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Before you make a decision on what T5 grow lights to buy, first join me as I review some of the best T5 grow lights available on the market today.
When you see pictures of professional grow operations, the endless horizon of expensive high-wattage lamps can be daunting. Every grow room is different, and not every crop calls for intense plasma lighting.
Luckily, there’s a much cheaper and equally efficient system for your grow room: T5 grow lights.
By joining the T5 revolution, you’ll save money, increase your overall harvest potential, and reduce your carbon footprint along the way.
If you are looking for a combination of a budget-friendly grow light that offers you all of the features you need, the Hydrofarm Agrobrite light might be the option for you.
With a 5-year warranty, and certified by the ETL, you can expect quality with this grow light. It uses high performance faceted specular aluminum for the best possible light distribution, and emits up to 40,000 lumens.
Its powder-coated, steel housing makes it a durable piece of equipment too, and it is large enough to cover a 4’x4’ or a 5’5 space with ease. This size means it allows around 2-12.
It is worth noting that the bulbs do not last particularly long, and usually work for around 1-2 growing cycles. This is worth thinking about in terms of purchasing a long-lasting grow light, although it does come with four replaceable bulbs.
Incredibly affordable price for a well-rounded system
Certified by ETL and has a 5-year warranty
Extremely cool running, and can be placed directly above the canopy
Allows 2-12 bulbs to cover every phase of growth
Large enough to cover a 4’x4’ or 5’x5’ space easily
The lifespan of bulbs are relatively short (1-2 growing cycles)
This grow light’s setup process is extremely straightforward and uses a plug-and-play system to get you started as quickly as possible.
It includes 8 x 6500K grow bulbs, and the fixture itself is able to be operated in a variety of ways. You can also rest assured that this grow light doesn’t run hot.
One notable issue that may be difficult to overlook, however, is the weight of this grow light. Weighing 32lbs, it is one of the heavier light fixtures we have reviewed, and you may find it to be an inconvenience in your grow room.
Streamlined setup with a plug-and-play system
Multiple configurations allow you to customize bulb-count for all stages of growth
Doesn’t run hot and can be placed very close to the canopy
At 32 pounds, this is one of the heaviest fixtures reviewed
The bulb intensity isn’t consistent with those that are considered high output
For an LED T5 system, this grow light from Active Grow provides you with an exceptionally good grow light. Featuring premium electronic ballasts and over 15 higher CRI than other grow lamps.
Using advanced LED technology, this grow light can also decrease your electricity costs. It includes lower power consumption, and double the PPF efficiency than many other LED lights.
Unique to many of its competitors, the grow light also comes with dual on/off switches, so you can have 2 lamps running, or all 4 lamps running at once.
The bulbs’ life expectancy, however, is a standout feature of this grow light, as it is a lot longer than many of the other lights we’ve seen. It is around 30,000 hours, so you don’t have to worry about the bulbs dying when you need them most.
Placing this fixture directly above a canopy is also no issue, as the grow light emits very minimal heat. The grow light can also be easily hung overhead using the hanging cables on either end.
Utilizes LED technology to increase your savings on electricity costs
Bright light for an LED T5 system
Longest life expectancy that we’ve seen in bulbs
Give minimal to zero amount of heat, making it perfect for placing directly above the canopy
This grow light gives you the flexibility to adjust the light’s brightness to suit your plant’s growth, as it includes two dimming switches for convenience.
The strong coating material means it can resist condensation well. Its size isn’t overly large and is fairly lightweight compared to many of its competitors.
The VivaGrow T5 comes with a 4-bulb configuration and if you need to replace the bulbs the best bet will be either 3000K or 6500K bulbs.
Excellent coating material that looks professional and handles condensation easily
Includes two dimming switches that enable growers with flexibility
Lighter in weight than most competitors
4-bulb configuration is optimal for every phase of growth
Has a tendency to flash once after the lights have been switched off. This can be an issue if it happens during the middle of the night cycle
It is important to consider which stage of growth your light is best suited for, and the IPOWER T5 grow light works best for germinating and cloning phases.
Despite the small size, this grow light works by using a high-efficiency aluminum reflector and energy-efficient, high-output bulbs to produce double the energy of normal fluorescent systems.
The fixture itself is lightweight, and the stand is stable and easy to assemble, which makes it a great option for beginners who are new to T5 grow lights. The light produces little to no noise and doesn’t get too hot.
Lightweight and sturdy light stand that’s easy to put together
Perfect setup your germinating and cloning needs
Easily adjustable ratchet system
Perfect for beginners
Not meant for vegetative and flowering stages of growth
The overall coating on the body isn’t high quality and rusts over time
This grow light has a high light output, meaning it would work well at any stage of growth. It emits 20,000 lumens and claims to give 30% more light output against other grow light systems.
For extra light coverage, this grow light from Durolux also comes with a 95% built-in reflectivity German Hammer-tone reflector, so your plants are guaranteed to absorb more light than if no reflector were included.
You can also easily adjust the light settings on this grow light, as it features two dimming switches – one for the 2 bulbs inside, and one for the 2 outside bulbs.
Despite its high-power output, this grow light is one of the more budget-friendly options available on the market. If you need to hide your order for whatever reason, then this grow light also has the option to be delivered in discreet packaging for your peace of mind.
A significant issue, however, with this product is that the bulbs do not last particularly long. This can be a time-consuming inconvenience and will require you to change your bulbs more often.
One of the most affordable T5 grow-light system on the market
A high output of light that’s perfect for every stage of growth
Comes with two dimming switches
Discrete shipping option for those that require it
Extended reflectors are built-in for additional light coverage
240V industrial input only. All homes in the United States are 120V
The short lifespan of bulbs is due to the high power output
A non-HO (high output) grow light, this option surprisingly delivers on the power output front. It includes 4 fluorescent tubes, each at 6500K, with the wattage at 24W per lamp.
The grow light also comes with on and off switches, so you can control the number of light tubes you want one at a time. This gives you more flexibility over your plant growth, so you can adjust the light output as needed.
Due to the strong light output, the amount of heat produced by this fixture is more so than that of its competitors. It therefore, may not be the best option to place near to a canopy.
Professionally packaged and rapid shipment
Intense power output for a non-HO T5 system
Great for the flowering cycle of one large plant or multiple smaller plants
The weight within the system is not distributed evenly
The intense output of light gives off more heat than competing T5’s
It’s limited to only one power switch rather than two, thus limiting dimming options
Suitable for all stages of plant growth, this grow light is a versatile and budget-friendly choice for a T5 grow light. Despite working well for all phases of development, this light gives of minimal heat radiation, making it an energy-efficient option and a safe one to place near to a canopy.
It is a high output system, and comes with 6500K fluorescent bulbs. In addition to this, the light features a 95% highly reflective aluminium reflector, to enable the plants to get as much light as possible.
You can also adjust the brightness as needed, by using one of the two switches that are included with this fixture.
One issue that could be a concern is the packaging, which some customers have had problems with. The lamps are more prone to breaking during transit, due to the overall packaging not being sufficient.
However, it is also worth noting here that Vivosun’s customer service is great, so should you unfortunately have any issues like this, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact them.
Extremely affordable T5 high output system
Perfect for all stages of growth with minimal heat radiation
Comes with two switches to optimally dim according to your needs
Completely silent and well built
Vivosun’s customer service is excellent
Packaging issues due to broken lamps during transit
Described as a ‘complete DIY set,’ this grow light from Yield Lab comes with all of the essentials you need to maximize your clone and seedling cycle. The light fixture comes with 1 T5 fluorescent grow light reflector, 2 bulbs, and 1 hanging rack, along with rope ratchet hangers. This means you’re ready to go without the need for any additional purchases.
The reflective aluminum included in this grow light works efficiently to utilize every inch of light, so your plants will be able to absorb as much light as possible.
The lack of heat coming from this grow light makes it most suited to the earlier stages of growth, and the stable light stand means it works well with seedlings and clones.
Incredibly reflective aluminium that increases overall light
Comes with a sturdy light stand that’s perfect for seeds and clones
Negligible heat output, making this T5 perfect for the early stages of growth
A complete and ready to use all-in-one grow system
Can only be used for earlier stages of growth and not as flexible as larger T5’s
Awkward placement of the cord lock on the light stand that makes it difficult to adjust
The light output of a 2’ T5 isn’t as optimal as a 4’-8’ T5
Easy to install and lightweight in its design, this T5 grow light from Hydro Crunch is perfect for beginners.
It works best with the earlier stages of plant growth, such as for germinating seeds and maintaining clones. It also comes with a height-adjusting mechanism, so you can easily raise or lower the frame for ease of use.
The frame itself is sturdy and comes with reinforcing plates at the corners, so it is built to last and reliably constructed.
It comes with two 6400K 54-watt energy-efficient bulbs, so despite its small size, the power output is high, and you can expect good results using this grow light.
Similarly to other grow lights of this structure, it is not ideal for vegetative or flowering cycles.
Comes with an easy to assemble stand
The entire system is incredibly lightweight, which makes it easy to transport
Perfect for germinating seeds and maintaining clones
Not the best fixture for vegetative and flowering cycles
There’s nothing worse than your T5 grow light malfunctioning during the last two weeks of your bloom cycle. Instances like these can easily make or break your harvest and lead to underwhelming results.
Not only could an outage or spark ruin your grow, but it could also potentially have life-threatening consequences.
To avoid these unnecessary issues, I can only recommend that you buy T5 grow lights that are formally rated by regulatory bodies, such as Conformance European (CE), Intertek Testing Services (ETL), Canadian Standards Association (SA), and Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
All of the T5’s that we review here conform to these standards.
By buying T5 grow lights with these credentials, you can rest easy knowing that your equipment was built with safety in mind.
Another essential aspect to look for when buying the best T5 grow light is the amount of lamps. T5’s generally come with 2, 4, or 8 bulbs depending on the size of your grow space. This is a critical aspect to know before you buy.
Whether you grow in a room or a grow tent, the number of cannabis plants will be the determining factor in this category. In my experience, as long as your plants receive a full 360° coverage, they’ll happily produce ample buds.
To determine how many bulbs you’ll need in your T5 grow system is to know how many plants will be in your grow room.
Other important aspects of assessing beforehand are: how big or small will your plants be during flowering? Will you utilize the Screen of Green technique (SCROG) or the Sea of Green method (SOG)?
I’ve seen countless grow operations where a single cannabis bush required a full 8-lamp T5 grow system all to itself. On the other hand, you could potentially fit 9 small cannabis clones under the same 8-lamp T5 system.
This must be the question you’ve been waiting for. There are a plethora of benefits when it comes to growing with T5 systems.
These lights are highly flexible to fit the needs of beginners to green-thumb professionals. Let’s take a look at what the best T5 grow lights offer.
Adaptability is the T5 grow lights best trait. Just as species throughout time have adapted to exist in their given environment, so does the T5. No grow room or grow tent is created equal.
Each and every grower has a unique situation that can’t be replicated, and it’s for this reason that T5 manufactures built in some necessary functions.
The most significant advantage is that T5’s can be hung in a wide variety of ways: overhead, vertically, or horizontally.
Their slim profile allows them to be raised even higher when your cannabis plants begin to explode in growth during the first few weeks of flowering.
Traditional HPS (high-pressure sodium) and MH (metal halide) lamps are bulky, and this disadvantage forces you to concede at least a foot in vertical space to accommodate their size.
Another crucial advantage is the ability to dim your lamps. High-quality T5 grow systems have built-in power switches that allow for 25, 50, and 100% power output.
This benefit allows you to dim your power output during the earlier phases of growth since cannabis plants don’t respond well to high amounts of light during this period.
It’s also a mechanism to save you money when you don’t need to run your lamps at 100%.
Since T5 grow systems are optimized for flexibility, they can be used in all phases of a cannabis plant’s life cycle.
If you’re one of the few that enjoys growing cannabis by seed, then you know that young sprouts need enough light to avoid stretching.
T5’s allow for you to dim the bulbs and reduce the power output by 50-75%. This amount of light is perfect for keeping sprouts short and without inducing any additional stress.
During the vegetative phase, you can increase your power output to make sure your cannabis plants are receiving the light they crave to fuel their growth.
T5’s are perfect for keeping close enough to the canopy without the worry of inducing heat stress. In stark contrast, HPS and MH need to at least 6”-12” or more above the canopy to avoid heat stress.
Your T5 can be placed 1”-6” above the canopy, which also enables your plant to grow short nodes. The reason for having little space between nodes is that your plant will stretch less during flowering and bud sites will remain compact.
During the flowering stage, you can boost your power output to 100%. This allows your buds to grow without hindrance, all the while keeping your T5 4”-6” above the canopy.
All of these aspects enhance the quantity of your eventual harvest and keep your grow room efficient. T5’s give us the ability to control so many important factors in growing marijuana.
With so many high-quality products available, it can be a difficult task to choose one. Our top choice after comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of the best T5 grow lights is the Hydrofarm Agrobrite FL22 T5.
The Agrobrite was the best T5 grow light because of its ability to handle any situation.
Many of the other T5 grow lights reviewed are optimal at what they do, but many are limited to specific use cases, such as germination and cloning, or vegetative and flowering phases.
Depending on your needs, one of these T5 grows lights may fit your situation perfectly.
The Agrobrite fulfills all the requirements that we look for a T5 grow light system. It’s certified by ETL, has flexible dimming options, lightweight, and comes with an industry leading 5-year warranty.
If you’re ready to save money and increase the efficiency of your grow room, the time is now to make the switch to the best T5 grow light available.