Beamswork and nicrew are two budget aquarium lighting brands that are popular for the cost conscious. In this article, we will examine their differences and which one is more suited for your needs
The main difference between beamswork vs nicrew is the brightness. In the 24″ range, beamswork has 3100 lumens while nicrew has 1200 lumens. This difference will affect differences in the growth of plants as well as how good the tank look.
However, pure brightness is the end all of lighting purchase consideration. You also need to consider the length and depth of your tank, and the kind of plants you are growing.
In the article, you will learn
- What other differences are there between beamswork and nicrew
- Whether beamswork or nicrew is a better solution for a shrimp tank
- Which model is better for different fish tank sizes
Differences between beamswork and nicrew
Beyond the lumens differences, here is a more detailed comparison of where they differ:
- Full spectrum lights: Beamswork offers white, blue, red and green lights so it covers the full spectrum. Nicrew’s models mostly offer only white, blue and red lights.
- Large tanks: nicrew only covers up to a tank size of 52″ while beamswork can cover until 72″. If you have a large tank, beamswork will be a more suitable choice.
- Price: nicrew is more affordable, ranging from 16.99 to 52.99. Beamswork starts from $35 and goes all the way to $125 for their biggest model.
- Durability: Beamswork 1 W bulbs seems to suffer from durability as there was some complaints about them lasting less than a year. I used the 0.5W and have no problems. Nicrew in general are pretty durable across the different wattage bulbs.
Weakness of beamswork and nicrew
While both brands are light on your wallet, they do have some drawbacks as a result. Below is a list of things that both models do not possess:
- Remote control: Neither comes with a remote control. They have on/off switches that control whether you are using all lights, white or blue.
- Water proof: Both models are able to withstand water splashing on to them but they are not water proof. In other words, you cannot submerse them into the tank for lighting purpose.
- Timer: There are no timers on either models. There are only manual switches like what I described earlier
- Not for small tanks: If you have 5 gallon and below tanks, neither has a model size that is suitable for you. The smallest tank size they can fit into is probably a 10 gallon tank.
Which model is suitable
Below are some scenarios that you might find yourself in and what I recommend for each.
For shrimp tanks – nicrew
Shrimp tanks don’t need too much plants and lights to do well. As such, an affordable option like nicrew is more than enough. Plants like anubias nana, anubias congensis, and staurogyne repens do well under nicrew as they have low light requirements.
For small tanks – nicrew
For 10 to 15 gallon, I would suggest a lower powered light like nicrew. If not, you might get too much algae growth, which is troublesome to remove.
For pure brightness – beamswork
If you simply want your tank to look bright, beamswork definitely has more lumens to do so. Under the white color bulbs, the tank will look as bright as daylight and make your fish look more colorful.
For planted tanks – beamswork
Planted tank owners will want to get the beamswork. This is because it offers full spectrum lights which the plants needs.
Nicrew’s lighting is pretty good but I suspect it is not full spectrum (missing the green lights). This is why when comparing these 2 models, my planted tank always do better under beamswork.
For budget conscious and beginners – nicrew
For those who are new or don’t want to spend too much, the nicrew lighting is good enough for a basic tank. It is not going to support a full planted tank but low light requirement plants should do fine.
The nicrew is about 50% cheaper than beamswork so that is some cost savings there.
Nicrew and beamswork are great options for any beginner to work with. They are pretty cheap and are easy to set up. However, if you are an advanced aquarium hobbyist, you might want to upgrade to better lights with finer controls and strong bulbs.