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Top Five Beginner LED Lights

Updated 2023

A lot has changed in the four years since we published this post, so we thought it was time for an update.  All of these lights work great, some are better for coral growth, while others are better for fish only systems.  And they span the gamut from super affordable to the top of the line Radions.  Take a peak below and happy reefing!


The EcoTech Radion XR15 G6 Blue LED Aquarium Light Fixture is a top-of-the-line saltwater aquarium light that offers exceptional performance and versatility. With its full spectrum lighting and advanced technology, it enhances the aesthetics of any aquarium, creating an immersive environment for both hobbyists and marine life. Despite its higher price tag at $499.99, the quality and features make it a worthwhile investment for serious saltwater aquarium enthusiasts.

  • Full spectrum aquarium LED lighting
  • 6th generation pushes the limits of color rendition and fluorescence
  • Flexibility that caters to the desire of the user
  • Higher price point at $499.99
  • Limited number of reviews available
  • The intensity of the blue light may not be suitable for all types of aquariums

The EcoTech Aqua Illumination Prime HD Reef LED Light Fixture is a top-notch choice for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. This fully controllable light fixture allows for adjustable spectrum and compatibility with various mounting options. With its powerful and customizable lighting, it provides optimal illumination for reef tanks. Although some users have mentioned minor drawbacks such as fan noise and limited mounting options, overall, this product is highly recommended for its high-quality performance and efficiency.

  • The EcoTech Aqua Illumination Prime HD Reef LED Light Fixture provides fully controllable LED lighting for your aquarium, allowing you to customize the light spectrum to meet the needs of your specific setup.
  • The Prime 16 HD is a high-quality reef aquarium light that delivers powerful illumination while using less energy than traditional lighting systems, making it energy-efficient and cost-effective.
  • The Prime 16 HD includes a separate Moonlight Channel, allowing you to create a natural moonlight effect in your aquarium.
  • Some users have reported that the light is not well diffused, resulting in harsh shadows and a “disco-ball” effect in the tank.
  • The fan in the Prime 16 HD can get quite loud and hot at high settings, which may be bothersome to some users.
  • The light does not come with any mounting options, so you will need to purchase separate mounting accessories if you don’t already have them.

The NICREW 150W Aquarium LED Reef Light is a reliable and affordable lighting solution for saltwater coral fish tanks. Its full color spectrum and adjustable settings contribute to the optimal growth of corals, while the smart fans ensure temperature control. Although the shimmer effect could be improved and individual LED customization would be a welcome addition, this light offers several noteworthy features that make it a worthwhile investment for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts.

  • The NICREW 150W Aquarium LED Reef Light has a full color spectrum, including popular blue, red, green, and Violet+UV, which promotes optimal coral growth and enhances coloration.
  • With a maximum spread of 30″ x 30″ and an average PAR of 305µMol at a depth of 28 inches, this light is perfect for medium to large reef tanks.
  • The light comes with smart fans for temperature control, ensuring optimal working conditions for the LEDs.
  • Some users have reported that the shimmer effect of the light is weak compared to other options on the market.
  • The light may require modification to fit on rimmed tanks, which can be inconvenient for some users.
  • The light does not have individually adjustable LEDs, limiting customization options for spectrum preference.

The Phlizon 165W Dimmable Full Spectrum Aquarium LED Light is an excellent choice for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. With its exceptional lighting, it promotes healthy plant growth and enhances the beauty of aquatic ecosystems. Despite some minor issues with the dials, the overall performance and affordability of this product make it a great option for budget-conscious aquarium enthusiasts in need of saltwater aquarium lights.

  • The Phlizon 165W LED light provides a full spectrum of light, including UV, blue, purple, red, white, and green. This ensures that your aquarium plants and coral receive the necessary light for healthy growth.
  • The unique design of the Phlizon LED light is specifically aimed at promoting the healthy growth of aquatic plants, such as moss and coral algae. It promotes photosynthesis and increases oxygen levels in the water, benefiting both freshwater and seawater plants.
  • The Phlizon LED light features a double dimmer model with separate channels for adjusting brightness. This allows you to acclimate your fish and aquatic plants to the new light gradually by slowly increasing its exposure. The dimmer function is also suitable for day and night settings.
  • Some users have reported that the dials on the Phlizon LED light, which control the dimmer function, are a bit flimsy and can be finicky when making adjustments. This may require replacing the dials if they become faulty.
  • The Phlizon LED light may not cover the entire tank evenly, especially for larger tanks. Some users have mentioned that the light intensity may be too strong for the upper rockwork, causing certain corals to suffer from excessive par values.
  • There have been reports of a high failure rate for the Phlizon LED light, particularly the blue channel. Some users have experienced the blue channel failing within a year of use. The warranty support and customer service from the manufacturer may also be lacking.

The hygger aquarium LED light offers exceptional value for its price, making it suitable for both planted tanks and freshwater aquariums. With its customizable features and high-quality lighting, it provides optimal illumination for a variety of aquatic environments. Additionally, the hygger brand offers exceptional customer service and warranty, ensuring a satisfying purchase experience. Although there is a minor issue with brightness intensity, the overall performance and functionality of this product make it a solid choice for any aquarium enthusiast in need of saltwater aquarium lights.

  • Sleek design and adjustable legs for easy installation.
  • Soft, natural light that is gentle on both fish and viewers.
  • High-quality LED beads with a long service life of up to 50,000 hours.
  • Brightness may be too intense for some fish, causing them stress.
  • Lack of an 8-hour setting in the timer mode, which may not be ideal for certain planted tanks.
  • The transformer/plug outlet is bulky and may be inconvenient for some setups.