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That reef central article leads you to spend big $$$ to get an overpowered light, if you are making the light for a planted tank. Just be sure to scale down the number of LEDs and the rest of the materials so it meets the plants needs better. Also, you don't need to mix in the blue LEDs when lighting a planted tank.

If you like doing a DIY project to save money, it isn't necessary to buy some of those parts. You can do very well with much cheaper substitutes. But, then you introduce more problems to solve too.
 

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Going the other way for the less adventurous, more prefab parts - what do you think about this: http://ledsupply.com/luxstrip.php

Sure, a bit more expensive than making it from scratch, but might be a good option to save some of the research necessary with a complete DIY.

Thoughts? Light output/dollar?
 
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