First a little back story. I am building a light for my 40B using 5000k vero 18's and a combination of 3w leds for supplemental coloring. Each vero will have the 3w leds surrounding it, in sort of a cob style. The tank will be a dutch style tank, so I am aiming for very high light. I will not be running the lights at a level that creates high par levels but I want to over light then dim down to meet my needs, which will probably be more into medium lighting. I want to be able to make the colors of my fauna, celebs rainbows and probably cherry red shrimp, pop while getting good coloration out of my plant selection. So onto the questions:
1. What colors should I select for my 3w leds. Obviously deep red and royal blue are very common additions, but what else would you add. I have started to see more violets in planted fixtures. Is this a good addition? I have 6 channels of dimming for the 3w leds, channel 1 will be royal blue and channel 2 will be deep red, help me fill the last 4 channels.
2. Is it worth the extra $4 per led to get 5600k vero's or should the 5000k's be fine? 600k isn't much so I'm assuming no?
3. How many clusters of 1 vero and one of each 3w led should I use? I was thinking 4 in a zig-zag formation, but I'm open to opinions.
4. Should I use optics? With 120 deg beam angles if my calculations are correct at 16" from the substrate I should have a coverage are of a 27" radius circle. With 90 deg optics I will be at a 16" radius circle. Obviously the center will have higher par than the the outer edge.
5. Related to the optics question; how high should I hang the light, it will be in a canopy so anything from 1", from the rim, to 10" I can do?
6. I was planning on mounting the clusters on a 6" x 6" heatsink, here
. Should this be enough to cool the clusters, with a 120mm fan and open top canopy?
I want to be able customize the way the tank looks and find what produces good growth while still looking good, hence the desire for many colors of leds. FYI, I am an electrical engineer student and I understand that different colors have different voltage requirements. I will address that issue once I have the colors picked out. This build was inspired by Fissure's build for his tank, so if anyone needs a visual of what I mean by a cob style of mounting the leds check out this thread