5 of Our Favorite Controllable LED Lights for Nano Reef Aquariums
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The development of LED aquarium lighting was a huge game-changer, especially for marine aquarists. The combination of low power consumption and reduced heat output coupled with high light output and accurate color properties made LED lighting the new standard for larger marine and reef tanks.
But what about nano aquariums?
Until recently nano-enthusiasts had no choice but use an over-sized aquarium light fixture or suffer with poorly designed desk-top aquarium LED fixtures that were little more than night lights for kid’s aquariums. But all this is a thing of the past. Fortunately for us, LED fixture manufacturers have stepped up and created purpose-built LED lights for Nano aquariums. Let’s take a look at the features of five high-quality LED light fixtures designed for Nano tanks.
The Aquaillumination Prime HD light fixture measures only 4.8 inches square in a low-profile configuration. But don’t let the small size fool you. The fixture is packed with 13 high-quality LEDs. The power output of each LED is not fixed. Each color output can be tailored to fit your tank’s needs. Power is diverted from the LEDs that are dimmed and sent to the LEDs most needed. This feature makes the Aquaillumination Prime HD fixture more energy efficient and reduces heat output. It only draws 55 watts! The 80-degree lens has over 90% efficiency and helps to blend the colors evenly. The Prime HD design contains the following LEDs:
- 3 - Cree Cool-White XP-G2
- 3 - Cree Blue XP-E2
- 3 - Royal Blue XT-E
- 1 - SimiLED 415nm Violet
- 1 - Green XP-E2
- 1 - Osram Deep Red Oslon
- 1 - SemiLED 405nm UV
Ecotech Marine designed the Radion series to work as a single Nano fixture or to be used in multiple units for larger tanks. The highly efficient heat sink and quiet fan means silent operation. The redesigned XR15w Pro uses eight color channels. The arrangement of the LEDs has been rebalanced and includes:
- 4 Cool White
- 4 Deep Blue
- 4 Blue
- 2 Green
- 2 Photo Red
- 4 UV
- 2 Violet
- 1 Warm White
The HEI lenses blend the colors and spread the light energy in a wider pattern, not just directly under each LED. This feature is aimed at make more of the reef usable for coral growth and reduce shadowing. The fixture uses a maximum of 95 watts and measures 7 inches x 7 inches x 1.5 inches. The EcoSmart Live cloud-based system allows you to have full control of the Radions anywhere you go. The XR15w Pro is recommended for aquariums 24-30 inches deep. On-tank mounting is easy with the Single Arm RMS.
Kessil takes a different approach to Nano lighting. The A80 series comes in a “blue light” version for reef tanks, called Tuna Blue. Rather than spread the LEDs out across the surface of the fixture, Kessil uses their Dense Matrix LED Array. The single chip is embedded in a special reflector that spreads the light evenly throughout the aquarium. The result is a powerful beam of light in a 24-inch radius. The light fixture housing is also unique. The shell-shaped fixture acts as a heat sink, silently dissipating heat without a fan. Color and Intensity knobs make tuning the light simple. You can also use Kessil Spectral Controller for more adjustments and programming. The A80 mounts to the aquarium with the Kessil Mini Gooseneck mount system.
Dimensions: 4.88" x 0.98" (Diameter x Height)
Coverage: Up to 24" x 24" for fish-only aquariums, 14" x 14" for reef aquariums
Power Supply: 100-240V AC (input) 24V DC (output)
Power Consumption: 15W
The NemoLight looks like a traditional aquarium fixture. The adjustable mounting brackets adjust from 22” to 36” widths. The light itself is only ½” think and acts as a fanless cooling system. The AquaMaxx design uses four different colored LEDS: 8000K white, 460nm blue, 630nm red and 520nm green. A built-in controller allows you to program the lighting schedule and intensity. The NemoLight can be hung above the aquarium or mounted on the tank.
Aluminum Unibody Design
Ultra Slim 1/2" Body Thickness
High-Quality Multi-Spectrum LED Diodes: Including White, Blue, Red and Green.
Built-In Controller with Timer & Dimmers to Simulate Sunrise & Sunset
Quiet, Fanless, Design
Theatrical Thunderstorm Feature
Current recently updated the Orbit Marine to include integrated control of lighting and circulation pumps through their LOOP hub system. The light fixture has a combination of 6,500K/10,000K white LEDs, 445nm/460nm actinic blue LEDs and a blend of red, blue and green LEDs to recreate the light spectrum necessary for marine fish, corals and other inverts. The 90-degree lens design spreads the light evenly throughout the aquarium.
- Dual Actinic 445nm/460nm LEDs: 9/9
- Dual Daylight 6,700K/10,000K LEDs: 7/7
- RGB LEDs: 4
- Total LEDs: 36
Lighting can be controlled with the wireless remote control. The programming feature creates 24-hour gradual sunrise, sunset and moonlighting for a natural rhythmic light cycle. The timer provides a slow ramp up that prevents light shock, gently acclimates fish to bright lighting. The adjustable tank mount bracket makes it easy to mount the slim light fixture to your aquarium. The Orbit Marine fixtures are available in a variety of sizes to span aquariums from 18 to 60 inches wide.