I want to see a real CFL grow in action! Show me a CFL dresser microgrow with lots of pictures: http://growweedeasy.com/entire-microgrow-pictures-week-by-week
Any CFL will work for growing marijuana. I've used 5500k photography CFL bulbs in the past and they work great.
However, I think a simpler approach is much more effective, and will result in better yields for you.
Start Growing with CFLs Today!
Pounds of buds per plant
More bulbs = better results (You want to surround your plant with as many bulbs as possible because the penetration of CFLs is poor; in other words, more small CFLs is more effective than a few big CFLs)
Real-life Example: 7 x 26W CFLs (at 182 watts total) that are spread in an array around the plant will be more effective for growth than 1 x 200W CFL, even though they use less total electricity.
Will a 5500k photography CFL bulbs work for growing? I know you're supposed to get 6500k colored bulbs in the vegetative stage, and 2700k colored bulbs for flowering.
Never get CFLs confused with old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs.
The 5500k bulbs are in between. However, they can all be used successfully in all stages of growing.
While many indoor cannabis growers will definitively conclude that LEDs are better, both CFLs and LEDs have pros and cons.
To summarize the pros of CFL bulbs, they are:
While cheaper for initial setup, CFL bulbs have a shorter lifespan and are less efficient than LEDs, meaning they will cost more in the long-term. As mentioned, CFLs also contain a small amount of mercury, which can pose some risk to you and other living creatures in the vicinity should you break one. (Read on to learn more about that.) Because of this, they also require special disposal to avoid sending mercury into landfills.
The cons of CFL bulbs
LED lights have quickly become quite popular with indoor cannabis growers. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps