Below is a chart to help determine the best aquarium light for your tank based on the dimensions of your tank and the types of corals in the tank. We separate reef tanks into three categories based on the lighting needs of the organisms in the tank:

  • Reef tanks with soft corals and live rock (low wattage)
  • Reef tanks with soft corals, LPS corals and live rock (medium wattage)
  • Reef tanks with soft corals, LPS & SPS corals and live rock (high wattage)
Soft corals and live rock need the least amount of light. LPS corals need more light than live rock and soft corals. And SPS corals need more light than live rock, soft corals and LPS corals.

This Reef Chart is limited to lighting reef tanks with lighting hoods. Hoods are complete lighting systems in a housing that sit on top of the tank, or are raised up from the tank using mounting legs (that come with some lights and do not come with others). For those with existing canopies, you should look at the Chart For Choosing the Best Retrofit Lighting for a Reef Aquarium. We also have a Chart For Choosing the Best Lighting For Planted Tanks & Fish-Only Aquariums.

While this lighting chart features lighting fixtures, we recommend the Kessil lights (which are not fixtures) in many situations because of the superior quality of Kessil lights. The Kessil lights can be hung from the ceiling or attached to the back of the tank with a Gooseneck Clamp/Mount.

In this lighting chart we recommend many LED lights along with the Kessil lights. When comparing LED lights with T5 lights please take into consideration that LED lights use electricity more efficiently. When looking at the wattage of an LED light keep in mind that an LED can be from 3 to 5 times more efficient. A 32W LED light, such as the Kessil A150W, will provide just as much useful light to a coral as a 150W HQI metal halide.

T5 = T5 fluorescent
LED=light-emitting diode

Aquarium Size
(length X width X depth)
Reef Tanks with Soft Corals and Live Rock Only Reef Tanks with Soft Corals, LPS Corals and Live Rock Reef Tanks with Soft Corals, LPS & SPS Corals and Live Rock
16" x 8" x 10"
5 gallons
T5 LIGHTS

-11" Mini Aqualight T5 HO Lights 2X6W
LED LIGHTS

-Kessil A80 Tuna Blue 15W
20" x 10" x 12"
10 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-18"-24" Coralife Aqualight-S LED Fixture

T5 LIGHTS

-TWO 11" Mini Aqualight T5 HO Lights 2X6W (24W Total)
T5 LIGHTS

-THREE 11" Mini Aqualight T5 HO Lights 2X6W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

-18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 18W

-Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W
20" x 13" x 17.5"
(24 Gallon Aquapod without lighting hood)
LED LIGHTS
-18"-24" Coralife Aqualight-S LED Fixture

-18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 18W
LED LIGHTS

-18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 18W
LED LIGHTS

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

- Maxpect Razor 10.5'' 70 watt
18" x 16" x 20"
20 gallons HEXAGON
LED LIGHTS

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)

LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-
Maxpect Razor 10.5'' 70 watt
18" x 18" x 18"
21 gallons Red Sea Reefer Nano
LED LIGHTS

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)

LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-
Maxpect Razor 10.5'' 70 watt
20" x 21 " x 18"
30 gallons CUBE
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W


23" x 20" x 24"
35 gallons HEXAGON
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series)

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W


24" x 8" x 12"
10 gallons LONG
- 24"-30" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 24W

- 24" Coralife LED Aqualight REEF Aquarium Light Fixture 27W

- 24" Marineland Reef LED Strip Light 27W

T5 LIGHTS

T5 LIGHTS

- 24" WavePoint T5 HO Light 2X24W

24" x 12" x 12"
15 gallons

T5 LIGHTS

T5 LIGHTS

- 24" WavePoint T5 HO Light 2X24W

24" x 12" x 16"
20 gallons HIGH
T5 LIGHTS

T5 LIGHTS
- 24" WavePoint T5 HO Light 2X24W




24" x 12" x 20"
25 gallons
LED LIGHTS
-TWO Kessil A80 Tuna Blue 15W

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

- 24'' Fluval Sea Marine & Reef 32W

-20.5'' Maxpect Razor R420 15000k 130W

-TWO
24" AquaTop SkyLED LED Lights 20W (40W Total)

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W

T5 LIGHTS

24" x 15" x 21"
26 gallons BOW

(You'll need to check the dimensions of the light to make sure it fits on the rectangular part of the tank. The tank may bow in a manner that leaves the light hanging over the edge of your tank.)
LED LIGHTS
- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W


- TWO 24'' Fluval Sea Marine & Reef 32W (64W Total)

-20.5'' Maxpect Razor R420 15000k 130W

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W


T5 LIGHTS

-24" JBJ Trinity T5 HO Light 4X24


24" x 20" x 20"
34 gallon Red Sea Reefer 170
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

- TWO 24'' Fluval Sea Marine & Reef 32W (64W Total)

-TWO 18"-24" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 18W (36W Total)

-TWO 18"-24" Current USA Orbit Marine LED Lights 18W (36W Total)
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-
TWO 24'' Fluval Sea Marine & Reef 32W (64W Total)


LED LIGHTS

-Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W

-20.5'' Maxpect Razor R420 15000k 130W

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W

24" x 12" x 24"
30 gallons HIGH
- 24" JBJ Trinity T5 HO Light 4X24

LED LIGHTS

-Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W

-20.5'' Maxpect Razor R420 15000k 130W
27 " x 24" x 28"
60 gallons HEXAGON
LED LIGHTS

- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W


- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W

LED LIGHTS

-Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W

LED LIGHTS

-TWO Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (180W Total)

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W

- JBJ Orion SL-65 65W

30" x 12" x 12"
20 gallons LONG
T5 LIGHTS
T5 LIGHTS
T5 LIGHTS
-30" AquaticLife Marquis T5 HO Light 2X24W

-30" Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 HO Light 4X31W

LED LIGHTS

- TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-27'' Maxpect Razor 180W

-30"-36" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 30W

-
30" Coralife LED Aqualight REEF Aquarium Light Fixture 33W
30" x 12" x 18"
29 gallons
T5 LIGHTS

T5 LIGHTS
-30" Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 HO Light 4X31W

LED LIGHTS

- TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

- 30"-36" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Light 30W

-30" Coralife LED Aqualight REEF Aquarium Light Fixture 33W


T5 LIGHTS
30" x 15" x 21"
36 gallons BOW

(You'll need to check the dimensions of the light to make sure it fits on the rectangular part of the tank. The tank may bow in a manner that leaves the light hanging over the edge of your tank.)
T5 LIGHTS


T5 LIGHTS

- 30" Coralife Lunar Aqualight T5 HO Light 4X31W

LED LIGHTS

- TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W

-27'' Maxpect Razor 180W

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W
T5 LIGHTS

34" x 24" x 21"
30 gallons CORNER
LED LIGHTS
- Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W
LED LIGHTS
-Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series)
LED LIGHTS
-Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series)

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W
36" x 12" x 16"
30 gallons
36" x 12" x 20
38 gallons
36" x 18" x 16"
40 gallons BREEDER
36" x 16" x 21"
46 gallons BOW

(You'll need to check the dimensions of the light to make sure it fits on the rectangular part of the tank. The tank may bow in a manner that leaves the light hanging over the edge of your tank.)
36" x 15" x 20"
50 gallons BREEDER
36" x 18" x 18"
50 gallons BREEDER
36" x 20" x 21"
54 gallon Red Sea Reefer 250
-36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 W
-36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 W
36" x 18" x 20"
55 gallons BREEDER
-36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 W
-36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 W
36" x 18" x 24"
65 gallons BREEDER
LED LIGHTS

-TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W (80W Total)

-Kessil AP700 LED Light 185W

-TWO 36'' Fluval Sea Marine and Reef 46W (104W Total)

-TWO 36" AquaTop SkyLED Light Fixtures for Reef Tanks 36W (72W Total)

-TWO 36"-42" Lifegard Aquatics Power-3 High Output LED Reef Lights 36W (72W Total)

-TWO 36" Marineland Reef LED Strip Lights 42W (84W Total)

- JBJ Orion SL-100 100W

38" x 27" x 22"
54 gallons CORNER
LED LIGHTS

-TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W (80W Total)

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W

-
27'' Maxpect Razor 180W

-Kessil AP700 185W
LED LIGHTS

-TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W (80W Total)

-
27'' Maxpect Razor 180W

-Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W

-Kessil AP700 185W

-
JBJ Orion SL-140 140W
LED LIGHTS

-TWO Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue Controller Ready 40W (80W Total)

-TWO Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (360W Total)

-Kessil AP700 185W

-
JBJ Orion SL-140 140W
48" x 13" x 12"
33 gallons LONG
48" x 13" x 16"
40 gallons LONG
48" x 13" x 20"
55 gallons
HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
48" x 15" x 18"
55 gallons LONG

48" x 13" x 24"
65 gallons HIGH
48" x 18" x 22"
72 gallons BOW

(You'll need to check the dimensions of the light to make sure it fits on the rectangular part of the tank. The tank may bow in a manner that leaves the light hanging over the edge of your tank.)
HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W

48" x 20" x 21"
74 gallon Red Sea Reefer 350
48" x 18" x 20"
75 gallons

48" x 18" x 24"
90 gallons

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W



48" x 24" x 25"
95 gallons WAVE
T5 LIGHTS
- TWO 48" WavePoint T5 HO Lights 4X54W (432W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-
48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W



48" x 18" x 30"
110 gallons HIGH
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Lights 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (360W Total)

-43.5'' Maxpect Razor R420R 320W

-ONE or TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 185W to 370W Total

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
48" x 24" x 20"
100 gallons
48" x 24" x 24"
120 gallons
T5 LIGHTS

-TWO 48" WavePoint T5 HO Lights 4X54W (432W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-
48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
-43.5'' Maxpect Razor R420R 320W
48" x 24" x 30"
150 gallons

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Lights 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (360W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
60" x 20" x 22"
92 gallon Red Sea Reefer 450

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
60" x 18" x 20"
100 gallons
60" x 18" x 24"
125 gallons

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
60" x 18" x 30"
140 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (360W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
60" x 24" x 24"
150 gallons

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-
48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
60" x 24" x 30"
185 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-TWO Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (360W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W
72" x 18" x 18"
125 gallons

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 18" x 24"
135 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS


-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 18" x 30"
170 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-
72" Current USA Dual Orbit Marine Pro LED Light 200W

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS


-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 24" x 20"
150 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-
72" Current USA Dual Orbit Marine Pro LED Light 200W

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 24" x 25"
150 gallons BOW

(You'll need to check the dimensions of the light to make sure it fits on the rectangular part of the tank. The tank may bow in a manner that leaves the light hanging over the edge of your tank.)
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 24" x 24"
180 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-THREE Kessil A360WE Wide Angle Dimmable Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (270W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 24" x 29"
210 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-FOUR Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (360W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
72" x 24" x 30"
225 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-FOUR Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (360W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-THREE Geiesmann VerVvE LED
180W (540W Total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO 36'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 326 (652W Total)
96" x 24" x 24"
240 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-FIVE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (450W Total)

-TWO Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-FOUR Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W (720W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO -48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W (942W total)
LED LIGHTS

-FIVE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (450W Total)

-THREE Kessil AP700 LED Lights 370W Total

-FOUR Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W (720W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS


- TWO -48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W (942W total)
96" x 24" x 30"
300 gallons
LED LIGHTS

-FIVE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (450W Total)

-THREE Kessil AP700 LED Lights 555W Total

-FOUR Geiesmann VerVvE LED 180W (720W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO -48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W (942W total)
LED LIGHTS

-FIVE Kessil A360NE Dimmable Narrow Angle Controller Ready Tuna Blue LED Light 90W (New E Series) (450W Total)

-THREE Kessil AP700 LED Lights 555W Total

-FOUR Geiesmann VerVvE LED180W (720W total)

HYBRID LIGHTS

-TWO -48'' Giesemann Aurora Hybrid 471W (942W total)