Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Matt
It can be very confusing when it comes to LED aquarium lighting. Not only is proper lighting essential for aquarium plant growth and health, it is also important in showing and presenting your tank in all its glory. The issue with choosing the perfect LED light for your tank lies in the sheer amount of choice available. It doesn’t take long to get thoroughly confused, and you may end up buying the wrong light! This is why we have chosen to review the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 series of LED lights; they are exceptionally good and are very affordable.
Finnex are a brand that produces great quality LED lighting for a very reasonable price, and they also offer the same in aquarium heaters. However Finnex does have a wide range of LED lighting for different purposes. Perhaps the best
In this article we will go through and review all of the models in the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 series. There are four different lighting models in the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 series; the HLC, ALC, KLC, and CRV.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Series Features
All four Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED lights have a built-in timer which enables you to access and control all of the lights features, which includes a fully customizable 24 hour lighting cycle.
The basic 24/7 lighting cycle choice starts with a cool gently lit dawn, which then transitions to a warm sunrise morning and an intense color blazing high noon with 100% light intensity. As the day progresses the light intensity is then scaled down to a red sunset, and the lighting cycle finally finishes with a starry blue moonlight night. You can set the time for each lighting stage to the nearest three hour interval, and it also gives 6 hours of darkness after the moonlight setting.
There is also the 24/7 custom setting. This is a brilliant feature and is well worth getting your head around. Using the controller you are able to create 8 customized and unique light intensities and lighting color settings. The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 model will then cycle and transition smoothly through these 8 customized light settings.
Being able to customize the lighting levels is a significant upgrade to the previous LED lighting models from Finnex. It means that you instantly have an added layer of control, and can customize the lighting to exactly how you like it. Being able to lower the light intensity means that these lights are also suitable for smaller tanks without risk of algal blooms.
There are 4 custom memory banks on the remote. These are so that you can save your favorite lighting intensity and color settings, so you can change to them at the touch of a button. Having 4 completely different colors and intensities in these banks is the way to go, so that you have a wide range to choose from.
Each Finnex Planted+ 24/7 also has the ability to create weather effects. These are also controlled via the remote. There is sunset and night, so that you can easily choose these settings if you want different timings on a specific day. The sunset setting is non-adjustable, but produces a nice red glow in your tank. The night setting creates a dim blue moonlight glow in the tank.
The other two weather effects are cloudy and thunderstorm. These are both non-adjustable and are quite similar. Cloudy offers a dim blue lighting to simulate cloud cover, while thunderstorm is the same color while also creating flashing lights to simulate a passing thunderstorm.
Also very useful is the MAX setting. This turns all available LED lights to 100% light intensity. This is brilliant if you want to give your plants a boost or if for whatever reason you can’t see your tank clearly.
LEDs, PAR, and Design
The differences in the four Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED light series models come in the type of LEDs that are used, PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) values, and design. The PAR values at different depths are important as plants need this light to grow. The higher the PAR value at a specific depth, the more light a plant can use for photosynthesis at that depth.
The ALC model has the highest PAR readings, while the HLC model has the second highest readings. High color rendering index (CRI) LEDs enable the high PAR readings in the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 HLC and ALC models. However it isn’t as simple as this. Only the ALC and CRV Finnex Planted+ 24/7 models have true red LEDs. These red LED lights are called “true” because they emit light with a wavelength of 660nm, the exact wavelength that plants mainly use for photosynthesis. So while the CRV model has slightly less PAR values than the HLC, it might be slightly better at growing plants.
There can be no illusion that the ALC model comes out on top though! It has the highest PAR values and also utilizes the true red LED lights.
All of the models in the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 series are modern and sleek, and won’t look out of place in any modern freshwater aquarium setup. However the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 HLC has perhaps the best design of the four. It is incredibly thin and contains a lot less aluminum than the other three models. Even Finnex themselves have said that they wish the CRV specs would fit into the HLC hood design!
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Series Comparison Table
The Finnex Planted+ 24/7 series of LED aquarium lighting are absolutely fantastic and brilliant value for money. Finnex is a great company that actively doesn’t try to overcharge customers. This is pretty rare for a large company!! If they are able to charge a low price, they will.
With the number of features that the lights in this series possess, they should be in serious consideration for your freshwater planted tank. While all similar, there are some key differences.
On a purely aesthetic standpoint, the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 HLC is the best, as it is the most sleek and thin option. On a purely functional standpoint, the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 ALC is the best, as it has true red LEDs for increased plant growth and health, and has the highest PAR readings of all models. However the ALC may not be a permanent model, this was a unique build that might be taken off the market. This is why it is the cheapest option while being perhaps the best!
All of the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 models are absolutely fantastic, and your tank and plants especially will love them. When used in conjunction with CO2 injectors and aquarium plant fertilizers your plants can truly flourish.
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