Top Pro Tips for Installing Background LED Lights

Whether you’re installing a background light on a new aquarium or accenting an existing setup, here are a few installation and adjustment tips from our techs to get the most out of your background lighting!

PRO TIP #1

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Setting up and installing your background LED light is pretty straightforward. Here are a few general install tips to make things quick and easy:

  • Measure the exact length and height of the back glass panel BEFORE installing the background film (it’s usually the same exact size as the front glass panel.) Carefully cut the glass film to size, then simply use clear tape and install it on the back panel (rough side facing the glass.)
  • Clean the back glass of your aquarium AND LED mounting location FIRST! Use a dampened cloth and a bit of vinegar, and wipe the area down to remove water mineral deposits. Ensure it dries completely before continuing.
  • USE the suction cups, keeping the LED light attached for installation.  Moisten the suction cups with a bit of water first, then firmly position into place on the tank frame. (It’s easier to position it in place with the light already attached.)

PRO TIP #2

TRY REFLECTING LIGHT

If your aquarium is located close to a wall, try turning the LEDs up towards the wall and reflecting the light back onto the aquarium back. On a white wall, this will often cast light more effectively. On a darker wall, it can often give the background a nice color gradient.

PRO TIP #3

HIDE THE LED LIGHT

When installing your Background LED light, there are usually two locations for placement:
1. Horizontally at the back bottom, facing up (framed & rimless tanks)
2. Horizontally at the back top, facing down (framed tanks)

Whichever you choose, its best to make sure the LED is located at the very top or bottom aquarium edge. Ideally, place the light below the level of your substrate. This cast light more effectively and help prevent LED light “hot spots”.

PRO TIP #4

PAIR IT WITH YOUR MAIN LIGHT

Try setting your main aquarium light on a dim color setting (such as blue or purple) and dim your background light a bit. This can often create a stunning color gradient.

PRO TIP #5

FOLLOW OUR COLOR THERAPY GUIDES AND FADES:

Color therapy is proven to have a real effect on how our brains work and our natural biorhythms, and our Serene LED controllers has this preprogrammed to customize your aquarium. Wind down for bed with soothing orange or perk up in the morning with a blue-green fade. You can view our Aquarium Color Therapy Guide HERE.

PRO TIP #6

LET THE LIGHT SPILL

Adding LED lighting to the back of your aquarium not only looks cool but also helps to relieve eye strain by offsetting the main light brightness. Known as ‘bias lighting’, you may find that using LEDs behind your tank will visually increase the intensity color, and contrast.

PRO TIP #7

DON’T OVERSCAPE!

Keep your decor to a minimum and use larger pieces of drift wood, branches or stone in your aquacape to create a striking contrast. Too many tall plants will block the background colors, use shorter foreground plants instead.  Less is more when using background lighting!

Need some decor ideas? Head on over to our aquascaping department and check our our Manzanita Branches, Seiryu Stones, and Dragonstone.

PRO TIP #8

GET CREATIVE

Background lighting isn’t just for freshwater aquariums. It's also popular with marine fish / reef aquariums, reptile enclosures, and paludariums.

Need some inspiration, see our Top 7 Background Lit Aquariums on Video!

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