Introduction to fluorescent light
Fluorescent lights have been used for a long time to grow indoors. They are cheap, use little power, have a low heat output compare to HID lamps and can be used with great advantages in small spaces due to their low profile.
They have considerably evolved those past few years, manufacturers advertising new improved models allowing you to have great results with a bit of experience, nearly matching what you can expect of an HPS/MH lamp. That’s why fluorescent bulbs still have their place in modern marijuana grow kits.
- How does it works?
It’s composed of a glass tube coated with phosphor and filled with a gas mixture. When electrical current is applied, it activates a reaction with the gases, making the tube glow brightly.
- What is available on the market?
Standard fluorescent tubes:
They are the basic tubes you have seen everywhere, most commonly used around the world for domestic and industrial purposes. You can use them to grow pot, but there are much more effective fluorescent plant lights to use.
« T5 » refers to the bulb’s size. They are an improved version of standard tubes, having a much better spectrum and highest efficiency.
CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Light):
They were initially produced to replace standard incandescent bulbs in our houses, fitting in most sockets and producing the same amount of light for a smaller power use.
Bigger cfl grow lights were later specially designed for indoor grows, and can be used with great success.
Most popular CFL bulbs
Since 300w cfl grow lights are among the biggest you can get, and you will get more efficiency using several smaller ones, we’re going to review smaller models, up to 250 Watt.
Hydroponic Full Spectrum CFL Grow Light Bulb 60 Watt Bulb 5500K H60
- 5500K day light energy balance photo light bulb 5500K
- Optimal color temperature for hydroponic
- Approximate Incandescent Equivalent: 250 Watts
- 60 Watt CFL Full Spectrum Bulb
This bulb has low wattage. Great for very small spaces but you’ll need to use several of them in a larger grow room. They also can be used in addition to other light types in order to provide light in darker areas, where the main light source can’t reach.
Hydrofarm FLC125W Compact Warm Fluorescent Bulb
- Compact warm fluorescent bulb full spectrum ensures proper development and maximum flowering
- Use horizontal or vertical inside or outside the plant canopy
- No heat means more light energy right next to your plants
- Available in 125-watt full spectrum warm
- Comes with 1-year warranty
This bulb you should be used in combination with the previous item’s reflector to ensure good P.A.R ratio during the blooming period. However, you should be advised that some users report a high heat production regarding to the kind of lamp it is.
Hydrofarm FLCDG125D Fluorowing Compact Fluorescent System
- Full daylight spectrum 125 watt compact fluorescent grow bulb
- Compact reflector
- CSA certified
Designed for an area of about 2’ x 2’, one of the great features here is it allows you to switch to 200 watt bulbs without changing anything else. As for other CFL lights, you should remember to ensure a maximum reflection by covering your grow room’s walls with a reflective material.
Apollo Horticulture 250 Watt CFL Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb System – 6400K
- Lumens- 10,850 / Color Temperature- 6,400 Kelvin / 120V/60Hz
- Apollo Horticulture U.S.A Standard Reflector w/ 13 Feet Power Cord
- Reflector Measures – 19″ x 19″ x 5″
Great for areas of 3’ x 3’ and a bit more, this kit comes with a 6400K bulb, ideal for the veg period. Of course, corresponding bulb (around 2700K) should be used for blooming.
Hydro Crunch Horticulture 250W CFL Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Reflector System – 2700K
- Pre-installed ceramic E39 mogul socket
- Industry Standard 120V Wall outlet plug
- 250W 2700K CFL LAMP x 1
- Lumens: 15,000
- Color Temperature: 2700k
Well fitted for medium sized areas, this lamp will provide a spectrum adapted to blooming. It’s easy to assemble, but you should be cautious about its weight.
Most popular T5 fluorescent light
T5 Grow Light (4ft-4lamps) DL844s Ho Fluorescent Hydroponic Fixture
- 20,000 lumens – light output – powerful grow system
- 95% Reflective German hammertone reflectors. 30% more light than comparable light systems
- Outlet on fixture – Power up to 5 fixtures off one wall outlet – less clutter, more convenience
- 2 switches on body – one for inner 2 bulbs, another for outer 2 bulbs
Although their price went up a bit, they’re still cheap and represent a great alternative among lights for growing weed. Most users are enchanted by the brightness of the light and its efficiency. It can be a smart item to add to your cannabis growing equipment, especially if you plan on cloning.
EnviroGro FLT24 2-Ft / T5 bulbs
- 3″H x 13.5″W x 23″L
- Lumen output rated up to 8000
- Powder coated steel housing
- Low profile
- Hangs 3 ways – overhead, vertical or horizontal
- 10′ grounded power cord
- Includes 4 fluorescent 6400K, T5 tubes
This fixture can be purchased in 2 or 4 feet versions, for 2, 4 or 8 tubes. Similar to the previous item, this one shows a more solid construction and has adjustable switches to control the number of tubes lit-up at a time. Everything is pre-assembled, you just have to put the tubes in and plug it.
Even if fluorescent light cannot be compared to a heavy blasting HID light, they still can be used with good results, and are a great alternative for those who are on a low budget.