What’s The Best LED Grow Lights For Your Aquarium Plants?
Choosing the right LED grow lights for your aquarium plants might seem time consuming and challenging as there are many different options available in the market. Let’s find out if LEDs are powerful enough to grow plants and find out if they are better than the alternative aquarium grow lighting set ups. 1st generation LED grow lamps were much simpler with less color options to choose from; just red and blue were available, which wouldn’t be sufficient for most aquarium plants. Newer LED technology incorporates a larger amount of light that will work much better for helping your aquarium plants grow successfully.
What To Consider?
First, you will need to know the different characteristics of the types of plants you are looking to grow. Look for size, shape and height of the plants you plan to have in your aquarium. You will also need to look for the light intensity requirements of each plant and know whether or not they are sensitive to heat. Thankfully, most available LED setups come with menus and data sheets to make it easy to calculate the necessary specifications of light illumination and watts per gallon needed. Many people argue that LED lights don’t provide enough PAR for aquarium plants to thrive but this simply isn’t the case! With the latest technology, you’re able to find LED grow lights for your aquarium plants that match and even exceed the PAR output of a metal halide system! Still not convinced? Here are some more interesting facts in this handy pros and cons list below.
Pros of LED Grow Lights
· Cool Temperatures: You will not require a noisy and bulky fan or cooling system.
· High Output: High output drivers and quiet operating noise levels.
· Easy Plug In: No need to mess with wires and glue.
· Easy Maintenance: User friendly, easy to assemble, clean and maintain.
· Energy Efficient: LED’s will consume less energy than other aquarium lighting options and because of this, you will save more money!
· Growth Efficiency: You’re able to choose LEDs that target wavelengths that plants absorb. With accurate absorption, your plants will thrive.
· Long Lifespan: You can run your LED lights for up to 50,000 hours before they will need to be replaced.
Cons of LED Grow Lights
· Getting the Right Wavelength: Achieving the correct wavelengths in the correct amounts might be a challenge but this can be easily solved with controllers and drivers.
· Lights Reaching the Bottom of the Tank: You might require 2 set ups to produce enough even light for a larger tank.
· Heat Production: LEDs are not ideal for plants that are sensitive to heat but they are still cooler than the traditional metal halide system.
· More Expensive: The up front costs for large aquariums LED grow light setups can be around $150 each.
Best LED Grow Lights For Aquarium Plants
In this day and age, you are able to find several suitable LED grow lights in the market. Hobbyists now have some very viable options to choose from.Here are a few of our favorite lighting set ups that specialize in plant growth.
1. Finnex Ray2 Aquarium LED Daylight
Finnex is a well-known brand when it comes to LEDs, it’s no surprise that they’ve made LEDs to cater for the planted tank crowd. They made a good one too. A really good one! The Ray2 features two LED light strips with 7000K output each which makes it ideal even for the most demanding aquarium plants. The dual strips also helps to cover a broader surface area for your tank. Finnex has done a great job with the design of this LED fixture. It’s small, sleek and the mount fits very well on standard sized aquariums. One thing to note is that, these lights are bright! So bright that you might get an algae issue, so be sure to use CO2 and dose fertilizer to avoid this. So, this might not be suitable for those of you running a low tech tank. For the price, longevity and quality, this is a great choice for an aquarist looking for the perfect aquarium grow lights for “Hi Tech” tank setups.
2. Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium Light Plus Moonlights
While the Finnex Ray 2 is perfect for a “Hi Tech” tank, the Finnex FugeRay Planted+ is more catered to the low tech tank. But that’s not to say that this won’t benefit your tank if you’re injecting CO2 and dosing your tank too. It’s just the best option for low tech tank owners. This ultra modern slim and light aquarium LED set up has enough output to grow low to med light plants. If you’re upgrading from a fluorescent setup, don’t be surprised by how drastic the change will be. Those who have taken the plunge has vowed to never go back. The Finnex FugeRay Planted+ truly brings out the color of your tank and helps your plants flourish.
3. Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Light With Timer
This Marineland LED Light are among the most popular among planted tank owners. There are many different sizes to choose from (ranging from 18 to 60 inches) to suit tanks of different sizes. This slim Marineland Aquatic Plant LED setup will give you a full spectrum of light (1 watt 6500k white and 3 watt RGB LEDs), which will help your aquatic plants grow. It also has easy to use controls and an integrated timers with lunar and daytime settings. This setup does such a good job that you might even need to trim your plants back from time to time.
4.Final Say on Using LEDs As Grow Lights
As you can see, LED lights should be considered as one of the best LED grow lights for your aquarium plants. They might have a few downsides like cost and heat production but the benefits far outweigh the downsides. They are easy to maintain, provide great controllable light to stimulate plant growth, are cost effective, energy efficient and will outlast any bulb system