To maintain a healthy and thriving aquarium, having the right filtration system in place is essential. One effective way to do this is by setting up a Refugium, which serves as a safe haven for beneficial microorganisms, plants, and algae. Among the various options available, one of the most popular choices for a Refugium is Chaeto algae, also known as Chaetomorpha.

Chaeto algae requires intense lighting to survive and grow. In particular, it thrives under high-intensity, LED-based lighting that includes both red and blue light spectrums. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right refugium light.

To help make your decision easier, I’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best refugium lights specifically designed for Chaeto algae. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or a beginner, these lights will help you achieve optimal growth and stability in your Refugium ecosystem.

Best Refugium Light For Chaeto Algae

Recommended Refugium Light (At A Glance)

For your easy comparison and brief overlook, take a look at the table below.

Name Of The ProductSuitable Refugium SizeLights AvailablePower ConsumptionPrice
ACKE LED Grow LightsSmall refugiumRed, blue, white12W$
AI Prime FugeMedium to largePhoto red, red, cool white, purple (UV)48W$$$$
Kessil H80Small RefugiumRed, Blue, Grow, Bloom15W$$$
GrowStar UFOSmall to mediumRed, blue, UV, IR, COB, Orange, white150W$$
Finnex RefugiumAdjustableRed, Blue20W$$

Best Refugium Light For Chaeto Algae

Refugium light is something that doesn’t stand by the motto – the more expensive, the better. You have options to choose the best suitable for you within a reasonable budget. Instead of clicking on the most expensive Refugium or most reviewed, you should know which one will be suitable for you. Here are our top 5 recommendations:

1. ACKE LED Grow Lights:

ACKE LED Grow Lights

If your Refugium setup is more or less 40 gallons or on the smaller side, this inexpensive but quality-bound light will definitely melt your heart. With proper upkeep and placement, this light has the chance to increase the algae growth twofold. You can also use it on your sump tank if the size is reasonably smaller.

This light has three color features that are optimal for photosynthesis and growth. Firstly, red comes with 630 nm and 660 nm, then blue ranges at 460 nm, and lastly, white at 2700K. Red diodes are suitable for photosynthesis. Meanwhile, the blue wavelengths help the algae to sustain its density. White light works as a simulator for photosynthesis.

These lights are secured with adjustable light brackets and are waterproof, not entirely, though. It is not ideal to be completely sunk, but a little dunk in the water will not harm the lights and the device itself.

The electricity and power consumption of these lights maxes out at 12W. ACKE lights are compact and colorful in vibe. While there is no setup for a timer and control panel for intensity, this one still ranks high due to its durability and multiple color spectrums.


  • Inexpensive and reasonable price
  • Three different light spectrums
  • Long-lasting
  • Compact in size
  • Waterproof


  • Overheats easily.
  • No control for intensity
  • For smaller tanks only

2. AI Prime Fuge

AI Prime Fuge

While the price of this light may seem high, its quality and service will make you understand how right you have made by buying this. Especially if your Refugium is medium to large, this light will cover the whole area for optimal algae growth. If your main tank is submerged with aqua illumination (AI) lights, this device will best suit your Refugium.

Once you open the box, you will find 14 diodes carefully and strategically placed to promote photosynthesis. Among the 14 diodes, 6 are photo red, 4 are red, 2 are cool white, and the last 2 are violet or purple, which are basically UV lights. The power consumption of this light is 48W at max.

With such prominent lights, you will observe twofold algae growth within a week. Take a two-week leap, and you will realize the growth has exported five times more than last week. When you stick the light around 12 inches off the water’s surface, the light can spread out to 24 inches deep in the water.

I think the most prominent feature of these lights is that they are totally controllable with an aqua illumination app called myAI. If you already use an AI device for your main tank, you can control the whole setup with one single tap. You can customize the spectrums and ranges through your app or manually.


  • Superfast visible algae growth
  • Controllable via an app
  • Durable
  • Suitable for medium to large Refugium
  • Contains 4 types of light


  • Price is a bit in the higher range.
  • Mounting materials are separate.

3. Kessil H80 Tuna Flora LED Refugium Grow Light

Kessil H80 Tuna Flora

If you are flexible on your budget and your only goal is to retrieve the best product from the market for your compact Refugium, this kessil h80 will definitely steal the thunder. This 15W device uses low wattage that is most compatible with the growth of chaeto algae. Therefore, no light produced goes to waste, and no extra energy is misused.

The wavelength of this device ranges from 360-780 nm, consisting of four different color spectrums. Blue color initiates the stem expansion and extension in the tank. Red is the most prominent color, which raises the productivity of the tissue and root growth. Grow, a surely uncommon tone advocates the growth further. Bloom, as the name suggests, facilitates productive flowering.

You can switch and change the color spectrums and other settings from the control panel attached to the main body. This product can cover an area of up to 24 inches. It is surely made for a compact Refugium but for optimal results. The most reassuring part of this light is its durability. You can hardly see any diodes fail, even after several years.


  • Has four different color spectrums
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Works great for small Refugium
  • Fast chaeto algae growth
  • Works without making noise


  • Needs a separate controller

4. GrowStar UFO 150W LED

GrowStar UFO 150W LED

Who would say no to a device of compact dimension but fuller facilities? This light comes with 28 diodes containing seven different full spectrums. You read it right. This light has seven color shades to promote and stimulate chaeto algae growth.

The red light ranging from 650-660 nm, and 620-630 nm, helps to build the photosynthesis sprout and promotes the pigmentation formatting. This light has three different wavelengths of blue light, listing 43-440 nm, 450-460 nm, and 460-470 nm. UV light with 380-400 nm length deters the excessive growth of chaeto algae.

The IR light with 740-760 nm eliminates the excessive heat produced by other diodes. COB light ranging at 3000K is the latest and best kind of white grow light which increases the PAR value of the lights. Other than these colors, this light also has orange with 600-610 nm wavelengths and white with 4000-4500K and 6000-6500K lengths.

Within three days of installation, you can notice the magnificent change in your Refugium. The diodes are connected separately. Even if one diode explores, the others will work just fine. This light uses 5W for each light, thus, the power consumption is comparatively higher. The UV and IR lights are dimmer than the other lights, which is very normal.


  • Perfect full-coverage spectrum
  • Compact but strong
  • Installed timer
  • Crazy chaeto algae growth
  • Noise-free fan


  • Not waterproof

5. Finnex Refugium Aquarium Sump LED Light

Finnex Refugium Aquarium Sump LED Light

This model is specialized for the chaeto algae growth and contains 120 diodes in a single layer. Their red and blue combination ensures the maximum and balanced production of chloroform A and B in the Refugium. This works best at medium to large Refugium.

Finnex LED lights offer two full-coverage, key spectrum lights, namely blue and red. They have true deep 660 nm red LEDs and460 nmm blue bloom LEDs.

There are 48 blue diodes and 72 red diodes in this light. This maxes at 20W for power consumption, which is another key feature of this device.

The LED lights negate the wasteful energy produced during the heating process. All the LED diodes have a moisture-resistant coating over them so that moisture content can’t ruin or destroy these diodes.

This has 2 switches to use the lights separately and together as well. The length of this light is adjustable, so it can fit almost all the Refugium.


  • Premium LEDs
  • Adjustable length
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Control panel to adjust lights


  • Larger sized

Why Does Refugium Need Proper Lighting?

Chaetomorpha is basically a plant that you grow in your tank. Algae are vital for restoring a sustainable ecosystem, and their growth will clean the excess nitrate and ammonia in the tank water, keeping the fish safe and healthy. To promote algae growth, proper lighting is definitely very crucial.

Best Refugium Light For Chaeto Algae 1

Algae grow following a similar cycle and photosynthesis, and we all know how important role light plays in this cycle. Since sunlight is out of the question, you need to install artificial light of similar spectrums that is healthy for algae growth. Without proper lighting, the first step of photosynthesis will be hindered.

Can Chaeto Get Too Much Light?

You may think the more light, the better. But it doesn’t work that way. Chaeto needs at least 8 hours of darkness to rest them from photosynthesis. Constant light means constant photosynthesis and constant working. Even the trees get some rest when the darkness emerges. So why not your chaeto?

You should not leave the light on 24/7. Per day 12-16 hours of light is enough for the growth. For the best result, make sure to turn on and off the lights at the same time daily.

What Lights Are Best For Chaeto Algae?

Many companies offer different spectrums of light for algae growth. While all of them have different pros and benefits, the best lights are still blue and red. The red lights are the best option and primary spectrum for chaeto algae. More than 50% of red lights ranging from 630 to 700 nm are the best for any Refugium. For blue lights, 10-15% light with 435 to 495 nm wavelengths works best.

Best Refugium Light For Chaeto Algae 2

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a refugium?

A refugium is a separate compartment within an aquarium that is designed to house organisms that can benefit the overall health of the aquarium ecosystem. Refugiums can be used to cultivate various types of beneficial algae, including Chaeto.

What is Chaeto algae?

Chaetomorpha, also known as Chaeto or spaghetti algae, is a type of green macroalgae that is commonly used in refugiums. Chaeto is particularly beneficial because it helps to absorb excess nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, which can lead to algae growth and other issues in the main aquarium.

Why is it important to have a good light for Chaeto algae in a refugium?

Like all plants, Chaeto algae requires light to grow and thrive. Without sufficient light, the Chaeto may not be able to photosynthesize and could die off, which could negatively impact the overall health of the aquarium ecosystem.

How long should I leave the refugium light on each day?

The optimal photoperiod for Chaeto algae is generally considered to be between 12-16 hours per day. However, it’s important to monitor the growth and health of the Chaeto and adjust the photoperiod as needed.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when lighting a refugium for Chaeto algae?

One common mistake is using a light that is too intense, which can cause the Chaeto to bleach or die off. It’s also important to avoid using a light that produces excessive heat, as this can also harm the Chaeto and other organisms in the refugium. Finally, it’s important to ensure that the light is positioned at the appropriate distance from the Chaeto to provide the optimal spectrum and intensity without causing harm.

Do I need to use a specific type of light for Chaeto algae in my refugium?

While there are many types of lights that can be used in a refugium, it’s important to choose one that provides the appropriate spectrum and intensity for Chaeto algae. This typically means using a light with a spectrum that includes blue and red wavelengths, as these are the most effective for photosynthesis in algae.

Can I use a regular aquarium light in my refugium for Chaeto algae?

While some regular aquarium lights may work for Chaeto algae, it’s generally recommended to use a light specifically designed for refugiums. This is because refugium lights are designed to provide the appropriate spectrum and intensity for macroalgae growth, while also being energy-efficient and easy to install in a small space.

How often do I need to replace the light in my refugium for Chaeto algae?

The lifespan of a refugium light can vary depending on the type of light and how often it is used. In general, LED lights tend to have a longer lifespan than other types of lights, and may only need to be replaced every few years. It’s important to monitor the performance of the light and replace it as needed to ensure optimal growth and health of the Chaeto algae.

Final Words

Lights are indispensable in the Refugium for proper chaeto algae growth. Since sunlight is out of the equation, artificial light should be a priority. While choosing the lights, always remember it doesn’t have to be expensive. It only needs to be suitable for your Refugium, your demand, and the durability of the device.

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