Fluorescent grow lights are used by many indoor growers. Over time they have proved to be a fine source of light for this purpose, so in today’s market there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re a beginner, it’s important to find the right information before you buy any grow lights, which this article will cover in more detail.
Choosing the Right Bulbs
What’s right for your indoor setup will depend on what kind of plants you are trying to grow, and at what stage they are in. For instance, if you are growing seedlings (a young plant coming out of the seed) or your plants are in vegetative growth (prior to flowering), then the optimum choice are T5 fluorescent grow lights, because the light they give out is on the blue spectrum. We recommend that you get bulbs that are “plus” or “high output”.
T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights
There’s a difference between the standard grow lights you’ll typically find in an office (which are T12) , and T5 grow lights, so just make a mental note on that. T5 are specifically for indoor gardening purposes. They provide larger growth, and they’re designed to induce a greater amount of light in small spaces. Behind each bulb you’ll find reflectors to increase the light output directed at the plants. These bulbs will grow strong and healthy plants in their vegetative state, but they can be quite expensive.
Compact Fluorescent Grow Lights
Compact fluorescent lights are smaller than T5 bulbs, but they are made so they can provide extra light for every inch of bulb surface, which makes them extra efficient for tiny spaces. Their price range is similar to the T5, and they will work just as well.
How Much Light Should I Be Looking To Provide?
Every type of plant will have different needs, such as the time for their light and darkness cycles, and level of brightness. It’s better to know as much as you can about what you’re growing, but a good rule of thumb is to use 2 or 3 of the light fixtures discussed here for a setup that has a plant height of 2 or 3 feet, and most plants will require about 4 to 6 hours of darkness per day. Using an automatic timer is the best solution for this.
If you’re looking around for the best fluorescent grow lights, always keep in mind that to get optimum results, researching about your plant’s specifications is key. At the end of the day you’re looking to mimic their natural growth conditions, so it’s important to keep track of what stage they’re on, and what spectrum of light you should provide in each of them. If you’re interested, you could look into LED grow lights, they’re worth digging into if you’d like to save some money.