lower wattage of 4.8W (meaning they are less bright).

If you want, however, there are longer and brighter options including a 98cm long strip rated at 12.8W.

The DOCEAN LED fish tank lighting includes blue and white lights (10 blue and 11 white). It’s ideal for low to medium light aquatic plants.


4. Small Nano Tropical Cold Water Aquarium Fish Tank LED

Great For Smaller Tanks
8.9/10 Our Score

For small fish tanks, the Nano-FW LED Light is the best option. The overhead light attaches to the rim of your fish tank and casts light down into the water.

At 5W, the light is bright enough to increase your aquarium’s visibility and keep plants from dying. We, however, don’t recommend it for large tanks, unless you get at least two of the Nano-FW lights to ensure enough power and brightness.

The LED light includes both white and blue colours. The blue lights are fewer than in most fish tank LEDs, so we recommend the Nano-FW only for low light aquatic plants like Java Fern, Hornwort and African Water Fern.


5. NICREW ClassicLED Plus HO Planted Aquarium Light

Great For Larger Tanks
8.9/10 Our Score

The NICREW ClassicLED Plus is the best choice for large fish tanks that need plenty of light. The light strip fits tanks between 100cm and 118cm wide.

Use the extending brackets on each side of the strip to get a perfect fit over your fish tank.

The NICREW ClassicLED Plus light has an IP67 rating. You cannot submerge it in the water, but it’s safe to install it over an open fish tank.

The light has a full-spectrum array of colours – blue, red, white and green. This makes it an excellent choice for promoting plant life.

You can switch the light between two modes: a daylight mode where all LEDs are on and a lunar mode where only the blue LEDs are on.

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