Compact fluorescent grow lights, and fluorescent T5 are two of the most commonly available fluorescent grow lights. In our opinion, T5 grow lights operate slightly more efficiently, are simpler to set up and last a little longer than CFL’s. But they do require a T5 ballast.
Fluorescent lights are highly effective for seedlings, clones, and young plants because their heat output is significantly low. The lights are not the most intense ones either, and that is why they are popular in the grower community for their propagation abilities. You can save money on energy costs with fluorescent tubes compared to HID & LED Grow lights. Fluorescent lights are possibly the best option for growers attempting to grow big plants as they can help in the plant’s growth during its early stages. Once the plant has grown to a specific size, you should switch to LED or CMH lights to maximize yield before harvesting.
Given that fluorescent lights produce less heat and emit less intense light than HID and LED lights, it is ideal for hanging them 6” inches away from the plant initially. After that, keep raising it gradually as the plant grows. The lights should not be hung more than 12” inches above the plants as this will minimize their effectiveness.
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. If your grow room is a small enclosed space, it would be ideal to pick fluorescent lights. T5 and CFL become automatic choices in this case. However, if you want to grow large plants, you will need a light that penetrates the canopy and disperses more light efficiently – in this case, LED lights are smarter. If you are on a budget, then fluorescent lights happen to be relatively less expensive than LEDs.
Plants in the vegetative stage typically require 18 hours of light followed by 6 hours of dark. However, some growers report enhanced plant growth if exposed to light for 24 hours a day. For plants to flower, a 12/12 photoperiod is necessary. Want to learn more about fluorescent lights? Give our review of the best T5 grow lights a read, or talk to our growers at 866 GRO INDR.