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The 5 Best Reef Tank Led Lighting Kits

Lighting kits for reef aquariums have vastly improved in recent years. The halogen lights of the past produced excellent illumination but were unwieldy and a severe fire danger. Modern LED technology has substantially increased safety while delivering additional benefits for hard corals, soft corals, and even breeding tanks. These lighting kits now provide a vast array of functions that may significantly enhance your system. While building up a new reef tank, take sure to carefully arrange the list of inhabitants. Certain corals require a great deal of room, restricting the number of non-coral inhabitants, whereas some fish do not get along with diverse coral species. After deciding on the greatest animal collection for your reef tank, you can plan out the rest of your aquarium's aspects, such as the best reef tank led lighting kits for your setup and budget, which BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has researched and listed. The ideal LED lighting kit should offer several configuration possibilities while being easy to set up. It must permit coral development and have low light settings on a cyclical basis. Our preferred LED lighting package is the Current USA Orbit Marine, which features Bluetooth controls, a 24-hour cycle that can be customized, and a range of sizes.


Best Overall: Current USA Orbit Marine LED Light

The Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light comes with a multitude of functions, including dawn and sunset settings and a customizable 24-hour cycle (which can be a bit overwhelming). There are also moonlight alternatives. You may even activate storm lights to create a rumbling atmosphere. In addition, there is a gradual transition between light levels, so your fish will not be stressed.

The dual daylight and actinic spectrums of the Orbit Marine’s four lighting spectrums are ideal for photosynthesizing plants and invertebrates (coral does not photosynthesize, but has symbiotic relationships with algae that does). The LEDs are optimized for saltwater aquariums by emitting additional blue spectrum light.

Bluetooth and a standard wireless remote control are included. There is even the possibility to include pump or wave control for optimal reef ecosystem management. All of these functions are housed in a sleek aluminum chassis that is available in four sizes, with docking mounts that should suit most aquariums between 18 and 60 inches in length.

In addition, it is very water resistant (certified IP65) and can withstand splashes (though not submersion). The great endurance of the Current USA LED Light makes it a popular choice among tank aficionados.

Although while the Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light may provide adequate illumination for the majority of reef tank corals, it is not a coral-specific light, thus projects committed to coral development and reproduction should search elsewhere.


  • Bluetooth management
  • Simple to configure
  • Many variations


  • Choices might be daunting.
  • Not best for coral development or all corals

Best High End: Kessil A160WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light

Choose these Kessil lights if you desire complete customisation and have a high budget. These lights are quite potent and provide blue and white light settings separately. You will likely need to mix several to achieve the desired spectrum of effects. If healthy, robust corals are your objective, this is your best selection. Adjustable Kessil lighting may be tailored to a variety of coral species.


  • Optimal condition for coral development
  • Extremely customizable


  • Full coverage requires many bulbs of various spectrums.

Best Budget: NICREW Marine LED Fish Tank Light for Coral Reef Tanks

The NICREW Saltwater Aquarium Light is the greatest affordable reef lighting system available on the commercial market. This basic configuration includes a dawn and sunset period and is suitable for the majority of corals.

The primary disadvantage of the NICREW Saltwater Aquarium Light is its susceptibility to moisture, which is undesirable in an aquarium light. The manufacturer recommends that you protect your light with a glass or acrylic canopy, however this may affect the LED spectrum.


  • Simple setup
  • Offers outstanding spectrum for coral development


  • Responsive to moisture

Best Simple Setup: WILLS 165W Aquarium Lights

If you value simplicity, the WILLS Full Spectrum LED lights are easy and efficient to install. Several lights can be interconnected, and a basic two-spectrum option is available. Depending on the demands of your tank, each block has various control over the blue and white light spectrum, which can be the same across several units or different between blocks.

The WILLS Full Spectrum LED offers adequate lighting for most corals despite its simplicity. It may not have as many functions as other models, but lighting need not be difficult. This system has built-in fans to protect LED life span.


  • Simple to set up
  • Basic features


  • May require numerous units
  • Not customizable
  • No programming

Best for Beginners: Fluval Sea Marine 3.0 LED Aquarium Lighting for Coral Growth

If you’re just starting out with reef tank lighting and a few starter corals, the FLUVAL Sea Marine LED Lighting system is a wonderful, modestly priced system that includes a completely adjustable software and low-light interval day-night cycles. The entire system is incorporated into a single light bar.

For a starter model, the FLUVAL Sea Marine system is simple to set up and extremely quick to adjust to your needs. It should meet the illumination demands of the majority of novice corals and is compatible with various FLUVAL aquarium systems.


  • Simple to set up
  • One piece unit


  • Restricted personalization and programming

Buying Guide

Design & Material

The best lighting for reef tanks is constructed of aluminum, plastic, and metal of the highest quality, which are sturdy and long-lasting. The Aluminium has a super-thin body, is easily adjustable with the tank’s glass, and illuminates all corners of the tank. Some LED lights are water-resistant whereas others are not. The water-resistant lights improve the life of the lights and save costs.

Cooling Fan

The majority of reef tank LED lights have a high-speed micro fan that operates quietly and effectively. The energy-efficient, low-noise fan has a lifespan of between 50000 and 100000 hours and requires little power. The fan regulates the temperature to around 45°C (113°F).


The most effective lighting for coral reef aquariums is (slim, sleek, low profile) and simple to use. The LED lights have extensible brackets and a flexible lamp arm made of a sturdy material that retains the illumination and helps to position it at various angles, while the gooseneck clamp is designed to accommodate the desired angle by gently bending the flexible lamp arm.

Full Spectrum

The majority of LEDs consist of numerous hues, such as UV blue, purple, red, white, and green, each of which provides unique benefits for your aquarium. Purple light can be used to sterilize and safeguard the development of fish. Red and white light are crucial for the formation of coral reefs. Blue UV light promotes plant defense systems. UV blue, purple, white, red, and green light are excellent for constructing a healthy and beautiful tank or aquarium.

Wireless Control

The reef lighting is controlled by a wireless remote with several capabilities, including modes, spectrum colors, timing, and brightness. With the use of a remote, you may quickly adjust the light’s setting by approaching it. The remote control had an LED light, eliminating the need to purchase one separately.


What is the optimal LED spectrum for coral growth?

Consider the light spectrum when picking an LED light for your aquarium, as well as whether the light is designed for saltwater, freshwater, or both. For reef systems, a broad spectrum between 400 and 700 nanometers is desired. The photosynthesizing zooxanthellae that live in symbiosis with your coral depend on these levels.

Does it matter if my aquarium has a low light period?

A rapid transition from darkness to light may not be ideal for many fish and corals. The majority of saltwater aquarium fish are accustomed to rapid day-to-night transitions, but you may discover that your fish are calmer and your corals are happier with an intermediate low light setting.

Certainly, you may choose for a system with predetermined “dawn” and “dusk” timings, but a gradual rise in light intensity will suffice. Some reef aquarium owners like the convenience of a pre-set dawn and sunset cycle. There are also lighting arrangements that imitate the amount of moonlight over a period of 28 days. This is not essential unless you are engaged in the laborious process of breeding corals.

What is the best method for installing a lighting kit?

The majority of aquarium lighting kits include an adjustable length that will span the top of your tank. However, LED lighting frequently interferes with normal lids, so when you initially install your LED lighting kit, your tank’s lid may be open, resulting in greater evaporation than typical.

While arranging corals, it is essential to be aware of how deep each species must be to receive adequate light. Put too deeply, your coral will not receive sufficient light, and no equipment will function as intended. And you may not think about it, but certain corals do not get along with their neighbors!

Diverse coral species can encroach on one another’s territory and even emit poisons that kill their neighbors. Make careful to conduct extensive study on any corals you intend to add to your aquarium, and that everyone has adequate room and lighting!

Does it matter whether I use a light designed for freshwater or saltwater?

The majority of light systems excel in either freshwater or saltwater, but not both. Using a saltwater-specific system is a smarter investment, especially if you intend to keep corals in your aquarium. If you prefer a reef tank without corals, you do not need to be as particular with your lighting.


Depending on the kind of coral you pick, there may be precise lighting needs, or you may not need to purchase anything in particular. The Current USA Orbit Marine is the optimal choice for the majority of reef aquariums, balancing customisation and complete features at an affordable price.

Choose the Kessil Controllable LED Aquarium Light if you are more familiar with reef tanks and have specific lighting demands. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes that our reviews and buying advice will aid you in locating the best reef tank LED lighting kits.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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