Best Of Lighting 2022

With the rapid advancement of LED lighting technology in the reef aquarium world, it's certainly not easy to make this list. Just ask yourself, what makes an outstanding aquarium light in 2022? Is it an easy-to-navigate control app or do you prefer a more plug-and-play approach? Maybe you can't live without a nice-looking tank mount? Do you hate the shimmering and shadows some lights create in your tank? Is it the heavy blue and fluorescing UV spectrum you long for, or do you like it to be a bit more natural-looking in the tank?

The reality is, modern aquarists demand all of these things from a light that is technologically sound, provides the necessary level of performance to keep our tanks healthy, and looks great doing it.

Here are our top 5 reef aquarium lights for 2022 that were chosen based on performance, features, ratings, and customer reviews. We also took into account sales data which really is a direct result of how well the light performs across the board.

Aquatic Life Coral Cover Hybrid

Aquatic Life Coral Cover Hybrid

Upgrading your lighting has never been easier! The Coral Cover works with all major LED light manufacturers on the market and helps alleviate some pitfalls hobbyists encounter with single-point source LED lights. It contains two app-controlled LED strip lights that will fill in your light spread, reduce shadowing, and improve color rendition throughout your entire tank when combined with your existing LED lights. Whether you are looking for more PAR or simply want to improve the appearance in your tank, the Coral Cover is the way to go

 

EcoTech Marine G5 Radion XR15 & XR30

EcoTech Marine G5 Radion XR15 & XR30

It should be no surprise that EcoTech Marine's iconic Radion has made the list. The XR30 and XR15 LED lights have long been considered the gold standard that all other lights are compared to and offer exceptional spread, spectrum, and control. The latest 5th generation is without a doubt the best yet in terms of performance and also served as the introduction for EcoTech Marine's highly anticipated control app, Mobius.

 

Kessil A360X

Kessil A360X

Kessil entered the reef aquarium seen back in 2010 and quickly made a name for themselves by producing compact, controllable LED lights that were optimized for photosynthesis using a very natural-looking spectrum of light. The intense shimmer these lights create is still unmatched even today and the optimized spectrum blending is unique to Kessil's line of LED lights. The A360X is the latest generation of their flagship light and is the best performing A-series light to date as proven by our own BRStv Investigates lighting tests.

 

Neptune Systems SKY

Neptune Systems SKY

Learning from the successes and failures of industry-leading lighting manufacturers, Neptune Systems intensively researched and developed the SKY LED to be the most accurate representation of natural sunlight over a reef aquarium. A single 200-watt SKY fixture will cover an area of up to 36" wide and create a very even spread of light, which means fewer fixtures to achieve even better coverage. It won't produce any harsh shadows and even allows the user to control the level of shimmer they wish to see in the tank. Being built by Neptune Systems, the fixture can be integrated with your Apex Aquarium Controller but doesn't have to be, the SKY is built as a stand-alone lighting solution for any reef tank, Apex or not.

 

Aqua Illumination Prime 16HD and Hydra HD Series

Aqua Illumination Prime 16HD and Hydra HD Series

Aqua Illumination is the most widely used brand of reef aquarium LED lights in the world because they are easy to use, effective, and reasonably priced. Between the Prime 16HD and Hydra HD series, Aqua Illumination is the best-selling lighting brand on our website and there really is an option for every tank owner. With the myAI app and wireless connection, the user is in complete control of the spectrum and output and can program custom lighting schedules with ease. Moonlighting, weather effects, and acclimation mode are also available which essentially round out all of the critical advanced control options a hobbyist could want.