The Japanese seem to get a kick out of LED art. A while ago, they created this stunning floating light show by letting thousands of LEDs drift through Tokyo. It would be hard to one-up a display like that, but the Nabana no Sato Botanical Garden might give it a run for its money.
Located on the island of Nagashima in Kuwana, this light exhibit features millions upon millions of LEDs in a light-guided tour through the botanical garden. Already dubbed the “best light show in the country,” it might even be accurate to call it the best light show on Earth. What makes the display so remarkable is that each LED is much more than a mere light-emitting diode. Each bulb is shaped like a miniature flower to give the garden a much more organic feel. It’s as if every flower in Japan suddenly figured out how to glow in the dark.
So, what does this exhibit have to do with aquariums? Nothing directly, but these lights could easily inspire your custom aquarium. You see, LED technology is so flexible that it allows aquascape artists to use them in inventive ways. Conventional light bulbs can pose problems for aquariums. The bulbs can shatter and send glass shards into your tank. LEDs, on the other hand, are actually quite sturdy. They also emit much less heat than conventional light bulbs.
This flexibility allows aquascape artists to incorporate LEDs inside of an aquarium. You couldn’t create an aquascape that has as many lights as Nabana no Sato – the collective heat would cook your fish. But what you could do is include a handful of LEDs spaced across your aquarium to create truly unique combinations of light. LEDs would be too prominent if they were out in the open, but they could be arranged beneath the sand to give the aquarium’s bottom a soft glow, or they could be strategically hidden in the crags of rocks to cast a colorful hue on the surrounding ecosystem.
Obviously, incorporating LEDs into an aquascape would pose technical challenges, but it’s nothing that professional aquascape artists wouldn’t be able to overcome. Imagine an aquarium that seems to glow from within, or an aquascape with a central rock fixture that gradually shifts through every color in the rainbow. If your aquarium features a beautiful red coral colony, you could hide an LED nearby to cast it in a vibrant red glow.
These underwater lights would have a dramatic effect at nighttime, especially if you turn off your aquarium’s overhead lights. Imagine that your entire tank consumed by darkness, but a single piece of coral in the middle of your tank is illuminated by soft light, like a glowing sea creature in the middle of the ocean. Underwater aquarium LEDs have the potential to be dramatic, eerie, and beautiful all at once.