Best Light for Anemone

Best Light for Anemone: Which One Should You Buy?

Finding out the most suitable lights for anemone can be a true headache. This is when you don’t know some basics. We’ve seen people fail before from choosing the not so right lights for their anemones.

What most people do is, they don’t consider the lighting requirements for anemones. I mean not all types of lights are suitable for their growth. There are a few categories of grow lights that are suitable here.

So, to make your day a little better, we took the trouble of finding out the most suitable lights for anemones. After that, we tried a total of 20 lights from the list and came down to Top 7.

I guess you have to choose from this list that we came down to find the best light for anemone. Not only that, but we’ll also share our knowledge about the light requirements that anemones truly love. With this, you can choose which one is the best.

So let’s waste any more time and let’s get right into it!

Do Anemones Really Need Light?

So these algaes known as zooxanthellae supply the anemones with energy. In exchange, the anemones supply them with nitrogen and carbon which they gather through photosynthesis. For this photosynthesis, they need proper lighting.

As a rule of thumb, anemones need 5 watts per gallon of lighting to survive. Of course, the sun is the best source of light for them, but you can’t get the sun 24 hours right?  

Sea anemones require a good amount of light to thrive in the reef tanks. You see, anemones have a similarity in their required parameters with corals. That’s because just like corals, anemones also have symbiotic algae in them.

Types of Light Suitable for Anemone

So it brings us to the concern, which artificial lights would actually help grow the anemones. Well, we tried a heck of a lot of lighting conditions available in the market. And we have come down to the best ones available. Let’s have a look at their quick comparison.

That’s it for the quick comparison. Let’s now jump to their details.

Metal Halides(MH)

Metal halides are the first stops to go to while growing anemones. They come closest after the sun as a light source. These are excellent for their heat-generating abilities. 

These lights have part of metal halide in their quartz tube. This causes the color rendition in them and further contributes in the generation of heat. MH bulbs have a balanced output in their orange, yellow, green, and blue spectrums. But, they have emphasis on blue and white.

And, anemones grow amazingly under blue spectrums. MH is not great at producing a satisfactory output in red spectrums. Plus, red spectrums are not needed for anemones anyway. So Metal Halides are the way to go in producing anemones.


Anemones are known to work best under short ranged wavelengths. These are the blue and the violet spectrums. LEDs are able to provide just that. So it makes the anemones grow and stretch even more under LEDs.

These blue and violet spectrums fall under the PAR(Photosynthetic Active Radiation).This is the spectral range in which photosynthesis takes place. LEDs are able to produce all of the spectrums in the PAR. 

In addition to these, you get RGB LEDs for aesthetics too. Anemones are a total beauty to look at. Many Anemones are not even seen in their true colors due to the lack of certain lights. LEDs can provide UV rays to the tank. This makes the anemones look the most vibrant they can look.


T5s are the next thing to go to while growing anemones. T5s produce a softer spectrum than the MHs. This way, you can keep these closer to the tank without fear of excess heat.

T5s don’t become as hot as the MHs . They also require less heat input. This makes them quite efficient. Another good thing about the T5s is their high customizability. You can place multiple t5s in the same reflector. They can be of different wavelengths and color temperatures. 

So you specifically treat your light hungry anemones with certain wavelengths. 

Top 3 Metal Halide Lights for Anemone

Okay guys this is the moment you have been waiting for. Our first stop on best lights for anemones cover the Metal Halide bulbs. We have tried out 10 different metal halide bulbs and came down to these 3. Let’s have a look at their quick comparison first-

These 3 MH bulbs each stand out among themselves. Still there are some upsides and downsides of each of them. Let’s have a wider look-

Phoenix Metal Halide HQI

Let’s talk about the star of this section now. The Phoenix Metal Halide HQI! 

For starters, this particular metal halide bulb has a color spectrum of 14000K. This allowed the bulbs to produce both violet and blue spectrums unlike the later products we’re gonna talk about. This range of color spectrum is quite rare to find on metal halides.

Remember we told earlier that anemones work incredibly under blue spectrums? Well this bulb managed to provide just that. I saw significant stretch in the anomenoes under these bulbs. 

In fact, it’s not only the blues that helped here. Anemones stay healthy under a low spectrum of lights. And violet is a short wavelength that the Phoenix Metal Halide HQI is able to provide.

The 250-watt power was enough for my 45 G tank. These bulbs provided the required amount of PAR and spectrum needed for my anemones.

Talking about the light color, it provided crisp white light added with a blue tint on it. Anemones love blue lights and this was just the cherry on top.

However, it doesn’t provide a full blue spectrum if that’s what you are expecting. It has a tint of blue light in it. But that’s enough for the anemones according to me.

Room for Improvement 

  • 250 wattage might not be enough if you have a tank size larger than 50 G. Go with Vivosun Metal Halide 400 W for a larger tank.                 

Vivosun Metal Halide

Okay, now we have a 400 watt MH bulb among us. You see, the Phoenix Metal Halide HQI had 250 watts in it. It was okay for a 50 G tank. However, if you have a tank bigger than 50 G, Vivosun Metal Halide is the safest option.

In addition to the 400 watts, it has a spectrum of 4200K. This is less than The Phoenix Metal Halide HQI but a bit more than the next product.

So with this color spectrum, we got better results in the previous product. You must remember that anemones thrive best under white, blue, and violet spectrums. 

But, the good thing was that this bulb was able to produce blue spectrums even with 4200K. So our bubble tip Anemones responded positively with the presence of this spectrum. 

But I gotta say, in terms of color spectrum, The Phoenix Metal Halide HQI was the clear winner.

Vivosun Metal Halide produces 36000 lumens and has an average life of 24000 hours. Both of these are higher than our next product. And yes, it’s brighter.

So till now, what’s the thing I liked most about this product? Yeah it’s the higher wattage which is necessary for tanks bigger than 50 G.

Room for Improvement

  • Not ideal for tanks smaller than 50 G. Go with Sunlite Metal Halide 250 W for a smaller tank.

 Sunlite Metal Halide

This time we have a very basic and standard metal halide bulb. It has 250 watt powerage. It puts up 84 lumens of light per watt with a total of 21000 lumens. 

The color temperature in this one is lower than both of the previous ones. It has a 4000K color temperature.

Many people say the 4000K color spectrum is not enough. But we beg to differ. I know it’s not a lot but it most definitely gets the job done for Anemones.

For 4000K, you don’t get to see lots of blue spectrums. But it does provide the full spectrum white. And for me, that’s okay enough for Anemones. That’s because blues are not the only ones that the anemones require. They can also survive under full-spectrum whites. 

Since it’s a metal halide bulb, we were happy with its penetration in the water. I mean metal halides are known to work better for deeper tanks. So yeah, our tank was pretty deep and it was able to penetrate the water.

So you don’t need to bother about keeping the anemones on the surface to get light.

See, this bulb is the cheapest one in this section. So a decent experience is justified according to me. Not too good, not too bad. 

Room For Improvement

  • For being 4000K, there’s no blue spectrum here. You can go with Phoenix Metal Halide HQI for blue spectrums.

Top 3 LEDs for Anemones     

Now we have the LEDs among ourselves. LEDs do a much better job than metal halides because of their photosynthetic active radiation. You get to see a wide range of full-spectrum RGB lights. Not only RGB, in fact, LEDs are also able to produce violet rays as well as UV rays. They also have a higher color density. 

These 3 LEDs have been chosen based on what they put on the table for us. Each 3 of these have some unique features to themselves. However, each has some features that are absent in others. But rest assured, all 3 of them contribute to the healthy growth of anemones. Let’s have a wider look at them.                       

NICREW Saltwater Aquarium Light, Marine LED

First, among the LEDs, we have the NICREW Marine LED. Remember we told you earlier about how LEDs require less maintenance than MHs? Yeah this is one of them.

The Nicrew Marine LED is no joke. It has a 10,000 K color spectrum. Yeah you guessed it right, it does provide full spectrum blue lights. I guess it needs no further telling how much anemones love the blue lights.

It has full spectrum blue light with a balanced output from the RGB. So more importance on blue lights are given. This is unlike the MH bulbs that we saw earlier. None of them was able to provide an overall balanced output of lights other than the blues. This makes it perfect for anemones.

However, you don’t get a remote or apps control to change the lights. That would have taken it to an unreachable height. 

We tested the dual-channel timer they boldly claim about. And it works. You can slowly increase and decrease the light intensity. This gives off a sunrise and sunset feeling to the anemones.

You can also set a timer for blue and green lights. This gives the anemones a more versatile contact to light.

The mounted brackets, however, were very prone to moving. There’s a chance they might fall into the tank if moved too much. So try to avoid moving the lights too much.

Rest assured, I definitely got to see my anemones in their true vibrant colors under these. There was also little to no humming from the lights.

Room for Improvement

  • Timer works for only blue and green.
  • Doesn’t have UV lights.

Phlizon 165W Dimmable Full Spectrum Aquarium LED

Up next, we have the Phlizon 165W LED. The NICREW Marine LED didn’t have any UV light spectrum. However, this one has the full spectrum UV white, red, green, blue, and purple. 

UVs not only help in the healthy growth of the anemones, but they also make them look more vibrant. 

The LED has more blue bulbs in number than any other. This is a good sign for the anemones since they love the blues. 

They claim this product to be suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. We tested it and that’s true. It works both ways whereas the NICREW Marine LED worked only under saltwater.

It also has a Dual channel timer. It can increase or decrease the light exposure slowly to give the sunrise or sunset feeling. 

Talking about the wattage, you get 55 pieces of 3 watt bulbs. So, you get a total of 165 watts. The color spectrum is also higher here than the NICREW Marine LED. It’s 12000K.

We would say that lights are brighter than NICREW Marine LED.

However, the fans are a little loud. You can hear them from some 5 meters away. 

Keeping these specs away for a sec, the anemones had a positive response under these lights. I could see a noticeable amount of growth in 4 weeks. So, for high PAR and color spectrum, this is a pretty good deal.

Room for Improvement

  • Won’t help all the anemones in the tank if it’s more than 35 G. Go with   Kessil AP9X LED for a much bigger tank.
  • The settings might be a little difficult to manage.

Kessil AP9X LED: More About Product

Now we have the Kessil AP9X. Let me tell you, this is the most expensive one we’re gonna talk about today. So spending so many bucks should be compensated. Let’s find out if it does!

The Kessil AP9X is undoubtedly the brightest light of this whole article. This is because the dense matrix array has additional diodes embedded in them. Plus, being short wavelength focused, it carries a large amount of violet rays while the fixture is in blue.

This just makes the anemones look at their most vibrant colors. I would say the colors of the anemones were much more vibrant in comparison with Philzon 165 watt. They also showed quite healthy growth under these wavelengths. 

Due to having redesigned optics, the light was able to maintain a large coverage across the tank. They claim it to be 48”. We tested it and it’s right. This makes the Kessil AP9X to act like a combo of Halides and T5 lights. Both of which are among the top priority lists while choosing the best lights for anemone.

The spectrums present here are Tuna Red, green, blue and purple.

Anemones health relies on 425 nm which is violet and 455 nm which is blue. Since this light focuses mainly on short wavelengths, it produces great blue and violet ones. It helps in anemone stretch and growth.

It has 185 watts of intensity. However, we tested anemones in 70G and it worked just fine.

The only downside I found  for choosing this product for my anemones was the price. It’s pretty expensive compared to other LEDs that wemtnoned. But with its features, I think it goes very well with the anemones.

Room for Improvement

  • Pretty expensive. You can go with Phlizon 165W if you are on a budget.

Best T5 Light for Anemones

Lastly, we have the T5 lights for anemones. T5s are the way to go if you don’t wanna spend that many bucks. These don’t require a separate setup like the MHs. Plus, you can get a wide range of spectrums available in them. Let’s see which T5 seemed the best to us.

VIVOSUN T5 Grow Light Bulbs 

The Vivosun T5 can emit blue and violet spectrums. It is produced at 65000K. This is good for the anemones. A lot of people debate that T5s are not enough for anemones. That’s not true at all based on what I experienced.

I saw my anemones grow and stretch under just 5 of these. This has been possible for the T5s due to their violet and blue spectrums. 

Each bulb here is 54 watts. All together, I got more than 250 watts out of the five. My 40 G tank this time had good coverage by them.

However, you’ll get better results if you combine this Vivosun T5 with Sunlite Metal Halide that we mentioned before. You see, I’m not saying that T5s alone are not enough. They are. But I’ve heard from a large number of aquarists to mix up these 2. And to make sure, I did the same. The anemones seemed to respond more than before.

But for starters, you can definitely go with Vivosun T5s and I’m telling you, your anemones will be just fine.

  • Doesn’t provide balanced full spectrums of different bands of light LEDs. Go with Philzon 165 watt for a more versatile impact on the anemones.


Now we’ll be discussing some of the most commonly asked questions regarding anemones.

Why is my bubble tip anemone not bubbly?

Being bubbly is no certain parameter for the bubble tip anemones(BTAs) to be healthy. BTAs can be growing and healthy without having that bubbly tips on them. Many say that this might be happening for a lack of PAR in lights and other stuff. However, that’s not the case here, It’s completely okay for BTAs to not be bubbly. 

Can a anemone get too much light?

No. Anemones will move to shady places if they find the light is too much for them. In fact, they stay only about 2 feet down the water in the wild under the sun. So no, an anemone cannot get too much light. It will adapt on its own accordingly.

How much light do bubble tip anemones need?

Bubble Tip Anemones need a light ranging from 150-350 PAR. BTAs need a short wavelength of lighting. These include the white, blue, and the violet. They are seen to be most happy under these blue and white lights. 

Final Words

This is the end of the line for today folks. I believe we have to part our ways now.

We really tried to shed some light on the best light for anemone from our experience. All the light requirements for anemones might seem a little hard to grasp in the beginning. 

You need to figure out which light goes best according to your budget. That’s because every single one we mentioned has been proved to work for anemones.

Thank you for staying with us till the very end. Do let us know if you’ve any queries in the comment section below.

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