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While the “T” denotes that the lamp is tubular, “12” indicates that it’s twelve-eighths of an inch in diameter. Similarly, “5” in TS indicates that it’s five-eighths of an inch and “8” in T8 is eight-eighths of an inch.
Fluorescents are also referred to as Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFL, but CFLs were introduced much later. Even CFLs use the same technology of exciting mercury to emit light.
Although T5 lights are a tad more expensive than T8 and T12 lights, they are more efficient. You’ll need many T8 and T12 lights to match the efficiency of a T5 light. Plus, the light output has more lumen compared to previous fluorescent lights, thereby making it an ideal choice for cannabis growers.
Whether it’s a photoperiod or autoflowering cannabis strain, the best fluorescent light would be the T5 since it is small and highly effective. They are easy to maintain and last at least for 20,000 hours. Although they are not as effective as LEDs or HIDs, they can be used to grow plants in the vegetative stage because they emit blue light that’s particularly effective.
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Another major advantage of using fluorescents is that they are cheaper than LEDs and HIDs. Your initial investment will be a lot lesser than other high-intensity lights. And to top it all, they are cheaper to maintain as well.
T12 lights were the first ones to be used by growers. Lights in these fluorescents were produced by electromagnetic induction, and the only problem was that they weren’t very efficient to grow plants. T8 and T5 lights that came out much later were more powerful. T5 lights are most preferred today because they are significantly smaller in size compared to their counterparts.
Fluorescents have their own advantages. They emit very little heat and are easy to handle. So, don’t be too quick to write them off yet. If the idea of a cool Grow Room with minimal heat issues fascinates you, read on to know if you can grow autoflowers with fluorescent lights.
Grow lights serve as a great way to replace natural sunlight. But, apart from that, they have their own advantages. For instance, you can’t control nature
Here’s a picture of one of my very first grows with CFLs.
It’s a good idea to start training when the plant is young, since new stems are flexible and easy to bend (LST). If you start early, you can train your plant to grow flat and wide under your CFL grow lights with only gentle bending and tying down.
“Will a 5500k photography CFL bulbs work for growing weed? I know you’re supposed to get 6500k colored bulbs in the vegetative stage, and 2700k colored bulbs for flowering…”
3.) Color Spectrum – Not That Important
Today I will walk you through the steps of growing cannabis with CFLs, but you’ll get more from this guide if you at least understand the life cycle of a cannabis plant. Taking 20 minutes to read the basics tutorial will answer 95% of the most common cannabis growing questions new growers have. Plus, having a primer will make the learning experience smoother and more fun!
Easy to find in grocery and home improvement stores
To get the biggest yields, keep your CFLs as close to your buds as possible (without burning them!)
I’m still not sure which grow lights to get… You may be interested in this discussion on the pros and cons of CFLs vs other grow lights for a small space Learn more about CFLs vs other popular types of cannabis grow lights
CFLs are available everywhere… giving you a cheap & stealthy way to start growing weed in a cupboard, computer case, or small closet. Learn how…