I would like to upgrade my tank lights but am having a hard time finding something for my 5 gallon tank. It measures 16" across OD. Right now I have a couple low light plants, but would like some moderates as well. I really would like a lamp that has daylight and moonlight features.
Finnex Ray 2 LEDs. I have a couple for my large planted tank and the smaller size is great for a 5 gal. Will give you plenty of light for plants. $$ though. I never regretted the investment. I am using the 12 inch one on my 10gal breeding tank.
Yup, I'm with the others, I use desk lamps shining directly into the tank with the 13 to 20w CFL *daylight* spectrum bulbs. If you put one on either end of the tank you can light the entire thing, or as Hallyx mentioned, you can have a higher and a lower light side, or bright in the center and darker on either end...you can set the tone you want, which is kind of nice. :)
With the 20w (75 watt equivalent) daylight bulbs, I've grown just about anything I've wanted (in terms of light, some things don't like my pH or lack of CO2) in a 20g long. (So not terribly deep, my 40g breeder is really needing something a little heftier so I'm switching out to a 100w CFL equivalent bulb when I get some lamps rated for that higher voltage.)
Of course, this does not have the daylight and the moonlight that you would prefer...but in terms of plants, the moonlight doesn't really do much for them anyway. Assuming that this is a plant-related preference, and not aesthetic. :)
LOL, no, not silly at all! We keep fish and their tanks in part because of the aesthetic pleasure they provide, and if you like a certain kind of light, nothing silly about that!
The CFL's, particularly the daylight ones, give off a bluer sort of light, closer to an LED, which is closer to a moonlight glow. You could do two lamps, one with a regular "soft white" bulb that is would have a more yellow tint to it, and a bluer daylight CFL (which is what your plants will need) for the "moon" phase.
I'm probably making this way too complicated, lol! It just bugs me to need to purchase "special" aquarium lighting because I feel it is insanely overpriced for the product. :P But that's just me being cheap and has no real value other than as an opinion. ;)
So I did the desk lamp thing with bulbs. Yeah it's great and all, but for 20 more bucks you could get a finnex led or finnex planted plus. It looks gorgeous on my tank and I think it works tooo well. I'm sure I'll have to combat some algae soon while I figure out how long to run my lights for. Amazon has great deals and right now you can upgrade to prime for free. So rushed shipping for peanuts.