Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals – Top 3 Reviews, Guide, FAQs & More

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You’ll agree with us when we say that buying lighting that can properly display the beauty of corals in all their glory can be a challenging task. 

That’s why we decided to experiment and test out all the popular LED aquarium lighting available for corals in order to bring you this set of reviews. 

In today’s post, we’ll discuss what features you should look for when lighting corals and how you can set up an effective lighting system on your coral reef aquarium.

Here are some quick summaries of the products we’ll be reviewing today: 

Top Pick

This product comes packed with a ton of features that you’ll need to effectively light up your corals. You’ll be astounded by how brightly your corals’ colors can pop.

Runner Up

We’re all tired of having several remotes for all our gadgets which is why this product is controlled via your smartphone. It’s highly responsive and very easy to use.

Also Great

Everyone wants to use as little power as possible and this product enables you to do that. It’s specifically designed to utilize power in the most efficient way possible.

Now, let’s get into the detailed reviews for the best LED aquarium lighting for corals.

Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals - Top 3 Reviews

1. All-Around Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals - OceanRevive® Arctic-T247 LED Aquarium Reef Light Review

The OceanRevive Arctic-T247 comes off as a professional-level lighting setup but you’ll be astounded to know that it comes in at a very reasonable price that is affordable even to casual hobbyists. Indeed, the number of features that are packed into this thing makes it an absolute steal. 

It consists of Royal Blue, Blue, Cool White, Red, Green and UV LEDs which come together to provide your corals with a wide and vivid spectrum that is needed not only to show them off but also to help them thrive and grow. 

It even features 90-degree optics which help the light penetrate deep waters.

Features of OceanRevive® Arctic-T247 LED Aquarium Reef Light – Best LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals

  1. Dimensions: 16 inches by 10.4 inches by 1.6 inches
  2. Weight: 5 pounds
  3. Comes with adjustable hanging kits and brackets
  4. Remote Controller included
  5. Contains a wide spectrum of LEDs
  • Highly responsive controls
  • Easy to mount
  • Premium, sleek look
  • Full-spectrum LEDs which are individually controllable
  • Great value for money
  • Does not come with a rim mount

If you’re looking for a lighting setup that gives you the highest number of features while still maintaining a modest price, this is the product for you. It’s easy to use and will light up any coral reef aquarium brilliantly.

2. Best Wifi-Controlled LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals - Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED Review

We were not expecting the Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED to impress us as much as it did. Oftentimes with products like these that are controlled through apps, the apps themselves are usually very clunky and poorly made. 

We were pleased to see that not only was the app intuitive and easy to use, the lighting itself also responded instantly to any changes we made to it through the app. 

It features a wide array of LEDs that work together to create a vivid light that will illuminate your tank brilliantly. 

This product creates a unique shimmer effect on the surface of the aquarium water that is very pleasing to look at.

Features of Prime HD+ AI Aquarium LED

  1. Dimensions: 5 inches by 5 inches by 1.5 inches
  2. Weight: 2 pounds
  3. Controlled via a smartphone or PC
  4. Different-colored LEDs
  5. 100 Maximum PAR
  • Perfect for growing light-hungry corals
  • Comes with a built-in diffuser
  • Easy to use
  • Helpful customer support
  • Highly customizable
  • Wifi signals can get slightly iffy at longer distances

If you want a responsive and easy to use lighting setup for your aquarium, this product is perfect for you. The app is straight-forward and if you’re still having trouble with it, you can even contact their customer support.

3. Best Controllable LED Aquarium Lighting for Corals - AquaIllumination Hydra TwentySix +HD LED Light Review

Just like our previous entry, this product is also controlled via Wi-fi. You can control it using your smartphone or computer and it offers almost infinite levels of customizability when it comes to the lights. 

If you’re a veteran who likes to experiment, this will be a treat for you. If you’re just a beginner and want basic options, this product has that too in the form of pre-set modes which you can just select and forget about. 

The LEDs light up your coral reef aquarium beautifully and it contains blending lenses which help the light penetrate the water so it gets to the very bottom of your tank.

Features of AquaIllumination Hydra TwentySix +HD LED Light

  1. Dimensions: 3 inches by 5 inches by 12 inches
  2. Weight: 2.09 pounds
  3. 26 Multi-colored LEDs
  4. Built-in Blending Lenses
  5. Pre-set Modes
  • Designed to simulate natural light
  • Bright LEDs but not overbearing
  • Easy to control
  • High level of customizability
  • Low energy consumption
  • Time-consuming to set up

If you’re looking for a lighting setup that offers great customizability and does it efficiently, this product is ideal for you. It can grow corals effectively and is very easy to get the hang of.

best led aquarium lighting for corals

Buyers’ Guide

What are some things to look for when purchasing LED aquarium lighting for corals?

There are some aspects of LED lighting which you should think about and consider before buying them. It will make your life a lot easier and will save you from a lot of problems in the future. Some factors to think about when purchasing LED lighting for corals are: 

  • Energy Consumption 

While LEDs are famous for consuming a lot less power than other types of lighting, you should still read up on reviews and the power ratings of the LED lighting you intend on buying in order to make sure they don’t consume too much power for you to handle. 

You don’t want to end up with a lighting setup that lights up your coral reef aquarium wonderfully but takes up too much power to do so as it will cost you greatly in the long run.

  • Installation and Ease of Use

If you’re a beginner or even a veteran, it’s important that you get lighting that is simple and intuitive to set up and also to use. 

Having lighting that is complex or time-consuming to use can lead to a very frustrating experience. You may even find that you’re unable to set up the light in the way that you want and in the way that your corals demand.

  • Lighting Intensity

Of course, you want lighting that is effective and will be able to light your corals up as intensely as they need to be lighted.

Be sure to get lighting that is suited for the size and depth of the coral reef aquarium you have. Also, do some research into the type of corals you have and how intense light they need in order to thrive and grow properly. 

  • Cost

We advise you not to skimp out when buying lights because while they may seem like only an add-on and not an essential piece of equipment, we assure you that they play an essential role in the growth of aquatic life in your aquarium. 

The key is to keep a balance and try and find a lighting product that provides you with the best number of features at a reasonable price.

What are some benefits of LED lighting for coral reef tanks?

Some benefits of LED lighting are: 

  • They are energy-efficient. Out of all the other forms of lighting, LEDs have been proven to use the least amount of power in order to be just as, if not more, effective than its counterparts. 
  • They generate very little heat. Most other forms of aquarium lighting require you to invest in a chiller as they generate a lot of heat and tend to heat up your tank’s water. There’s no such need when you get LED lighting for your coral reef tank. 
  • They’re highly customizable. LEDs are small diodes that can easily be controlled through a remote or app. This gives you unlimited options so you can pick-and-choose the light’s intensity, color, brightness, etc. in order to get the best experience you want for your corals.

What are some helpful tips for maintaining LED lighting on my coral reef tank?

Here are some general steps that will help you effectively install LED lighting on your coral reef tank: 

  • Employ the use of dimmers. If your lighting setup has dimmers built-in, that’s great; if not, it’s highly recommended that you invest in one. They will help you control the light intensity and blend colors more effectively. 
  • Ventilate your LEDs properly. Although LEDs do not transfer any heat into your aquarium, they do tend to send heat upwards so it’s important that you offer them proper ventilation and 
  • Keep your LEDs dry and clean. While some LEDs are advertised to be waterproof, you should still make an effort to keep them as dry as possible. Also, wipe them clean regularly in order to prevent salt deposits as they can cause erosion and quick deterioration of your LED lighting. 
  • Keep them away from other sources of light that tend to get hot such as metal halide lights, T5 bulbs, etc. as these can dramatically decrease their lifespan.

Why are LEDs considered to be the best choice for coral reef tanks?

There are a number of reasons why LEDs are always chosen instead of most other forms of lighting. Some of these reasons we’ve discussed above. Other reasons include their very long lifespan, high durability, energy-efficient design, high level of customization, among many others.

How much power does LED lighting normally use?

The amount of power consumed by LEDs in an aquarium setting is usually measured in watts per gallon. On average, you normally need LEDs that run at somewhere between 4 and 8 watts per gallon in order to effectively light up a coral reef aquarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours of light do coral reef tanks generally require every day?

Coral reef tanks generally require a lot of light. This is because they contain a symbiotic algae which needs a high amount of light in order to thrive. On average, coral reef tanks require about 10 – 12 hours of light every day. Many people like to employ two separate lights with timers in order to effectively simulate sunrise and sunset every day. This makes it a lot less stressful for the aquatic life inside your coral reef tank as having the lights go out and come on all at once can be upsetting for some. 

What is PAR in aquarium lighting?

PAR stands Photosynthetic Active Radiation and it is generally measured with a PAR meter, the likes of which are readily available online and at your local pet store. PAR is generally a measure of how much light is being shone in a particular area of your aquarium and assigns a number to it so it’s easier to estimate. 

What color of light is most beneficial for coral reef tanks?

Coral reefs generally get the most value out of light that lies in the Blue and Violet light spectrum. Both of these spectrums of light are easily able to penetrate the water and get to the corals in order to make them grow effectively. 

Can I just use LED lights meant for freshwater tanks on my coral reef tank?

You can if you want but we must strongly advise against it. Coral reefs have special needs that are catered to by lights that are specifically designed for them. These specially designed lights have the proper light spectrum, intensity and customization options that corals need in order to grow. 

You may find your corals turning brown if you make use of freshwater lighting for them as they are not designed to make them grow effectively. 

Can too much light be harmful to my coral reefs?

Yes. Having too much light can cause the symbiotic algae within your corals to grow at an alarming rate. This can cause the oxygen levels within your tank to rise to toxic concentrations for your corals. It’s important that you regulate the amount of light your corals get with frequent alternating periods of darkness and light.

How high above the water should I place my LED lighting?

This depends on how intense your lights are. Try and make the room as dark as possible so you can accurately judge the light intensity within your coral reef tank. You can have your lights as high as 24 inches above the surface of the water.

Do corals prefer blue or white light?

Blue light is generally more useful to corals than White light. However, this does not mean that white light is entirely useless to them. Indeed, Corals can utilize a wide section of the light spectrum.

Do corals need ultraviolet light?

Yes. Corals utilize ultraviolet light in order to photosynthesize properly and produce nutrients to help their growth. 

Can coral lighting cause algae?

Yes. Irregular or too intense coral lighting can definitely result in algae inside your coral reef tank. 

If the algae has indeed been caused due to lighting, an easy way to fix these is to keep your coral reef tank in total darkness for a day or two. 

Why is my coral losing color? Is it because of irregular light?

Corals can lose color due to a number of reasons and indeed, one of these reasons can definitely be due to insufficient lighting. Corals tend to “brown out” when they aren’t provided with as intense lighting as they need. The solution to this is to get stronger lighting for your coral reef tank. 

Final Verdict

Corals often have brilliant, bright colors that demand effective lighting in order to showcase their beauty. 

After a lot of discussion and research, we’ve concluded that the OceanRevive® Arctic-T247 LED Aquarium Reef Light is the best of the bunch. It comes with all the features you need to effectively run a coral reef tank and it provides all these features at a very modest price. 

With that, we’ve come to the end of our post for the best LED aquarium lighting for corals. 

Give us feedback and let us know what lights you’re using to light up your coral reef tank.

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