In the world of florescent grow lights, T5 tube lights are very efficient and highly reliable for plant growth. They are an inexpensive investment, making them appealing to small-scale gardeners as well as commercial grow operations. They work well for seed starting, lettuce production and for culinary herbs.
But continual advancements in LED technology has resulted in a maturing market of super-efficient grow lights. LEDs may have higher upfront costs, but they offer many advantages: Mercury-free, Recyclable, Longer Product Life, Less Heat Generation & Improved Electrical Efficiency.
Not all LEDs are designed to operate in the same form factor. Many SMD Panels, UFOs, Par38 & COB designs require 12 or more inches of vertical clearance to achieve proper light distribution. In contrast T5 fluorescents create uniform light while running cool enough to be placed within a few inches of plant canopy. What types of LED lights can be placed very close to your plants, just like T5s?
On Ebay and Amazon you can find some low watt panel LEDs that claim to offer adequate growth. I’ve tried a couple. And my testing showed how a 5 star review on Amazon doesn’t really count for anything these days. Previous video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtRWbltewB0
Have you ever read a review that states: “I received the product at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.”? Well, that means that the light was handed out to people who just want some freebies. This can deceive you into buying something that doesn’t perform!
But worry not my fellow growers! A high quality LED solution has fallen into my lap and I have the opportunity to share this cool T5 upgrade with you guys.
OLD PRODUCT LINK (Amazon): https://bit.ly/2dhbgaZ
*** PRODUCT UPDATE ***
I’ve found out that the Transcend Line of T5 LED tubes is in the process of being rebranded for the retail market. They are temporarily unavailable. But I’ll update you when things change!!! Sorry for the temporary inconvenience guys!
Thrive Agritech (formerly Transcend Lighting)
Their LED light is a 4 foot bulb that is designed to plug directly into an existing T5 ballast! By swapping out your old fluorescents, you can get the same great growth at a mere 45% of the original electrical consumption. So in a 4 bulb configuration, you can drop from 205w to just 92w (actual consumption)!
T5 Fluorescent / 2ft x 4 bulbs (6400k) – 96w (86w actual)
Coverage area: 22.5″ x 13.5″ = 304 sq in
2 ft Fixture: http://bit.ly/1qmbmAj
T5 LED Direct Replacement Tube / 4ft x 4 bulbs – 120w (92w actual)
Coverage area: 46″ x 13.5″ = 621 sq in
Transcend Bulbs: https://bit.ly/2dhbgaZ
4 ft Fixture: https://bit.ly/2dUOCCW
Distance: Lights were placed 6″ from soil surface.
Plant Set Up: Red Sails leaf lettuce grown from seed in Kratky’s hydroponic trays.
– Seeds from Botanical Interests: http://shrsl.com/?efe4
Of course, energy savings is useless, if the light doesn’t perform. But after comparing my 2 foot T5 fluorescent with this 4 foot system, I’m happy to say that this light has done really well! In expending 7% more power, I observed at least 43% more growth. And there was potential for even more. 🙂 If compared to a 4 foot fluorescent system, I’m sure these LEDs would be able to keep up with no problems!
The Thrive Agritech LED bulbs are not cheap by any means. But they are certainly effective and can be a very worthwhile investment. If you are running an existing T5 grow operation, then transitioning to these bulbs will be worth consideration. How quickly will these lights pay for themselves in energy savings? That depends on your electrical rates and the hours you run these on an annual basis. Look for a more thorough explanation in a future video!
#GrowLights #IndoorLighting #LEDGrowLights #IndoorGardening
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