Ultimate Aquaponics Light Buying Guide


Aquaponics systems are so trendy now! They are cheap, sustainable, and eco-friendly. But to have success, one must pick the right light source.

This guide will help you find the best Aquaponics light for your setup. We talk about different types, features, and factors to be aware of before buying.

What Is Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a unique system for farming and growing plants together. It combines aquaculture and hydroponics to form a balanced ecosystem. Fish provide waste in the form of ammonia, which fertilizes plants and keeps the water clean. The wastewater is recycled in a closed loop system.

Aquaponics is popular among home gardeners who want to grow their own food with minimal effort. By creating balance, you can efficiently grow produce and edible fish with fewer resources. To set up an aquaponics system, you need water, light, temperature control, and quality equipment like pumps and filters.

Lighting is especially important for aquaponics systems. It helps support healthy plant growth by providing energy for photosynthesis. Without light, plants cannot produce the carbohydrates or sugars they need for survival.

Benefits Of Aquaponics

Aquaponics is an increasingly popular way to grow food. It combines aquaculture and hydroponics. This method is highly efficient. It has many benefits for individuals, businesses and the environment.


  • Uses 10% of water compared to traditional soil growing methods.
  • Little weeding and watering needed.
  • Minimal maintenance for plants.
  • Reduces trips to the grocery store with fresh, home grown produce.


  • Can produce a variety of crops in less space than traditional soil farming.
  • Heat loss can be reduced due to natural insulation from the water column.
  • Harmful pests and diseases are easily controlled and prevented.


  • Conserves finite resources like land, fertilizer, energy and water.
  • Uses no toxic chemicals that can leach into groundwater supplies.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from soil cultivation and transportation.

Types Of Lighting

Checking out lighting? Aquaponics systems need the right one. Many types, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Here’s our guide.

Learn what makes them unique to decide what’s best for your system. Make the best choice now!

LED Lights

LEDs were first seen in ’64. Since then, they’ve become popular in commercial, home and industrial lighting. Compact and highly efficient, they make great power-saving options for underwater environments. Aquaponics systems benefit from LEDs for their energy-saving and aesthetic qualities.

LED grow lights give off different spectrums of light compared to traditional lighting, such as fluorescent bulbs. The spectrum of light from LEDs is cooler/bluer for summer, and warmer/redder for the winter, when light is scarce. Most LED grow lights come with adjustable settings for summer and winter.

Aquaponics retailers have different LED grow lights for various purposes. They all use the same science, providing a tailored spectrum for plant health and tank resilience.

-Full Spectrum Grow Lights – Wide spectrum of colors that support full lifecycle growth, plus a soft white daylight effect.

-Additive Spectrum Grow Lights – Specific colors are highlighted at certain life stages, such as blue in vegative growth and reds near fruiting stages.

-Actinic Blue Grow Lights – These give an optimized level of blue intensity during vegative growth, so that it stimulates photosynthesis without causing excessive algae growth.

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights are your go-to for an efficient, cost-effective way to light your aquaponics system. They come in many types, from fluorescent tubes to T5HO fixtures. LED alternatives are even available and use less energy.

Fluorescents are great for shallow systems or with low-light plants, as they don’t generate enough heat to raise water temperature too quickly. Tubular fluorescents provide wide-angled illumination. Spotlights offer more concentrated light, which is great for higher demand plants like fruiting vegetables.

Fluorescent lights come in cool white, warm white, and full spectrum varieties. The Kelvin rating of a bulb indicates how close it is to natural sunlight (5000k – 6500k). Lumens output affects efficiency – the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Fluorescents need ballasts to power them and should be changed every two years. They generate heat, but regular maintenance – like keeping reflectors clean – helps keep them cool.

High-Intensity Discharge Lights

HID lights are used a lot in commercial and agricultural growing applications. Compared to incandescent bulbs, they are closer to natural sunlight – making them perfect for aquaponics. Plus, they last longer than fluorescent lighting. They come in many different wattages and color temperatures.

HIDs can be divided into two types: metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS). MHs use a mix of metals, like mercury and iodine, to create an even spectrum of light. This is great for foliage development. HPSs provide more red or “warm” colored light. This is ideal for flowering plants during their reproductive stages.

HIDs are very efficient lighting options for aquaponic systems. They provide an intense beam of light with excellent color rendering properties. You need to place reflectors behind the bulb to get the most out of them. This helps increase yield production, compared to fluorescent bulbs.

Factors To Consider When Buying Lights

Aquaponics and lighting? A match made in heaven! The correct lights promote growth of plants, veg and fish. But, what type to buy? Consider these factors: size, watts, type of light and cost.

Get the right lights for your aquaponics system – it’s important! Let’s investigate further.

Light Spectrum

Light spectrum matters when you buy lights for aquaponics. Spectrum type decides if it’s good for photosynthesis and growing plants. There’re two types – natural daylight (full-spectrum) and artificial white.

Full-spectrum lighting is like natural sunlight with all visible light wavelengths. It’s best for aquaponics as plants need quality, full-spectrum light. But, these are costly due to higher quality output and components.

White lighting emits mostly red and blue wavelengths. It still promotes photosynthesis, but not as much as full-spectrum. White lights can still be used in unheated systems, where less heat is generated. But, they may be less efficient at powering plant growth in cold conditions than full-spectrum.

It’s wise to consider both types of spectrums before you buy. Full-spectrum will provide more energy for better growth, while white light will provide lower energy with some benefits depending on environment.

Light Intensity

Before buying lights, consider the intensity of the fixture. Intensity is how much light is spread over the area. Generally, the higher the intensity, the brighter the illumination.

Decide what type of light and how much you need. Research the product and read the manufacturer’s specs before buying and installing.

Light Duration

Light duration is essential for aquariums. Normally, 8-10 hours of lighting is needed; however, the duration may vary depending on the fish and plants. If you have a coral reef tank, you might require higher and longer light duration.

LED and metal halide lamps provide a flexible setup. They can be installed around the tank and have multiple timing options.

If you want a natural daylight cycle, buy a timer or controller to control the different light intensities throughout the day.

Research what lighting settings are recommended for your fish and plants. Then, find a system that fits your requirements and budget.


The cost of Aquaponics Lights can range a great deal. LED lights typically cost more than other types like fluorescent or sodium vapor lights. This is because LEDs last longer and use less energy, so they save money in the long run. However, the setup cost of LED lighting may be higher than other options.

In addition, think about any extra parts you need. Controllers, reflectors, and custom mounts can add up. It is essential to decide how much you are willing to spend on the lighting system before buying.

Tips For Setting Up Aquaponics Lighting

Aquaponics lighting set-up can be tricky. But don’t worry! To get optimal results, understanding the basics is key. Knowing the types of lights and how to install them properly is a must.

Here are some tips to help set up the perfect aquaponics lighting system in your home.

Position Lights Properly

Positioning lights is essential to getting the most out of your grow lights. Place the light 6 to 8 inches away from where it’s needed most. Then, focus on task-specific lighting needs. Clip-on lamps are useful in smaller tanks, while single fixtures are often insufficient for bigger tanks. Get extra accessories like standoffs to assist with maintenance.

Ensure a balance between cover area needs, efficiency and variation between daylight/nightlight cycles. Look for strong mounting capabilities to make sure nothing gets undone.

Use Timers

Using timers to manage lighting is a great way to ensure your aquaponic system gets the right light. Light is very important for the health of your system, and can help your plants grow. Timers are great for controlling light in different parts of your system.

You can use either natural or artificial lighting. Natural lighting can be adjusted depending on the environment. Artificial lighting can be LEDs, bulbs, CFLs or MH lamps. LEDs are low power and have good colors, plus require little maintenance. CFLs offer more colors, with fewer fixtures. MH lamps are easy to replace and cost less.

Timers help you control light delivery, and let you make adjustments based on the environment or daylight patterns.

Choose The Right Bulbs

Choosing the right bulbs for your aquaponics system is crucial. There are three types: HPS, MH and LED.

HPS lamps have a high output at a lower wattage. They give off yellow/orange light and are cheaper, but they run hotter.

MH lamps have a medium wattage and produce white/blue light. They give off less heat than HPS or LED bulbs, but cost more.

LED bulbs have a low output at a high wattage. They emit white/blue light, are the most energy-efficient, yet can be pricey due to their high wattage demands.

Think about both energy efficiency and how much light you need when picking the right bulb for your system.


When seeking an aquaponics light for your system, there are key aspects to ponder. Look at the plants you have or plan to have, the plan of your system, and the amount of light you require. Also think about the spectrum and type that will suit your plants best. Investing in quality lights can save you money in the long run since they last longer and create better plants.

Lighting is essential in any aquaponic system. Shop around before making a decision. Look into both traditional and LED lamps. Each has its pros based on your aims and resources. Depending on your budget and needs, LED lights might be worth it in their potential savings in electricity bills over time. Regardless of what you pick, ensure it can meet all the needs of your aquaponic ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Aquaponics?

A: Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. It is a sustainable agricultural system that combines raising aquatic animals such as fish and crayfish with growing plants in a water-based, oxygenated system.

Q: What type of light do I need for an aquaponics system?

A: The type of light needed for an aquaponics system depends on the type of plants you are growing. Generally, full-spectrum LED lights are the best choice as they provide the most balanced spectrum of light and use the least amount of energy.

Q3: What are the benefits of using LED lights for aquaponics?

A3: LED lights are the most efficient and effective type of light for aquaponics systems. They provide a balanced spectrum of light, use less energy than other types of lights, and last longer.