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Do you need to adjust LED Lighting based on Ambient Light?


Thread starter
11 Dec 2023
United Kingdom
Hello All,

This question frys my noodle a little, so I am just reaching out to those with more expertise.

I have a low-tech 100L aquarium in our kitchen, surrounded by a lot of natural light - from above and the back. I also have WRGBII Pro lighting. So the aquarium has ambient (natural) light and artificial light.
  1. I like to see my aquarium at sunset, so have the LEDs on as the sunset goes down. That's great, but extends in the lighting period. How much of an issue is that?
  2. In natural light-rich rooms, how should you calculate (compensate even) for natural versus artificial light?
I know the fundamentals are 'try, see and balance' but I just wondered about the impact of natural light and where people in bright rooms need to start when considering that balance.

If you don't have a ton of algae then it's not an issue. Floating plants or emersed plants that shade the surface would help reduce light overall which means you could then have a longer lighting period. My kitchen tank light comes on at 8am and ramps up gradually until 2pm, then ramps down from 5pm until 11pm... so 15 hours in total! It has a window opposite, although it doesn't get much direct light. There isnt a formula - too many variables - it's trial and error.
I have one tank in a room with lots of indirect light and I absolutely had to shorten the light period compared to the tanks on the other side of the house. Also there're certain times of year when one tank gets direct light as the sunset and it makes the glass green right where it hits. It's only a couple weeks, so I just put up with it and clean more instead of trying to adjust for it, but it has an effect.