If you’re starting a grow project, it can be overwhelming when you consider how much money it’s going to cost you to start.
There really are a lot of things to consider. One of the most important factors to consider is choosing the best t5 grow lights.
And taking a look at the best t5 grow lights can give you an idea of what is coming your way.
Of course, that is not all.
You have to construct the room, figure out your heating and cooling systems, decide hydroponics or traditional growing, and buy all your nutrients and equipment.
Grow lights are merely one aspect of your grow project, but they’re one of the most important.
The grow light you select is what will ultimately set the foundation for what kind of grow system you should establish.
Since your choice of light varies things quite a bit, let’s take a look at the complexities of the T5 fluorescent grow light system and how it compares against other popular grow light systems on the market.
- Complete Guide on T5 Grow Lights
- TOP 13 Best T5 Grow Lights of 2020
- Hydro Crunch T5 Fluorescent Grow Light
- DuroLux T5 Grow Light DL844s
- DuroLux T5 Grow Light DL824
- Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Grow Light
- HydroFarm Jump Start JSV4 Grow Light
- Milliard 2 Bulb T5 Grow Light
- Yescom T5 Grow Light 6500K
- Hydrofarm FLP48 T5 Grow Light
- Sunblaster 904298 NanoTech T5 Light
- iPower GLT5XXPANL4T4 T5 Fluorescent Light
- Jump Start High Output T5 Grow Light
- Appolo Horticulture Purple Reign T5 Grow Light
- Sun Blaze T5 Grow Light
- Final Conclusion
Complete Guide on T5 Grow Lights
What Is a T5 Grow Light?
T5 grow lights are fluorescent lights, but they’re a very specific kind. These bulbs are 5/8 of an inch in diameter and are designed for maximum efficiency.
Unlike most fluorescent lights, which are mounted on a track and typically staggered to span the length of a large growth area, T5 lights are several bulbs built into the same case to create more of a unified, strong light that radiates over your growing surface.
Some of the best t5 lights are the most common for growing because of their sweet spot between price and efficiency. The efficiency rating, which sits somewhere around 100 lumens per watt, is really hard to beat when you compare them against other higher-powered grow light systems.
Other systems do have their advantages over T5 lights, but your outcome largely depends on how you utilize your lights and the steps you take in conjunction with implementing a T5 light system.
Why Choose T5 Lights Over Other Grow Lights?
If you’re interested in weighing the pros and cons of certain light systems to start your own grow project, there’s a lot of information to take in.
When considering your budget, you have to think of how much you can afford to spend before you start making money.
T5 is best for beginners who don’t want to lay out a heavy investment before they’ve established themselves, and there is no shortage of reasons why you may opt to begin with these lights and graduate to more complex, expensive lights later on.
In time, these will pay for themselves, and they’ll ultimately save you money.
The efficiency of your grow light lends itself to how profitable your growing venture will be. When you consider energy costs and the yield of your plants, an efficient light will create more buds and cost very little to run.
Best T5 lights fit into this category and are some of the least expensive to do so.
100 lumens per watt gives you a solid level of reliability you can count on to get the job done.
This efficiency of some of the best fluorescent grow lights can potentially mean that you’ll need fewer lights to achieve the same result, and the results will show in reduced energy costs over what you would expect to see from a higher-powered, less efficient system.
They Boast Longevity
The majority of T5 lights will guarantee you about 20,000 hours of working life. This means you won’t have to constantly repurchase bulbs, as you should be able to experience a good number of successful harvest before your bulbs begin to burn out.
These lights pack a lot of integrity as well – over their 20,000 hours of lights, they’ll burn consistently.
You don’t have to worry about the quality of light lessening as the bulbs grow older. They’ll start strong and stay strong until the end of their lifespan.
You can count on them to last as long as they’re supposed to, and you won’t need to replace them until they’re completely out.
Heating and Cooling Are Easier
Heat is the enemy of any indoor grow project. If the environment you’re growing in is too hot, your plants will start to shrivel up and become brittle before they’re ready to harvest.
Since they’ll be drawing up extra moisture just to survive, you won’t be able to expect to have a lot of profitable growth.
This leads to a lot of growers to stall expensive heating and cooling systems – necessitating the purchase of thermostats, ducts, carbon scrubbers, and a lot of other accessory equipment that requires a lot of time and money to install.
Fortunately, T5 lights don’t burn very hot. This means you can get them as close to your plants as possible, allowing the lower layers to receive more light than they would if the light were placed further away, and you won’t have to worry about generating an excessive amount of heat.
This is especially helpful when you’re starting your plants because you can focus the light very close to ceilings without the worry that they’ll be damaged.
Over time, you can simply adjust the light to sit within 2 two 6 inches from the top of the plant canopy. No leaf damage, and no overflow of heat.
This works out to be a giant money saver over the lifespan of the T5 light.
Now, that you’ve known these facts on why you should choose T5 over other grow lights, let us look at…
Tips for Growing Plants Using T5 Grow Lights
Growing your crops on its own is not an easy task at all since you need to constantly water them, take care of them, monitor them, and give what’s the best for them in order to collect a bountiful rewarding result.
Actually, growing plants with T5 grow lights is quite difficult since you need to add additional stuff in order to set them up for their optimal effectiveness.
With that said, here are a few tips for you to be able to utilize well your T5 lights for better effectiveness and efficiency.
Here they are:
First and foremost, what you wanna know are your bulb color temperatures. In simpler terms, you must know which color temperature bulbs go with which phases of the plant’s development.
For vegetation, you must have 6,500 Kelvin bulbs.
For flowering, you need 3,000 Kelvin bulbs.
Secondly, you must provide good grow room ventilation even though T5 grow lights produce the lowest heat emissions among fluorescent grow lights. It is for the sake of prevention of any unnecessary matters and all.
Thirdly, take time to monitor your soil or your hydroponic system since they might dry out without you knowing.
The next one that you want to remember is the size of your T5 grow lights. There are various T5s that come with a stand, cables, or whatsoever that takes too much space. Make sure you don’t compromise your plant’s comfort.
Fifth, you must have the knowledge of how long you should run your T5 grow lights. Generally, in the vegetative stages of your plant, they need up to 14 to 18 hours of sufficient light a day.
On the other hand, flowering takes up to 12 hours of light. That’s the general information, plants differ and so grow light varies.
And of course, the last one is how high above your plants the grow light is. Hang them as close as you can to your plants. But be sure that you don’t burn the canopies of your crops, in this way; your plants will grow more effectively.
Now, that sums it up what you want to do now is take a little bit more of knowledge about T5 lights and you’re good to go!
So take your time and don’t rush yourself.
Growers need an abundant amount of information (nutrients – I’m implying “growers” as plants here) and patience (time) in order for them to grow well and produce rewarding results.
With that said, stay tuned and let’s enjoy everything!
Now, here is it
What Is The Difference Between T5 Lights and Other Lights?
T5 lights aren’t the only T lights to have existed. They sit among T8 and T12. The difference mostly lies in their efficiency rating and general environmental impact of operating the bulbs.
T12 bulbs are now obsolete – since 2012, the Department of Energy has banned the manufacture of T12 bulbs and bulb accessories in Canada and the United States.
Some people still use them in other countries, and some people in the United States and Canada import them from other countries.
This is unwise, mostly because it’s horribly inefficient for the cost.
So exactly what is a t5 light?
To understand that we have to look at other types of these lights as well.
When you compare the operating costs over the lifespan of a T5 grow light versus a T12 grow light, it becomes clear to see that the T12 grow light will suck up approximately $3,000 more in energy costs than the T5 would.
Using the old technology is horrible for your wallet, and it may be more expensive to start than it would with readily available and current T5 lights.
T8 lamps, though similar to T5 lamps in price and operation, do still maintain a very significant drawback. Over the duration of a T8 lamp’s life, the quality of the bulb may degrade to almost half.
This means you can only expect half the quality in your harvest, and you would be better off replacing the bulbs early. T5 lights last the same amount of time, and they only degrade somewhere around 5% over their lifetime.
That marginal amount isn’t likely to impact your grow project, and you can use that light to its fullest potential until it completely burns out.
Besides that, there are still other significant differences between T5 and T8 lights. While they have a similar lifespan (outside of the 50% degradation that a T8 light will endure), on average, a T8 light will burn up to five degrees hotter, and operates at about 20 less lumens per watt than your average T5 light would.
These may seem like insignificant differences, but if you’re going to be paying a similar price, it makes more sense to go for the most efficient version of the two options.
T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights Versus HID Lights
HID lights, or High-Intensity Discharge lights, work exactly like you’re probably assuming. The idea behind these is that they expel very intense light in a constant burst.
They’re a little more complicated to set up, and require a lot of accessories to work properly. People seem to love them, but they come at great cost in more ways than you may realize.
Since the light is “high intensity”, this also means a high heat level. Very strong heat can damage your plants while creating an air climate that’s impossible for them to thrive in.
If you were to opt for an HID system, you’d have to make a lot of careful considerations about how you want to install and run a cooling system to maintain a sustainable temperature that will support the growth of your plants.
This implies a lot of additional costs. Not only will HID grow lights use up a lot more energy, but you also have to figure in the cost of the energy required to keep the environment at the right temperature.
You’ll need to buy and install a cooling system. There’s a lot more work that comes along with HID grow light systems. If you were to opt for T5 fluorescents, none of these additional costs would be necessary.
T5 Lights Versus LED Lights
In all truth, LED lights are awesome. They provide the full light spectrum that your plants require to grow, including infrared and ultraviolet. They run cool, they don’t generate heat, and they’re one of the least expensive systems to run.
There aren’t very many bad things to say about LED lights – most high end, high yield growers swear by these lights as if they’re magical.
On the surface, it’s hard to find a reason to knock LED lights, but there are some things you may want to consider about T5 fluorescents before you decide to purchase LED lights.
For one, LED lights are more expensive.
While this may not be an initial deterrent, especially if you’re thinking about a long term investment, there is something T5 grow lights can offer you above LED lights.
Though most LED grow lights claim to last for about 100,000 hours of “on” time. In many cases, this is true, but there’s a sneaky little exception. After about 30,000 hours, they stop operating to full capacity.
That being said, you’ll have to replace individual diodes if you want the same power that you started out with. This means you’ll have a maintenance cost on the LED lights, where T5 lights will give you 20,000 solid hours of maximum performance.
When T5 lights burn out, it’s relatively inexpensive to completely replace them. And the same goes for all of the best t5 bulbs for growing. Which means they are a good choice.
Constantly repairing pieces of a LED light adds up over time. If you’re just starting out, or your grow project is very small, it may be a better idea to start out with T5 fluorescents.
You can always upgrade to LED later, or stick with the less expensive T5 grow lights if you feel like they’re getting the job done well.
In the video above the researcher grew one flat of lettuce under pure LED light and one flat under pure T5 light. The lettuce grown under T5 was smaller, had looser, less compact leaves, and weighed significantly less than lettuce grown under LED strip lighting.
In fact, the lettuce had a hard time even forming a proper head under the T5 light!
LEDs cost more initially, but the investment is worth it because the energy savings and crop yield more than make up for the upfront cost difference.
T5 Lights Versus HPS Lights
It may seem tempting to purchase a High-Pressure Sodium light without a second thought, especially because the bulbs are very cheap.
While they do boast a slight advantage over T5 lights in their efficiency, exceeding them by 40 lumens per watt, that efficiency is slightly deceptive.
With the amount of heat generated by the average HPS grow light system, it’s impossible to go without a cooling system. They’re very similar to HID lights in that regard.
While HPS lights used to be the standard option for growers interested in high efficiency, they’ve fallen out of favor. Since they require costly cooling and equipment to maintain a set temperature, people aren’t as eager to use them anymore.
So many grow lights on the market now don’t generate enough heat to warrant creating a cooling system, and that translates into more profit for the grower.
HPS systems are also very large, which limits the areas in which you can grow. Small spaces, a lot of heat, and a complicated temperature regulation system are a recipe for disaster.
If you’re working in a closet or small room, you’re not going to have the space to grow plants with everything you’d need to supplement the HPS lights. T5 lights are much better for people who are growing for personal use, or growers who only intend on producing small batches.
And full spectrum t5 fluorescent bulbs are providing just what growers like that need. And the next step in your way in finding the best fluorescent light is understanding the difference between T5 and T8.
T5 vs T8 Grow Lights
T5 and T8 lights are both fluorescent tube lights (also called lamps). They are the type you might see in an office or warehouse. So what is the difference between t5 and t8 lights? Let’s start with the basics.
The T stands for tube or tubular, and the number that follows indicates the tube diameter. T5 is 5/8th of an inch diameter. T8 is 1″ or 8/8ths of an inch.
Some can be adapted to fit other tube sizes, but this is not always the case. Also, T5 have a mini bi-pin connector and T8, T12’s have a standard size.
Keep in mind there are standard T5’s and HO T5’s. HO T5 means High output, and these give better light than both T8 and T12.
OK, with those semantics out of the way, let’s get to what you really want to know. Which one makes better bud?
The standard T5 puts out more lumens per watt than either the T8 or T12.
- T12 2650 initial lumens at a cost of 40 watts .0150 lumens per watt
- T8 2800 initial lumens at a cost of 34 watts .0120 lumens per watt
- T5 2900 initial lumens with a cost of 28 watts .0096 lumens per watt
HO T5 beats them all with 5000 initial lumens, but it also has the highest cost of 54 watts .0108 lumens per watt
So, while the T5’s are a few dollars more per tube, they are a better value because they give more light or lumens per watt.
Fret not; I’ll emphasize all of these by sharing you my T5 fluorescent grow lights review in the later part of the article.
T5 vs T12 Grow Lights
T5, as we stated earlier is 5/8ths inch diameter. T 12 is 1.5″ or 12/8ths of an inch. The T5 puts out more lumens per watt, as we have already demonstrated.
The T5’s are better in most cases. The only reason one might prefer a T12 is due to cost. They are cheaper than T5’s. The other reason is that they put out less light, they are good for cloning as too much light retards root growth in clones.
One final note, if you are wondering what the difference is between regular T5’s, T8’s and T12 and those labeled “grow lights” the main difference is the “Grow lights” have a higher ratio of red spectrum light.
Now that you are seemingly over-loaded with all those “T’s” and finding the best T5 grow lights, I’m quite sure that you are near in the doldrums.
With that said, let’s jump onto another interesting discussion.
This time, I wouldn’t really focus on elaborating all these “T’s” and whatsoever for you to be able to absorb all this necessary information.
We’ll do that by getting a popular plant that is usually grown indoors to be our sample.
Guess what it is….
It’s the plants that are loved by many people, especially if they have tasted it for once.
Now, will buying a T5 grow light and implementing it give a massive impact on your cannabis plants?
Will you get more yields; will you achieve more satisfying results if you implement a T5 grow light to your cannabis?
The simple answer is yes.
That’s just how efficient this grow light compared to others that are just good for sales talk.
Though perhaps the only disadvantage of using T5 is that the light that they give off is only valuable for about a foot or so, meaning they must keep quite a distance from your cannabis.
Though you might want to put in the possibility of your plants having burns if you positioned your T5 the wrong way.
You probably want to know,
That any part of your cannabis that is distanced away from 1 to 2 feet from your T5 grow light might not get the maximal amount of light, particularly in the flowering stage when plants are starving on the abundant amount of light.
But the good news is…
T5 now was apparently enhanced by the company that it belongs to.
Surprisingly they can now be used until the plants reached 24 inches tall, on which it is enough to grow a very short plant throughout the flowering development.
One great thing about this grow light is that they don’t really get hot, and normally they can be distanced 1 to 4 inches from the top of your cannabis at all times without worrying about any burns on your cannabis.
In addition, they are typically relatively low powered and could save a lot of your money.
T5 grow lights work wonders for growing cannabis throughout its vegetation stage as well as the flowering stage.
You can purchase T5 grow lights that produce different color temperatures for vegetative and flowering development stages of your cannabis.
To put it simply,
This grow light is ideal for the vegetative stage for the reason that they will not burn your cannabis. And as I’ve said they do not emit much heat in your grow room.
During the vegetative development of your cannabis, T5 with a blue spectrum with a color heat of 5000 Kelvin is very efficient for optimal yields.
Meanwhile, during the flowering growth, plants need T5 grow lights in the red spectrum that has 2000 Kelvin.
A lot of success stories including me have proven the power of T5 grow light.
Now that I’ve shared all that with you, then what are we waiting for?
Let’s go on choosing your very own T5 Grow light.
TOP 13 Best T5 Grow Lights of 2020
Now that you have all the information to consider, here are our top picks for the best grow lights on the market.
Keep in mind that the important factor here is the use of full-spectrum t5 fluorescent bulbs as well.
Hydro Crunch T5 Fluorescent Grow Light
My plants did very well. I decided to purchase an adjustable ceiling hanging clips so that I could adjust its height to a convenient position.
This product has a solid construction and you can really feel the quality of this T5.
Its bulbs are so bright! In fact, I have this grow light running for a whole day. And guess what? It runs so smoothly and just fine! It has the best T5 bulbs for growing if I must say!
In addition, as an experienced grower, I want to classify this grow light as the best T5 grow lights for weed.
- Highly recommended for beginners
- Compact design
- Bright illumination
- Hangers are not included in the package
DuroLux T5 Grow Light DL844s
This T5 light has a lot of stuff for what you pay. It will certainly help you in getting a head start on your first indoor gardening based on my experience.
It greatly reduces some of them while at the same time sustaining enough light.
Overall, its lights work so great. They arrived promptly. All of its bulbs and fixtures were rightly and delicately packaged. I am very satisfied with this product.
- Worth what you paid for
- Heat efficient
- Well-built design
- Light is so bright
- Some bulbs tend to dim
- The reflector is quite flimsy
DuroLux T5 Grow Light DL824
Very good light! The fact it has small light but has a very large output is great! One switch will turn on or off the outer lights, and the other buttons control two lights in the middle.
Very well packaged and didn’t have any actual damage as mentioned from other reviews. Its bulbs are intact upon arriving. Very satisfying performance!
- Light is so bright
- Arrived well packaged in a very sturdy cardboard
- Has plug on the back of the lamp
- The power cord is quite heavy
- Occurs dimming on center two bulbs
Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Grow Light
This T5 light is really well-built and has four replaceable bulbs.
This light output is just amazing. I once used this on one of my plants that requires lots of light to grow fully. And this one got my highest expectations!
Perhaps it is one of the best fluorescent grow lights out there!
- Nicely packaged
- No dents or breakage upon arriving
- Great light
- Quality construction
- Switches are unbalanced
- Dimming occurs
- Dead ballast is possible after long use
HydroFarm Jump Start JSV4 Grow Light
The system of this grow light is not complex at all. It is very simple and efficient.
For the price matter, it would be difficult to find a package that has included a stand, a reflective fixture, a fine bulb, easy adjustment, and assembly.
This T5 light is not really industrial grade, but I assure you the light fixtures is so sturdy as well as the stand. Thumbs up for this one!
- Stand included in the package
- Sturdy design
- Easy to set up
- Excellent light
- Ballast fails at some instances
- The lamp turns to burn after so much extended use
Milliard 2 Bulb T5 Grow Light
Its light was well-packaged and did a very good job of maintaining my African violets on their utmost quality.
Setting it up was so easy, but be sure to pay attention to how it goes together, put together in the wrong way and you’ll have a hard time getting it back apart in good condition.
I also really like its easy to adjust cables and how uncomplicated it is to replace the fluorescents.
Very satisfying product if I must say! And the best T5 grow lights for microgreens.
- Well-built design
- Cables included
- Very easy to set up
- Wonderful light
- Plastic connectors are quite difficult to insert
- Bulbs tend to not completely ignite
Yescom T5 Grow Light 6500K
This one worked incredibly and I really just don’t even notice that they are there when not on. In addition, I am really impressed by the packaging when it arrived. Best T5 HO grow light for me.
I had no trouble at all for assembling and installing this one. I also happen to like the cord since it has a really nice length to link to my timers.
Overall, great lights that make everything grow at a very fast rate than a typical grow light.
- Illumination is great
- Easy to set-up and install
- The power cord was bad
- Made in China
- Bulbs tend to bust out
Hydrofarm FLP48 T5 Grow Light
I had this one for a couple of years, and I should tell you that this one is worth the money!
It has a very bright light. Actually, the beauty is that it comes with 4, so you have the option to throw 2 cool lights and 2 warm lights to give your plants a full-light spectrum! Its built design is also great! I am confident to say that this one is perhaps superior to other T5 grow lights.
It has the best T5 bulbs for flowering in my opinion.
- Worth the money
- Great design
- Already included hooks
- Very effective for all growth stages of plant
- The power cord is quite long
- A little expensive
- Quite Heavy
Sunblaster 904298 NanoTech T5 Light
This T5 grow light is just great! It is lightweight and has assorted clips and hooks included suspending the light depending on your growing area.
It gives a good amount of light from the bulb that is already included. It has an awesome reflector that reflects 100% of the light to the 6500K lamp it comes with.
In addition, it has cord included to link another one in line so you only need one plug for up to 8 lights.
- Clips and hooks included in the package
- A good amount of light
- Awesome reflector
- The cord on the package
- Lamp tends to overheat
- The bulb is not securely tied to the fixture
iPower GLT5XXPANL4T4 T5 Fluorescent Light
It has good quality lamps that have dual switches to turn on banks of lights and a power plug. This is a very great product for its price with a high-quality design.
It is so bright and its lights are evenly distributed. Overall, excellent performance!
- Good Quality Lamps
- Have Dual switches for convenience
- Well-built design
- Excellent lighting
- Reflector material is limited
- Power cord is somehow a little flimsy
Jump Start High Output T5 Grow Light
Jump Start high output T5 grow light system just proved its name after I’ve seen a huge result in my indoor garden. This T5 grow light made my seedlings grow strong and vibrant!
The light works really well especially for starting seedlings. It is bright for its size. I also like the legs that are included in the package. With this, I won’t have to hang anything from the ceiling and that’s a big factor for me.
Overall, great experience with this T5 grow light!
- Bright lights
- Stands included in the package
- Very good design
- Very convenient
- Quite difficult to assemble
- Reflectors are quite flimsy
Appolo Horticulture Purple Reign T5 Grow Light
For the most part, I highly recommend this grow light system. Very prompt delivery, and so easy to set-up. In addition, this grow light is very substantial! I was really amazed because of its potential convenience.
Overall, I can assure the quality of this T5 product as I’ve experienced so much fun growing my plants from seedlings to full-grown crops!
- Swift Delivery
- Easy to set-up
- Sturdy designs
- Very convenient
- Its ropes tend to lock
- Ballast tend to failed
Sun Blaze T5 Grow Light
A compact light that is super bright! All my seedlings did really well and it is powerful enough so there is little to no stretch at all.
One of the best fluorescent grow lights if I must say. All in all, it is a great T5 grow light for small gardening or keeping a couple of potted herbs.
- Great settings
- Bright light
- Well-built design
- Can be daisy-chained
- Recommended for beginners
- Bulbs tend to bust
- Not very powerful
- The power cord is quite short
You just can’t go wrong with a T5 light. Price, efficiency, quality, and yield will all line up in a sweet spot.
I truly hope that these t5 grow lights reviews gave you some more insights into the world of lightning and that it will help you make the best decision.
Even looking at the very best t5 grow lights we can say that they’re cheap enough to start with, and they get the job done.
There are too many advantages, especially when it comes to temperature, over other popular light systems. You’ll save money and start harvesting beautiful, healthy buds.