Do Aquarium Lights Get Hot?

Do Aquarium Lights Get Hot

There are different types of Aquarium lights out there, for instance, fluorescent lights, Incandescent lights, and LED lights. All of them are great in their ways and they differ a lot from each other.

I have read many questions where people ask if aquarium lights could get hot, or if aquarium lights could heat an aquarium.

We all know that our normal home lighting system ( bulbs) could get very hot when it is left on, this is why some people wonder if aquarium lights could do the same and if it has the capability to heat fish tanks. Well, read this article to the end as it will answer all your questions on this topic.

Do Aquarium Lights Get Hot?

Aquarium lights could get hot, but the amount of heat some types of aquarium lights produce is very insignificant and not noticeable, for instance, Led lights, while some could produce a lot of heat, such as incandescent lights.

Talking about aquarium lights and heat, it is understandable that all the lights and the watts are not the same.

For instance, incandescent aquarium lights being able to produce a lot of heat could sometimes produce a lesser amount of it.

All am trying to make you understand is that the amount of heat a fish tank light or lightning system produces greatly depends on the watts of the light because a 30 watts incandescent light will produce far less heat than a 50 or 100 watts aquarium light of the same type.

This is to say that some lights are more powerful than others, even in the same category or brand.

Among the 3 categories of fish tank lighting systems I mentioned above, Led lights is the only one that does not get hot or at least does not get hot so easily, and it is far long lasting compared to others and I strongly recommend them.

The next that produces little to zero amount of hotness or heat is the fluorescent lights, although some kinds like the Compact fluorescent lights do produce much heat, depending on the watts.

So, aquarium lights will get hot, but it depends on the type and also the watts ( capacity of the light).

Can Aquarium Lights Heat Aquarium?

Knowing that some types of fish tank lighting systems such as incandescent lights could be very hot when left on for a long time, you might be wondering if they can be able to generate enough heat to heat the aquarium water.

Aquarium lights cannot heat aquarium water but it could contribute if there is a functioning heater in the aquarium.

It is nearly impossible for fish tank light to heat the water in the fish tank unless with the help of a heater.

This is because the amount of heat that could be produced by any aquarium light, no matter the watts is very insignificant to heat the whole of a fish tank unless the tank itself is very tiny, let’s say less than 1 gallon.

If the light is too powerful and produces a lot of heat, it could only have some slight impact on the surface of the water and could hardly penetrate to the bottom of the tank.

Have you ever wondered why people don’t use fish tank lights or aquarium lights as you may call them in place of a heater? Well, the truth is that it has little or no impact on the temperature of the water no matter how powerful it is, so it is not reliable as a source of heat.

Aquarium lights cannot heat a fish tank nor even maintain a steady temperature unless your house is already with a heater, but upon that, the temperature could fluctuate a lot, so try to buy a heater and that is the only reliable source of aquarium heating system and also go for LED light because they produce little to no heat and are long-lasting too.

How Long Should I Leave My Aquarium Lights On?

Like I always say, every aquatic animal in the fish tank, especially fish deserves to have light at least from time to time, but the question is, how long should the lights be left on?

On average, the Aquarium light should be on for 10 to 12 hours every day and should be switched off late at the night.

You can on it at 6 am and switch it off at 9 – 11 pm depending on your choices.

If you will find it hard to be controlling the light, some Aquarium lights on the market now have a timer or auto controller which powers it and off it automatically, so get one for your fish tank.

Also, I would advise you to avoid very bright lights or those that show different colors because it could stress your fish.

Where Should I Place My Aquarium Light?

Aquarium light should be placed at least 10 to 20 inches above the aquarium.

Sometimes where you keep your lighting system depends on how powerful the light is because you are not expected to keep a very powerful light closer to a fish tank because it might have some negative impacts on the fish.


Aquarium lights could get hot depending on the type you have but they have a slight impact to no impact on the temperature of the fish tank.

I hope this article is helpful, you might help by sharing it.