Needing to replace your T5 grow lamp? Or maybe upgrade from your T8 or T12 lights? Wondering what are the best T5 grow lights for growing weed and how they differ from other types of grow lights?
Although many growers tend to convert to LED lights, T5 light bulbs remain one of the most popular grow lights. Providing high efficiency for a low cost, they’re still the preferred choice for many hobbyists.
In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about the best T5 grow lights, from their benefits to the specifications to look out for. You should have no doubt when the time comes to select the most adapted lights for your grow room.
Finally, we’ll review and discuss the best T5 grow lights available today.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated T5 Grow Lights For 2020
What Are T5 Grow Lights?
T5 lights are fluorescent lights, conceived to provide high-efficiency artificial lighting. They’re normally mounted in light fixtures, to spread the light over your canopy.
What does T5 mean? ‘T’ means ‘tubular’ and is followed by the size of the bulb. The number ‘5’ is the smallest size available.
The bulb’s diameter measures a standard ⅝ of an inch. The length of the bulb, however, varies from two to four inches long.
You’ll also find T8 and T12 bulbs, which are longer and larger in size. These aren’t as efficient as T5s, and therefore not as popular.
Why Do You Need T5 Grow Lights?
T8, T12, HID, HPS, or LED, a large variety of grow lights are available. What makes T5 lights so popular?
T5 lights are one of the most inexpensive grow lights to acquire. They might be ideal for beginners who need to purchase all the equipment at once, as costs do add up. T5 grow lights can be the most cost-effective lighting solution to get started.
These lights also don’t use much power, so you shouldn’t see your electricity bill skyrocket overnight. Compared to other lights, they can even reduce energy consumption by 50 percent.
T5 fluorescent grow lights are also highly efficient, generating very strong power. Often, a T5 grow light results in a higher yield compared to other lights. They can produce about 100 lumens per watt.
The best T5 bulbs for growing weed should last at least 20,000 hours. Replacing them shouldn’t be a concern for a while. Although this is less than half the lifespan of an LED light, T5 bulbs normally last longer than HPS lights.
When approaching the end of their bulb life, most grow lights dim down. T5 bulbs, however, shine brightly until their last breath.
Lights generating a considerable amount of heat can become a major concern when growing weed. HID lights — such as HPS or MH lights — might require you to purchase additional equipment to keep the heat under control. They also need to be placed at least a foot away from your plants, to avoid burning the leaves.
The best T5 grow lights, however, don’t produce much heat; they normally don’t exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives you the opportunity to place them two to six inches above your plants. You’ll encourage optimum growth without the risk of damaging the leaves.
They should be able to fit smaller grow tents as well. And if you live in a hot climate, they won’t work against you when you’re trying to keep your grow room cool.
Grow Lights Comparison
Confused on how T5 lights compare to other grow lights? This visual might be helpful to compare them to one another. Each coming with its own benefits and inconveniences.
Lifespan in Hours
Lumens Per Watt
Thing to Consider
Before selecting your T5 lamp(s) to grow your cannabis plants, here are a few more elements worth considering.
Strength and Wavelengths
When growing marijuana, it’s essential to consider the wavelength of your light. Some grow lights are specifically designed to fit certain growth phases. The wrong light bulbs might prevent your cannabis from flowering and will waste your yield.
You’ll mainly find two types of T5 light bulbs.
- Most fixtures include 6,500K light bulbs. These bulbs produce white light and are most suitable for seedlings and vegetative growth phases.
- You’ll need 3,000K bulbs during the blooming phase. These bulbs produce a yellow light and provide the complementary wavelength needed to create the precious buds you’re aiming for.
If you’ve already purchased 6,500K light bulbs, thinking the bigger the better, don’t worry. Most T5 lamps come with 6,500K bulbs to start with.
T5 light fixtures have the flexibility to accommodate different types of bulbs. You can purchase 3,000K bulbs separately and replace them when the flowering stage comes around.
If you ever needed them, LED bulbs can even be placed in a T5 lighting fixture.
Before purchasing your lamp, measure your grow space. It’s best to purchase the largest T5 light fixture suitable for your grow room. You might even want to consider buying several lamps to cover all angles of your canopy.
The best fluorescent grow lights should allow you to dim or turn on and off certain bulbs, giving you the flexibility to adapt the light intensity. The ability to control the light intensity of your lamp will give you a few advantages.
Not only will you save on energy, but you’ll also provide the right amount of brightness to your plants. Seeds, for example, will require less intense light exposure, compared to a more mature plant going through its vegetative phase.
If you plan to expand your indoor garden, a larger fixture should be able to provide enough light for future additional plants.
T5 bulbs need a ballast, or fixture, which is attached to the ceiling and is normally provided with the bulbs. The more bulbs, the heavier and larger the fixture will be. This needs to be considered if you’ll need to adjust your lamps’ height alone.
The best T5 grow lights can be placed overhead, either horizontally or vertically, above your plants. This gives you the flexibility to provide your plants with better light distribution.
How can you tell if a T5 lamp is easy to set up? We recommend consulting T5 grow lights reviews and comments from experienced growers.
T5 lights are often used in combination with reflectors, improving the efficiency of your lights. Many T5 lamps come with included reflectors, which come in two types.
- Rectangular reflector: these are normally placed close to your cannabis plant, allowing a larger coverage.
- Gullwing reflector: If you’ve placed your T5 lights higher up from your plants, this reflector will redirect “lost light” back into your canopy.
Ease of Use
Your light will become an important component of your grow space, and easy installation and adjustment are important when considering a T5 lamp.
Weight and Adjustment System
Even if you’re getting some help to install your lamps, you’ll most likely need to adjust the height from one growth stage to the other.
A heavy lamp won’t be easy to adjust on your own. If you need to cover a large area, it might be preferable to purchase several smaller lamps, rather than a large and heavy one.
Ensure that your lighting fixture comes with a special adjustment system that will help you pull your lamps higher or lower, depending on your plants’ needs.
A daisy chain system is ideal if you need to acquire several lamps to cover your grow area. Instead of powering them separately, a wiring system connects all the lamps together into one single switch.
This makes installation and daily use so much easier.
If you’d like to know more about how daisy chains work, here is an interesting video.
If you change your mind and decide to take your plantation outdoors, some fixtures are even made to be water resistant.
Grow lights can make or break your yield. If your lights burn or break down, needing a week to be replaced, you might miss your blooming growth phase. Using high-quality lamps should avoid such unpleasant surprises.
When selecting the best T5 grow lights, you’ll want to select a sturdy one that’s able to last you for many years to come. It’s best to go for respectable brands that can provide a long history of high-quality standards.
Some manufacturers can offer up to a five-year warranty on their products.
Certified light bulbs guarantee a certain level of quality. Four main certifications are available when it comes to T5 lights.
Underwriters Laboratories or UL
UL is an independent organization — based in Illinois — conceived to test products to ensure their safety. UL doesn’t approve products, rather they compare them to their compliance requirements. CUL (or ULC) certification is its equivalent in Canada.
To know more about UL certification, jump here.
Canadian Standards Association or CSA
Recognized in the United States, CSA group tests electrical products and is widely used worldwide. If products meet CSA requirements, these are allowed to carry the CSA mark.
To know more about CSA, see here.
CE is a certification for any product manufactured or sold within the European Economic Area. To be CE certified, a T5 light must comply with a set of safety, health, and environmental standards and requirements.
In a way, it’s similar to the FCC label found in the United States, ensuring the quality and safety of electronic products.
You’ll often find this certification on T5 bulbs. What is it? ETL certification means that the product has gone through extensive tests and complies with the North American safety standards.
Although T5 lights are fairly inexpensive, they come within a wide range of prices. The cost will vary depending on the quality, functionality, and size of the fixture.
The Best T5 Grow Lights
Now that we know what to look for in a T5 grow light, let’s have a look at the best ones available.
Best Overall — Jump Start 2' T5 Grow Light System
This Jump Start grow light is lightweight and easily transportable to wherever your grow room brings you. The different pieces quickly snap together, making it easy to assemble.
This fixture comes in either 2-foot or 4-foot sizes, depending on the number of plants you might be growing. The top bar is reinforced for better stability. The lamp features a single 5,000 lumens T5 bulb, and height can be adjusted using the included cords.
This light bulb, however, has the advantage of consuming only 56 watts of power, while providing a 6,500K full spectrum daylight. Although it only contains one bulb, seeds tend to grow 15 to 20 percent faster than with regular T5 bulbs.
This T5 grow light might be ideal during the seedling phase and vegetative phase. In case your cannabis outgrows the height of the fixture, an aluminum extension kit can be purchased separately, to increase the mount’s height.
The powder-coated metal frame prevents rust from settling down, and the interior of the light features a highly reflective finish for better light distribution.
- Easy to use and assemble.
- Available in 2-foot or 4-foot lengths.
- Reflective interior housing.
- Energy efficient.
- Lightweight — only 4 pounds.
- Adjustable height.
- Includes only one T5 light bulb, which might not provide enough light for a large number of plants.
- Some users have reported quality issues with the ballast.
- Doesn’t include a daisy chain system.
This popular lamp has been designed to provide great efficiency while using little power. Each of the four tubes measures two feet long and should be able to cover a large grow area.
With a housing made of steel and powder coated, this T5 lamp is conceived to be sturdy, resist rust, and last for years.
Each tube has a 6,400K spectrum light, for an optimum seedling and vegetative growth phase. When the blooming phase arrives, you’ll be able to replace the bulbs with 3,000K spectrum light, providing adequate wavelength.
If you have a large grow space, the daisy chain configuration allows you to connect several lights together and operate them in one single outlet. With three different hanging setups — overhead, horizontal, and vertical — every angle of your grow room should be covered.
The housing interior is coated with premium grade aluminum, acting as a single reflector to allow an even brighter light.
These lights can be used right out of the box, as no assembly is needed. ETL listed, quality shouldn’t be an issue, and the light is backed up with an impressive 5-year warranty if needed.
Hydrofarm Agrobrite lights should be able to fit most plantations. They come in seven different sizes — 2 feet or 4 feet tubes, with two to 12 tubes.
- Accommodates small and large grow rooms.
- High power — up to 8,000 lumens.
- Daisy chainable.
- No assembly required.
- Several hanging configurations are available.
- Long lifespan — 20,000+ hours.
- High-quality aluminum reflectors.
- 5-year warranty.
- Quality issues have been reported in regards to the ballast.
- Not suitable for the flowering stage.
Most Efficient — T5 Grow Light (4ft 4lamps) DL844s Ho Fluorescent
This might be the sturdiest and most efficient T5 light. Featuring four T5 bulbs, each 2 feet long, the overall light output is one of the highest, at 10,000 lumens. The four 6,500K bulbs should bring your plants through the vegetative growth phase easily.
This light also comes with a German hammer-tone reflector, contributing to an overall 30 percent additional brightness, compared to other lights. While being highly efficient, this light only consumes 96 watts of power.
The aluminum body should keep the light cool. Hooks and chains are included, allowing the lamp to hang either overhead, vertically, or horizontally. If you need to purchase several lamps to cover a large grow room, up to 12 lamps can be daisy-chained together.
Two switches allow better control over the bulbs and light intensity. One switch controls the inner bulbs, while the second switch controls the outer bulbs.
If you’re worried about your or your plants’ safety, this light is UL/CUL approved. If you ever had the need to bring your plantation outdoors, It’s even water and fire resistant. The manufacturer also provides a 5-year warranty.
- High light output — 10,000 lumens.
- Reflectors included.
- Certified to prevent fire.
- Daisy chain configuration.
- Includes hanging hooks, chain, and power cord.
- Water resistant.
- Two switches controlling inner and outer bulbs.
- UL/CUL safety approved.
- 5-year warranty.
- Low power consumption — 96 watts.
- Users report that bulbs produce more heat than wanted.
- Quality issue with ballast.
Most Budget-Friendly — iPower 54W 4 Feet T5 Fluorescent Grow Light
This iPower T5 light shouldn’t take you more than 10 or 15 minutes to assemble, as the different pieces easily clip together. Including one 4-foot tube, this light should be able to provide enough light for a large number of plants.
The 6,400K light spectrum bulb and reflective internal finish should make your plants feel at ease. On your side, the electricity consumption of this light is fairly low — 54 watts — and shouldn’t make you jump out of your grow space when the bill comes.
A simple light switch allows easy access and use of your grow light. The mount is about 18 inches high and the thick crossbar holds a hanging fixture, using the two included hooks.
From seedling to vegetative growth phases, the adjustable cords will allow you to set the lamp’s height at your desired level — up to 6 feet — for optimum brightness.
Bulbs with a 2,700K spectrum can be purchased separately to facilitate the blooming phase. A timer isn’t included, but can be purchased along with the light, to keep a close eye on light/dark hours.
UL/CSA listed, this light has been thoroughly tested and safety shouldn’t be a concern.
- UL/CSA listed.
- Sturdy frame made of metal.
- Adjustable height up to 6 feet.
- Easy assembly.
- High light power, low electricity consumption.
- Easy to use on/off switch.
- Includes daisy chains.
- The manufacturer only provides a 1-year warranty.
- As the mount’s legs simply pop into the crossbar, with nothing to hold them in place, this light can be difficult to move.
Best for Large Grow Rooms — VIVOSUN 6500K 4FT T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Light
Looking for a large T5 lamp able to deliver both in quantity, quality, and safety? The Vivosun seems to have it all.
The eight fluorescent tubes are well packaged in a five-layer box, to avoid any damage upon arrival. It includes two sturdy hanging cables to safely hold the lamp in place. Each tube measures 4 feet and provides 5,000 lumens, totaling an impressive 40,000 lumens overall.
This 6,500K light only uses 54 watts per bulb and comes with high-grade aluminum reflectors for added brightness. That’s 432 watts when all bulbs are in use and a switch system allows you to turn on and off the inner and outer bulbs as needed.
This light also comes with a powder-coated housing. These lights are specifically designed to emit low heat. This allows you to hang the light only a few inches above the plants without burning or bleaching the leaves.
For convenient use, a daisy chain system is included and the hooks can hang the lamp in three different ways: horizontally, overhead, or vertically.
In regards to quality, this lamp is UL certified and the company ensures a lifespan of 20,000+ hours.
- Three ways to install the lamp.
- Daisy chain system.
- Low noise.
- UL Certified.
- Lifespan 20,000+ hours.
- Aluminum reflectors.
- Two switches to control light intensity.
- 1-year warranty only.
T5 lights might not be the most trendy grow lights available, however, their efficiency and low cost have withstood the test of time. Whether you’re growing cannabis in a grow tent, closet, or large room, T5 lights are available to suit all needs.
Fluorescent lights are, however, considered a hazardous waste. Because they contain mercury, it’s important to recycle them and they can’t be part of your general waste garbage.
Personally, I’d go for the Jump Start 2' T5 Grow Light System. I love how easy to use and portable this light is. It’s also durable, and the powerful T5 light bulb should get my seeds off to a good start.
I hope this guide and selection of the best T5 grow lights for weed will help you select the best one for your grow space. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!