Here's a DIY project of mine. It's a hood that emulates the progression of the day. I don't know if fish/ plants are sensitive about their circadian rhythm, but I know I wouldn't want to wake up by going from darkness to full-blast grow lights in a split second .... then go to instant darkness at the end of the day. So I set up a system that ramps up the light and ramps it back down.
The brain of the system is 3 off-the-shelf timers that are wired in like wall switches. To elegantly house them, I milled an electrical enclosure so I don't need a snarl of power strips and cords. That box sits on the floor, out of the way. I also included a 10 amp breaker so I don't burn the house down. Most recently I rewired it so that it runs with just 1 multi-conductor cord and industrial multi-pole plugs.
The hood is something I fabricated out of 0.065" aluminum. It's a 'trough' 35.75" long, 4.5" deep, and 8.25" wide with end caps TIG welded on. The light sockets are just porcelain 'lamp repair kits' that you can get at any hardware store.
The way its programmed is:
Light 1 ~ 8AM-10PM ~ 1.1w LED night light
Light 2 ~ 9AM-9PM ~ pair 26w 2700k CFL
Light 3 ~ 10AM-8PM ~ Four 26w 6500k CFL
Plants are . . .??
Whatever can put up with my neglect
Tank is a 46 gallon bow front, 20# CO2 bottle, Cascade 700 filter, tiger barbs, lemon tetras, flying foxes, glofish
Pic 1: Overall look
Pic 2: Control box
Pic 3: 1.1w LED
Pic 4: 1.1w LED + 52w 2700K CFL
Pic 5: 1.1w LED + 52w 2700K CFL + 104w 6500K CFL