Here at Sevenports, we keep our main focus on planted aquariums and the products that make them possible. One such product that can make or break a planted aquarium is the light fixture. Lighting is such an integral part of your aquarium setup because it provides the means by which all plants produce the food they need to survive. At SevenPorts, we measure light using PAR, which zoologist John H. Tullock states: “is the ONLY direct measure of a given light source’s suitability for plants.” You can access his article and learn more here:
To make things simple for you, we have already done the testing to find out what the PAR values are for the light fixtures that we carry, so you can shop with the confidence that you will get the fixture that you need.
We tested the fixtures designed for full size aquariums at 6″ and 14″, and the smaller fixtures were only measured 6″. We did this simply because larger tanks are typically deeper than nano aquariums, and the light output will decrease the further from the light source that you go.
Full Sized Aquarium Lights
The U-Series Plant LED has a PAR value of 128 at 6″ and 43 at 14″. It is a slim profile light with a wide design in order to cover a large area with usable light for plant growth. The clear legs are designed especially for rimless aquariums, and they feature a hinge so that aquarium cleaning can be done without completely removing to fixture.
The next fixture on our list is the Pro-Z Series LED. It features a more narrow coverage area (from front to back), but the LEDs are still arranged so that from left to right, the entire tank is illuminated. It does offer a higher PAR value than the U-Series with a measurement of 152 at 6″, and 43 at 14″. The clear acrylic legs feature the same type of hinge for aquarium maintenance ease.
The MA8 is the second brightest full sized aquarium light fixture that we carry in regards to its PAR value (it is the brightest LED). With a PAR value of 260 at 6″, and 89 at 14″, this fixture is ideal for a wide range of popular aquarium plants. The four rows of LEDs are evenly spaced for uniform coverage of the entire tank, and they emit light energy in the spectrum that plants are able to use. This fixture features an adjustable sliding bar-style mount that can be repositioned so that there are two height options for this fixture.
The Latitude LED is an excellent option that is both sleek and powerful. With a PAR value of 200 at 6″ and 66 at 14″, it is in the top 3 of fixtures that we carry. The feature that sets this fixture apart from the rest is the acrylic frame. The light sits down in the frame, flush with the top, while the straight edges and corners give a uniquely modern appearance, and the overall look ties in well with that of a rimless tank. The only real drawback to this fixture is the fact that the frame is not adjustable like all the other fixtures.
Up Aqua’s Flexible LED lights come in a 7″ and a 10″ size. They are an excellent choice for a small aquarium with low light plants. The 7″ model has a PAR rating of 38, and the 10″ model has a PAR rating of 83, both at 6″. The feature that stands out about this fixture is the removable end caps. Each fixture comes with a set of bright blue, green, and orange end caps and they can be changed out according to the users preference.
At 153, the Flexi Mini LED light is the brightest nano light that we carry. It features a solid frame skillfully crafted out of aluminum alloy for unparalleled performance and design. The height of the fixture is set, but the hinge allows it to be placed across the top of the tank at any angle, and it can simply be pushed out of the way for maintenance. This fixture comes in black and silver.
The Mini Clip on LED is the smallest of the lights that we carry. With a PAR output value of 68 at 6″, it has a strong PAR output for its size. The sleek black fixture sits on a goose neck type mount, so it can be angled whatever way the user wants.