To start seedlings with supplemental lighting is quite delicate process because with seedlings you have to be even more careful with the light intensity, the heat that radiates from the lights and the light cycles. But on the other hand this additional light will let you grow a much wider range of plants and start the seedling process even in the dead of winter if you please. But how to choose which type of lights are the best for this process? Well I am here to help you with that.
Previously one of the most used lighting systems for seedlings was T12 lights, because they were very inexpensive. But were discontinued in 2012, so gardeners needed to find the next best seedling light option. Many started to use T8 lights which are next in line after T12s, but I would advise to use T5s, because T5 grow lights are even more efficient than T8 lights in terms of energy consumption and light output.
Seedlings usually require an intense light that is very bright, because the light needs to reach all the plants leaves. If the light will be of mediocre intensity, the seedlings will grow in height, but not in width, they will get tall and under-grown, which won’t let you have beautiful and healthy plants afterwards. Thankfully T5 fluorescent lights are not only very bright but also very powerful, so they are perfect for seedling production.
When growing seedlings you cannot use lights that produce massive amounts of heat, because the lights need to be placed quite close to the canopies of the plants. If you use a light that gets hot fast and emits a lot of heat too, then that kind of light will damage your plants and can even stun their growth. Fortunately, heat emission is not a problem with T5 lights. You can place the T5 grow lights literally inches away from plants and that way give them the maximum light intensity while still keeping them healthy and undamaged.
Another aspect of seedling growing is the light cycle they need to be under for maximum effect. Most plants usually requite about 14 to 18 hours of light each day, but the rest of the time you need to keep them in dark, to imitate night. T5 grow lights will not only easily last 18 hour work time without any glitches or heat buildup, but they also are very compatible with different types of timers, so that you don’t even have to worry about switching the lights on and off.
And the last thing of course is the light color, because it is also extremely important to have the right colored light to shine on your seedlings. The best light is a light that resembles natural daylight, meaning that it should be around the color temperature of 6,400 Kelvins. T5 bulbs come in variety of color temperatures and one of them which also are the most popular and easily accessible one are bulbs with color temperature of 6,400 or 6,500 Kelvins. On top of that almost all of T5 bulbs that come in this color temperature emit full spectrum light, meaning that it is the closest it can get to non-artificial sunlight.
Seedlings might not be the easiest thing to grow but with T5 lights it will be not only easy, but fast too, and your seedlings will look perfect and later will grow into perfect plants and produce great yield.