T12 T8 T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights – What’s the Difference?

T12 T8 T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights – What’s the Difference?

T12 T8 T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights – What's the Difference?

Many indoor growers like to use florescent lights these days, because of the fact that they are compact, and do not use too much wattage. Most growers tend to use these lights for either cloning or over plants that are in the vegetative phase of growth. Other growers like to use florescent lights on mothers, since they can produce shorter, stockier plants.

But it can be very confusing to know which type of plant to use.

So, what is the difference between the T12, T18, and T5 bulbs?

Size and efficiency.

The "T" is used to indicate the tubular shape of the bulb. The number after the "T" represents the diameter of the bulb in eighths of an inch (the T5 bulb for example is 5/8 inches).

So let's take a closer look at each bulb:

  • T12 – The T12 florescent bulb is the most common bulb around. It is also the easiest to find, and the most inefficient.
  • T8 – The T8 bulb fits in the same fixture and gives off the same amount of light as the T12 bulb, but consumes about 20% less wattage.
  • T5 – The T5 bulb does NOT fit in the same enclosure as the T12 and T8 bulbs. It uses a smaller fixture, but the newest T5 bulbs are able to produce a high amount of light at even less wattage then the other types of bulbs.

Many growers like to use the T5 bulb because of it's compact nature, high light output, and light energy use. Plus with technological advances, growers are seeing better results then ever using these types of lights.

Complete T12 Grow Light Setup

T8 Florescent Bulbs

Complete T5 Grow Light Setup

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