To use T5 grow lights properly, there are a couple of things you need to know that will determine how successful you will be at growing under these lights. The first thing is how to choose the right T5 fixture and the right bulbs.
T5 grow lights are one of the best types of lights you can use to grow any kind of plant, from vegetables to the most delicate flowers. This is because T5s are extremely efficient, allowing you to save money on electricity while still providing bright, powerful light. They also have features you can customize to build the perfect set-up for any size and type of indoor garden.
Choosing the Right T5 Grow Lights
The most common T5 grow lights are 2- or 4-ft. long and have 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 bulbs per fixture. If you are thinking of growing only a few small plants, you might get away with having a 1- or 2-bulb set-up that is 2- or 4-ft. long, but if you want to grow a whole bunch of plants, you will have to invest in an 8- or 12-bulb set-up that is 4-ft. long. This larger size will cover a lot of plant mass without using too much electricity.
Setting Up the T5 Lighting System
Light cycles tend to differ based on what plants are being grown under artificial lighting. For example, there are 12/12-hour cycles, 18/6-hour cycles and even 24/0-hour cycles of light/dark periods. To find the right cycle for your plants, I suggest either researching the needs of the variety of plant you’re growing, or basing your cycle on what the approximate light cycle would be if the plants would be growing outdoors during their season. Typically, more light means faster growth, which results in bigger plants and bigger yields no matter what you are growing.
T5 Fluorescent lights over motherplants.
Just wondering if you would use a T5 to flower a pot plant? – Raymond M.
Yes, you can use a T5 fluorescent light to flower a pot plant. The benefits of using this type of lighting is the lack of heat that they generate. Because they’re not super-warm, you can place your plant tops within just a few inches of the light. The disadvantage of flowering under fluorescent lighting is the lack of light intensity and penetration. This makes the Screen of Green (ScrOG) method ideal as you can train the flowering tops to create a level canopy close enough to the light.
My recommendation, however, is to grow under High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting such as High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) or (Metal Halide) systems. Although they run much hotter and use more electricity, they produce plenty of light for plants to thrive and build thicker flowers. If you’re interested in a bigger yield from increased light and can handle the added heat, HID lighting is ideal for indoor marijuana production.