10 Best Refugium Lights for 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

A refugium tank is a separate tank designed to protect all delicate and nutritious plants, algae or coral that would be otherwise damaged or eaten if left in your main tank. Similarly in the ocean, certain small fish and plants need extra protection and take ‘refuge’ in safe and secluded parts of the ocean so that they don’t get eaten.

The main tank and refugium tanks are connected and share the same water flow but prevent fish from swimming between the main and refugium tank. The necessarily protected plants enrich the water in the ocean with vitamins and minerals therefore, the same set up in a refugium tank will be extremely beneficial for saltwater or reef aquariums.

Generally, a refugium tank is purchased to reduce concentrations of dissolved nutrients in the water. High levels of phosphates and nitrates quickly kill off fish, corals, and plants in an aquarium, if not monitored and controlled.

There are special lights that promote the growth of microalgae and other organisms that naturally regulate the water levels. Using these lights will help you to make the water a better quality for your plants and fish, keeping them safe from any potential toxins.

There are plenty of lights to choose from, some can be submerged in the water, others are placed directly above the tank. We will be reviewing 10 of the best refugium lights to help you judge which is most suited for your refugium aquarium.

Read Article: Best Aquarium Substrate For 2020

Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. Innovative Marine Refugium LED Light
  • 4 LED colors
  • Mount horizontally or vertically
  • Easy to install
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2. Luxbird Waterproof Aquarium Refugium Light Bulb
  • Waterproof
  • Place it anywhere in the tank
  • Blue and red lights
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3. Finnex FugeRay Refugium Light
  • Reliable and long lasting
  • Colors promote plant growth
  • Easy to adjust
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4. Kessil H80 Tuna Flora Refugium LED
  • Light intensity is adjustable
  • Light disperses well
  • Easy to use
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5. JBJ Nano Glo LED Refugium Light
  • Easy to use
  • Balances the tank PH levels
  • Provides 40,000 hours of light
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6. Kingbow Refugium LED Light
  • Large spectrum of LED colors
  • Helps corals grow faster
  • The lights last a long time
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7. Aquaillumination Refugium LED Light
  • High tech
  • Connects to Bluetooth
  • Controllable through an app
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8. Lominie Aquarium and Refugium Tank LED Light
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Fixes to the rim of the tank
  • Sturdy frame
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9. Hipargero LED Aquarium Light
  • 2 fans
  • Touch panel
  • Lights shimmer beautifully
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10. The Kessil H160 Tuna Flora LED Refugium Light
  • Long lasting
  • Mix the colors as you wish
  • Pink light for refugiums
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Our Best Refugium Lights Reviews and Comparisons

1. Innovative Marine Refugium LED Light

Product Highlights

This light is designed to be placed on the outside of the tank. It can be attached to the tank horizontally via a mounted bracket sump configuration, or AIO hook and loop configuration.

Features

  • Available in two sizes
  • Specific for SUMP’s and AIO aquariums
  • Not waterproof
  • Mount horizontally or vertically
  • 9 watt or 18 watts
  • Blue, violet, red and magnetic LEDs
  • Low voltage
  • Does not transfer heat to the refugium

3

What We Like About Innovative Marine Refugium LED Light

It works great with a small refugium tank or an integrated refugium, rather than in a large tank, and only takes a few minutes to install. It comes with mounting hardware and velcro for assembling and the lights are so strong and promote growth.

What We Don’t Like About Innovative Marine Refugium LED Light

The mounting bracket that comes with the light to mount above the refugium is very short and may not be long enough for a larger refugium. The light timer doesn’t always work properly either. Please note that Chaeto will not grow if your refugium is larger than 6 inches as this light is not strong enough.

PROS

  • 4 LED colors
  • Mount horizontally or vertically
  • Easy to install
  • Great for integrated refugiums

CONS

  • Not appropriate for larger tanks
  • Mounting bracket is very short

2. Luxbird Waterproof Aquarium Refugium Light Bulb

Product Highlights

Submerge this light in the water and place it wherever you see fit.

Features

  • IP65 waterproof
  • 3 blue and 9 red LED lights
  • Perfect for a reef tank
  • The lights are designed to grow macro algae

What We Like About Luxbird Waterproof Aquarium Refugium Light Bulb

It is small and compact and won’t get in the way. The light is waterproof and is really easy to point it precisely in the desired area. Luckily, it doesn’t let off too much excess heat that could potentially change the water temperature. This light does effectively help to reduce phosphate and nitrate levels in the water.

What We Don’t Like About Luxbird Waterproof Aquarium Refugium Light Bulb

The bulb is very small. It takes a little while to figure out how long to keep the bulb on for your day/night cycle as it is more powerful than it looks. The light does let off a bit of heat so you need to keep a close eye on it, especially because it is submerged in the water.

PROS

  • Waterproof
  • Effectively reduces phosphates and nitrates
  • Place it anywhere in the tank
  • Blue and red lights

CONS

  • Lets off heat
  • The bulb is small

3. Finnex FugeRay Refugium Light

Product Highlights

This LED light fixture can be used in both refugium and aquariums set up to be home to plants and fish that require medium amounts of light.

Features

  • Lunar blue and moonlight LEDs
  • Planted LED clip light
  • Daylight, blue LEDs and 660nm red LEDs
  • 5 watts

What We Like About Finnex FugeRay Refugium Light

This clip light is strong enough to be used in a 10-gallon aquarium and does not require much maintenance at all. It is lightweight and feels sturdy with an adjustable gooseneck that lets you point the light in any direction. Plants do tend to grow really well under this light.

What We Don’t Like About Finnex FugeRay Refugium Light

Too big and bright for most refugium tanks. Unless your refugium tank requires heavy-duty light, you want to go for something a bit smaller.

You must be really careful about getting any water on it, even a few drops of water will ruin it. It is sometimes hard to get the perfect angle on the light head, so be patient with it. If the light is on for a long period of time it will give off substantial amounts of excess heat.

PROS

  • Suited for both aquariums or large refugiums
  • LEDs are reliable and long lasting
  • Colors promote plant growth
  • Easy to adjust

CONS

  • Emits a lot of heat
  • Only appropriate for large refugium tanks

4. Kessil H80 Tuna Flora Refugium LED

Product Highlights

Small, lightweight, and easy to use. Compatible with the Kessil spectral controller.

Features

  • Weighs less than a pound
  • Lights up an area up to 24 inches
  • Includes UV and infrared lights
  • Four settings: blue, red, grow and bloom

What We Like About Kessil H80 Tuna Flora Refugium LED

The LEDs are controllable so it is easy for you to adjust the light intensity according to your plant’s needs. Macroalgae respond well to the Kessil H80 light combination and the light disperses well throughout the refugium tank.

What We Don’t Like About Kessil H80 Tuna Flora Refugium LED

If you overuse the LEDs, like running them 24/7, the lights will stop working really quickly, especially due to the fact that there is a lot of heat emitted from this LED light.

PROS

  • Light intensity is adjustable
  • Light disperses well
  • Easy to use
  • Works even better when you install 2 or more lights in larger tanks

CONS

  • Emits a lot of heat
  • Needs more than one light for large tanks

5. JBJ Nano Glo LED Refugium Light

Product Highlights

The JBJ Nano LED is made up of 4 LED lights that disperse their light evenly throughout the refugium tank.

Features

  • Lasts up to 40,000 hours
  • Consumes 1 watt per bulb
  • Creates minimal heat
  • Weighs 8 ounces
  • 4 LEDs

What We Like About JBJ Nano Glo LED Refugium Light

You can just stick the LED light to the aquarium wherever you desire. Just plug it to a timer and it is ready to use.

It is really so easy to mount that it doesn’t require instructions. It has a suction that can attach itself to the aquarium.

You can keep this light on while the main display lights are turned off to ensure the water PH levels are kept constant.

What We Don’t Like About JBJ Nano Glo LED Refugium Light

The light is very strong for smaller or more delicate tanks. The power cord is really short, which makes it awkward to reach and plug into the outlet.

You only get about a 5 or 6-inch light projection from the LEDs and they burn out faster than advertised if you have them working on long cycles.

PROS

  • Sticks directly onto the aquarium wall
  • Easy to use
  • Balances the tank PH levels
  • Provides 40,000 hours of light

CONS

  • Lights burn out quicker than advertised
  • Light projection of 6 inches maximum

6. Kingbow Refugium LED Light

Product Highlights

This is a screw-in light bulb for replacing a burnt-out or unsuitable light bulb. This is a great option for anyone that does not need to purchase another whole lamp.

Features

  • 1 watt bright LED
  • 90 degree optical lense
  • High PAR and Lumen output
  • Reduces light loss by 30%
  • UV, blue, white, red and green lights
  • Fits E26 and E27 sockets

What We Like About Kingbow Refugium LED Light

Coral tanks especially like this LED combination. The light is also appropriate for sumps, fish aquariums, and plant aquariums. It will promote the growth of pretty much anything you have in the tank.

What We Don’t Like About Kingbow Refugium LED Light

You need to have a lamp in order to use this bulb, which must be placed a foot or so above the refugium tank, or else it will damage the delicate plants. This might be due to the fact that the light mixture does not include a yellow light to temper the bright white light which is extremely strong.

PROS

  • Grows macro algae beautifully
  • Large spectrum of LED colors
  • Helps corals grow faster
  • The lights last a long time

CONS

  • Lights are often too bright
  • Does not come with a lamp

7. Aquaillumination Refugium LED Light

Product Highlights

This is one of the newer lights by Aquaillumination with a design that is compact and streamlined.

Features

  • Moisture proof (not waterproof)
  • Moonlight channel
  • Lights controlled by the free MyAl app
  • Connectable to Bluetooth

What We Like About Aquaillumination Refugium LED Light

No need to get up to change the light settings. Just choose any appropriate setting through the app. The light is very powerful for its size and can be used in your fish, coral, and plant aquarium. Don’t worry about it overheating as it comes with a fan that moves hot air away from the light.

What We Don’t Like About Aquaillumination Refugium LED Light

The light will not connect to the Wi-Fi. The information will not download from the app. The fan can be really loud and disruptive when it is on, and turning the fan off is not an option as it is needed to regulate the heat around the light.

PROS

  • High tech
  • UV and Moonlight included
  • Connects to Bluetooth
  • Controllable through an app

CONS

  • No Wi-Fi connection options
  • The App is disappointing

8. Lominie Aquarium and Refugium Tank LED Light

Product Highlights

Small and simple LED light with adjustable brightness and self-cooling mechanisms.

Features

  • Aluminium housing
  • Adjustable light
  • Bendable and rust-resistant gooseneck
  • Suitable for high light and low light plant growth
  • Weighs 3 lbs

What We Like About Lominie Aquarium and Refugium Tank LED Light

The light is extremely bright on the highest lighting level and very dim on the lowest. The great thing is, you can choose a perfect level to suit your tank.

Affixes sturdily on the top of the refugium and the gooseneck is really easy to bend and fix into the perfect position. Another positive feature is that the lamp is rustproof and doesn’t get damaged easily.

What We Don’t Like About Lominie Aquarium and Refugium Tank LED Light

There is no way of ventilating and moving the air around the light, therefore, making it extremely hot and sometimes dangerous for the aquarium/refugium. The lamp is meant to be mounted to the rim of the tank, however, it is really heavy and may break or damage smaller tanks. If you leave the light on high for too long, the lamp will burn out, or worse it will overheat.

PROS

  • Adjustable gooseneck
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Fixes to the rim of the tank
  • Sturdy frame

CONS

  • Overheats easily
  • High brightness levels burn out the lamp

9. Hipargero LED Aquarium Light

Product Highlights

This light is highly recommended for larger refugium tanks, especially if the refugium is connected to that main plant or coral aquarium.

Features

  • 2 silent fans
  • Light proportions mimic natural deep sea lighting
  • Blue light promotes vitamin D3
  • Weaken and intensify the lighting as desired
  • Suited for Nano tanks
  • Adjustable bracket
  • Touch control panel

What We Like About Hipargero LED Aquarium Light

The touch control gives you a high tech, luxurious look, and feels without being difficult to connect to the light control timer. It gives a beautiful shimmer over the tank as it’s bright and packs a punch, even on the lowest setting.

What We Don’t Like About Hipargero LED Aquarium Light

If your tank has a plastic rim and is not made of glass, you may experience having a hard time mounting the light. It is also a bit of a fire hazard if you overuse the light or have it on for a long cycle.

PROS

  • 2 fans
  • Touch panel
  • Promotes vitamin D3 production
  • Lights shimmer beautifully

CONS

  • Does not mount well on plastic rims
  • Fans are not silent

10. The Kessil H160 Tuna Flora LED Refugium Light

Product Highlights

This is a really adaptable light that can be used on your plants during all stages of development.

Features

  • Integrated heat management system
  • Matrix LEDs
  • Adjustable spectrum
  • Mix and match colors
  • 40 watts
  • Pink light is the best light for refugium tanks
  • Blue and red LEDs>

What We Like About The Kessil H160 Tuna Flora LED Refugium Light

This is a really reliable light that isn’t dangerous to leave on if you are away from home for a few nights.

The adjustable lights can give you the perfect mixture of red and blue light for your aquarium. Using the pink light promotes the exportation of nutrients and promotes growth.

Not only is it pretty easy to mount on the tank, but it is also far from complicated to adjust and use.

What We Don’t Like About The Kessil H160 Tuna Flora LED Refugium Light

The light is quite heavy, weighing in at 9 pounds. If you are looking to light up a smaller tank then this product is not for you. It’s bulky and bright and will most certainly feel ‘too much’ in a little tank.

It takes a few goes and a little bit of experience to adjust the light to the right setting for your aquarium especially because the instructions aren’t that clear.

PROS

  • Long lasting
  • Mix the colors as you wish
  • One light suites all aquarium stages
  • Pink light for refugiums

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Hard to adjust the light

Final Verdict

The Kessil H160 Tuna Flora LED Refugium light is probably the most reliable and diverse light to choose for your refugium tank. It is a little heavy and a bit bulky, but with the right positioning, you can make it work quite nicely for a small tank.

The pink lighting is specially designed for refugium tanks to speed up microalgae growth, neutralize PH levels, and keep unwanted gas out of the water. Having a light that is able to regulate all of those factors in the water will improve the vibrancy of any coral or saltwater plants that are growing in the tank attached to the refugium tank.

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