Best T5 grow lights: Reviews & buying guide

Best T5 grow lights for weed

Choosing which lighting system to use for growing cannabis is hard because there are multiple options available with very different strengths and weaknesses. In this article we’re going to review and compare the best T5 grow lights you can buy as well as understand their advantages and disadvantages.

Previously we’ve covered the best LED grow lights and the best HID lights. You can read about those if you’re interested in understanding all the different options.

Table of contents


Product comparison tables

All the best T5 grow lights on our list come standard with 6400K - 6500K (blue light) bulbs. If you want to change these for red bulbs we've suggested some quality bulb replacement options for both blue and red light below.

The best T5 grow lights

Product name Image Details Temp(K) Rating Buy
Agrobrite FLT44  Agrobrite FLT44 T5 Grow Light
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:4ft
  • 216W
 6500K (blue) 4.3/5 Amazon
Agrobrite FLT24  Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Grow Light System
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:2ft
  • 96W
6400K (blue) 4.3/5 Amazon
Durolux DL844s  Durolux DL844s T5 Grow Light System (4 foot x 4 bulbs)
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:4ft
  • 216W
 6400K (blue) 4.2/5 Amazon
Durolux DL824  Durolux DL824 T5 Grow Light System (2 foot x 4 bulbs)
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:2ft
  • 96W
 6400K (blue) 4.1/5 Amazon
Hydro Crunch T5  (4 ft x 4 bulbs)  Hydro Crunch T5 Grow Light System (4 foot x 4 bulbs)
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:4ft
  • 216W
 6400K (blue) 3.9/5 Amazon
Hydro Crunch T5 (2 ft x 4 bulbs)  Hydro Crunch T5 Grow Light System (2 foot x 4 bulbs)
  • Bulbs:4
  • Length:2ft
  • 96W
 6400K (blue) 3.9/5 Amazon
Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign  Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign (2 foot x 2 bulb) T5 Grow Light System
  • Bulbs:2
  • Length:2ft
  • 48W
 6400K (blue) 4.1/5 Amazon

T5 replacement bulbs

Product name Image Length Watts(bulb) Temp(K) Rating Buy
Apollo Horticulture 6400K 4 ft (5 pack)  Apollo Horticulture 5 Pack of 6400K 4 foot T5 Bulbs  4ft  54  6400K (blue) 3.8/5 Amazon

Apollo Horticulture 6400K 2 ft (5 pack)

 Apollo Horticulture 5 Pack of 6400K 2 foot T5 Bulbs 2ft 24 6400K (blue) 4.3/5 Amazon
VIVOSUN 6500K 4 ft (5 pack)  VIVOSUN 5 Pack of 6500K 4 foot T5 Bulbs  4ft  54  6500K (blue) 4.3/5 Amazon
iPower 6400K 2 ft (5 pack)  iPower 5 pack of 6400K 2 foot T5 bulbs  2ft 24  6400K (blue) 4.1/5 Amazon
Apollo Horticulture 2700K 4 ft (5 pack)  Apollo Horticulture 5 pack of 2700K 4 foot T5 Bulbs  4ft  54  2700K (red) 3.8/5 Amazon
Apollo Horticulture 2700K 2 ft (5 pack)  Apollo Horticulture 5 pack of 2700K 2 foot T5 Bulbs 2ft 24 2700K (red) 4.3/5 Amazon

Reviews of the best T5 grow lights

Agrobrite FLT44 T5 Grow Light

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Watts: 54 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 216 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

We think the the 4 ft Agrobrite FLT44 and the 2 ft version below are the best T5 grow lights you can buy for your money. They're slightly more expensive than some of the other options, but the steel fixture has high quality construction and the faceted aluminum reflector gives excellent light distribution. Included is 4 x 6400K bulbs as well as a 10 ft grounded power cord. You can also hang the fixture vertically or horizontally in addition to the standard overhead position. We've seen growers hang one overhead and another horizontally facing into the side of their plants to get more light penetrating deeper into the leaves. Another useful feature is the ability to daisy-chain 3 of these lights together and run them off a single power outlet.

This light is also available in 6, 8 and 12 bulb versions if you have a bigger grow space.


Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Grow Light System

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Watts: 24 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 96 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

This is the 2 foot, 4 bulb version of the Agrobrite FLT44 above and has all the same features (except the ability to daisy chain) in a more compact form factor. If you have limited space or only want to grow a few small plants, these iare the best T5 grow lights to buy. Included are 4 x 6400K bulbs are included and an 8 ft grounded power cord.

The 2 ft light is also available in 2 and 8 bulb versions.


Durolux DL844s T5 Grow Light System (4 foot x 4 bulbs)

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Watts: 54 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 216 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

The DL844s by Durolux are the best T5 grow lights on the market if you're looking for a budget option. Everything you need comes with this kit including 4 x 6500K bulbs, hanging hooks, chains and a 15 ft power cord. Durolux also claim that their German reflector delivers 30% more light output than comparable systems, but we haven't tested this feature and they don't specify what 'comparable' means.

Durolux lights also give you the ability to control the amount of light by separately switching on and off the inner and outer bulbs. Cannabis plants generally like as much light as they can get so we're not sure most growers will really use this feature, but it's there if you want it. 5 units can also be daisy chained together to run off one power outlet!

This light also comes with a 5 year warranty for extra piece of mind.


Durolux DL824 T5 Grow Light System (2 foot x 4 bulbs)

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Watts: 24 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 96 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

This Durlolux DL824 is the 2 ft version of the DL844s above and is pretty much identical except for the size and the amount of light produced by the 2 ft bulbs. Up to 12 of the 2 ft lights can be daisy chained together off a single power outlet.

The 2 ft light also includes the 5 year warranty.


Hydro Crunch T5 Grow Light System (4 foot x 4 bulbs)

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Watts: 54 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 216 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

Hydro Crunch lights have a high quality feel to their construction and the aluminum reflector is 95% reflective to help maximize light output. The fixture also has louvered slots to increase cooling. Included is 4 x 6400K bulbs and an 8 ft power cord. Just like the Agrobrite lights, you can mount the Hydro Crunch lights vertically or horizontally and as many as you need can be daisy chained together. Hydro Crunch lights come with a 1 year warranty.

Also available in an 8 bulb version.


Hydro Crunch T5 Grow Light System (2 foot x 4 bulbs)

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs: 4
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Watts: 24 Watts per bulb x 4 bulbs = 96 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

This is the 2 ft version of the Hydro Crunch 4 ft featured above. It's got exactly the same features but will fit in a more compact space. Because the bulbs are only 2 ft it will produce less light than the 4 ft version. Up to 6 of the 2 ft lights can be daisy chained together.


Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign (2 foot x 2 bulb) T5 Grow Light System

Buy on Amazon

  • No. of bulbs:2
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Watts: 24 Watts per bulb x 2 bulbs = 48 Watts total
  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • High output?: Yes

The Apollo Horticulture Purple Reign is one of the best T5 grow lights available for beginners or anyone who just wants to grow a couple of small cannabis plants. As a bonus, this light comes with a stand which makes hanging the light fixture simple. 2 x 6400K bulbs are also included which is only 48 Watts total output so don't expect to grow monster tall sativa plants with this light!


T5 replacement bulbs

Blue light

Apollo Horticulture 5 Pack of 6400K 4 foot T5 Bulbs

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 54 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

Apollo Horticulture 5 Pack of 6400K 2 foot T5 Bulbs

 

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 6400K (blue)
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 24 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

VIVOSUN 5 Pack of 6500K 4 foot T5 Bulbs

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 6500K (blue)
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 54 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

iPower 5 pack of 6400K 2 foot T5 bulbs

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 6500K (blue)
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 24 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

Red light

Apollo Horticulture 5 pack of 2700K 4 foot T5 Bulbs

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 2700K (red)
  • Length: 4 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 54 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

Apollo Horticulture 5 pack of 2700K 2 foot T5 Bulbs

Buy on Amazon

  • Bulb color temperature: 2700K (red)
  • Length: 2 ft
  • Number in pack: 5
  • Watts per bulb: 24 Watts
  • High output?: Yes

How do T5 grow lights work?

T5 grow lights are a type of fluorescent light. Fluorescent lights consist of a bulb (normally a tube) which is filled with mercury vapor at low pressure. When an electric current is passed through the vapor it excites (the molecules vibrate) causing ultraviolet light to be emitted. This ultraviolet light interacts with a phosphorous coating on the inside of the fluorescent tube causing it to glow.

Like HID lights, fluorescent lights need a ballast to regulate the current. If there was no ballast, the light would draw far too much current and instantly burn out. Generally the ballast in T5 lights is built into the lighting fixture that houses the bulbs.

What do the different ‘T’ ratings mean?

The 'T' designation simply means the bulb is 'Tube' shaped. The number directly after the T refers to the diameter of the tube in increments of ⅛ of an inch. For example, the diameter of a T5 bulb is 5/8th of an inch (15.9 mm). Some of the other common T formats include T8 (1 inch) and T12 (1.5 inches).

There's no question T5 lights are the best for growing weed because they provide the most light relative to their size and the power they consume.

T5 bulb colors

T5 bulbs can emit light in a range of colors depending on which one you choose. This is important when choosing a light for growing weed because your plants prefer different colored light during the vegetative and flowering stages of growth.

Different light manufacturers sometimes describe the color of their lights in different ways but looking at the color temperature (measured in Kelvins) will always be a consistent comparison.

  • In the vegetative stage of growth, your plants prefer blue light and bulbs labelled ‘Cool” or ‘Cool White’  around 6500K are best.
  • In the flowering stage, weed plants prefer a more orange / red light so go for bulbs labelled ‘Warm White’ at 2500K or 3000K.

T5 light bulb colors

High Output (HO) T5 grow light bulbs

In addition to standard T5 bulbs, high output T5 bulbs are also available. They come in all the same sizes and color temperatures as regular T5 bulbs but use more watts and produce much more light. Because different manufacturers use different naming systems it can be confusing to tell what you're buying but you can always figure it out by looking at how many watts the light consumes.

For a 4 foot long T5 tube:

  • A regular T5 bulb will use 28 watts of power and put out ~2900 lumens
  • An HO T5 bulb will use 54 watts of power per hour and put out ~5000 lumens

All of the best T5 grow lights we recommend use HO bulbs to give greater efficiency and more light for growing weed.

How long do T5 grow bulbs last?

T5 bulbs are relatively cheap, but they only last around half as long as LED grow lights. You can expect a T5 bulb to last approximately 20,000 hours. Unlike LED lights, a big advantage of T5 lights is that they emit almost the same amount of light for their entire working life.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of T5 grow lights?

Advantages of T5 grow lights

  • They're cheap! (much less expensive than LED lights).
  • They best T5 grow lights don’t produce a lot of heat which makes them excellent for use in small grow rooms and shorter grow tents.
  • Heat management and ventilation in your grow space may not even be required.
  • Use little electricity - commercial growing operations often use them for this reason.
  • Great for beginner growers because they’re cheap and you can easily grow a few plants in a very small space.
  • Low power consumption and low heat makes them a really good option if you need to be stealthy.

Disadvantages of T5 grow lights

  • The lifespan of T5 bulbs is less than LEDs or HID lights.
  • Don’t produce anywhere near as much light as LED or HID lights. The useful range of light is around 1 - 2 feet so they need to be placed very close to your plants to be effective.
  • They require a ballast to control the current, but this isn’t a big deal and normally comes built into the light fixture.

Tips for using T5 grow lights

  1. Because even the best T5 grow lights produce less light than LED or HID lights, they need to be placed very close to your plants. You can safely place them 1 or 2 inches away from the tops of your plants without burning them.
  2. Using a small LED or HID light to supplement the light produced by your T5 bulbs is a great way to get more light penetration into the canopy of your plants.
  3. Many growers run blue T5 lights during the vegetative stage and then switch to HID or LED lights during the flowering stage. This can be a good way to get the best of both worlds and keep costs down.
  4. If you stick with T5 lights through the flowering stage as well, the best advice is to keep your plants as short as possible so that the limited light can penetrate deeper into the canopy. You can make up for some loss in yield by training your plants grow bushy so more buds grow from the shorter plant.

T5 grow lights vs HID

The best T5 grow lights produce much less heat than HID lights and are much less expensive to run. As a consequence, T5 lights also produce a lot less light which means they are better suited for growing smaller plants. 

T5 and HID lights both require a ballast to regulate the current.

T5 grow lights vs LED

LED lights last longer than T5 bulbs, but LED lights lose intensity over time. T5 lights will burn with pretty much the same intensity for their entire life. You can buy a lot of T5 bulbs for the cost of an LED light!

Many LED lights are 'full spectrum' lights which means they can be used for the entire growth cycle. Most growers using T5 and HID lights switch from blue bulbs to red bulbs during the flowering stage.

Equivalent LED lights are much more powerful than even the best T5 grow lights. They also get much better light penetration into your plants and don’t produce too much heat considering how much light they produce.

 



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