It's all about you. You wanna see them fishies. SHOW ME THE COLORS!!!!
Ok... most people get their fish lit up for this reason. A big dark tank after all kind of limits what one can see. Why buy fish if you can't see them ever. So the question becomes what kind of lights do you need to do this? What makes them look better or worse under the lights?
Lights come in many types. There are incandescent, flourescent, compact flourescent, metal halide, light emitting diode (LED) and as time and technology permit... many more either there but not used currently or still yet to come. There are drawbacks for any and all formats of lights as well as great benefits.
When light is about you then you need to keep the following in mind:
Does it make the tank too hot?
Can you see your fish?
Does it make your tank look tinted a color you dont like?
Does it make your fish look bad due to the tinting or reflection of the light on the fish?
We will discuss the lighting technologies and their differences later in the article.