Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by Coral Realm

Aquarium LED lights are much more superior to traditional fluorescent bulbs. Knowing how to choose the best LED aquarium lighting can be difficult. Once a company creates something innovative, it quickly becomes competitive. In a world where everything can be manufactured overseas for such low costs there are too many brands to choose from. Many of these are low quality though.

Here’s a quick check list for how to get started. For a full and comprehensive detailed guide, check out our post on the best LED aquarium lighting. This will go into detail about the types of lights available and also advise which light is better for your current tank setup.

Here is our extremely brief guide on how much you can expect to pay for a light, and some things to think about that will help prevent you getting ripped off.


Set your budget and be aware of costs

The average LED aquarium light on amazon is around $40-60. But you can pay significantly more than this. With a budget like that, you’re not going to get much bang for your buck. In order to get a good quality LED light, expect to set aside around $150.

If you’re a pro already, then you can spend much more than that. I always advise beginners that LEDs don’t come cheap, but the long term savings on your electricity bill are huge.

Saying that, you will be surprised how far that money will go when looking for quality fish tank LED lights. Before you invest in LEDs, remember that you have to commit some upfront investment otherwise you will end up just wasting your money on some low quality lights.

The budget you have though largely depends on light requirements, that include:

  • Color (plain white LEDs are less than multicolored)
  • Remote control access
  • Size

How to get quality LEDs

Cheap LEDs are abundant and you’ll have to be prepared to invest some time into finding the right type for your fishtank. For example, do you need the best LED lighting for Reef tanks, or a freshwater tank and there are many different types of tanks. These factors, along with many others will determine what type of light you need. An advanced fishkeeper might keep their best saltwater fish for their aquarium and therefore needs a different type of light.

How to spot quality aquarium led lights:

  • Settings to have white or colored LEDs is often a sign of quality.
  • Remote access
  • adjustable sizing
  • Made in a country like the US or UK

best led aquarium light


Again, we’re continuing the trend of how to spot quality. And customization is a great way to sport that. Any aquarium LED lighting systems that are equipped with programs (such as moon lighting modes) and going to have had that little extra care in their build. Remote controls, and adjustable software means better customization.

A good LED system will have these features and be simultaneously easy to use.


At some point, you may change the size of your tank. Having an adjustable LED light means that you don’t need to sell it. Of course, you won’t get the same light covereage, but you can use multiple smaller lights or even adjust the position of the light to cover the tank.


At any time, there could be an issue with the LED lighting system, so having a warranty of some kind will be useful for the future.


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Coral Realm

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