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The newest generation of T5 fluorescent grow lights are fine for ornamental houseplants and leafy
produce like lettuce and spinach, and for herbs. 

deluxe T5 grow lamp

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).

Split garden plan

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!

Romaine lettuce from T5s

Day 33- ready for the salad bowl

Tips on using T5 fluorescents:

  • Keep fluoro lights only 4-6" above the plants. They are so cool they will not burn them.
  • How much wattage do I need?
    40 watts per sq. foot of planting bed.
  • How many T5 fluoro lamps do I need?
    One 4 foot tube for each 2 sq. ft of growing bed:
    --2X4 foot bed= get 4- 4 foot lamps
    --4X4 foot bed= get 8- 4 foot lamps
  • Where can you get a good T5 for a good price?
    4 Lamp 4' T5 (20,000 lumens).... for under $200
    Buy one here: New Wave T5 Fluorescent Lamp 4 X 4

    (See photo below)

It works great for my 2X4 foot lettuce raft:

T5 Fluorescent Grow Light

***For some very informative FAQs on lighting your grow room with florescent bulbs, come visit.

Return from Fluorescent Grow Lights to Lighting


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