limiting light is ... can be beneficial or it could be detrimental, it depends on your plants & interests.
algae requires more light to survive
some plants also require more light
algae for some is the bane of their tank and limiting light becomes desirable.
but not all plants can survive with limited light - so when you get plants, check the plants interests and go with that.
most people seem to like 8-10 hours of lighting
my LFS uses T8, for the 10-12 hours they are open, the more demanding plants always die, and the most demanding ones i've seen them receive died within a few days - there simply was not enough light
myself, i've got 3.5 24" T5HO bulbs (one is ... well it lights, but is otherwise dead and should be replaced)
on a 29 gallon tank
lights are on about 15 hours in a day.
i'm somewhere around 3watts per gallon and near 2x the hours of what others follow
my plants are showing deficiencies, (the leaves are pale instead of a deep green i would like to see - i'm thinking boron or manganese - which looks like it's PH based more than anything, ... if i get the PH back down then the availability should improve and everything is happy again. (aside from potassium deficiency symptoms)
but i'm really pushing things with that much light, so it's bound to show deficiency symptoms in all but the most nutrient rich aquariums.
algae is/was a problem, flagfish are solving that issue, ... otherwise when the algae runs out i'm going to be a little concerned about their diet :(
my tank is more of an extreme, and with deficiencies as they are ...
those deficiencies would dissapear with less light,
if light is your limiting factor it's easy, really easy to maintain a healthy tank for aesthetics.
easy is not a guarantee, you've still gotta be doing the right things, but you've got a huge margine for error and it solves algae issues if that's a concern for you. (or at least helps)
the more light the more you push things to the limits, the more you have to find that right balance to get things working, ... as i describe in my experience, it's not always easy. i have never heard anyone else pushing things to 15 hours of lighting a day, i hear many plants are at 2-3 watts per gallon using that measure.
for what i am thinking for a future tank, i would have the possibility of 7watts per gallon, (and i'd likely keep the 15 hours per day), ... some plants could never handle this much light.
i think about nature, outside, ...
even at 7watts per gallon, 15 hours per day, ... on a sunny day, i think there is more light from the sun, mid summer, more light and (where i live) about the same hours.
there are tons of ways to go, ... get what you find is comfortable.
look at the plants you want first, find what plants you have access to first - work with this list.
with the plants you have access too, find the ones you want most - if your going through your LFS - some may give you a list of what they have access to (more than what they've got in their tanks).
work with that, find the ones you want, see if they are low light (and these can be they survive well in low light, or they could be they cannot survive in intense light)
find the ones you want, see if they have high intense light demands (these will not survive in low light)
get this list, then get your lights
it would really suck to get plants that can't deal with your lighting
as for lighting, ... i recommend aquatraders.com
i do not sponsor them, or endorse them or anything like that
lighting there is the cheapest i have found, at times 1/4 the price of the better known brands.
but remember, for 1/4 the price that's the quality your getting.
the lighting i am running is from there, ... the whole 4x T5HO light set i got, would cost me as much as getting 4 T5HO bulbs alone (no fixture)
so they are cheap, you get what you pay for, but they're cheap enough to make it worth while.
you could easily get better light fixtures anywhere else - but not at that price
figure out your plants first
base your lighting around your plants your after.
then get your lights and your plants
i'd recommend 6500K, or specialty bulbs
a little bit of looking on the 6500K bulbs gives you an idea
they are a mix of what the plants want (lots of blue & red that the plants want) and a huge green spike (so it appeals to us, the buyer)
or you get specialty bulbs that are designed for your plants with little interest on how it appears to us (due to photosynthesis demands, ... i'm sure they're very bright for the plants, but to our eyes these bulbs appear rather dim.)
an example of the more extreme in this area www.LEDwholesalers.com - Hydroponic Lamp 225 LED Grow light Panel Red Blue 110 V