Adding an update to my tank here. I donít think that the risers are a must, but I definitely prefer the look of the light on the tank with them as opposed to without. Not only do they help with the spread of light but they also make tank maintenance a lot easier. I only remove the light if I want to clean the risers themselves and just work around the light when I am doing water changes etc. For me I prefer them. These LEDs are more powerful than I think a lot of people in this hobby fully understand.
On a side note in regards to my planted tank journey- I run my light, when it ramps up at its peak, at only 30% for a few hours and then it ramps down. The easy control that this light offers has hands down made a positive impact on my plant growth in this tank and an extreme reduction in algae. I was experiencing a brown algae issue with this tank after adding additional substrate to the back right corner months ago. I went down the rabbit hole of trying to find a way to balance the tank and to rid myself of the algae that I was experiencing on a mature setup. Thereís so much misinformation out there...especially when there are people in the hobby that are encouraging others to increase the light in order to combat the brown algae. Or those that say that diatoms are not an algae and do not photosynthesize....which is wrong. I found the best information here:
Anyway, I realized that my lighting setup was the real reason for the algae issues. I had just way too much light on my tank, even though the photo period was for 6 hours. My plants were growing and so was the brown algae. With the addition of ferts and pressurized co2, my plants were also growing like they were on steroids. Even my kompakt crypts were huge. But having too much light was giving me sustained diatom issues after the additional substrate.
However, the Fluval light gave me the control over the tank that I really needed and since reducing my photoperiod and lighting intensity have I been able to reduce the brown algae in my tank by almost 95% with hopes of ridding it completely within the next couple of weeks. This is definitely a tangent, but controlling the light as well as being able to raise it from the water line with these DIY risers has made a world of difference for me. I also like how the ones I made compliment the setup aesthetically, which is important to me because I have my tank displayed in a main room in my house so the look of the light over the tank is important to me. My plants are growing extremely well, and while the growth has not been explosive, it has been steady, consistent, manageable and more natural looking IMHO and everything feels balanced where as before I was chasing the horizon line trying to figure it all out.