Updated: March 2, 2022 - By: - Categories: Equipment

Lighting is important for small tanks as it is for big tanks. Having the right lighting not only helps to grow healthy and vibrant plants but also make the colors of your tank pop. For a small tank, finding the right lighting can be an uphill task. If the light is too strong, you will have an algae problem, and if the intensity is too low, the plants will suffer a slow death.

You also have to contend with the lack of space to install the lighting fixture. This is where clip-on LED lights come in handy. To make it easy for you to find the perfect light for your small tank, here are reviews of four excellent options for small and nano aquariums.

Best clip-on LED lights and small fixtures

Model Our rating Type Ideal for For tanks LEDs Modes Wattage
Finnex Stingray LED Clip Light editor's ratingFinnex Stingray LED Clip Light #ad clip-on fish-only, Bettas, low light plants 2.5-5 gallons 12 white 7000K, 3 red and 3 actinic blue day, night, off 4 watts
Hygger 24/7 clip on aquarium LED light editor's ratingHygger 24/7 clip on aquarium LED light #ad clip-on high light plants 2.5-10 Gal 32 White + 12 Blue + 7 Red + 3 Green + 14 RGB multi colors, on/off timer, 24/7 timer 14 watts
Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light editor's ratingHagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light #ad clip-on high light plants portrait aquariums, nano cube planted up to 15 Gal 63 pcs total mobile app control with 24-hour light cycle & many preset modes 15 watts
NICREW Full Spectrum Planted LED Aquarium Light editor's ratingNICREW Full Spectrum Planted LED Aquarium Light #ad mounting fixture Betta fish tank, other tropical fish, shrimp, plants 2.5-5 gallons (12-18 inches long) 36 white, 8 blue, 4 red inline timer with sunrise/ sunset, day/night 9 watts
Mindak clip-on fish tank light editor's ratingMindak clip-on fish tank light #ad clip-on fish, low-high light plants 3-8 gallons 15 white, 3 blue inline-timer, blue + white, blue only, white only 7 watts
Ireenuo Full Spectrum Clip on Light with Remote editor's ratingIreenuo Full Spectrum Clip on Light with Remote #ad clip-on high demanding plants 12 inches long (2.5-5 Gal) 24/7 light cycle, weather effects, 4 color memory keys 10 watts
Innovate Flexible LED lamp with magnet fixing editor's ratingInnovate Flexible LED lamp #ad magnet fixing bowls, special-shaped tanks up to 5 gallons (8-gallon available) cool white white 1 watts
LED light with bamboo board for small bowl editor's ratingLED lamp with bamboo board #ad lamp with stand bowls, special-shaped tanks, potted plants under 9 gallons white white daylight 5 watts (7/9W available)
Finnex FugeRay Planted+ cliplight editor's ratingFinnex FugeRay Planted+ clip light #ad clip-on fish, low-medium light plants 2.5-5 gallons daylight, 660nm red and blue day, night, off 5 watts
NICREW ClassicLED Plus editor's ratingNICREW ClassicLED Plus #ad mounting fixture most demanding plants 2.5-5 gallons 26 White + 6 Blue + 3 Red + 1 Green day/night 8 watts
Lominie F20 freshwater editor's ratingLominie F20 freshwater #ad clip-on high-light plants 8-18 inch cube tank manual switch for dimming 12-16 watts
COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting editor's ratingCOODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting #ad mounting fixture fish, low-light plants up to 7.5 gallons White + RGB countless colors with the remote

Small LED clip light reviews

Finnex Stingray LED Clip Light

The Finnex Stingray LED clip light is designed for nano tanks that require low light intensity. This 9.5-inch long LED light works perfectly for tanks with slow-growing plants that don’t need a lot of light. It is ideal for nano fish tanks or Betta tanks with some easy-to-care plants such as Marimo Moss Balls, Banana Plants, moss, ferns, Anubias, etc.

For aquarists looking to add some light and color to their tanks or replace the stock lighting fixture that comes with the tank, the Finnex Stingray LED light is a worthy replacement.

Finnex Stingray LED Clip LightFinnex Stingray LED Clip Light #ad

The LED light spots an aluminum cover for easy dissipation of heat with plastic caps at the ends to prevent moisture. It puts out 4 Watts of power courtesy of 12 white 7000K LED bulbs, three red and three actinic blue LEDs.

The flexible arm makes the light easy to position in your tank, and the clip-on design saves you space on your tank and installation time.

Hygger 24/7 clip-on aquarium LED light

One quality to look for in an aquarium light is that it should be as close to natural light as possible. That’s what the Hygger clip-on 24/7 LED Light has to offer. It has 68 LED chips that provide 817 lumens and a color rendering index (CRI) of up to 85% close to that of natural light, ensuring that the natural color of your plants and fish come out.

24/7 automatic light cycle24/7 automatic light cycle #ad

6/10/12-hour on/off timer6/10/12-hour on/off timer #ad

A major feature of this aquarium light is its 24/7 mode that automatically changes the intensity and color of the lights to mimic natural light from different times of the day. As for simply turning it on/off only, the inline timer also enables you to program it to remain on for 6 hours, 10 hours, or 12 hours a day.

Multi colors for choiceMulti colors for choice #ad

This light also features multi colors for enjoyment. Through the ON-OFF/M key on the controller, you can select from White, Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange, and Cyan. You can even choose to cycle all the colors automatically. The color intensities are adjustable from 10 to 100%; however, the automatic color-changing cycle can’t be adjusted.

With its clip-style bracket, this LED light is easy to install and can accommodate various tank sizes. Finally, the light body is detachable from the clamp and can be installed vertically or horizontally, which adds to its versatility.

Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light

The Hagen Fluval Plant Bluetooth Nano LED Aquarium Light is designed to help freshwater plants grow bigger and more vibrant quickly. It can be controlled via the FluvalSmart app that you can download on your smartphone or tablet.

The app features a 24-hour light cycle setting with gradual sunrise and sunset. You can adjust the light cycle to match the needs of your aquarium. It is also pre-programmed with three habitat configurations, allowing you to choose from either a lake Malawi, tropical river, or planted theme presentation. They are ready to use just by a single touch.

Each of the 63 LED chips can cast a light up to 120° at a total of 1000 lumens, which means it will leave no spot in your aquarium unilluminated. With its six unique band waves, the light provides full-spectrum lighting 7500K for your aquarium. The color settings for the lamp can be adjusted independently through the app.

The height and position of the lamp are fully adjustable too and can fit up to 8mm glass thickness. The light is waterproof, which means you can position it directly above the water surface and not worry about it getting damaged by the water. Be aware that this model is designed for rimless tanks.

NICREW Planted LED Aquarium Light 12-inch with Timer

If you’re looking for stronger light and a bit of sophistication, the Nicrew Full Spectrum LED aquarium light with timer fits the bill. With 48 total LEDs and three lighting modes, this LED light offers more functionality and plenty of shimmers into your aquarium.

Inline timer controllerInline timer controller #ad

The small fixture is very special with its in-line timer design. The timer is simply designed with three time frames (8/10/12 hours) to choose from. The smart design makes the light a perfect option for the simple needs of most beginners but still keeps the price as low as cheap clip lights rated for the same tank sizes.

The light is dimmable with the in-line timer controller, so you don’t need to worry about if the light is so bright that it may cause algae problems.

With its average PAR output, the light is perfect for nano tanks with fish only or low-high demanding planted tanks. It comes with adjustable brackets that make positioning and setting up a breeze. It works for tanks that are 12 to 18 inches across.

If you’re keen about not messing up your tank’s design and layout, the slim and modern design of the light will play into your preferences and play its role while blending into the tank’s design.

Mindak fish tank clip-on light with in-line timer

With 18 total LEDs and three lighting modes (two day modes with/without blue and a night mode with only blue), this LED light offers more functionality and plenty of shimmers into your aquarium. You can use it for your Betta fish tank, shrimp, or other tropical fish. The light also benefits to grow plants with its two white daylight modes.

Light modes and timerLight modes and timer #ad

This clip-on light comes with an in-line timer for automatic control. The timer is simply designed with three lighting periods (6/10/12 hours) to choose from. Just turn on the light one morning and choose the lighting time you want the light to be on and it will remember your setting and repeat the same lighting schedule day by day.

The in-line timer also allows you to dim the light by adjusting the intensities of the blue and white channels. So, you don’t need to worry about if the light is too bright for your fish in case you have species that prefer soothing light. If you have Betta fish and some low light plants such as marimo moss balls, anubias, ferns, e.g. you should dim the light to fit the plants.

The setup is the same and as easy as other clip-on lights. It comes with everything you need to attach it to the rim of your aquarium.

Ireenuo Full Spectrum Clip-on Light with Remote

Simulate the sun inside your aquarium with the Ireenuo aquarium LED light. Comes with a wireless IR remote, the light allows you to use and make adjustments to its pre-programmed settings.

Remote controlRemote control #ad

Through the remote, you can set the light to 24/7 timer mode so that it mimics different light conditions from sunrise to sunset. Just press a time key closest to the current time and the light will do the rest. If you don’t want to use the 24/7 automatic light cycle, press the 24/7 key to switch to the custom color mode.

The custom color mode is for hobbyists who want to manually turn the light on/off daily by their hands. This mode features several lighting and weather effects that are ready to use and adjustable. You can choose from among four modes: cloudy day, cloudy day with lightning, sunlight, and moonlight. They are so wonderful to play with.

In the custom color mode, you can adjust the intensities of the white, red, green, and blue channels separately. You can also create a light color that is specifically tailored to the needs of your plants and fish. Your customized colors can be saved in four memory keys (M1-4) for later uses.

Featuring 2835 and 5050 LED lamp beads, this aquarium light is designed to help enhance your fish’s colors and boost the healthy growth of your aquarium plants. It is highly efficient, providing adequate aquarium light without using up a lot of energy.

As a clip-on tank light, this model is suitable for rimless fish tanks up to 0.9 inches thick. It features a flexible arm that enables you to adjust the angle of the lamp up or down.

Innovate Flexible LED lamp with magnet fixing for small bowls

This is another fantastic option for small fish bowls up to 5 gallons, and there’s also an option that can work with tanks up to 8 gallons.

Best for round or square aquariumsBest for round or square aquariums #ad

The most stand-out feature of this light is its mounting option, a universal, innovative magnet fixing that allows you to install the LED light on any tank regardless of its shape.

It’s packed with cool white 6500K LEDs consuming just 1 watt of power. The light comes in a series of vibrant colors if you want to add color to your aquarium. It’s an excellent light for small aquariums in tight spaces, and it’s also easy going on your pockets.

LED lamp with bamboo board for small bowl

This product comes as an 18-inch high LED lamp attached to a 9 x 8.5-inch bamboo board. Despite its miniature size, this is an excellent light with unlimited installation options. The bamboo board plays the role of a stand that fits any type and shape of fish tanks or bowls.

Ideal for different shaped bowlsIdeal for different shaped bowls #ad

The 6000K white daylight output makes it ideal for nano planted Betta tanks. It can work with potted terrestrial plants as well. The light intensity is dimmable to meet the needs of different plant types.

The lamp head has a 360-degree swivel for flexible installation and adjustment. It comes with a lens to maximize the depth and width of illumination, perfect for aquarium tanks that hold less than 9 gallons of water. You can choose from options of 5, 7, or 9 watts depending on your tank’s needs and size.

Finnex FugeRay Planted+ clip aquarium LED light

The Finnex FugeRay Planted+ clip light is ideal for a small planted aquarium or a saltwater filtration sump. The PAR @ 12-inch depth is 35. However, because this small clip light is mostly used for nano planted tanks that are usually lower than 12 inches, it can work well for even medium light-demanding plants.

Besides white LEDs, it is integrated with blue and red LEDs to adequately lit the aquarium and gives a vibrant feel. It offers two lighting modes with a switch button for daylight with all LEDs on, moonlight with several blue LEDs on, or all the bulbs off. In the daylight mode, the 660 nm red LEDs provide a true wavelength that favors photosynthesis in plants.

Finnex FugeRay Planted+ clip lightFinnex FugeRay Planted+ clip light #ad

The LED bulbs are housed in an aluminum case for better heat dissipation. They are also covered by a PC splash guard, which safeguards them from any water mishaps and moisture. Because of this, the LEDs can serve for an extended lifespan of up to 40,000 plus hours.

The fixture is very slim and light. Since it comes in a clip modeled fixture, it is effortless to install. You only have to slide the aquarium wall into the groove of the gooseneck and use an included nylon crew to fix it over the tank.

NiCREW Classic LED Plus for 2.5-5 gallon planted tanks

Although this is not a clip-on light, it is easy to set up and use in small planted tanks from 2.5 to 5 gallons. It is a full-spectrum light that combines white, blue, red, and green LEDs. It’s brighter than most lights and produces a fine-tuned color spectrum suited for aquarium plants.

It has a three-way switch that allows you to juggle between day and night modes. For heat management, the light has a stylish and durable aluminum alloy shell that extends the operational life span of the light.

The diverse light can be used for lighting in saltwater settings and caters to medium and high light level plants. The installation of the light is simple. It has metal extendable mounting brackets. For the best results and longevity, it’s best to use the light in canopy-covered aquariums.

Lominie F20 freshwater LED light for 5-gallon planted

This cylinder-shaped aquarium light from Lominie is also a versatile product to consider. It is made using COB (Chip On Board) technology, a new method of LED package, for uniform illumination and more vigorous intensity. This makes it an ideal choice if you have live plants to care for in your aquarium.

The intensity of the light is customizable from 0 to 100%, using a manual switch included, to suit your aquarium needs. Besides the default 180-degree lens fitted in the unit, it comes with a 60-degree one to use with narrower tanks. This makes it ideal for small office aquariums that are commonly 8-18 inches in diameter.

This LED light is designed with quality aluminum casing, which has exceptional heat dissipation for low operating temperatures as well as prolonging its lifetime. The gooseneck makes the setup and customization of this clip-on light just a squeeze.

COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting for up to 7.5 gallon tanks

This is another light fixture option. The COODIA aquarium hood lighting is an excellent light that works for tanks with low light plants while showcasing your fish collection. Its expansive range of lighting modes and multiple colors is for customizing the aesthetics of your fish tank.

Multi-color optionsMulti-color options #ad

It comes with a 2.4G remote technology that is for easier control without pointing the remote directly towards the receiver. You can dim the high-quality RGB LEDs or choose from a range of color options to suit your tank setup using the remote.

The extendable brackets make the light a perfect fit for tanks of different sizes, and the sleek aluminum housing improves heat dissipation for a lifetime of over 10,000 hours.

Final thoughts

Most aquarists will conquer that finding the right lighting for your tank is the most challenging task you can come across. This is more so the case with smaller tanks that tend to have a smaller pool of options. These aquarium clip-on LED lights will work for most small tropical fish/shrimp tanks.

We enjoy keeping fish, and have for many years. We are trying to promote the hobby as much as possible. We want to see many others succeed in their fish keeping efforts and are committed to sharing our knowledge when we can.

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