It’s May, which means that spring is in full force and we can feel the summer approaching. But spring doesn’t only mean warmer weather and sunnier days. Spring also calls for spring cleaning. So in the spirit of spring cleaning, let’s talk a little more about how to properly clean your T5 grow lights or any other light for that matter.
First let’s talk a little about why we actually need to clean our bulbs. It is a common knowledge that once the dust bag of a vacuum cleaner is full, it works less efficient than when you put in a brand new dust bag and use it then. Similar analogy can be used when talking about lights, because, if there is a thick layer of dust and grime coating the bulb of any light fixture but especially fluorescent light, the light will have a harder time to shine through that dust therefore it won’t give out its maximum capacity light. In fact it is proven that a clean light bulb of any kind can give out up to 20% brighter light than a dirty bulb, consuming the same amount of energy, so why wouldn’t you allow your bulbs to work better just by simply cleaning them?
The second thing to know before you actually get to the cleaning part is to make sure your light is not only turned off during the cleaning process, but it also is cooled down completely. This will help you avoid burns and electrical shock that sometimes can happen if you touch a bulb that is turned on. So turn of the lamp, better yet unplug it from an outlet all together if that is possible, and wait until it is cool. NOW we can start cleaning!
Cleaning the bulbs
No matter if you are cleaning florescent bulb or LED lamp, take a soft, dry cloth (microfiber cloths or dryer sheets work very well) and swipe away any dust that might have settled on the bulb by holding the bulb by its base or the ends of the bulb if we are talking about florescent bulbs. This way you will avoid accidentally scraping or damaging your bulbs that can cause them to not shine as bright. For most bulbs avoid using wet or even damp cloth and also don’t use any cleaning solutions, because any moisture can damage the electronics of the lamp and more potent cleaning solutions can even damage the outer layer of the bulb. As for fluorescent bulbs, you can use a slightly damp cloth with them, because they usually come made from a bit more durable glass, making them harder to damage. But even cleaning florescent bulbs, still be careful not to damage them, so your spring cleaning doesn’t turn into new bulb purchase.
Cleaning the light fixtures
When it comes to cleaning the lamps themselves I would suggest to remove the bulbs beforehand so you don’t accidentally damage them. After that is done, clean the outside of your fixture as well as the inside first with a duster and follow that with microfiber cloth or just a damp rag, so you can be sure that not only there aren’t any more dust left on your lamp, but also any grim or oil that might be collected on or inside of the lamp is gone, too. Also don’t forget to clean any reflectors, covers or other smaller parts of the fixture, because they, too, will ensure that the lamp works to its fullest potential. And I would advise to wear some kind of eye protection, even if it is a simple pair of cheap sunglasses, because it you haven’t cleaned your lamps for a while, there might be a lot of dust that can cause irritation to your eyes and, yes, sneezing. Bless you and happy spring cleaning!