The effect of light quality on cell size and cell cycle, growth rate, productivity, photosynthetic efficiency and biomass composition of the marine prasinophyte Tetraselmis suecica F&M-M33 grown in 2-L flat panel photobioreactors illuminated with light emitting diodes (LEDs) of different colors was investigated. Biomass productivity and photosynthetic efficiency were comparable between white and red light, while under blue and green light productivity decreased to less than half and photosynthetic efficiency to about one third. Differences in cell size and number correlated with the cell cycle phase. Under red light cells were smaller and more motile. Chlorophyll content was strongly reduced with red and enhanced with blue light, while carotenoids and gross biomass composition were not affected by light quality. The eicosapentaenoic acid content increased under red light. Red light can substitute white light without affecting productivity of T. suecica F&M-M33, leading to smaller and more motile cells and increased eicosapentaenoic acid content. Red LEDs can thus be profitably used for the production of this microalga for aquaculture. Biotechnol. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2014;111: 956–964. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.