DIY: Aquarium LED

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DIY: Aquarium LED
Plants often have more particular lighting needs than fish. (Andersen Ross/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

In addition to their unique aesthetic beauty in an aquarium, LED lights are more eco-friendly and cost-effective than other lighting types. LED lights will outlive fluorescents and halides, and they emit little UV light. When upgrading your aquarium lighting system, keep LED lights at a distance from the water to avoid damage. Because a light canopy may hang too close to the water, a wall fixture or the following DIY plan with LED light rods are safer choices.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • LED light rods
  • Suction cups (2-4 per LED rod) with bulb clips attached
  • Waterproof end caps (2 for each light rod)

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of your aquarium to ensure you purchase proper-sized LED light rods.

  2. 2

    Choose the type of LED light that's best for you and your fish. Research your plants and fish to determine whether they need more of certain colours in the light spectrum, and buy your LED lights accordingly.

  3. 3

    Determine the number of LED lights required---this also depends on the needs of your aquarium life, and your aesthetic preferences.

  4. 4

    Secure suction cups in a straight line to the top rim of your aquarium, along the outside. Suction cups will hold your lights in place, so stick them to your aquarium carefully on the front, sides, or back depending on your preferences.

  5. 5

    Clip LED lights onto the suction cups and fasten end caps.

Tips and warnings

  • For a different look at night, attach another row of different-coloured LED lights under the original rods. To ensure your aquarium fish receive the proper amount of light, especially if you have an irregular schedule, consider using a plug-in timer to regulate the amount and types of lighting your aquarium receives.

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