T5 Grow Lights Guide
T5 grow lights are the perfect lamps for plants that are growing indoors, because they can be used as additional lighting or as full on artificial lighting to provide your plants with the illumination they need to thrive. And to help you chose the fluorescent lamps that best fit your indoors garden we – T5Fixtures team – have composed a list which features the top T5 grow light fixtures of various sizes, lengths and efficiencies that will benefit your plants letting them grow big, healthy and strong.
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Best T5 Grow Lights
This light is not only energy efficient but also very powerful. Because it consumes 216 watts of power you will be able to save money on electricity with this light but at the same time the light gives out 18,800 lumens in total (4,700 lumens for each of the four bulbs in the fixture) ensuring that the plants that are under this fixture get the best possible light to help them grow tall and strong.
Speaking of light the light spectrum that comes from the bulbs of this Hydrofarm light is 6,400 Kelvins that roughly translates to the light we can experience during a summer day which is why these bulbs will be perfect as vegetative bulbs meaning that the light will help your plants grow and mature so that they can start blooming faster.
Additionally this EnviroGro fixture has a reflector that is made from German specular aluminum to direct all of the light that shines from the T5 bulbs back to your plants not letting any of it go to waste, an option of various different hanging configurations so you can tailor the way you hang up the light to your indoors garden setup and of course an ETL tested and certified electronic ballast to keep the light running smooth and giving out uniform light any time it is turned on.
The fixture has the size dimensions of 48.5 by 15.5 by 4.2 inches (123.19 x 39.37 x 10.66 cm) and it weight around 41.7 pounds (18.91 kg) so it will be stable yet compact enough to be hung even in smaller spaces.
Similarly to previous EnviroGro light this DuroLux brand one too offer a watt consumption of 216 watts letting you use this light without increasing your electricity bill much. But this fixture is able to emit light that is rated to be 20,000 lumens strong which is amazing because it means that the plants under this lamp will receive even stronger light to use to develop into beautiful and big crops.
The bulbs of this T5 fixture will output light, whose color temperature is 6,500 Kelvins meaning that the color of this light will be most beneficial to plant that either have just started to sprout or are already growing. But if your plants are already in their blooming stages of their growth then you can replace these bulbs with 3,000 Kelvin ones to give the plants warmer light that is better for flowering plants.
Some of the other features that this T5 grow light possesses are hammertone reflectors that are able to reflect about 95% of all emitted light back to the plants making this fixture more efficient, two switches that allow you to turn on only 2 of the four bulbs at a time giving you the option to variate the light you are giving your plants as well as daisy chance feature that allows you to plug together multiple similar T5 light and power them all from one outlet so you don’t have clutter of wires taking up space in your indoors gardening space.
Because DuroLux thinks about their customers they ship their grow lights that have the dimensions of 47.5 by 12.5 by 4 inches (120.65 x 31.75 x 10.16 cm) and that weight 8 pounds (3.62 kg) in discreet boxes allowing to receive your lights without anyone even knowing about them.
Because this grow light comes in a 2 feet 4 lamp configurations the maximal lumen output of this fixture will be 10,000 lumens that is enough to give out light that is bright and will be great at providing your plants with bright, fast growth promoting light. But for these lumens the lamp will only consume 96 watts that is nothing compared to the power the fixture gives out.
The color of the emitted light will have the color temperature of 6,500 Kelvins meaning that it is best used on vegetating plants but there is an option to exchange these blue-white T5 bubs for red-white 3,000 Kelvin bulbs that are better for blooming plants letting them produce bigger yields.
Plus this fixture also have some other characteristics that will help you use this light more comfortably as well as that will help you get better results in terms of plant growth. The reflectors that this T5 fixture has are German made hammertone ones that lets the lamp give your plants more light without wasting it. Also you have the ability to hang this light in two different positions – overhead or on the wall to expand your options as to where you can set up your indoors garden and there is a built in electronic ballast inside the fixture that regulates the volt flow and lets the light turn on quickly without consuming more electricity than it should.
This fixture is 23.5 inches long, 12.5 inches wide and only 4 inches high (59.69 x 31.75 x 10.16 cm) so it is small and will fit in most spaces while still being perfect indoors plant growing light.
To achieve that this grow light fixture not only has the regular combination of T5 bulb, ballast and reflector but it also is equipped with a green colored grow light stand so that you don’t even have to think about where and how to hang up the light. Just assemble the system, plug it in and start growing different plants from seed to full grown crop.
Another great thing about this small singe bulb T5 fixture is the efficiency of it. The one bulb setup will consume you only 54 watts of power which you will barely notice in terms of how much you will need to pay for electricity, however the light translates these watts into 5,000 lumens which is a lot and will be enough to support anything from seedlings to full grown houseplants.
Moreover there also are things like a toggle clap in the fixture’s hanging mechanism that makes it easy and simple to adjust the height of the lamp, the interior of the light itself is made from a reflective material to serve as reflector in order for all of the emitted light to go to the plants that are under the lamp as well as an electronic ballast to support the lights volt flow and keep in even.
Even though this light is a 4 feet fixture the dimensions of it are only 53.8 by 4.2 by 4 inches (136.65 x 10.66 x 10.16 cm) and it will be easily to move the lap and place it wherever you need it because it weighs only 8.1 pounds (3.67 kg).
To stray away from the bigger grow light brands for a bit, a company that also provide hydroponic products that are simple in their design and at affordable prices but still full of parts that are technologically advanced is Hydro Crunch. And this 4 feet 8 lamp fixture from them corresponds with all of these characteristics proving to be worthy of the title as one of the best grow lights on the market.
This Hydro Crunch fixture will consume as much as 432 watts of electricity when it is turned on, but it you consider that this wattage then is turned into 40,000 lumens worth of bright and powerful light this watt count suddenly doesn’t seem as big or as costly, because if you want to have a big indoors garden you need to be willing to pay a bit more extra for it.
As for the bright light that comes from this T5 fixture its color temperature is 6,500 Kelvins which means that this light emitted by Hydro Crunch 4 feet 8 lamp system will be ideally tailored to plants that are already growing or that are just starting to sprout.
What’s more, this light fixture also comes with features like a reflective aluminum interior that serves as reflector, maximizing that how much light the plants that are under this lamp get and how intense this light actually is, an option to hang the lamp either horizontally or vertically that allows you to variate in terms of where you place the light and of course an option to daisy chain the light with multiple other lights and power them from one single outlet so you have efficient as well as cord free indoors garden and a dual switch allowing to choose if you want to turn on all 8 bulbs or only 4 of the 8 tubes.
The size of this huge T5 fixture is 47 by 24 by 3 inches (119.38 x 60.96 x 7.62 cm) and it weighs 29.8 pounds (13.51 kg) so you might need some help to lift it up but at least afterwards it will stay in place securely and not move.
First thing to mention in regards to this light is that this light is very energy efficient grow light fixture. It will consume a total of only 216 watts but these watts rank up the lumen count of 16,000 lumens which means that each of the 4 feet bulbs that is in this fixture will emit 4,000 lumens worth of light that will shine on your plant and will help with their growth.
Speaking of the bulbs, their original color temperature is 6,500 Kelvins which means that the light emitted by the bulbs is close to the color temperature of natural daylight stimulating the growth of your plants and letting them mature much faster.
The second thing that needs to be mentioned about this particular grow light are the many features that this T5 fixture has. One of the greatest things about it is that it runs cool meaning that even if the fixture will have been running for multiple hours it will be cool to touch so it will not only be safe but also won’t rise the temperature of the room your indoors garden in set up in. Then there is the fact that this light has a great reflective interior that serves as a way for light to direct all of its emitted light straight to the plants and also the electronic ballast that is installed into this fixture is efficient and will keep your working as efficiently as possible.
And thirdly the dimensions of this fixture are 49.1 by 14.7 by 4.6 inches (124.71 x 37.33 x 11.68 cm) so although it is a 4 feet and 4 bulb configuration fixture it is compact enough to fit even smaller grow rooms. And the lamps weight is 16.3 lbs. (7.39 kg).
Because there is only one 4 feet long bulb in this fixture it will consume you as little as 54 watts which means that you probably won’t even notice the use of your light once your electricity bill comes. But by consuming 54 watts the lamp can emit 5,000 lumens that translate in light that will advance your plant growth so they mature into big and healthy plants in smaller time period.
The bulb that this light system comes with is bulb with color temperature of 6,400 Kelvin that resembles the color temperature we can observe during the day which is why this tube will mostly promote plant growth as well as seedling and cutting growth.
In addition to the efficiency and color temperature of the bulb there are some other characteristics of the light that lets it be a great grow light. This single bulb fixture comes equipped with a sturdy metal stand that holds the fixture without you having to figure out how to hang it up. And the frame can be easily adjusted so your fixture sits closer or further from the plants letting you place is as close or as far from your plants as you need. The ballast is a quality electronic ballast that regulates the voltage that flows through the light and the fixture have reflectors too that help with getting all of the emitted light to the plants and provide maximum light coverage for these plants.
The fixture together with the stand is 50 by 18.5 by 30 inches (127 x 46.99 x 76.2 cm) and it weighs only 7 pounds (3.17 kg) so it can be easily moved if the necessity arises.
The wattage for this 4 bulb 2 feet long fixture is only 96 watts that will barely increase that how much you pay for your electricity. At the same time this T5 light converts those watts into 8,000 lumens which is considered as bright light that will in fact help your plants thrive and grow faster than they ever could growing outside under the sunlight.
Since I mentioned sunlight let me explain why the bulbs of this fixture are able to promote plant growth besides the fact that they are very efficient in terms of light brightness. That mainly is because the powerful 8,000 lumen strong light is also in the color temperature of 6,400 Kelvins which means that the color of the emitted light will resemble the color of daylight only in a stronger capacity allowing the plants to grow faster.
All the more, this Apollo Horticulture fixture also can be hung up in 3 different ways so you can chose how you setup your indoors garden, it has an efficient electronic ballast so that the lamp can work smoothly all of its lifetime, the bulbs don’t heat up so you won’t have to worry about a lot of excess heat in your grow room or that the heat could damage your plants and the bulbs will last you about 20,000 hours so you won’t have to buy replacement bulbs for a while which also saves you a great deal of money.
The dimensions of this T5 fixture are 23 by 13 by 2 inches (58.42 x 33.02 x 5.08 cm) which means that the light won’t take up a lot of space despite being a 4 bulb setup and the lamp weights only around 12.1 pounds (5.48 kg).
With different application I meant that this light fixture is one of those that can not only be hung up 6 to 12 inches for the plant canopies and used as a grow light to help the plants under it grow faster and better but it also can be used as a regular warehouse or office lighting because it is made from heavy duty steel that is pre-treated with iron phosphate that makes the fixture that much durable against different conditions and prevents it from rusting.
As for efficiency this light is not only cost efficient but also efficient in terms of how powerful it is. The wattage for this lighting fixture is 216 watts but those watts ensure that the light also emit light worth 20,000 lumens meaning that the light will be very bright lighting up any space where this fixture is placed.
But if this light can be used as regular industrial light why should you use it as a grow light for your plants? Well there are several reason for that. First off this light has an interior that is lined with chrome mirrored material so that it is reflective and will direct all emitted light only towards objects that are under this light. Secondly the light has special v-clip and chain hanging kit that allows you to easily install it in your grow room. And thirdly the ballast that comes inside of this particular fixture is specially made so it can be work also in damper locations therefore the light can be placed even in a humid grow room and it will work just fine.
Just remember that if you buy this fixture you will have to buy T5 bulbs separately but that is a small inconvenience considering how useful this 48 by 13 by 4 inch (121.92 x 33.02 x 10.16 cm) 12.8 pound (5.8 kg) light is and how easy it is to grow plants with it.
And this light system is no different because it is a fixture and reflector combination that has the potential to give you extremely good results. The fixture part of the combo comes with multiple great features such as electronic ballast that will balance the voltage of the light keeping it running for a long time, mounting clips that allows you to hang up the light easily without having to buy additional hanging equipment and a daisy chain option that lets you plug together up to 8 fixtures of different lengths and bulb counts and power them all from one single outlet.
But the star of this combo is the reflector that is crafted using new nanotechnologies which allows it to have the ultimate reflective surface letting the plants receive more light. It is even speculated that the NanoTech reflector increases the lumen output of the light three times making it probably the most powerful single bulb 4 feet fixture between all similar ones that are available on the market right now.
Speaking of lumens the official lumen output for this SunBlaster fixture and reflector combo is 3284 lumens and to be able to produce these lumens the fixture needs to consume 54 watts of electricity which is not at all much considering the lumen count and that most everyday appliances consume much more than that.
This powerful fixture is compact and small, fitting in even very small indoors garden setups because it is only 49.5 long, 3.5 wide and 2 inches high (125.73 x 8.89 x 5.08 cm). And the lamp weights mere 1.8 pounds (0.81 kg).
What are T5 grow lights?
T5 grow lights are florescent tube lights that have the T5 sizing standards and are made in fixtures for plant indoor growing. There are various different T5 light sizes from one bulb 2 feet fixture to massive 8 bulb 4 feet grow lights made for industrial scale growing. T5 grow lights are specially designed for plant growing as they have the right color temperature light output, their reflectors reflect all the light downward and the lumen output as well as efficiency is usually quite high. These fixtures can be mounted in various positions and locations and basically any indoor plant grower can choose the correct light size for their requirements.
Why use T5 lights over other light sources?
T5 fluorescent lights are very efficient, they have low profile and they produce very great light spread. All this put together make them one of the best grow light option out there. These T5 bulb fixtures are usually no more than 6 inches (15 cm) thick and that means you will be able to mount them inside any grow area that is large enough for plant cultivation. But because there are many light size option you will also have the means to grow huge plants with for example 4 feet 8 bulb light fixtures. Fluorescent lights usually have around 20000 hour bulb lifespan and that means you will have to change them less frequently than HID or other grow lights. These fixtures with their long-lasting bulbs also stay cool and will not create that much additional heat in your growing area so you will be able to keep the temperature down to an acceptable range even in the heat of summer. The bulbs themselves can also be easily exchanged and because T5 is the most efficient fluorescent light tubes they can exceed 100 lumens per watt efficiency and that is HID light territory.
T5 color spectrum, efficiency, PAR
T5 light sources are the most efficient fluorescent lights. Their efficiency can rival even the mighty High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide light sources but be careful as even between T5 fixtures there can be quite a big difference. This distinction means that by buying the right fixture you can get more than 10% more light. That may sound a ridiculously small amount but do the math and you will see that in the course of the fixtures life you will get dramatic energy and money savings. T5 lights typically come with 70 to 100 lumens per watt efficiency and usually as the bulbs gets longer the efficiency increases. That means you will get more efficient light source buying a 4 feet fixture than 2 feet fixture. But keeping in mind the dimensions also see what works best for your growing area. T5 lights can be found in a wide range of color temperatures from 2700K to 6500K and even some mid ranges like 3000K and 5000K bulbs. All these are just color spectral outputs that state what kind of light will be produced and that 2700K light will create a warm yellow light that is typical to our evening Sun, but 6500K light is similar to daylight Sun. Plants need different light and because there are all these different color spectrum bulbs you must give your plants the proper light all trough their entire growth cycle. Another thing where T5 light often excel is the PAR or Photosynthetically Active Radiation ratings. Sometimes manufacturers design and create their bulbs with the specific thought of plant growth in mind so they make these bulbs with added elements inside like sealed arc tubes that give off different spectrum light that is beneficial to plants even if the overall lumen/watt efficiency is not that high.
T5 light sizes
As I stated before T5 lights come in a wide range of sizes from two feet one bulb to 4 feet 12 bulb fixtures and everything in between. Most often these lights come with bulb pairs like 2 feet 2 bulb fixtures or 2 feet 4 bulb fixtures and it is best to get a bigger light as there is always the option to not turn on some of the lights and only run few of them. Here will be all the sizing options:
- 2 Feet 1 Bulb,
- 2 Feet 2 Bulb,
- 2 Feet 4 Bulb,
- 2 Feet 6 Bulb,
- 2 Feet 8 bulb,
- 2 Feet 10 bulb,
- 2 Feet 12 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 1 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 2 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 4 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 6 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 8 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 10 Bulb,
- 4 Feet 12 Bulb.
As you can see you have a wide range of choices but it is better to get a bigger fixture as there will always be the option to not run some of the bulbs but if you get a smaller fixture you will have to change it or add another one if your plants exceed that lights growing potential.
When you are thinking about buying your first T5 grow light there are various options to consider and different factors to examine before you can do a purchase. You obviously need to find the best size and color temperature bulbs but it is also crucial to compare manufacturers and find the one that makes the best light in all categories. Here will be some of the factors you need to consider:
Price – First off as always is the price as many of us are cash strapped and don’t want to waste money on lights that cost as high as multiple hundred dollars. I have found that money or the price is the last factor to check as usually there are other factors to consider beforehand and the price can be the overall equalizer that will ultimately give you insight into which light to ultimately buy. When you have thought about all the other factors then and only then you can compare the prices. When you have come down to multiple choices only then the cheapest one of those will usually be the best one.
Manufacturer – Manufacturers each create their lights a little bit differently from the screws they use to materials that are used in creating the whole fixture. You need to closely examine what other products every manufacturer makes and are they competent in providing you with the best T5 grow lights possible. I think that there are some well known brands that can be trusted but of course there are also some unknown manufacturers that make amazing products so be sure to examine all the factors from that specific company’s size to their other products.
Size – Size as you may know by now size is a very broad factor. From those 2 feet 1 bulb fixtures to 4 feet 12 bulb lights there is a huge difference and everyone will need to find the best size that will fit their specific needs. When you are thinking about the size you obviously need to measure your growing area and know how long and how wide of a fixture you can buy. Then you also need to know how many plants you will put in that space for example if you are going to only grow seedlings in the spring then 2 bulbs will be enough but if you would like a year round spice garden in your kitchen counter then 2 bulbs will give too low of a light output to give you the desired growth you need. Good thing about T5 fixtures is that they are very thin and will not require a lot of vertical space but be sure to measure the width and length properly!
Bulbs – When buying a T5 fixture another factor to consider is the specific bulbs that you will receive as there are bulbs specifically made for flowering and others are made for vegetative growth stages. Those bulbs have varying expected lifespan and their efficiency can also vary. So be sure to take all these factors into consideration when looking at your next T5 light. Be sure to also check if those bulbs are NO (Normal Output), HO (High Output) or VHO (Very High Output) bulbs as that will make a significant difference in the electricity usage and lumen output, but most often these fixtures are High Output ones as they have the best power to efficiency ratio.
T5 grow lights are manufactured by a wide range of companies where some are well known brands but others are newcomers. To fully compare them all you need to see how strong the competition is and only then you can see which manufacturer best suits your needs.
Hydrofarm is one of the best known hydroponic grow supply manufacturing company that has more than 4000 products and they range from grow lights to various grow light supplies. Hydrofarm is a 35 year old company that has been leading the grow light supply field for a while now with new innovations and innovative technologies like the most modern fluorescent lights and LED diode powered lights. Hydrofarm manufactures various lines of fluorescent grow lights and they range from environmentally friendly products to regular T5 fixtures. Hydrofarm always deliver quality and great performance in their grow lights and they have the longest experience in designing and manufacturing these lights.
SunBlaze is a brand of Sunlight Supply, inc. that is a company that was created in 1995 and since then they have become one of the leading grow light manufacturers and suppliers. This company has over 5000 product offerings and they range from grow lights to fertilizers and other hydroponic related products. SunBlaze line of High output florescent grow lights are one of the best selling Sunlight Supply products and they have done really great job with the manufacturing quality as well as design and performance for their lights.
SunBlaster is another horticultural company that specializes exactly in lighting applications. Their primary products are fluorescent lights so they really know what they are doing. This company has over a decade of experience in developing, manufacturing and testing various grow lights and that can be seen in every single SunBlaster T5 grow light as they are well built with the best reflective materials and the overalls structural integrity is just amazing. Another thing to mention is this company’s devotion to improving their lights and even their motto is “It’s all about the light”!
LuxStar is a relative newcomer to the T5 grow light scene and there is not that much information about this company but what I can tell you is that their products are well built and have great efficiency as well as design. LuxStar creates various light models and one of their lines is a T5 HO bulb fixtures that can brush elbows with the most advanced fluorescent grow lights but they differ with the price and their bulbs also have unique 3000K and 5000K color temperatures that can give your plants additional light spectrum for even better growth.
Quantum Horticulture is a subdivision of Hydrofarm but they act like a separate company with their own styling and unique designs for their high output bulbs. Quantum T5 lights are one of the most technologically advanced grow lights with innovative energy maximizing bulb spacing, foldaway frames and they even give you the option to get a 12 bulb fixture for industrial style growing. Quantum lights have the best efficiency and plant growth ratios of any other T5 grow light and that means more growth from the same amount of power input.
Sunleaves is another newcomer to the T5 grow light scene but from experience many indoor gardeners say that their products have top quality and they are fairly cheap. Sunleaves is not a small company but they just recently have expanded their product line to T5 lights and so only the time will tell if their products will stand the test of time.
Apollo Horticulture is another one of those well known brands in the hydroponic industry as this company has been around for decades. They have been always innovative company and they provide the best grow lights and grow light supplies. Apollo Horticulture main focus has always been HID ballasts but recently they have diversified their product lines and created a T5 HO fixture line that is fantastic news for indoor gardeners. Apollo Horticulture delivers great manufacturing quality and cheap prices but the brand itself signifies style and great build quality.
Specifications Manufacturer: Hydrofarm Lumen output: 8,000 lumens Wattage: 96 watts Bulb color temperature: 6,400 Kelvins Housing material: powder-coated steel Hanging configurations: horizontal,…
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