Category Archives: Lighting

Ekostore Remote Controlled LED Review

Ekostore Remote Controlled LED

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Size Fits Aquariums Watts LEDs Average Lifetime Color Options
19.5″ 12″-19.5″ 6 Watts 36 LEDs 2.5-3 Years 32

The Ekostore strikes the perfect balance between high power, low cost and energy efficient, making it one of if not the best starter light for aquarists everywhere.

The housing of the Ekostore is a durable aluminum, saving the clumsy owners such as my self from any dings while moving the light around. This also prevent any melting or burning plastic smells that other high heat lights can produce.

Setting Up The Ekostore Aquarium Light

First off I must mention that the Ekostore Remote Controlled LED does not fit standard 10 gallon aquariums. It’s a bit disappointing that they couldn’t make it reach the extra inch to do so, but that’s just how this light is.

Despite the Ekostore aquarium light being small and inexpensive there is a fair bit of information on set up. Placing the light on the tank is fairly simple, as it plugs in normally and has the legs extend and retract between 12 and 19.5 inches. With the light in place you will need to secure the controller in an unobstructed position. Doing so will allow you easy use of the remote without having to angle it awkwardly to get the signal to read. For those with a stand the easiest option is to hang the cord off the stand on the backside, keeping the cord somewhat coiled up to keep the controller suspended.

While the controller does have switch printed quite clearly on the front of it, there is actually no switch. For this reason it is imperative that you do not lose the remote.

Using The Ekostore LED Light Remote

Using the Ekostore LED remote takes a little getting used to. There are 24 buttons to use, two of which I suggest you never use. Overall the remote has 16 colors to choose from with two brightness settings, making this one of the most versatile aquarium light fixtures available.

  • The first row of the remote features the bright, dim, off and on buttons on the remote. These will be your daily buttons
  • Changing to column, the first three columns have the red, green and blue light settings. Each of these can be adjusted in hue, so have fun flipping through the colors and remember your favorite ones. Don’t go too quickly or you may startle your fish.
  • Remember in addition to using the different colors you can adjust the brightness of each setting. This combined with the purple light is my absolute favorite way to put the fish to bed, dimming it as the night winds down.
  • The final column has the white light button, which switches the light back to standard white lighting, along with the flash, strobe, fade and smooth buttons.
  • The flash button quickly cycles between every color, producing a nice and clean light show. Cool but not fish friendly.
  • The strobe lights are the worst lighting to use for the fish, but you can remove the light and use it for normal household strobe lights. A fun alternative but again please do not use this on the fish as it will terrify them. This flashes between on and off while changing colors.
  • The fade button fades into and out of every color. Essentially this is a much calmer version of strobe lights.
  • The smooth button shifts from one color to the next closest color. This isn’t too fast or too slow. You can use it without startling the fish.
Light Strength

Getting back to the specs, the Ekostore LED features an energy efficient 6 watt light. This does not make the lights weak, as they are still able to grow many aquarium plants. It cannot grow any high light demanding plants. This also means the light should not be used for coral growing. That being said the light is anything but weak. The bulbs can absolutely bathe the entire tank in full, rich lighting that really makes out colors pop. If you have been using the standard lighting that comes with the tank or simply ambient lighting you will be amazed at the difference the Ekostore LED light fixture will bring.

Keep in mind that the light is 11 inches long and comes out at a 120 degree angle. When used in smaller tanks it will eliminate all dark spots with its powerful lighting. If you try to use the light for much bigger tanks however you will likely need a second light strip or a different light all together.

Lifetime & Warranty

When using the Ekostore LED aquarium light you can expect an average of 10,000 hours of use. Provided you follow 8-10 hour lighting cycles this will last you between 2.5-3 years. Pretty good for this price point, absolutely shattering the costs of fluorescent lighting and other lower quality LED lighting. For this reason I believe the Ekostore LED aquarium light to be a great intro to LED aquarium lighting.

The only issue with the light is its short warranty. Because the Ekostore is a small company they do not offer a warranty for their light. Instead the warranty is offered via amazon and lasts 30 days after you receive the product. This gives you plenty of time to find any defects while also protecting you from any damages that con occur while setting up the light. Once the light is in place the only thing that can happen to the light is LED failure. This is such a rare occurrence that it is not a concern. Should one bulb burn out the remaining 35 will continue to shine on, meaning you would have some absurdly bad luck to notice weaker lighting. Some quick math on that:

1/100 chance(it is not actually this high but just to show how rare it is I am using a harsh number.) = 1 burnt out LED, 35 lights remaining.

1/10,000 chance = 2 burnt out LEDs, 34 lights remaining

1/1,000,000 chance = 3 burnt out LEDs, 33 lights remaining

1/10,000,000,000 chance = 5 burnt out LEDs, 31 lights remaining

If you seriously get that unlucky the lights should not be your biggest concern as you have a higher chance of being stuck by lightning than all your LEDs failing individually.

The big concern here is the lack of water proofing. If the light falls into the tank you can consider it as good as gone. Thankfully the legs fit snuggly on each side of the tank, making this a rare case scenario.


The Ekostore LED lighting fixture brings a lot more value to the table than your standard low cost LED light. With dimmable lights, 16 lighting options, 4 lighting functions all built into a wireless remote you get a lot of functionality from across the room.

The light is strong enough to grow medium and low light plants at a normal rate and cannot support high light plants or corals. The lights themselves last quite awhile and are amazingly dependable. For getting into aquarium LED lighting there are no better options for small aquariums.

Looking for more aquarium lighting options? Check out all our other guides on our aquarium lighting page!

Amazing Coral Growth Lights

Amazing Coral Growth Lights

Galaxyhydro Dimmable Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

OceanRevive Arctic-T247

AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD
Light Strength: 10/10 Light Strength: 9/10 Light Strength: 10/10
Price:$$ Price:$$$ Price:$$$$$
Warranty: 1 Year Warranty: 1 Year Warranty: 1 Year
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There comes a time in every aquarists life where they finally add corals to their tank. These deep sea beauties can really bring a lot to the tank but full sized corals can cost a fortune. Luckily with the right set of lights you can grow a tiny frag into a full blown colony.

Finding The Best Coral Growing Lights

While it’s no secret everyone loves their corals under rich, blue lighting it is not always ideal. Kelvin rating such as 15,000K-20,000K produce blue lights. These drain a lot of the power and PAR (photosynthetically active radiation/water penetration) to produce the blues. Normal yellow or white lights, 6,500K and 10,000K respectively, consume far less power for color. This leaves more power for your corals photosynthesis, which makes up 75% of corals nutrients.

I am not saying you cannot have blue lights for coral growth. Some lights bring such high wattage that high Kelvin ratings are needed to prevent frying the tank. Additionally lights that are too far spread also dilute their strength. What we are looking for is a healthy balance between Kelvin rating, PAR, spread and wattage for the correct intensity.

Galaxyhydro Dimmable Full Spectrum LED Aquarium Light

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Dimensions Watts LEDs
15.8″ x 8.4″ x 2.4″ 165 28 Cool white, warm white, red 660nm, green 520nm
27 Blue 460nm, purple 410nm, royal blue
55 LEDs Total

First off we have a common coral growers choice. The Galaxyhydro features high wattage, a full spectrum with a medium angle of distribution to preserve light strength.

This light is actually a variation of a common resellers light. The difference here is Galaxyhydro has chosen to use the high end components for their light without spiking the price up like the Magiove.


The Galaxyhydro has an interesting design with two power plugins and dimmer switches on the back of the light. The left set controls the white, green and red(Day) lights while the right set controls the blue and violet(Night) lights. This allows you to use timers on each set independently or simply adjust them manually.

Additionally the back holds four mounting rings. These are used by connecting one of the included hooks to the back mount, looping them around a ceiling mounted hook, and then returning to the light on the opposite side mount.

The white LEDs are a 45mil Bridgelux brand while the blue lights are Epistar. These tend to be 30% brighter than other versions of the same LED.

One of my favorite choices Galaxyhydro has done is installing nearly silent ventilation fans on the light. These keep the LEDs cool, increasing their average lifetime and don’t make the room uninhabitable. They are actually so quiet you might think they never even turned on.

Light Strength

First things first, the Galaxyhydro provides enough power to grow any coral you can find. The lights are divided evenly between the two channels of blue and white lights that can be dimmed to match your tanks needs. When first installing the light you will need to slowly turn the light on, adjusting each channel separately to suit your needs. Blasting corals with the Galaxyhydro at 100% is a sure fire way to make them go into hiding.

The high wattage of the Galaxy hydro allows it to be used for tanks over 200 gallons large. The light spreads over 20 inches before the power diminishes, meaning long tanks will need multiple fixtures. When going this route keep in mind each light needs 2 plug-ins, increasing the number of sockets you need pretty quickly. If however you are growing less demanding corals you may choose to mount the light higher above the tank, allowing the light to spread further at the cost of light strength. The Lenses dispense the light at 120 degrees, which is a healthy middle ground for strength and coverage.

Lifetime & Warranty

The lifetime of the Galaxyhydro is limited by only two factors: If you personally break it or if the LEDs burn out. The LEDs take on average 30,000 hours, 8-9 years of normal use, before they begin to fade, making them an excellent investment into your tanks equipment.

Galaxyhydro offers a 30 day money back guarantee along with a 1 year maintenance warranty. Even after the warranty I advise you to contact them directly for assistance, as they have some quick and helpful customer service.


The Galaxy hydro is a powerful hanging aquarium light that can grow any coral put under it even in deep tanks. The lights can be dimmed, it runs silent and lasts over 8 years.

OceanRevive Arctic-T247

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Dimensions LEDs Watts
16″ x 10.4″ x 1.6″ 16 x 450nm Royal Blue, 8 x 470nm Blue, 6 x 10,000k Cool White, 8 x 12,000k Cool White, 2 x 520nm Red, 2 x 660nm Green, 6 x 420nm UV, 48 LEDs Total 120

The OceanRevive Arctic-T247 brings a solid 12,000k Kelvin rating, powerful water penetration, high wattage and a built in timer all in one package. Additionally if has mounting brackets and a hanging kit included.

Using The Timer

here’s a quick step by step guide for using the Arctic-T247’s built in timer:

  • Press the clock button then arrow right to start setting the overall time for the light
  • Use the up and down arrow keys and press ok when the time has been set correctly. Remember it is in military time.
  • Leave the remote idle until it returns to displaying the time.
  • Hit the channel 1 on then right arrow button to start setting the time on/off
  • Use the up and down arrows to set the time for the channel to turn on
  • press the ok button to confirm the time
  • Repeat for channel 1 off and channel two on/off times
  • To adjust the intensity you will hit the menu button, which brings up channel 1 on the display. You can cycle between 1 and 2 via the left and right arrows
  • Using the up and down arrow keys you can adjust the intensity of the selected channel. Hit ok when done.
Using The Knob

I highly recommend you get used to using the remote, but if for whatever reason you need to use the knob here are some easy to follow instructions:

  • push the button once and then turn the knob right once
  • Next use the button to cycle to what you are adjusting (clock, ch 1 on/off, ch2 on/off)
  • Next turn the knob to adjust the time
  • When the right time is selected simply wait and the light will save your settings and exit
  • To adjust the intensity start by hitting the button twice
  • Rotate the knob to adjust the intensity
  • Press the button again to move between channels
  • Wait when you have finished setting the intensity wait and the light will save you settings and return to the clock display
Light Strength

Just like the Galaxyhydro, the ArcticT-247 brings some serious wattage to our tanks. The difference here is that while this light has fewer watts it also has a lower angle of distribution. At 90 degrees we lose some light spread but gain more PAR and overall intensity. With that taken into account the OceanRevive is just a little weaker than the GalaxyHydro, cutting back on the electric bill.

The OceanRevive also bring in UV lights, which are essential for combating algae and parasite growth. To combat the parasites you will need the UV lights on at full strength, which are a part of channel two(white lights). The lights can be controlled via the remote, allowing you to dim the light when needed and crank it back up at any time.

The light should be used for at most a 26″ x 18″ tank with high light demanding corals and 32″ x 24″ for medium light demanding corals.

Lifetime & Warranty

The lifetime on the OceanRevive Arctic-T247 is pretty long, often exceeding 50,000 hours of use. With the standard 8-10 hours per day lighting schedule that comes out to 13-17 years.

To make the light last this long I highly recommend adding a DIY splash guard to the light or using a glass top on your tank. Additionally hanging the light a fair distance above the tank will protect it too.

The light also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee along with its 1 year warranty.


The OceanRevival Arctic-T247 outlasts the Galaxy hydro while only being slightly weaker for deep tanks. It offers reduced spread and a built in timer/intensity control via a remote control, making the light extremely convenient.

AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD

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The AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD is absolutely packed with power, PAR and a massive Kelvin range all the way up to 20,000k!

Dimensions Watts LEDs
11.875″L x 5.357″W x 1.6″H 135 Watts 12 Cree XP-G2 Cool White, 12 Cree XT-E Royal Blue, 12 Cree XP-E2 Blue, 4 OSRAM OSLON Deep Red, 4 Cree XP-E2 Green, 4 Cree XP-E2 Green, 4 SemiLED 400nm
52 LEDs Total
Set Up

The AI Hydra 52 comes with the light, power adapter and quick start guide. No hanging kit or mounting bracket. This means it is up to you to set up your light. There is a hanging kit mentioned below the product on amazon, but to use this you will need a drill and some extra time.


With such a high price point it’s no surprise the AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD brings some awesome features, all controllable through the MyAI system.

  • Multiple light fixtures can be added to one tanks setting, which acts as a save slot, along with multiple tanks for easy use
  • The Dashboard allows you to change the mode of the light, turn it on and turn it off
  • The Schedule Mode allows you to set when each set of lights turns on and off
  • Easy Setup allows you to adjust each color individually and set the times these will turn on and off
  • Manual Kelvin Mode adjusts your lights Kelvin rating/color using two wheels
  • The Acclimation Mode allows you to slowly introduce the light to your tank automatically using a start and end date, preventing any stunted coral growth or fish scares
  • Weather Control gives you options for preset and custom weather functions. Additionally you can have the MyAI copy the current, real world weather for your tank

All in all the AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD is the most customizable light available

Light Strength

The AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD features powerful Cree LEDs, a step above the more common Bridgelux brand, which are capable of up to 20,000k lighting. This is then channeled though 80 degree lenses, which have 90% optical efficiency, to promote strength with a fair amount of spread.

PAR values at 12″ on the left & 24″ on the right

Powering this light is the 135 watt power supply. When applied through the 80 degree spread the PAR is through the roof, allowing more light demanding corals to rest at deep levels in the tank.

The Hydra provides one of the strongest full spectrum’s available, making coral growth quick and easy.

Lifetime & Warranty

Aquaillumination offers a one year warranty on all of their products. To get the warranty you will need to register the product within thirty days of purchase.

Even after the warranty has ended I highly recommend contacting them for any additional issues, as big businesses love to keep their customer service ratings high.

If you must fix the light on your own Aquaillumination has their very own parts shop where you can get only what you need to repair your light.


The AquaIllumination Hydra 52 HD is a high end light that out performs even the Kessel ap700. It has a built in controller that can be used via the app. The light strength is more than enough for any coral with PAR ratings that are absolutely amazing.

Keep in mind these lights are made for high light demanding corals. If you are growing less demanding lights you may need to read one of my other aquarium lighting pages.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Lighting

When setting up your aquarium theres a lot of equipment you need to gather. Everyone knows about heaters, the three main types of filters along with aeration, but what about the lights?

Seeing so many different numbers and units like Kelvin ratings can get confusing. Sometimes we just want to know what the light can and cannot support.

This quick guide will make sure you get the best freshwater aquarium lighting without going completely overboard.

Here are the best freshwater aquarium lighting picks of 2016

Finnex Planted Fully Automated Aquarium LED & Controller

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Size Fits Aquariums Size Watts LEDs
20″ 17″-21″ 16.8 Watts 32 7,000k, 16 RGB, 48 LEDs Total
24″ 22″-25″ 24.5 Watts 38 7,000k, 24 RGB, 62 LEDs Total
30″ 38″-31″ 29 Watts 56 7,000k, 28 RGB, 84 LEDs Total
36″ 34″-37″ 35.8 Watts 72 7,000k, 36 RGB, 108 LEDs Total
48″ 46″-49″ 46.2 Watts 96 7,000k, 48 RGB, 144 LEDs Total

For those who want your aquarium to be a vibrant, eye catching centerpiece, The Finnex Planted LED is an amazing choice.


  • Securely fits all tanks between 20-48 inches in length
  • Beautiful 7,000k Light Spectrum
  • Automatic day/night cycle
  • Moonlight, thunderstorms, cloudy weather settings along with fully customizable red/green/blue settings
  • Built in memory
  • Water Resistant
  • Plants: All
  • Corals: Softies/Low Light Only


  • Heavy/short power cord makes drip loops difficult
  • Legs, while durable, can be difficult to remove

This light comes in five different sizes, allowing it to sit comfortably on almost any aquarium. The legs are a sturdy aluminum, easily out doing the normal plastic arms you will find on most lights. They can stretch to fit your tank perfectly, clamping securely onto the sides of the rim.

The lights body is very low profile, measuring at a tiny .3 inches thick. Despite being so thin, the body is actually made of metal so you can forget accidentally breaking this light. The Finnex Planted LED light is built to last.

Heres where the cool features start. The light provides slightly above sun strength, allowing the bottom of the aquarium plants to thrive as if they were right on top. This doesn’t mean more shallow tanks will be burnt to a crisp, as the light has an amazing amount of customization. I don’t mean the usual bright, dim, night time setting you will usually see on LEDs. This light actually allows you to control the red, green, blue levels of its color as well as intensity. You can actually make your own colors using the light!

As fun as our purple aquarium was, setting the light into its 24 hour cycle is just too effective and realistic to pass up. The light will adjust itself throughout the day, giving your fish and plants a realistic amount of light. As the day progresses you will see dawn break and a dusky night time following the end of the day. Beauty aside, the 24 hour setting will help reduce in tank algae problems. The softer lighting morning and nights decrease the time algae has to grow while providing an excellent freshwater aquarium lighting schedule.

A demonstration of the day/night cycle

The Finnex also allows you to use cloudy days and thunderstorms, but the flashing lights are likely to startle fish. If you do plan to use the lightning feature please ensure you have a tight lid so no one jumps out. The lightning looks natural and can be used to impress visitors. For stress free fish I just like to keep normal looking lights, sometimes playing with the color to liven up the cycle.

The light produced by the Finnex light supports plants up to 30″ deep. For bigger tanks multiple light strips will have to be utilized. Even with its high light output the Finnex Planted LED light will stay cool to the touch on the low settings while getting warm on the highest settings. The heat is not enough to affect your water temperature.

Ultimately this is the best freshwater aquarium lighting featuring an LED strip. Even if the controller was not included the Finnex Planted LED Light would likely be our favorite, so you can imagine the added delight of changing your fish tanks lighting from anywhere in the room.

Plants will grow strong, algae will decrease with the use of the 24 hours setting and users will be happy to sit back and watch the sun go down in their home aquarium.

Deckey White & Blue LED Light

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Fits Aquariums Size Watts LEDs
12″ to 20″ 6 Watts 30 White LEDs, 6 Blue LEDs, 36 LEDs Total

Fitting all fish tanks within the 12″-20″ range, the Deckey LED light is the absolute perfect 10 gallon freshwater fish tank lighting choice. This is one of the easiest and cheapest freshwater aquarium lighting set-ups you can get that both grows plants and gives your fish a stunning nighttime display.


  • Fairly high quality at a crazy low price
  • Long power cord
  • Energy efficient design
  • Plants: Medium
  • Corals: Very Low Only


  • Not water proof
  • Extendable leg brackets lack safety stoppers
  • Barely fits on 20″ tanks
Light Strength

The LED set-up in this light comes with 30 white lights and 6 blue lights. This makes the blue light not quite strong enough to be used in bright settings, but in most soft yellow lit housing will show its color just fine.

At night the blue will cut through the darkness with ease. When combined with the 30 white LEDs the light becomes a strong white that covers many aquatic plants lighting needs.

As the light is not meant for long, larger tanks, plant growth is highly dependent on your tanks dimensions. More shallow tanks, including the best 10 gallon fish tanks, will see wonderful growth for medium light demanding plants. On the other hand 10 gallon talls may struggle with more demanding plants.

For saltwater aquarists I cannot recommend this light for growing any corals. It can sustain some low light softies, but expect very little if any growth.

My primary concern on this light are the arms. When placing the light you will notice the arms are a bit weak. While ours has not broken over its two years I wouldn’t risk placing anything on top of the lights. These arms do stretch all the way out to fit a 20 inch tank. The light itself is about 10 inches wide, giving you plenty of light so long as you don’t put anything too tall near the ends of the light. The entire unit is not water proof but the light does come with a splash guard, protecting the LEDs from all mist and splashes.

Please take caution when moving the light as the extendable leg brackets do not come with stoppers. Pulling on the legs could drop the light into the water. To combat this problem, preserve tank temperature and reduce on evaporation I recommend the use of clear glass lids. Very little light is lost and if your light happens to be knocked down your tank and equipment will be kept safe.

When setting up the Deckey, many owners notice the cord is actually a decent length unlike many higher priced lights. It measures at just under 5 feet giving you ample room for a drip loop.

Lifetime & Warranty

The Deckey freshwater aquarium light comes with amazons 30 day no questions asked warranty. Over this time you will easily be able to see any defects the light may have, or if it’s simply not strong enough for your tank.

When proper care is taken of the Deckey it will last between 2-3 years. During the last year you can expect a few bulbs to burn out before the whole light finally goes. To ensure you reach the full three years I recommend a glass top between the light and tank to reduce water damage. The lifespan might not be the longest ever but it does last awhile for being such a low cost freshwater aquarium lighting option.

Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Light

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Having four sizes that span from 18″-60″ the Current USA LED light has a size tailored to fit your specific lighting needs.

Taken directly from Current USA

The color temperature on this light is 6500k on the light lights and 455nm from the blue lights. The blues are ideal, as usable light drops off heavily after 460nm. This gives your freshwater aquarium plants the perfect light to have healthy growth. Even in three foot deep water plants will still get strong enough lighting to continue growing. If you ever wondered what is the best light for aquarium plants, Current USA could be your answer.

The included controller even lets you switch between 8 different light settings, ranging from full sun, light dawn and even blue midnight settings. This allows you to bring down the light level when it seems too bright yet you are not ready to switch to the night setting.

A note we have for you here is to treat the controller gently as it is not the sturdiest piece. If it does break Current USA will send out a replacement free of charge.

This brings us to the lifetime of the light. The LED bulbs have had their durability measured for an average of 50,000+ hours. Given normal circumstances of 8-10 hour days they will last over 11 years of use. If anything should happen to your light you are free to use the Current USA warranty for up to a year.

The casing of the Current USA freshwater aquarium lighting is constructed of a powerful aluminum housing. While this does let the light heat up a little more than plastic casing, it is far more durable and resists water damage well. The light itself is IP65 water resistant.

The light is distributed at a 120 degree angle, giving the light a healthy spread to cover our tanks with light. Try to position the light in the center of the tank to avoid light being wasted on the floor. Located at the bottom of the light is an acrylic splash guard that protects the light from water without blocking out much of the lights strength.

As nice as standard lights are there’s no way you won’t be playing with the controls. By pressing the blue and white buttons you will select which portion of the light you are controlling. Next you can use the + and – buttons to change the lights strength. Hold the blue/white button for four seconds to turn off the blue/white light. Pressing the Mode button will cycle between preset modes. Here’s a quick rundown on the modes:

  • Mode 1 – Both white and blue lights on
  • Mode 2 – Moonlight/blue lights only
  • Mode 3 – Cloudy weather with fading lights
  • Mode 4 – A more intense cloudy effect
  • Mode 5 – Strong lights with rolling clouds
  • Mode 6 – Gentle rain with lightning effects
  • Mode 7 – Powerful lighting storm(Not Recommended)

The light has been in production for over three years, being updated as new technology is available. Across all three years the light has received rave reviews and still holds sturdy in our small local fish store.

Speaking of pet stores, this light demolishes pet store prices even when upgraded to larger sizes. Typically larger lights such as this are over $150, and that is without the custom light settings. If you really want a long, bright and cost effective light strip for larger than a 10 gallon, this is the light for you.

All Glass Aquarium Economy Hood, 20-Inch

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Fits Aquariums Size Watts Bulbs
20″ x 10″ 10-20 Watts Two 5″ Screw Ins

As the name implies, this is one great value hood. Coming with two florescent bulb slots, the All Glass Economy Hood provides sufficient lighting for fish and low light aquarium plants.

First and foremost we must warn you: the bulbs require great care to change. If done incorrectly the sockets can be broken, turning the lighted hood into a normal hood. Take a little extra time and they’ll be fine. The bulbs will last for 6 months to a year when properly cared for. This makes the hood better suited for new tank owners who are unsure if they want to stick to the hobby.

A second note is that the hood does not come with the bulbs included. We actually liked this because we could choose stronger bulbs than most hoods come with. However the best grow lights tend to be full length bulbs rather than the two small ones this hood is designed for. We still got good use from the Marina 15 watt bulbs suggested underneath the item on amazon. The bulbs needed are 5 inch screw ins. Try to stay under the 20 watt mark or the hood will heat up quickly.

The small feeding compartment allows for easy, you guessed it, feeding. The back of this hood comes with break away plastic sections, allowing you to insert the needed equipment onto the back of your tank without disturbing your hood. The lights are protected by a splash guard, making your lights last as long as you do not handle the hood or sockets too roughly.

Overall this hood is a good choice if you are worried about your budget and are starting a brand new tank. It will provide both good lighting and the hood reduces evaporation. Just don’t be careless with the hood and it will last for years.

Marineland LED Light Hood

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Fits Aquariums Size Watts LEDs
20″ x 10″ 2.7 Watts 22 6,000k White LEDs, 3 Blue 60mW LEDs, 25 LEDs Total

To round off our lighting article we have the Marineland LED hood. Practical, affordable, multiple sizes and easy to use, this hood is our top choice for hooded tanks. This features a more modern look with a low profile height, making it a great freshwater fish tank lighting choice that can fit in any room.

The hood affixes to the back rim of the tank, resting on the top of your tank and swings upwards when opening the tank. With this feature replacing normal the feeding hatch you can easily access the entire tank at any time, allowing for easy substrate cleaning and equipment adjustments.

The back of the 30″ comes with two break away sections that are side by side. Combined their length comes to just over 15″, with the left being 10″ and the right 5″. the depth of the break away section is 2.5″, so be sure your equipment will fit with the hood. The 20″ hood only has one break away section that measures 6.5″ by 2.5″.

As for the lights strength, I would only recommend up to medium light requiring plants. While bright, there simply aren’t the number of LED bulbs we like to grow high light plants such as micro sword.

Lifetime & Warranty

The longevity of this hood and light combo is quite high. In fact you are more likely to need to replace your hood long before the LEDs burn out. Tested to last an average of 50,000 hours, your lights should never fail you.

The customer service provided by Marineland is excellent, and not only on this item. If your light turns out to have a fault that outlasts the amazon warranty, Marineland will often fix your problem free of charge. Simply contact their customer service and let them know what’s troubling you. The normal warranty time for this hood is one year, but you can still contact them after this time has ended.

Now that you are equipped with all the proper knowledge buying the right freshwater aquarium lighting will be a breeze. Take into account all your plants needs as well as your tanks depth and width. With each light listed having a no questions asked warranty ordering is always risk free!

Click here for free shipping

If you still want more lighting options feel free to read our led aquarium lighting page.

Best LED For A 10 Gallon Aquarium

Deckey Freshwater Aquarium LED Lighting Fixture Marineland LED Aquarium Light Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED Marineland LED Light Hood
Fits Aquariums:
12″ – 45.2″
Fits Aquariums:
11″ – 30″
Fits Aquariums:
17″ – 49″
Fits Aquariums:
20″ x 10″
LEDs: 36-144 LEDs: 60 LEDs: 48-144 LEDs: 25
Watts: 6-25 Watts: 3.6 Watts: 16.8-46.2 Watts: 2.7
Price: $$ Price: $$ Price: $$$$ Price: $$$
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The average 10 gallon aquarium light should span 20″ long and be relatively inexpensive. This does not mean low quality as LED lighting has made huge strides in the past few years. What used to be outrageously expensive is not only mildly priced, making the great lights have much lower prices. This has brought the world of planted tanks and corals to the average household, allowing their tanks to shine on like never before.

Deckey Freshwater 10 Gallon Aquarium Lighting Fixture

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The Deckey comes in multiple sizes, each with their own specifications. While we will only need the 50cm/19.7 inch model, here are all the exact specs.

Size Fits Aquariums Size Watts Amps LEDs
11″ x 3.9″ x .5″ 12″ to 20″ 6 Watts .5 Amps 36 LEDs(30 white + 6 blue)
20″ x 3.5″ x .5″ 19.7″ to 27.6″ 11 Watts 1 Amp 72 LEDs(60 white + 12 blue)
28″ x 3.9″ x .7″ 28.3″ to 35.4″ 18 Watts 1 Amp 108 LEDs(90 white + 18 blue)
45″ x 3.9″ x .5″ 37.4″ to 45.2″ 25 Watts 2 Amps 144 LEDs(120 white + 24 blue)

As you may have noticed the smallest size does in fact fit our 10 gallon aquarium. However it will not provide the best lighting to the corners of the tank. If this is not a concern to you feel free to pick the smaller model and save a bit of cash.

Set Up

One of the great things with Deckey lighting is there are no frills or add-ons to worry about. simply plug in the light, put it in place and you’re set. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few extra bits of info that are helpful to know.

First off the light is not water resistant what so ever. Even mist created via aeration can damage the light, making a glass top essential to using the Deckey light for your 10 gallon aquarium. This is no real issue as glass tops provide a lot of value to aquariums anyways. If however you will not be adding the glass top onto your tank I suggest you look at a different light fixture.

The cord is pretty nice at a solid five foot long. This gives you all the wire you need to hook your light up and set up a drip loop. Remember these loops are important as the prevent electrical fires.

Finally the Deckey light features a simple switch for the white/blue/off settings. Later in your aquarium hobby you may want to add a timer to the light, but for now simply remember to turn the light on and off each day at around the same time. Fish do develop a schedule, and changing that can cause them stress.

Light Strength

The Deckey actually brings some power along for the ride. Most plants, excluding the more light demanding ones, will flourish under this lighting fixture, allowing your 10 gallon aquarium to become a true aquascape.

The lights are well spaced out and distributed at an angle of 120 degrees, leaving absolutely no room for dark spots in the tank. This allows you to freely arrange the tank. Even tall objects in the center of your tank will not be able to cast shadows under this light.

When using the blue setting on this light you will notice it is not dim like many others. They actually allow you to view your tank at night under a nice and bright blue light. This is not meant for constant use, as the output is much lower and cannot accommodate plants or help relax fish. It is a good idea to give your fish awhile to transition from bright white lights to cool blue lights before finally going to bed.

Lifetime & Warranty

Being a low cost and high strength light, the Deckey features a medium life time of 12-18 months. When well taken care of, meaning no exposure to water, the light can reach over two years of service. In this time you can easily decide if the aquarium hobby is for you and if so which new light fixture to get. Just be sure to keep the light nice and dry so that it lasts as long as possible.

The only issue I have with this light is its short warranty. The Deckey comes only under a 30 day warranty. One month is long enough to see if you have a defective unit, or if the light simply just isn’t for you.

Marineland LED Aquarium Light, 11-Inch

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Marineland is always one of my favorite companies to recommend, and this LED light fits the bill perfectly for 10 gallon tanks.

Set Up

This choice takes a slightly different approach than all the others. Rather than buying a full on light strip or hood, this light is actually an upgraded version of the lighting fixture previously found in LED hoods. This means you can use your own type of lid or even an open top tank. For that of course you would need some method of suspension for the light. Personally I just replaced my fluorescent bulb housing in my old hood with this fixture. The hood looks the same but the light is brighter than ever.

Before you go doing any DIY ideas like me note that the switch is located on the top/back of the light. This means there are three ways to use the light.

a.) Use the switch

b.) Unplug the power cord

c.) Use a light timer

If like me you enclose the light in a hood you will have to use one of the latter two choices. The light also does just fine when resting atop a glass surface or suspended above the tank. I just wanted to do something with my old hood.

Light Strength

The Marineland LED aquarium light features 60 evenly placed LED bulbs of .06 watts each, bringing the total wattage to 3.6 watts. Some users have run a few tests and estimate the strength to be between 5-7,000k which provides a beautiful color and high intensity for your aquarium plants.

The setup of the LEDs is similar to most other lighting strips, however the lights are actually in a slight indent. This casts the light at less than a 120 degree angle, making the light not go as wide as other lights. For out ten gallon aquarium LED lighting however this won’t be a problem.

Lifetime & Warranty

Most LED light fixtures have quite the life time when properly cared for, and the Marineland LED light is no exception. Lasting between two to three years, this low cost aquarium LED can really provide some value without costing too much. To extend the life time there are heat sinks located on the top of the light, which allow for consistent cooling even when placed on a glass top surface. Like the Deckey light, this LED fixture also must be protected from water. The difference is that each light is separate from the others. If one bulb burns out that is all you will lose.

The Marineland warranty on this product covers the first year. When contacted Marineland is quick to respond and highly courteous. They are one of the biggest aquatic equipment companies out there so this should come as no surprise.

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED

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Size Fits Aquariums Size Watts LEDs
20″ 17″-21″ 16.8 Watts 32 7,000k, 16 RGB, 48 LEDs Total
24″ 22″-25″ 24.5 Watts 38 7,000k, 24 RGB, 62 LEDs Total
30″ 38″-31″ 29 Watts 56 7,000k, 28 RGB, 84 LEDs Total
36″ 34″-37″ 35.8 Watts 72 7,000k, 36 RGB, 108 LEDs Total
48″ 46″-49″ 46.2 Watts 96 7,000k, 48 RGB, 144 LEDs Total

The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED is on the higher end of 10 gallon aquarium lighting, offering powerful lights and an amazing controller

Set Up

Because this light has so much going for it I do not recommend simply setting and forgetting the light. To make full use of this LED fixture we will need to program it.

Finnexs very own guide on using the remote

Skip the thunder button as this will only serve to stress out your fish. More importantly you should use the demo button a few times to see exactly where the light looks best in your tank. Once you find that sweet spot use the arrow keys and set your light to match the demo. Perfect light settings in just a couple of minutes. Because there are four settings you can also create more fun light choices for when you want to show off your light. My favorite is a purple looking light set up. It really makes my plants absolutely transform when I hit that M3 button.

Unlike many timers the Finnex comes equipped with a built in memory. This means the light will remember any of your settings after a power outage, saving you the trouble of resetting them each time.

Ok with the programming discussed back to the light itself. Located between the LEDs and your tank is the splash guard. This does just as the name suggests and protects your light from splashes and mist, making this light water resistant. It is still not water proof so be sure there’s no way for it to slip into the tank.

Light Strength

For our use I’ll be discussing the light at 10″ deep. The PAR readings on max lighting show around 70-75. Combined with our provided wattage and LED count we can easily grow the more demanding plants under these lights. The light on this LED strip is distributed at a 120 degree angle. This coats the entire tank with water without wasting excess light on the floor.

One of the big draws of the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED is the full color spectrum it features. Plants are able to grow without the full spectrum but they will not be nearly as healthy. Tanks to the full spectrum this is not a problem and your plants will grow tall with rich colors.

Additionally the timer comes back into play here. By using the timing function you can simulate realist sun rise and sunset effects, slowly turning the light on for your tank. This greatly reduces stress as the fish are not suddenly blasted with light or thrown into darkness. This also means you will not have to turn the light on and off yourself, which in my case greatly reduced the algae problems in the guest room. Hard to remember to turn off every light when you have so many on all day.

Lifetime & Warranty

Finnex products always carry a six month warranty. This may not be the longest warranty ever but they are consistently helpful and will frequently help those out of warranty anyways. Just remember to be nice to whoever you contact and describe your problems completely.

The only cut and dry problem here is that water damage completely voids the warranty. When you fiddle with your tanks as often as I do mistakes are bound to happen. knocking a light down isn’t unheard of, but this lighting strips feet secure it pretty well. Just be sure your light is not simply resting on the top and at risk of falling into the tank.

The lifetime of the light averages between 1-3 years depending on how well the light is taken care of. If you combine it with a glass top, reduce tank evaporation and keep your homes humidity low you should reach the long end of that spectrum. After that the bulbs themselves average at 50,000 hours of use on average. It is these long lifetimes that make LEDs so valuable to the aquarium community.

Marineland LED Light Hood

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Fits Aquariums Size Watts LEDs
20″ x 10″ 2.7 Watts 22 6,000k White LEDs, 3 Blue 60mW LEDs, 25 LEDs Total

Bringing in a complete hood, the Marineland LED Light Hood for 10 gallon fish tanks is an excellent choice.

Set Up

Setting up the Marineland LED hood is a bit more difficult than a lighting fixture. First you will need to affix the hood to the rim of the tank. this is done using the two provided clip on hinges. Once in place you are free to open and close the hood as you like.

With the hood in place you can now use the three way light switch to swap between no light, blue light and full light settings. If you have any external equipment such as a hang on back filter you can break off the precut section to fit it into the hood. The section measures 6.5″ x 2.5″ so be sure your equipment fits before trying the hood out.

Light Strength

The light is protected by a glass section that is built into the hood. This keeps the majority of the water out of the light, but over long stretches of time humidity can settle some water on the light. Each LED produces .06 Watts of power, 7.4 lumens and at a 6,000k strength. While the Kelvin ratings would support plant growth, the low wattage means you will only be able to grow low light plants. The mid range 6,000 Kelvins produce a natural looking light without drawing away too much of the power your plants need.

Once you have had the hood long enough and want to upgrade Marineland does feature much newer lighting strips. In fact the previously mentioned Marineland actually fits into this hood and gives it a huge boost of power. However if you don’t want plants and would prefer a hood this is by far the better option.

Lifetime & Warranty

The light comes with Marinelands standard one year warranty. The customer service there is absolutely amazing and you can see that on any site selling their products. Even here on amazon Marineland answers hundreds of questions and review complaints without being directly contacted. If your hood or light do malfunction they are more than happy to help.

The hood should have no limit in life time as it just has to exist. It isn’t going to disintegrate or anything. The light however should last you between one and two years with ease. The lifetime here is a bit shorter than the newer model that is sold individually, which is fine in my eyes. After two years with fish you are probably going to look into upgrading anyways. Fish keeping can be an addictive hobby!

Looking for more aquarium lighting options? Check out all our other guides on our aquarium lighting page!