Fluorescent lights can be an inexpensive lighting option for a small farm operation, but not every fluorescent light is the same. If you’re not using the right kind, you won’t have enough light to grow. (Read more: https://university.upstartfarmers.com/blog/how-to-choose-fluorescent-grow-lights-for-your-farm)
You’ll see several numbers on a fluorescent light that give you information about how it works, and help you avoid lights that are too dim.
Tubular lights have a “T” rating that tells you the diameter of the tube. T12 lights have that designation because they have a diameter of 12/8 of an inch or 1.5 inches. These tubes were commonly used in indoor lighting applications, but they’re just not very bright, even with a coating to make them full-spectrum.
T5 lights are narrower than T12s, with a diameter of 5/8 of an inch. Look for a T5 bulb with an additional “HO” rating, which stands for “high output.” That means the ballast has been adjusted to make them even brighter — and for growing purposes, more efficient.
T5 are the best type of fluorescent grow lights. T12s are low-output, and aren’t recommended for growers unless they’re able to get them extremely cheap and use them for low-light crops.
00:13 What are Fluorescent Lights?
00:50 Best Fluorescent Lights
01:51 T5 Grow Light
02:16 When to use Fluorescent Lights
04:13 Limitations of Fluorescent Lights
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