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4 Best Cheap Refugium Lights In 2023

Fish tank owners are generally aware of how important it is to filter out the tank’s water. It is the main secret behind an efficient tank setup.

Apart from the filters, a refugium helps make the filtration process more efficient than ever.

However, the goal of a refugium is not only limited to the filtration. You can also make it an isolation area for an aggressive fish or one that is injured and needs to recover.

Refugium houses many essential components to provide a thriving environment. These essentials include plants, rocks, macroalgae, etc.

But is it that simple to house all the plants and macroalgae in the refugium? If not, then what is needed to make it thrive well?

Well, proper lighting is the key feature that you would need for this extension of your tank. The right kind of refugium light will deliver promising results. So, it is a compulsory product to purchase.

So, which light will suit best to your tank? What are the top products that you can easily find in the market? And how to get the best cheap refugium light?

All of this and much more is awaiting your attention in this article. So, let’s hit it.

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ACKE Plant Growing Light Fixture

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If you are finding an affordable yet efficient product for your refugium, the ACKE LED Grow Light can be of great help for you. The benefits that this option offers are all that you need for your system.

The full spectrum LED of this grow light will function efficiently to give your plants better conditions for thriving.

This factor also ensures to improve the productivity and colors of the plants. As the light is waterproof, you will not have any problem in using it over your tank.

The low heat output will make sure that the unit runs for a longer duration. You will also be able to adjust its angle. The aluminum material ensures durability, as well.

Plus, the ease in installation that you will get will make you feel at ease.


  • Full-spectrum LED
  • Low heat output
  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable angle
  • Aluminum material


  • Does not last long
  • There are four blue LEDs instead of 9

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


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The GROESTAR UFO Led Grow Light is one of the most eco-friendly options that you will find in the sector. Its energy-saving advantage will make you feel at ease regarding your electricity bills.

The CREE LED chips fitted in this light are the most efficient ones that are available out there. Other than this, the advanced full-spectrum with the help of UV and IR rays makes sure that your plants are getting optimal conditions to grow better.

Another plus point is the aluminum case that is sturdy and draws away from the heat as well. With the cooling system and heat sink, you will never face the issue of burning out or overheating.


  • Eco-friendly
  • CREE LED chips
  • Advanced full-spectrum
  • Powerful Cooling Fan System
  • Built-in aluminum heat-sink
  • Aluminum case


  • Somewhat heavy
  • Inconsistent durability

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “UFO Refugium Grow Light Four Month Review | Could It Be The Next Best Thing?”

Innovative Marine ChaetoMax 2-in-1 Refugium LED Light

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The Innovative Marine LED light is specially designed for aquariums. The key features that it offers are quite promising and ensure a durable lifespan as well.

The foremost beneficial point for you is its availability in two different options. You will have the option to get this light in either a 9-watt size of an 18-watt size as well.

Other than this, as it hides behind the aquarium, it is great for people who do not prefer the external existence of any component.

The hook and loop configuration will allow you to mount and use it easily. As it is compact-sized, handling it will not be a hard task for you. Moreover, as there is no heat transfer, your tank’s temperature won’t get affected.


  • Available in two options
  • Hidden light
  • Hook and loop configuration
  • No heat transfer
  • Compact in size


  • Not waterproof
  • Not ideal for large refugium

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “ChaetoMax™ Refugium LED Light by Innovative Marine”


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The CFGROW COB LED Grow Light is one of the most efficient options that you will find out there.

The IP67 waterproof rating of this unit makes sure that it works perfectly well in aquarium conditions. As there is no fan installed, you will get quiet functioning through this product.

The ultra-thin design of this light makes it elegant to look at and light in weight as well. With the help of the efficient heat dissipation control, your tank’s temperature will never get disturbed.

The working time that it is capable of delivering is 50000 hours. Moreover, you will get a 2-year warranty with it as well.


  • IP67 Waterproof
  • Efficient heat dissipation control
  • Ultra-thin
  • 50000 hours of working time
  • 2 Years Warranty


  • Quality is not up to the mark
  • Inconsistency in durability

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Review of the 100 watt CF Grow LED light in a aquarium sump application”

Best Cheap Refugium Light – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

How To Purchase The Best Cheap Refugium Light?

In the case of refugium lights, you can come across various options once you step into the market. From the affordable one to the expensive ones, the sector is full of diverse choices.

But, what are the key factors that should come under your consideration when it comes to these lights?

Here is the answer.


Type of light

Determining the type of light that you need is the foremost and the most significant step while making the purchase. The types that you will find are:

  • LED lights
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Metal Halide lights

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights

The most famous type of lighting for a refugium is the LED. What makes it so special is that it does not cost much, saves energy, and does not produce much heat as well.

Due to less production of heat, these have longer lifespans.

Fluorescent lights

You will find fluorescent lights in two different shapes. The tube-shaped type and the compact bulbs as well. For you, it would be a great choice to invest in a T5 bulb. Why so?

Well, the high intensity of this bulb makes the working of this light efficient enough for better growth of the plants. Moreover, the compact size of it will suit the refugium setup. You will also get a longer lifespan by choosing this one.

But, it will be good to have a cooling system along with the lights as these do produce a lot of heat. Other than this, you will need to replace these more often due to inefficient light spectrum over the course of time.

Metal Halide lights

If you want to go for a choice that is too close to the natural light, a metal halide light will be quite helpful for you.

These highly efficient and powerful lights can work amazingly well in setups where there are freshwater and plenty of plants. Using it in reef tanks will also prove to be promising.

However, if you are looking for an option more affordable, then this type is certainly not for you. No doubt that these are quite an energy-efficient, but they do come suit expensive.



The casing’s material is yet another important aspect to consider when it comes to the best cheap refugium lights. You would need to invest in a product with strong material that does not weigh much as well.

Moreover, a heat-conducting material will do the job best as it will take your light away, making it able to last longer. One such type of suitable material is aluminum.



As you are going to use a refugium light over the water, it is of critical importance for it to be waterproof in nature. If not, the water splashing can make the lights meet failure in their functioning.


Cooling system

If you find an option that comes with a cooling system with it, going for it would be great for you. The heat that lights produce can disturb the temperature of your tank.

So, it is crucial to have ways in which this chance can get reduced. An efficient cooling system will offer this plus point to you.


Ease in the installation

What if you buy a light that is great in its working, but you can’t figure out how to install it?

This factor can make you feel irritated. As replacements are also common, do make sure that the product in which you are investing is easy to install.



If your bought light is energy-efficient, you will not see a sudden spike in your electricity bills. This can make you feel at peace and be a more affordable option for you to have.



The adjustability features in a light offer you diversity as per your need. Having a light that you can adjust at different angles will be more efficient and helpful.

In this way, you can adjust them as per your requirement or the way you feel them more efficient.

Moreover, there are options out there that allow you to adjust the intensity as well as the color of light.

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The Bottom Line

A refugium light is a must-have product if you want your plants and algae to thrive better. However, purchasing them is not a child’s play at all.

You must have to look into certain aspects that can determine its durability and efficiency.

From adjustability to the type of light, cooling system, material, etc. each aspect needs your attention.

Our list of the top refugium lights will be quite helpful for you. Choose the one that suits you the best and thrive in the environment of your refugium tank.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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