The newest generation of T5 fluorescent grow lights are fine for ornamental houseplants and leafy produce like lettuce and spinach, and for herbs.
They also work great for starting seedlings, cuttings, and clones. Fluorescents are the cheapest lights you can buy for a hydroponics garden, and are nice and COOL.
they just don't have the proper spectrum needed for fruiting vegetables
and flowering plants. The latest, the new T5 fluorescents, are getting
closer to the full needed spectrum, but they're just not quite there
If you're pretty sure you're going to limit your hydroponics gardens to leafy veggies... lettuces, chard, spinach, herbs... then go ahead with a T5 fixture. But if you think you might one day start hankering for sweet tomatoes, juicy squash, or even flowers... then go with an HID lamp. It can be used for all types of hydroponics crops.
Or do like me, get one of each, and set up a "split-plan". One side for big pots (HID) and one side for the lettuce raft (T5 fluorescent grow lights).
But just so you know... T5s are capable of growing quite an amazing lettuce harvest!
Check these out:
This is a crop of "mixed bag" lettuces from last spring
Day 10 after setting baby romaines into the raft
Day 23- taking off!
Day 33- ready for the salad bowl
Tips on using T5 fluorescents:
It works great for my 2X4 foot lettuce raft:
***For some very informative FAQs on lighting your grow room with florescent bulbs, come visit.
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