GROW LIGHTSOptions for grow lights were limited for many years. The standard two bulb, 4-foot long fluorescent shop light was just about your only choice. Because of the fixtures’ affordability and the vast developments in the bulbs themselves, regular fluorescent lights are still an exceptional choice.

When using conventional fluorescent “shop light” connections, picking the right bulbs is essential to your progress. For seedlings, clones, and vegetative growth, you need lots of blue light in the spectrum. Choose bulbs that say “cool” or “cool white.”

Choose A High-Output Fluorescent

All fluorescent lights work likewise with:

  • An electric current heats gas inside the tube, which transmits invisible light.
  • Meanwhile, a phosphorus cover inside the tube converts that invisible light to visible light.
  • A ballast on the back regenerates the incoming electrical current into a useful form.

You will see some products on a fluorescent light that give you data about how it works and advise you to avoid faint glares.

Tubular lights have a “T” class that tells you the broadness of the tube. T12 lights have that classification because they have a caliber of 12/8 of an inch or 1.5 inches. These tubes were usually used for indoor lighting purposes. However, they are just not very bright, even with a layer to make them full spectrum.

T5 lights are more restricted than T12s, with a caliber of 5/8 of an inch. Look for a T5 bulb with an extra “HO” rating, which stands for “high output.” That means the ballast has been modified to make them even brighter and more suitable for growing purposes.

Fluorescent lights will also come with a wattage degree to tell you how much power the bulb uses, usually 54 watts.

Choosing the Right T5 Grow Lights

To use T5 grow lights suitably, you need to know a few things that will help you progress under these lights. The first thing is how to choose the right T5 fixture and the correct bulbs.

When it comes to picking a grow light fixture, there are several things to think about. First is the dimension conditions for this grow light. There are more than a dozen size varieties, so you need to estimate your indoor garden’s size and then apply the lights to your space.

T5 grow lamps typically come in two distinct lengths and around six diverse bulb arrangements. 

The Typical T5 Grow Lights

The most typical T5 grow lights are 2- or 4-ft. long and have 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 bulbs per fixture. Suppose you are considering growing only a few small strains of cannabis. In that case, you might get away with having a 1- or 2-bulb set-up that is 2- or 4-ft. long, but if you want to grow a whole bunch of weeds, you will have to invest in an 8- or 12-bulb set-up that is 4-ft. long. This more spacious size will reach a lot of weed mass without using too much electricity.

As far as brightness temperatures go, various strains of cannabis have complex light requirements, so I can only recommend a general guideline, to begin with, 6,500 Kelvins bulbs when weeds are in the vegetative stages of growth. This is roughly the color temperature of light on a summer day.

Otherwise, use 3,000 K tubes when the weeds start to flower. This color temperature is warmer (more sunset-like), with a red tone to best suit auto-flowering strains.

Bottom Line

Your fluorescent shop light will present enough light to grow salutary plants up to 10 or 12 inches tall with the accurate bulbs in place. A unique fixture like this is ideal for seedlings and clones. Using 2 or 3 fixtures above your weeds, you can improve the significant light zone to around 24 inches of undecayed light. This is what you require to do if you are growing cannabis to 18 or 24 inches tall.

When purchasing a full spectrum grow light, you also need to see the Kelvin rating, which shows how warm the light is. In general, fluorescent lights favor to be bluer but look for a light ranging from 5,600–6,400 Kelvin, which will be indicated on the bulb. On the more profound end of that spectrum, the bluer light will provide you stockier growth. At the same time, the more excellent rating is best for any vegetation.

Since fluorescent lamps put out minimal heat, you can keep the weeds tops 1 to 4 inches from the bulbs at all times. Even if they reach the bulbs, there is unlikely to be any loss. Mainly, it will just be obstructing the light.

AuthorAuthor: Clair S. Hamlett

A multipotentialite who loves to create possibilities in terms of his writings. Clair supports educational awareness of homegrown cannabis as medicine in online platforms. She believes in the saying “Understanding other viewpoints are enhanced when done so through outspoken synergy with those who have a different perspective as long as the situation is secure, and the idea is well-crafted”

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