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Best T5 Grow Lights Reviews

Year round fresh produce sounds like an impossibility, but with the right light, you can grow and harvest almost anything you desire. Dabbling in various lights and how they can improve upon, or support, plant growth has recently become an interest of mine. Fresh herbs through the winter not only sound appetizing, but it also is a healthy alternative to dehydrated store-bought produce.

Plants only utilize specific parts of the light spectrum. When you understand the specific needs of your plant growth stages and when which light should be used, you’ll be harvesting your own fresh produce in no time. T5 grow lights are a fluorescent bulb choice that emits a very specific range of light wavelengths. Although there are many available choices on the current market, our top-rated picks are found below.

5 Best T5 Grow Lights Comparisons

Model
          Features
Hydroplanet T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights


  • Lamp Quantity: 4 - 8
  • Temperature: 6500 k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 2 year

DuroLux T5 DL844s Ho Fluorescent Grow Light


  • Lamp Quantity: 4
  • Temperature: 6500k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 5 year
Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLT44 T5 Fluorescent Grow Light System


  • Lamp Quantity: 2 - 12
  • Temperature: 6400k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 workmanship, 5 on ballasts
Hydro Crunch T5 High Output Fluorescent Grow Light


  • Lamp Quantity: 4-8
  • Temperature: compatible 2700-6400k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Sun Blaze T5 HO Fluorescent Indoor Grow Light Fixture


  • Lamp Quantity: 1-8
  • Temperature: 6500k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

How Does a Grow Light Work?

Grow lights use a specific light spectrum to support vegetative growth. Essentially they are artificial sunlight sources that provide the wavelengths utilized by plants to support the chemical process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the what occurs when plants convert light energy into energy they can use for growth and production.

Light is measured by the colored wavelengths produced within the light spectrum. Short wavelengths are characterized by warmer temperatures (measured in kelvins), and long wavelengths are considered cooler. Although considered a ‘cooler’ color, blue wavelengths are shorter, warmer and are used within early growth and maturing plant stages. ‘Warmer’ color reds and oranges are defined by long wavelengths and help support blooming and plant production.

What Are T5 Grow Lights ?

T5 grow lamps are considered an excellent alternative lighting source for your home to provide both additional lighting, as well as full-on artificial lighting to aide in plant health, growth, and reproduction. T5 lamps are a fluorescent lighting choice that measures ⅝” in diameter, and are smaller than their relative counterparts, making them a convenient, and lightweight choice for your growing purposes.

Despite being smaller than similar products, the T5 actually puts out a higher luminous flux, or light output, than larger choices- making it an efficient choice as well.

What is Fluorescent Lighting?

Fluorescent lighting is created through a chemical process of gases and mercury vapor interacting which produce an invisible UV light. This then illuminates the inside of a glass tube to produce a ‘white’ light that you can see. These glass bulbs are set within a ballast, a mechanism that stabilizes and interacts with your bulb to control the output of your lamp.

Why Choose Fluorescent Lighting?

As mentioned, different lights provide differing spectrums for your plants to use. Fluorescent bulbs typically provide more light found in the blue spectral range but can incorporate some of the cooler oranges as well. Typically bulbs are offered from around 3000k (orange) to 10,000k (blue) temperatures, and closely mimic the light plants would receive if grown outdoors during daylight hours. This spectral range supports early plant growth through maturity and is best utilized during these stages.

Fluorescent bulbs are also long lasting and on average have a 50,000-hour lifespan, put out much less heat when in use than many other choices, and are very efficient in their use. Because of this, they are often used for more than just vegetative plant support as they can light up quite a bit of space much more efficiently than traditional, regular bulbs.

How to Choose the Best T5 Grow Light for Your Grow

Since T5 grow lights can be specifically offered in various temperature choices, it is important to realize that not all are created exactly the same. Your lower temperature bulbs will be more specific to mature growth and promotes higher rates of photosynthesis required to influence flowering and production. Higher temperatures provide more light found within the blue range and provide a steady coverage for plants to use for leafing out and growing upwards. Knowing what your needs are prior to investing in your lights is an important step in your plants health.
What stages of plant development do you need to support?
T5 lights are more specific to the blue range of the light spectrum, so therefore they are better used for getting seedlings started and to support plant growth through vegetative maturity stages. Those bulbs that lean towards the cooler wavelengths are great choices to maintain plant health when flowering and production are not needed.
How much space do you need to cover?
The great thing about T5 fluorescents are how much coverage they provide. When combined with a lighting system that uses reflective barriers, you can get quite a bit of square footage out of a single set up. You don’t want to short change your crops, however, so it is important to take note of how much coverage you can get from your choices depending on what stages of growth they are in.
What crops do you plan on growing?
Producing plants are not going to receive enough of the correct lightwaves from a T5 for maximum harvest prior to this stage of growth. However they do support plants up until this point. If you are simply looking for a good supplemental light for your household plants that are non-productive, these also are a good choice.

Top T5 Grow Light Reviews

Of the many T5 grow lights currently available, we’ve compiled some of the most popular with consumers through hundreds of reviews.

Hydroplanet T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights

Quick Info

  • Lamp Quantity: 4 – 8
  • Temperature: 6500 k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 2 year
The Hydroplanet T5 Fluorescent Grow Light systems use HO (high output) bulbs at a temperature of 6500k. This range provides a nice balance of orange to blue light spectral offerings to support healthy plant development, and help plants reach productive stages of growth. You can also control which bulbs are turned on with a switch control, meaning you may be able to provide a larger range of light spectrum depending on which bulb temperatures you purchase.

Since this setup is offered in various lengths and bulb quantities, this system is fairly versatile to better meet the needs of smaller spaces which can occasionally be limited in dimensions. The lights are considered cool running and do not put out too much radiant heat and are fairly lightweight and easy to move up or down in accordance to your plant needs. The bulb housings are reflective, meaning no light energy is wasted as it is directed downwards towards your plants, ensuring they are getting the full effects of what the system has to offer. Furthermore, multiple units can be daisy chained, or linked together, in order to provide more light where needed.

Pros

  • Very little radiant heat
  • Switch to control bulb output
  • Supports healthy plant growth

Cons

  • Some lights may have an internal short to ground
  • Housing not always well protected in shipment
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Pro tip

These are excellent lights for anyone looking to maintain vegetative states, or influence healthy growth in either non-producing or producing plants until they are ready to bloom. Hobbyists can take advantage of smaller spaces, while larger, or serious grows can chain together multiple units to provide large area coverage. Their light footprint is entirely adjustable as well to fit your needs, with well-directed light energy for various stages of plant growth.

DuroLux T5 DL844s Ho Fluorescent Grow Light

Quick Info

  • Lamp Quantity: 4
  • Temperature: 6500k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 5 year
DuroLux lights are a popular choice in the fluorescent lighting business as they offer quite a few different choices. The DL844s High Output grow light unit is one of their best sellers and contains 4 separate 6500k lamps to provide a good spectral balance. The bulb output can also be controlled by a switch to run either set of 2, or all 4 at a time.

Considered a very cool unit, you can place this within very close proximity (within 3 to 4 inches) of your young plants to provide them with very directed light from the reflective aluminum housing. The unit can also be hung vertically, or horizontally with the included hooks and chains, and up to 5 separate units can be daisy-chained together to cover a larger grow space. Measuring 46 inches long and 12 inches wide, this narrow construction makes it a versatile choice for smaller grow spaces as well.

Pros

  • Can be hung vertically and horizontally
  • Great for transitioning plants to full sun
  • Very cool to run

Cons

  • Ballasts may go out but are covered for 5 years
  • Aluminum housing can bend easily
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Pro tip

Although a longer, more narrow unit, this is a good light for smaller grow spaces due to how cool it runs. With the opportunity to link up to 5 units together you can also increase your light footprint exponentially for more serious, or even commercial grows. The 6500k output is specific to early growth and development, and does not meet the plants needs for high yield production however, so the light is best used for maintenance and growth.

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLT44 T5 Fluorescent Grow Light System

Quick Info

  • Lamp Quantity: 2 – 12
  • Temperature: 6400k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 workmanship, 5 on ballasts
The Hydrofarm Argobrite FLT44 is a 4 tube, 4 feet system that has many various size counterparts that run in a similar manner in order to better meet the needs of a wider variety of growers. Smaller, as well as larger, units are available with no drop in quality performance. Each unit allows for total control of light intensity through a switch and comes with 6400k lamp outputs.

Considered cool running, these units can be mounted both vertically and horizontally and can be placed within inches of your plants without fear of burning- which makes them an awesome choice for germination and seedling growth. Up to 3 units of this size can be daisy-chained together to create a larger grow footprint, and the durable reflective housing helps keep light energy focused on where you need it most.

Pros

  • Excellent for seed startup
  • Durable housing
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Does not come with hooks and chains
  • Larger units may require fan ventilation due to heat buildup
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Pro tip

This particular choice is a total of 36 inches long and 13.5 inches wide, making it an ideal choice for smaller to mid-sized grows, especially when multiple units are used together. Because the units are offered in various sizes it is easy to go much smaller, as well as much larger to for the needs of everybody from hobbyist to more serious growers. With a 6400k temperature output, plant stages up to production should receive an excellent source of energy as well as decent support for early bloom.

Hydro Crunch T5 High Output Fluorescent Grow Light

Quick Info

  • Lamp Quantity: 4-8
  • Temperature: compatible 2700-6400k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
The Hydro Crunch is built with a 95% reflective aluminum interior to keep your unit cool and provide light to where you need it the most. Lightweight, it also is available in a few size choices to better meet the needs of a variety of consumers. Outfitted with 8-6400k bulbs, this particular light is compatible with bulbs that range from 2700-6400k to better meet the needs of your plant stages of growth.

They are also available to mount both vertically and horizontally and come with a rope hanging system. The units are easy to daisy chain together as well, and depending on the size unit, 3 to 6 fixtures may be able to be run off one outlet. It also boasts a switch to help control your lumen output- which is distributed at a 120-degree angle to better reach the entirety of your growing plants.

Pros

  • High functioning and durable
  • Great vegetative growth support
  • Bright and well focused

Cons

  • May have some shipping issues, covered by warranty
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Pro tip

These lights are geared towards mid-sized to larger grows, and due to the ease of outfitting your housing with a wider spectrum of lights, is able to support almost all stages of plant growth very well. Lightweight in nature, you can adjust your height and placement easily also if the need arises.

Sun Blaze T5 HO Fluorescent Indoor Grow Light Fixture

Quick Info

  • Lamp Quantity: 1-8
  • Temperature: 6500k
  • Works with timers: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Available in a variety of sizes, Sun Blaze T5 HO Grow Light Fixtures are popular choices due to their lightweight and easy installation. They come standard with 6500k degree bulbs, and can be used with easy to install replacement lamps down to 3000k red spectrum lamps. This particular light is one of the best single bulb units there is, which can be used in much tighter spaces and in many more ways than larger units. Easy to mount both vertically and horizontally, these lights are specifically for growing both producing, and non-producing vegetation in any stages of growth. Switches also allow for light intensity in larger, multi bulb units- and to change out spectral wavelength choices depending on the stages of growth you need them for: making it a versatile, all-in-one lighting choice. Lights can also be connected by daisy chains to make a truly customized experience.

Pros

  • Great for maintenance and early growth
  • Cool to use, and bright
  • Easy to hang

Cons

  • Some issues with plug coming loose
  • Aluminum may bend
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Pro tip

The amount of sizes offered in these lights are awesome, and provide lighting for the smallest of needs to some of the largest. With a 3000 – 6500k spectral range (depending on your bulb choice), you can support early plant growth through bloom and production easily, and in some cases- with a flip of a switch.

Conclusion

T5 fluorescent lighting is an excellent choice for your vegetative plant growth stages, and in some cases, even for support of bloom and production with the correct lamp choices. Your lighting needs may be a mixed bag at times depending on what you are attempting to grow and what stages of growth your plants are within. Because of this, choosing a light you can get the most out of can be a definite advantage. Our favorite versatile choice is the Hydro Crunch T5 High Output Fluorescent Grow Light due to the bulb compatibility which makes them easier to use with a wider range of plant growth, as well as the awesome 120 degree range of light for more evenly distributed light coverage.

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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