Fluorescent T5 vs Compact Fluorescent Grow Lights
The two main types of fluorescent grow lighting are the fluorescent T5 grow light and Comact Fluorescent Light (CFL). T5 grow lights are much easier to set up, and operate slightly more efficiently. T5 bulbs will last a little longer than CFLs, but they also require a T5 ballast.
Is fluorescent light good for growing plants?
Fluorescent grow lights are best known for their propagation abilities. These lights do wonders for clones, seedlings, and young plants, since they have low heat output and a less intense light. HID and LED grow lights need to be placed further away from plants, and a lot of light is wasted. Fluorescent tubes are smaller, and save the grower money on electricity costs. These lights can also emit a full spectrum for plants.
For growers trying to grow the biggest plants possible, fluorescent lighting is a great way to get plants started. Once the plants begin to get larger, it is best to switch to a CMH or LED grow light to increase yields come harvest.
How close should fluorescent lights be to plants?
Fluorescent grow lights have a low heat output, and a lower light intensity than HID and LED counterparts. We recommend hanging your light 6” inches at first, and raise it as the plant grows. Do not let your fluorescent grow lights get higher than 12” above plants, as they will lose their power.
Is LED or fluorescent better for plants?
If you are growing in a small enclosed space, fluorescent grow lights will be your best option, since these can be placed very close to plants. If your indoor garden is small, you will have to grow smaller plants and T5 and CFL grow lights are great for this. If you want to grow larger plants, LED grow lights will be a better option, since they will penetrate the canopy further and disperse light more effectively. Fluorescent grow lights are much cheaper than LED grow lights, so budget will play a role in your decision as well.
How many hours a day should you use a grow light?
This depends on what stage your plants are in. During vegetative growth, plants need at least 18 hours of light. Most growers will then give the plants 6 hours of darkness, but some growers report increased growth from 24 hours of light.
In order for plants to flower, the photoperiod needs to be changed to 12 hours of light, followed by 12 hours of darkness.
If you want to learn more about grow lights, check out our full grow light buying guide, or give our experienced growers a call today at 888-815-9763.