The lighting that you choose for your tank should very much depend on what you're keeping in your tank. A tank with just fish will require much different lighting than what a full blown SPS colony tank would require. Furthermore, it depends on your tank dimensions and placement of livestock.
It is a mistake to buy a light just in terms watts. Imagine a 120W fixture. Sounds like a lot of power right? What if it releases most of that 120W in the form of heat instead of concentrating it in the usable spectrum? That 120W doesn't sound so great anymore.
Please use our buying guide below! If you need more advice, just ask! Your question may help many other people that are wondering the same thing!
Long narrow tanks can be challenging to find a lighting fixture for. There are lots of fixtures on the market today but they tend to be designed for wide rectangular tanks or cubes, lighting a 2' x 2' space. Fortunately there are lighting products on the market today that can work in your situation!
After trying several brands and different products, we've concluded that Ecoxotic carries the best lights for long narrow tanks. They have both low and high power solutions which you can decide between depending on what you're keeping in your tank.
Lots of LEDs on the market today are simply a lighting fixture that is connected to a DC transformer and power supply. It is the simplest setup and typically a timed socket is added to help manage the photo-period. The problem with a timed socket is that the lighting is not ramped up or down and this sudden change in light can be startling to the specimens in your tanks.
Fortunately, there are products that can connect inline between your power supply and your lighting fixture. They act just like a dimmer dial, but are digitally programmed. The Ecoxotic Simple One Touch Controller provides a easy to configure solution that is set and forget. Just choose a start time and an duration and it will do the rest.
Besides completely replacing your lights, there are more economical ways to add that pop of color to your tank through additional lighting accessories. If you have some lighting setup that you like already, metal halides or T5s, but you're not seeing that pop in color that LED lighting has shown, just add an Ecoxotic stunner strip!
Ecoxotic stunner strips come in a variety of colors and lengths for many situations and livestock combinations. Stunner strips are even powerful enough to use as the only light for a tank, especially if you have low lighting requirements or just have a shallow tank.
In our opinion EcoTech Marine's Radion fixtures are the most feature-rich LED fixtures on the market right now for reef aquaria. It's controllable via your phone when paired with EcoTech Marine's ReefLink. EcoTech Marine Vortechs are also controllable through the Radion to synchronize lunar behavior. For easy out of the box setup, there are multiple preset lighting programs to use. To account for LED manufacturing tolerances, it's even possible to calibrate the individual channels upon receipt of the unit.
The Radion comes in two versions, the normal Radion and the Radion Pro, which differ slightly in spectrum and in power. If the Radion Pro is within your budget, just go with it and you will be happy, otherwise consider the regular Radion when you don't need as much light penetration. It's recommended to use one Radion per 24"x24" footprint.