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Growing Indoor Plants with Fluorescent Lighting

An inconsistent light source will ruin any crop. When growing starting from seed it is very important that the seedling gets as much light as possible. Growing inside with fluorescent grow lights provides the perfect amount of light for seedlings and plants in veg. Fluorescent grow lights have a lower wattage than high intensity systems, making them perfect for seed starting, cuttings, transplants and every stage of plant growth. A T5 bulb is also the perfect choice for over-wintering a houseplant or two so they will remain healthy throughout the dark, cold winter. T5 fluorescent lighting emit very little heat, are energy efficient, easy to use and will help your plants grow strong from germination through harvest.

t5 grow lights

What does T5 stand for?

The letter “T” in the lighting industry represents the shape of the bulb, which in this case is tubular. The “5” indicates the diameter in eights of an inch, so a T5 fluorescent bulb is 5/8″ in diameter.

Vegetative Cycle Lighting

T5 fluorescent lighting is a popular choice for plants during their vegetative cycle (also known as the growth cycle). T5 fluorescent bulbs will provide high output (HO) light at a reasonable price and minimal heat. One T5 bulb will provide 20,000 hours of life and provides the full daylight experience for growing plants. During seeding and vegetation a fluorescent grow lights can be used 24 hours a day. It is very important that plants during seeding and cloning get enough light. Too little light will stunt the overall growth potential of the plant. Remember, just placing young plants next to a windowsill sometimes wont be enough light for them.

The flowering and budding stages of a plant’s life is improved with the use of T5 lighting. The high output lighting mimics that of natural sunlight better than other varieties of grow lights at a time in the plant’s life cycle when strong light is needed to bring the plant to its final stage of production.

Energy Efficient

At 75 to 90 lumens per watt, T5 lights are energy efficient and very effective for indoor gardens, especially when several bulbs are used to provide light to the developing plants.

The low heat emission and the higher color rendering properties allow the bulbs to be placed closer to plants which significantly reduces lumen loss from the bulb to the plant. More efficient use of lighting means less waste of this energy resource and a reduced out-of-pocket expense for indoor gardening endeavors. Each T5 bulb uses an estimated 20% less amount of energy than other types of indoor grow lights. Most T5 bulbs are rated to last around 20,000 hours.

Uniform Lighting

Horticultural T5 fluorescent bulbs are either 2- or 4-ft. long, and because the bulb spans the entire distance of the fixture, the light energy emitted to plants is uniform. All plants grown under a T5 fixture receive the same amount of light energy and will develop at the same rate. Uniform growth equates to a higher return at harvest time. Keep your T5 bulb about 3 to 4 inches above the top foliage of the plant. T5 lights run very cool so you don’t have to worry about burning any leaves if you get too close.

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