AquaIlluminatino Prime

Best Selling Reef Tank Lights of 2023


Based on the sheer number of units sold on our website, the #1 selling reef aquarium LED for a few years running is the AquaIllumination Prime 16 HD. Not far behind is the EcoTech Marine XR15 followed by the newest member of the list, the AquaIllumination Blade


AquaIllumination Blade

Best for Beginners & Nano Reef Tanks


For tanks up to about 20 gallons, the AquaIllumination Blade Grow is a clear winner.  It is one of the most economical LEDs using a cost-per-par analysis and allows for a clean mount without bulky hardware. A single Blade Grow will support soft corals, LPS, and even a mixed reef when corals are placed appropriately. You can use multiple Blade strips side by side to accommodate larger tanks and SPS corals. The Aquamaxx Prism CC Marine and AI Prime 16 HD also deserve an honorable mention not only for their performance but also for their popularity among small tank owners. 


Ecotech Marine Radion XR30

Best Light for Rimless SPS Tanks - without a hood


Exposed plumbing, wires, and mounting hardware can be very distracting from the overall aesthetic of any aquarium and this is especially true with rimless aquariums where there is no hood to hide bulky lighting and other equipment. The EcoTech Marine XR30 provides a very well-distributed blanket of light while still maintaining a very sleek profile that doesn't distract from the overall contemporary look and feel of a rimless aquarium.  


Best for SPS Aquariums

Best Light for SPS Tanks - with a hood


When performance is the ultimate priority, there are three different approaches that can achieve the best distribution and overall performance for SPS-dominant reef tanks. The tried and true T5 fluorescent, a bank of LED strip lights, and the 3-point hybrid approach. In all three cases, the source of light is equal to or larger than the coverage area which is ultimately the most efficient way to illuminate the aquarium without severe shadowing and end-to-end coverage.


EcoTech Marine Radion

Best for LPS Reef Tanks


When it comes to LPS, it's all about the quality of light (PUR) and spectrum. The EcoTech Marine Radion is the best choice when it comes to spectrum offerings and supplies one of the widest blue spectrums on the market. Using the spectrum controls you can then adjust the peaks to highlight the various fluorescent pigments in your tank. 


Best for Mixed Reef Tanks - 3 Point Hybrid

Best for Mixed Reef Tanks


The ideal approach to lighting a mixed reef tank is to create PAR zones so you can accommodate the different lighting needs of soft corals, LPS, and SPS corals side by side.  The 3-point hybrid where a primary pendant is flanked with LED strip lights is a great approach for mixed reef tanks because the power of the primary LED will create a cascade of PAR zones for SPS in the middle and the fill light will reduce shadowing and provide more even coverage toward the edges of your aquascape for soft corals and LPS.  


Kessil A360X

Best Shimmer


When it comes to LEDs, Kessil has mastered the shimmer effect. Their unique approach to spectrum and color blending using a single optic without diffusion allows for a very natural shimmer that adds depth to the aquarium without the dreaded "disco" effect. Their flagship A360X is best suited for square-shaped coverage areas while the AP9X is better for larger, rectangular-shaped coverage.