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T5 VS T8 Grow Lights: What You Need to Know

Are you interested in the concept of growing your own produce at home to help eliminate rising food costs and increasing the amount of extra money in your household budget? What about the thought of fresh-grown vegetables for healthy eating or supporting the environment and nature with oxygen-rich plants?

Maybe you want to have a picture-worthy garden of blooming colors, lush shrubs, benches, gentle lighting and a personal oasis in your backyard. If your answer is “of course” or “yes” to any of the above questions, have you ever thought of using grow lights to achieve these goals?

Grow lights are multi-tasking lightbulbs that duplicate the power and effects of sunlight exposure or UV rays on vegetation in all stages of life. With consistent UV exposure for varieties of plants that required a little more TLC or are considered advanced growing plants; along with the ability to grow plants in an indoor location in poor weather patterns; it is a great product for any gardener, amateur or professional, to research and potentially invest in.

If you live in a location where the growing season can be shortened due to the weather patterns during each individual season and natural climate change, a grow light can be useful for starting seeds and encouraging the settling of roots in seedlings.

 

 

While using itself on the same electricity source as that of your home or shed, etc. to power the light bulb, grow lights can create an increase in your monthly light bill but when installing properly, the cost shouldn’t exceed that of a half-grown plant purchased from your local nursery.

T5 VS T8 Grow Lights Comparison Table

Model
          Features

Kerosene

  • Heat Quality: ~135,000 BTU/Gallon
  • Cost: $$$
  • Availability: Not as available
  • Portable: Yes
  • Mountable: No

Propane

  • Heat Quality: ~ 91,800 BTY/Gallon
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Availability: Very Available
  • Portable: Yes
  • Mountable: Yes

T5 Grow Light

The difference between T5 and T8 grow lights is that a T5 grow light is a fluorescent light that is 5/8” of an inch in diameter with the “T” representing the shape of the lamp-tubular bulb. The number following the “T” represents the number of eighths of an inch that the lightbulb will be in diameter as previously mentioned.

 

 

Found at most hardware and specialty shops, as well as nurseries; most T5 Grow Lights can range in price from $10.00 to $200.00. The higher-end models seem to have more positive consumer reviews in terms of life expectancy and wattage; whereas the lower priced models are more wallet-friendly for gardening beginners.

Temperature

The T5 light when used in rooms of 35°C, casts a warm temperature whether being used as the main source or supplementary source of lighting. With its ability to cast light in a smaller amount of space than its counterparts; it has a certain appeal to consumers who are limited to growing space indoors or even outdoors.

 

 

Smaller plants or delicate varieties could benefit from the use of a small fan to circulate air throughout the room while using any type of Grow Light but especially when using a T5 light due to the consistent exposure.

Available in Two Styles

The T5 Grow Light is available to gardeners and consumers in either LED light bulbs or fluorescent bulbs for roughly similar pricing. The chance to have options and choices while purchasing a product will always be attractive to consumers as it opens up more opportunities for discussion and research. With similar benefits and disadvantages in both bulbs, such as low energy levels and increased lifespan; either option can be the right one to meet your needs as a gardener.

Higher Efficiency Rate than its Counterparts

When today’s society has to contend with rising expenses in virtually every aspect of their lives, cost-reducing measures are a necessity and a reality. People are saving money wherever they can to offset the expenses they cannot reduce.

The T5 Grow Light has been proven through numerous tests and consumer reviews it has a higher efficiency rate when compared with a similar T8 Grow Light. The difference in the efficiency rates are approximately 9%, which might seem small at first but when adding this difference in your electricity bill over the course of a year? A fair amount of difference once you factor in the lack of money being spent in fresh produce.

Can Cost More Money Than the T8 Grow Light

Gardening can be an expensive hobby by the time you outfit yourself and your family with tools, choose the proper soil and mulch, and invest in nutrients and fertilizers.  The cost of seeds and seedlings can range dramatically in price, so successful growing is a must. While Grow Lights help increase the chances of a successful, produce-bearing plant; the T5 Grow Light can cost up to 2x more than the T8 Grow Light.

T8 Grow Light

A T8 grow light is a fluorescent light that is exactly one inch (1”) in diameter and approximately 40% smaller than the T5 grow light model. With a longer design than the T5 grow light, these bulbs are not interchangeable within growing systems.

Also found at most hardware retailers, along with specialty shops and nurseries, the T8 grow light comes in a variety of manufacturers and prices. One light that garnered good views through Amazon was the LightingWill LED Grow Light. While sporting a steeper price tag, it is a pack of four lightbulbs so the option to grow multiple things at one time is there.

Can Be Used Interchangeably in Different Fixtures

A bonus feature that the T8 light can brag about in comparison to its counterpart would have to be that it can be used in more generic fixtures without sacrificing power or wattage. T5 Grow Light light bulbs must be installed in a specific fixture before growth begins and some brands are only able to be used with the same brand’s fixture. The option of being able to use the same fixtures for different models of light bulbs results in a smaller amount of short-term maintenance and/or costly repair.

Life Span

Studies and tests have concluded that the T8 Grow Light will last for a longer lifespan when in comparison to a T5 Grow Light. Producing approximately 30,000 hours of UV rays, they outweigh the T5 by 20,000 hours. This is a significant amount but it is always wise to look at the wattage and power in the bulb; especially if the plant(s) being grown required a certain amount of sunlight.

Your Best Choice Explained

Whether you are an advanced garden or a beginner, a grow light can benefit you and your garden in ways you never thought of. With its dual purposes of warmth and growth, a grow light can boost your plants from average to excellent quality. Gardeners who decide to use a grow light for their produce reported that they tend to see a higher quality of plant or vegetable and a higher output for little effort to no effort. These Grow Lights also help reduce the risk of losing a plant due to weakness or weather but rather they increase the longevity of the plant.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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