The list of 2023's top T5 grow lights is here, growers! And with so many options popping up over the year, you're probably asking yourself, "Which is the best T5 fluorescent light for my plants?"
Well, in this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know to find the best T5 for your plants, including the best strength, size, and spectrum. And after we tested hundreds of T5's this year, we combined our findings with customer reviews, build quality, and pricing to put together our list of the best T5 grow lights of the year.
So let's check out the best options below and find the best one for your plants:
1. Editors’ Choice
$211.95 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐ (1 Review)
AgroBrite T5 432W 4' 8-Tube GROW LIGHT
When you're looking for wide coverage, intense light, and minimal heat for your plants, this is the best T5 grow light you're going to find.
Its 6400K light spectrum gives you a near-full spectrum of light capable of growing plants from seed through harvest. The 2x4ft. reflector has multiple focal points to give you a coverage area of 8sqft, optimizing light output to give you 5,000 lumens per sqft. That's enough power to grow 2-3 flowering plants and 1-2 trays of clones.
So if you're looking for optimal coverage and strength with minimal heat output, this is the T5 light your plants need from start to finish.
✔ Grows 2-3 flowering plants + 1-2 trays of clones
✔ +8sqft coverage area
✔ Dual on/off switches to adjust lumen output from 50-100%
✔ 40,000 lumen output
2. Best Vegging Light
$219.95 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 Reviews)
Yield lab T5 8 Bulb T5 Grow Light Panel (6400k)
When your plants need the most growth it can get out of a T5, this is the fluorescent grow light they need.
With 8x bulbs of 6400k light, your plants receive optimal amounts of blue wavelengths, integral for branch, leaf, and flower bud development. The reflector has multiple focal points to spread light over an 8sqft coverage area, with an intensity of 5,000 lumens per square foot (40,000 total). On its own, it can grow 2-3 flowering plants from seed to harvest. However, with this intensity, you can supplement your primary grow lights for even stronger growth all year.
So whether you've got flowering plants that need stronger growth, or you're working with HID's that can use a huge boost in veg wavelengths, this is the perfect T5 for your plants.
✔ Covers 2-3 plants
✔ Great supplemental light for HID's and LED's
✔ Twin on/off switches to control the intensity of light across footprint
✔ 40,000 Lumen Output
3. Best for House Plants
$59.68 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (0 Reviews)
AGROBRITE T5 125W COMPACT Fluorescent LIGHT
Got a small house plant that needs big light? This T5 will get your seedling growing into a mini-harvesting plant in no time.
Its bulb gives off 7,000 lumens, which is the perfect strength for a single herb, vegetable, or small flowering plant. Plus, its 6400k spectrum has the wavelengths of light your plants need for strong roots, branches, and leaves. And tts domed reflector design directs light down onto your plant for better intensity, unlike larger lights that spread and weaken light output.
So if you want to see big growth out of your small plants, this is a dependable light that'll give you the growh you want.
✔ Perfect for small herbs, flowers, and houseplants
✔ 7,000 lumen output
✔ Domed hood reflector helps focus light directly onto plants
✔ Also great for seedlings and clones
4. Best for Propagation
$129.95 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (8 Reviews)
Yield lab 54w 4 Bulb T5 Grow Light Panel (6400K)
When you're looking for a T5 to pop seeds and grow clones, you need this fluorescent grow light.
Its rectangular reflector gives you 4sqft of light coverage, while 6400k color temperature gives seeds and clones optimal levels of blue and white wavelengths to grow strong roots and foliage. And with a lumen output of 20,000 lumens (4,000 lm/sqft), you'll be able to cover at least 2-4 trays of clones and/or seedlings. Bonus: this light also has the optimal lumens and wavelengths for growing a single flowering plant from seed to harvest!
So if you're looking for a T5 light with power and versatility, this is will make sure your clones are full grown and can even yield a decent crop from one of them.
✔ Propagate 2-4 trays of clones and seedlings
✔ Powerful enough to grow 1x flowering plant
✔ 20,000 Lumen Output
✔ 4sqft Coverage Area
5. Best Reviewed
$148.99 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (10 Reviews)
AgroBrite T5 216W 4-Tube Grow Light
If you want a hot-selling, grower-trusted T5 grow light, this one comes with plenty of reviews to back it up.
One grower mentions that its 20,000 lumens and 6400k spectrum "got my tropicals through last winter;" and another noted "my seedlings are loving" this grow light. On its longevity, one grower notes, "I've had it over a year now and it has held up very well," while another grower says, "Well made, easy to set and fits our needs. Price was right too."
So if you're looking for a light with the power, spectrum, and lifespan for your plants, this light will help 1-2 flowering plants or up to 3 trays of clones thriving- with the reviews to prove it.
✔ Best reviewed T5 of 2023
✔ Grows 1-2 flowering plants, or up to 3 trays of clones
✔ 20,000 lumen output
✔ 4sqft coverage area
What is a T5 grow light?
A T5 grow light is a fluorescent light that uses high output T5 bulbs that are strong enough to grow plants.
They're a type of light known as fluorescent lights, and offer a much softer light output compared to high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs like HPS, MH, and CMH grow lights.
The T in “T5” indicates the shape of the bulb -- tubular, while five refers to the diameter of the light socket: ⅝ of an inch. The "fluorescent" part means they use fluorescent bulbs, which are phosphor-coated tubes of glass filled with argon gas and a drop of mercury.
Here's how they work:
- Electrodes at either end electrify the gas to produce light by causing free electrons to move from one electrode to the other.
- This charge vaporizes a bit of the mercury inside the tube, and as the electrons and ions (charged atoms) collide with the mercury atoms, it generates ultraviolet (UV) photons.
Since UV light is invisible, the phosphorus coating on the inside of the bulb transmutes the emissions into visible light. Adjustments in this system affect the color temperature, which produces different wavelengths of light.
- Note: Color temperatures refer to the color of the light we see coming from the light. These temperatures tell you what wavelengths of light the bulb gives off. For example, 2700k bulbs give you a "warm" orange glow with lots of red wavelengths for flowering; 6400k bulbs offer a "cool" white/blue glow with plenty of blue wavelengths of vegetative growth.
Why Use T5 Lights in Your Grow Room?
There are plenty of grow lights you could use in your grow room, so why should you choose T5 lights?
✓ Lower Heat Output. T5 fluorescent bulbs have one of the highest light-to-heat output ratios of any grow lights on the market because of their construction. Each bulb takes 24-58w's of power to run, which is significantly less than HID's like 400w HPS grow lights. That means these bulbs don't need to get as hot as other lights to emit light. This helps keep your grow room environment stable and your plants from frying.
✓ Softer Light Output. T5 bulbs are internally coated with phosphorus, softening the light being emitted. This helps you bring lights closer to the leaves without bleaching or burning them like HID's and LED grow lights would. This makes it easier to give your plants essential wavelengths without worrying about damaging the leaves with harsh lumen output.
✓ Highly Customizable. With the ability to run multiple bulbs inside the same reflector, you can mix and match various color temperatures and wavelengths into multiple sockets. HID's can only run one bulb at a time, and to customize an LED grow light you need some experience around computers. But with T5 grow lights you can customize your light to give your plants the exact wavelengths your plants need.
How to Choose the Best T5 Grow Light
When it's time to choose the perfect T5 for your plants, there are three key aspects you want to pay attention to: wattage, spectrum, and bulb count.
- Wattage will tell you the potential strength of the light, as well as the energy draw.
- Spectrum will tell you the wavelengths of light utilized in the bulb and the growth benefits they offer.
- Bulb count will tell you the combined intensity the light has, as well as its physical size in your grow room.
So let's take a look at the foundations of T5's so you can find the best one for your plants (even if it's not one of the top 5 of 2023):
24 Watt T5's
✓ Compact Design. 24w T5 bulbs are 2ft long, making them the most compact T5 grow lights available. Even with 4x bulb reflectors, these will measure 2x2ft, compared to other T5's that start at 4x2ft. These allow growers in compact spaces to keep plants thriving no matter where they place them.
✓ Soft, Affective Lighting. With an output of around 2,200 lumens per bulb, these lights give you the softest light a plant can grow with. Keep in mind that plants need around 2000-3000 lumens of light per sqft. to grow, so even a 2-bulb 24w set up will keep plants thriving without overwhelming them.
✓ Perfect for Clones, Seedlings, and Houseplants. These T5 lights can give you up to 17,600 lumens of light with an 8 bulb fixture. That's enough to grow 2-3 trays of clones/seedlings into the vegging stage! And even 2-3 bulb setup's give you up to 6,000 lumens of light, which is plenty for a few house plants like Pothos and Snakeplants.
54 Watt T5's
✓ Wide Coverage. 54w T5 light bulbs are 4ft long, giving them long coverage areas. With fixtures of up to 12 bulbs, you'll get up to 12sqft coverage areas. Compared to other T5's that can only offer up to 8sqft, 54w's give your plants up to 4sqft more coverage for about 1-2 more plants per light.
✓ Intense Lighting. Each 54w T5 bulb offers at least 5,000 lumens of light per bulb, which is more than twice the strength of 24w's. This broadens the scope of growing, as you'll get the intensity to sustain flowers and fruit instead of simple foliage growth.
✓ Perfect for Young and Mature Plants Alike. Whether you're looking for a light with a wide coverage area for lots of clones, or you need the strength of a 400w HID without all the heat, these are the T5 grow lights you need. With the ability to give off 60,000 lumens of light, these T5's are made for serious growing.
T5 bulbs come in two main spectrums: cool (6000-7000k) and warm (2000-3000k). And each has their own benefits, so it's important to choose the right one for the right growth:
- Cool Spectrum- The 6000-7000k range of light contains mostly white and blue wavelengths. These are great for clones, seedlings, and the vegging stage, as it stimulates root, leaf, and branch growth. However, most growers also use these spectrums from seed to harvest.
- Warm Spectrum- The 2000-3000k range of light offers mostly red and orange wavelengths. That's perfect for the flowering stage of growth, as these wavelengths stimulate flower bud production, blooming, and root growth.
- Note: there are T5 bulbs that offer targeted spectrums of light, like all blue or all red wavelengths. These are used to target and boost specific growth patterns.
Once you know the wattage and spectrum you want for your plants, the last piece of the T5 puzzle is finding the light with the intensity you need.
And to do that, we'll look at the fixtures and bulb counts out there, along with their potential in the grow room:
|1-2 Bulb Fixtures||4 Bulbs Fixtures||8 Bulb Fixtures||12+ Bulb Fixture|
These fixtures are best used for growing clones and seedlings, as they're able to give them up to 10,000 lumens of light. That's just the amount of light you need to keep young plants thriving until they're ready to veg.
These are great for growing clones and seedlings well into the flowering stage. These can give you up to 20,000 lumens of light, which is enough to get 2-3 trays of seeds. That's also enough to grow 1 flowering plant.
These are what you need if you want to grow plants from seed/clone to harvest. They can give off up to 40,000 lumens, which is strong enough to bring 1-2 flowering plants to harvest.
With the ability to give you up to 60,000 lumens of light or more, these fixtures will replace 400w HID grow lights. So whether you want to grow a bunch of clones at once or you want to bring 2-3 plants to harvest, these are what you need for max lumen output.
Choosing the Best T5 Grow Light
Deciding on a brand new T5 grow light for your grow room or grow tent can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Fluorescent grow lights like these can be used in any growing situation, from propagating clones to growing full yields.
We know your time, energy, and money are valuable, so we’ve compiled a list of the best T5 grow lights of the year. And with this guide, you'll have the tools you need to give you the results you're looking for. That way you don’t need to spend hours and hours doing the research and can instead dedicate that time to preparing your grow room.
Whether you’re looking to go big, add supplemental lighting, or you need something around your budget, the T5's listed here are all awesome options. All you need to do is decide which T5 light is the best for your growing goals.
What Makes Growace Different?
On top of having the highest quality grow room equipment at value prices, there are three core reasons growers across the industry trust GrowAce for their plant growing needs:
- We offer the best customer service and grower support in the industry. Unlike other companies interested in making big sales, we're more interested making sure you get big yields. That's why our expert growers are equipped with every piece of info you need to find the light you need, along with helping you grow your plants from seed to harvest. And with our Lifetime Assistance, we'll make sure you're harvesting yield after yield no matter where you purchase your future equipment.
- We offer the best value-based T5 grow lights around. While most companies focus on high-priced brands or cheaply-made turnkey equipment, we think that everyone should be able to grow with a light they need without breaking the bank. That's why we ensure every brand we have meets stricy quality and performance standards with prices that any budget can work with.
- Each of our T5's come with a 120 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. We're so confident you'll love the T5 light you purchase with us, we'll give you an entire grow season to work with your light. Try it out, and if you're not completely satisfied after 3-4 months of growing, give us a call and we'll get it back from you for store credit of the full purchase price.
What Growers Are Saying
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Love the T5!" -Jill H.
"GREAT veg light, economical, durable, bulb replacements are affordable, multiple bulb choices. I can't rave about these lights enough. I've been through metal halide, other flourescents, led's, and I keep coming back to T5s! 6400 all the way!" Yield Lab Complete 54w T5 Eight Bulb Fluorescent Grow Light Panel (6400K)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Highly recommended" -CSF Grower
"Normally don't post reviews but these lights are a retrofit on a 3-tier grow stand. They are well made, very sturdy and heavy... have replaced 2 of the 3 old T8 fixtures on the grow stand, and plan to replace the 3rd in the near future. No issues at all." AgroBrite T5 216W 4' 4-Tube Fixture with Lamps
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of plants can you grow with T5 grow lights?
A: The great thing about T5 grow lights is that you can grow anything you can grow with HPS and LED grow lights, from clones to veggies, herbs to fruit trees.
And like LED and HPS grow lights, all you have to do is find the right lumen output and color spectrum for the growth you want out of your grow room. In fact, here are a few examples of plants that can be grown with T5 lights:
|1-2 Bulb T5's||4 Bulbs T5's||8 Bulb T5's||12+ Bulb T5's|
Clones, herbs, and spices
Germinating seeds and clones, and gowing small vegetables
Vegetables, smaller fruit-bearing plants, and ornamental flowers
Medium-sized fruiting plants, flowers, and vegetables
Now, we will admit that T5's do have their limitations. Mainly, that their peak lumen output is around 60,000.
While that's enough to replace a 400w HPS grow light (or its LED equivilent), getting more intensity out of a T5 requires more bulbs. More bulbs require larger reflectors, which may not fit in your growing area.
So that said, if your grow room requires over 60,000 lumens, consider using T5's in conjunction with other grow lights for maximum intensity and coverage.
Q: How far do I hang T5's from plants?
A: You'll want a minimum of 6-8 inches of room between your light and the canopy. However, depending on how strong a T5 grow light is, this can increased to 12-24 inches.
It's important to understand that while T5's emit a significantly lower amount of heat than HID's, T5 lights emit some heat. And the more bulbs a light has, the more heat it will emit. To avoid that heat damaging your plants, it's important to raise them.
Keep mind that raising your light too high over your plants will cause them to stretch. This results in weak plants and even weaker harvests. So it's especially important to keep an eye on the height of T5's above your plants to ensure they get the correct amount of light.
Q: How long do T5 grow lights last?
A: T5 fluorescent grow bulbs last over 20,000 hours each, which is just over 2 years worth of use. Their reflectors and ballasts, on the other hand, last upwards of 3-4 years before needing to be replaced.
Now, unlike other grow lights that can be replaced piece-by-piece, once the internal ballasts or connections give out on a T5 you'll need to replace the entire reflector. So keep in mind that when you're using T5's to grow, you'll be replacing an entire system more often than with any other grow light.
Q: Can you upgrade T5 grow lights?
A: T5 grow lights give you the ability swap out each bulb and replace it with a different wavelength of your choice. In fact, you can essentially make an all-vegging, all-flowering, or combination light that you can use from the seedling to harvesting stages by just swapping out a few bulbs.
Here are your spectrum options you have to choose from:
- 2700k bulbs- These bulbs offer you a "warm" color temperature that give your plants an optimal amounts of red, orange, and yellow wavelengths of light necessary for flower and fruit production.
- 6400k bulbs- These bulbs offer you a "cool" color temperature that gives your plants heavy doses of white and blue wavelengths of light that are vital to leaf, branch, and root growth.
- Blue Wavelength Bulbs- With more blue wavelengths than a standard 6400k bulb, your plant will get the stimulation it needs to grow big leaves and strong branches.
- Red Wavelength Bulbs- With an extra bit of red added to a T5 grow kit’s lighting cycle, your plants will give you flowers that rival an LED’s harvest.
Q: What are the warranties on T5 grow lights?
A: Each T5 grow light we offer at GrowAce comes with a minimum 1 Year Warranty protection against premature ware. And because we work directly with each of our brands, we're able to offer the quickest, most hassle-free warranties in the business. On top of that, each T5 light we offer comes with Lifetime Assistance to help keep growing huge harvests far after your warranty's expiration date.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of January 2023.