Some of our customers have older fish tanks that use fluorescent tubes instead of LED fish tank lights. And lots of these customers ask us how they can upgrade their fluorescent tubes to LEDs. To make life easier, we’ve put together this handy guide with all the info you need.
First thing’s first. As a rule of thumb, you can’t put a normal LED aquarium tube into a T5 or T8 unit. But that’s not to say you can’t upgrade your fluorescent lights to LED aquarium lights.
Now, here are five ways you can upgrade your fluorescent tubes to LED fish tank lights.
1. Replace the whole light unit
Replacing the whole light unit with an LED unit is easy with some brands. For example, Juwel manufactures drop-in LED multilux light units, which you can insert straight into your tank. These LED fish tank light units are the same size as the old fluorescent units.
This is the easiest way to upgrade to LED, but it can be the most expensive.
If you don’t have a Juwel tank, don’t worry. We have options for you coming up.
2. Buy a T5/T8 compatible LED tube
Some brands don’t offer a like-for-like LED unit for T5 and T8 units. In this case, buying a T5 or T8 compatible LED tube can be a great solution. These compatible LED tubes fit old T5 and T8 fluorescent light units despite being LED. However, these bulbs are only any good if your T5/T8 fluorescent light unit still works.
Few manufacturers make these compatible tubes, but we’ll be stocking a new brand that does soon. In the meantime, these Arcadia LED lamps are good replacements for T5 and T8 lights.
3. Buy a retrofit standalone LED tube
If your tank manufacturer doesn’t offer a like-for-like LED unit to replace your fluorescent unit, retrofit standalone LED tubes are another great option – especially if your entire light unit doesn’t work.
Retrofit standalone LED tubes come with their own power sockets and ‘retrofit’ adapters so you can fit them into your T5 or T8 fluorescent light unit. This means your old light unit will become a holder for your retrofit LED tube. In this case, it doesn’t matter if your old light unit no longer works.
We recommend this Aquael range of Leddy Retrofit Lights.
4. Buy a stretch LED fish tank light
If you’ve got an open-top aquarium, you could replace your fluorescent light tube with a stretch LED light. You can suspend one of these lights over your fish tank and secure it using the fittings to grip either side of the aquarium.
Take a look at our stretch LED lights.
5. Buy a standalone LED fish tank light
If all else fails and your tank simply isn’t suitable for an LED upgrade, there’s still hope. You can manually attach a standalone LED light under the hood. Often, fishkeepers who need a standalone LED light have a custom, discontinued, or unsupported fish tank, which is why there are so few options to upgrade the lighting.
If this is you, fear not. Juwel’s Novolux LED lights come with multiple fittings, like clips and sucker pads, so you can attach your LED light in whichever way works for your tank.
If you need more advice on upgrading to LED fish tank lights, feel free to get in touch with us.
About Warehouse Aquatics
The Warehouse Aquatics mission is to offer the most choice at the best prices when it comes to your fishes’ wellbeing. We use the products on our website ourselves and are well-versed in all things fish, so we can give you all the advice you need. We’re not just here to sell aquatic supplies. We’re also here to guide you through your journey as a fish owner and enthusiast.
As a small team, we love to hear from our customers, so please do join the Warehouse Aquatics social media community. We’re always up for a chat, and we’d love to share your aquarium photos with our followers.