Similarly to the real lighting there also are many different myths about T5 lights of which some of them are true but some of them couldn’t be further from the truth. So I thought that instead of you trying to decide which are which I would look at some of the most popular T5 light myths and tell you whether they are true or just a myth and why.
Myth Nr.1: T5 lights are very unhealthy.
One of the reasons that I have heard about why people chose other lights over T5s or any other fluorescent lighting is that people seem to think that they are very unhealthy. This assumption or myth probably stems from the fact that the very first fluorescent tube lights like the T12 lights indeed had some not so healthy parts and materials. But since the 1930s when the T12 lights were invented, things have changed drastically. Not only there are no harmful materials like mercury used in producing T5 lights, but the light that the bulbs produce is also much better on the eyes. Nowadays all T5 bulb manufacturers use only good materials to produce their lights that way supporting green lifestyle and the lights are made so they emit light that not only is good for plants and help them grow but that is good on human eyes too, so you won’t hurt your eyesight by using T5 grow lights.
Myth Nr.2: T5 lights are less efficient as halogen lighting.
Although it is true that halogen lights are very efficient, the thing is that T5 lights actually are almost three times as efficient as halogen lamps. So it is a myth that T5 lights cannot reach the efficiency of halogen lighting. Halogen lights are considered efficient because they use less energy than for example incandescent lights, but these lights also come with transformers that not only tend to use electricity even when the light is turned off, but also can be a fire hazard. So if you want an energy efficient light, better go for a fluorescent light like the T5 grow lights or CFL bulbs rather than use halogens.
Myth Nr.3: You need to pay a lot more for energy efficient lights like the T5 lights.
People say that it will cost significantly more to increase the energy efficiency of your lamps because the bulbs that come with the energy efficiency features, like the T5 lights, cost a lot more. And although it is true that T5 light might be a bit more expensive than some other lights that are less efficient, it isn’t to the point that you will have to pay so much more that you leave yourself in debt just because you wanted lights that are more energy efficient. Moreover T5 lights come with bonuses like warranties and additional features like reflectors, ballasts and so on that if bought separately would rank up even bigger costs, so actually most of the time by buying the T5 lights and the fixtures that they go in initially, you actually could save money.
Myth Nr.4: It is cheaper to leave T5 lights on all of the time rather than to turn them on and off.
Maybe in the past when fluorescent lights were first produced (think the beginning and the middle of 20ty century) this myth was really true because then the ballasts were less efficient, but now it is completely false. Nowadays with the electronic ballasts that are quick and efficient, if you don’t need the light just turn it off. A good tip is to turn off light every time when you won’t be using it or the room which it illuminates for three to five minutes, because then it will save you more electricity to just turn it off and then once you need the light again – turn it on. The modern ballasts use a higher level of current literally for just a fraction of a second so this short of a time won’t make a lot of difference in your electricity bill. The only thing is that the more often you will be turning on and off your light the more you will be shortening your bulbs lifecycle, so try to find a balance, but definitely don’t leave the T5 light on for hours just because you thing it will save you a couple of dollars on your electricity bill.
Myth Nr.5: LED lights are way better that T5 lights.
And the last myth that I will cover is the myth that LED lights are way, way better than T5 lights and that T5 lights could never compare to LED lights. And yes, although there are proof that LED lights are more efficient and that some of them produce better light, it actually isn’t that big of a difference as you might think. As with all new things they need to be sold somehow and for LEDs this somehow was to prove that they are that much better than any previously produced light. But if you are using T5 lights right now, you don’t need to run to the store and buy LED bulbs and LED fixtures, because in the long term they won’t save you that much more money especially if you run only a few T5 fixtures on day to day basis. And thanks to the new generation of T5 lights they come closer and closer to the brightness of new LED light, but since with time the brightness of LED lights significantly decreases, after a while your T5s will be as good if not better than LEDs.