Categories
BLOG

t5 cannabis grow

Are T5 Grow Lights Good for Vegging? — 420 Guide

GrowLights
Oct 28, 2019 · 3 min read

The vegetative stage is crucial for the growth of marijuana because it determines how healthy and robust it will be once it enters the flowering stage. This is the point when the structural integrity is built, which is why it is important to provide an external environment that will be conducive for its growth. While there are several requirements, one of the most important would be the best light for vegetative growth.

T5 Fluorescent Grow Light Sy s tem for growing cannabis. A few years ago, growers usually only used fluorescent tube lighting as a supplemental light for cannabis plants, or for young seedlings and clones only.

In recent years, we’ve seen the creation of new high-light-output versions of fluorescent grow lights which can actually be used through the entire vegetative stage.

Some growers even use fluroescent grow lights such as the T5 successfully to flower their plants (if the plants are kept short/small enough through growth control methods).

Best uses for T5 grow lights
If you want to sprout a lot of plants at once, T5 grow lights will save you money. They work well for raising cannabis up through the vegetation stage. Since they won’t burn the plants like hot high-pressure sodium lights, you can use a shorter grow tent. They are also helpful if you live in a warm climate because they add hardly any heat to your grow room.

The downsides to T5 grow lights
If you choose to use T5, you’ll be smart to purchase additional red spectrum lights to help during the flowering stage. T5 grow lights alone won’t do much for your harvest. Plus, while T5 bulbs don’t degrade more than about 5% in efficiency over time, they only last about 20,000 hours, less than half the minimum of LED lamps. You’ll also need a ballast to run T5 grow lights, but most of the time that comes built into the fixture.

Choosing the Right T5 Grow Lights
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.

Fixtures: When it comes to choosing a grow light fixture, there are a couple of things to think about. First is the size requirements for this grow light. There are more than a dozen size variations, so you need to figure out the size of your indoor garden and then fit the lights to your space. T5 grow lights typically come in two different lengths and around six different bulb configurations. 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.

Bulbs: When it comes to choosing bulbs, there are even more options to choose from. Bulbs not only come in different energy varieties, but also in different color temperatures. When choosing between normal output (NO), high output (HO) and very high output (VHO) bulbs, I recommend going for the middle ones. HO bulbs are the best of both worlds — they are efficient, yet long-lasting, and will provide super-bright light for your plants.

Without proper vegetative growth, a garden cannot perform to its true potential in the flowering stage. For a marathon runner, training builds strength and endurance and is the foundation for the runner’s success.

In an indoor garden, the vegetative cycle is the time when a plant’s strength and vitality are built. With the proper lighting in the vegetative cycle, a garden can be properly prepared for the final event: a bountiful fruiting or flowering stage.

The vegetative stage is crucial for the growth of marijuana because it determines how healthy and robust it will be once it enters the flowering stage. This is the point when the structural integrity…

Using T5 Grow Lights for Cannabis

T5 Grow Lights & Other Fluorescent Tubes

A few years ago, growers usually only used fluorescent tube lighting as a supplemental light for cannabis plants, or for young seedlings and clones only.

In recent years, we’ve seen the creation of new high-light-output versions of fluorescent grow lights which can actually be used through the entire vegetative stage.

Some growers even use fluroescent grow lights such as the T5 successfully to flower their plants (if the plants are kept short/small enough through growth control methods).

In general, I recommend changing to stronger grow lights like LEDs or HIDs for the flowering stage because they will usually give you double or more yields/watt of electricity. Unless you keep your plants very small, they will need more light to produce buds than a fluorescent light can usually produce. If you’re in a dire situation where your plants have grown too big and you can’t afford to get a different type of light, you can supplement your fluorescent tubes with additional light, for example you could supplement their light with a few CFL(compact fluorescent light) bulbs wherever you notice any “shadowy” areas. This is only a minor fix – the real fix is to grow very short plants or upgrade to a bigger light for the flowering stage.

Training plants to grow very short will produce the best yields with T5 grow lights

The biggest problem with fluorescent tubing is that the light that they give off is only useful for about a foot or so. That’s why they’re kept so close to your plants.

T5 grow lights should be kept as close as possible without burning your plants.

Any part of the plant that is further away then 1-2 feet from the fluorescent grow lights is not getting an optimum amount of light, especially in the flowering stage when plants need a lot of light to produce buds.

With the new high output lights such as the T5, fluorescent lights can be used until the plants are about 24 inches tall, which is just enough to grow a very short plant through to the flowering stage when you control your marijuana plant’s growth through the vegetative stage.

The great thing about fluorescent grow lights is that they don’t get very hot, and they can usually be kept 1-4 inches from the tops of the plants at all times without having to worry about burning your cannabis leaves or buds.

The other great thing about fluorescent lights is that they are usually relatively low powered and won’t make a huge mark on your electricity bill.

There are many different levels of fluorescent grow lights including the T5, the T8 and the T12. I strongly suggest sticking with the T5 style of fluorescent grow lights for cannabis because they give off the most amount of light for the size, and are specifically designed to be able to support taller plants up to 24 inches.

If the temperature is under control they can be kept as close as an inch or two away.

For optimal results, for vegetative growth choose fluorescent light bulbs that are labeled either as “Cool White” or “Cool” colored (also labeled as “6500k” colored).

For flowering, choose bulbs that are “Warm White” or “Soft White” colored (usually labeled as “2500K” or “3000K”).

Example of a ScrOG (Screen of Green) Grow Under a T5. Using a screen can be an effective way to create a flat, table-top shape to take the best advantage of T5 grow lights

However, you can use either type of lights during either stage and still get good results. People also use “Daylight” (5000K) bulbs with success.

If possible, opt for bulbs labeled as “High Output” (HO). This ensures that you’re getting the most lumens (light) from your bulbs. But any T5 bulbs will work – hundreds of cannabis growers have the harvests to prove it!

Fluorescent lights like the T5 can be used to grow a cannabis plant from seed to harvest, but it may not be a good choice for the flowering stage unless you train your plants. Learn more!