Our annual list of the best T5 grow lights is here, growers! And with so many options out there, you're probably asking yourself, "Which is the best T5 light for my plants?"
And with over 12 years in the industry, we've refined our approach to finding the best T5's for growing- and that's exactly what this guide will help you do.
Each year we gather a number of T5 grow lights, test them, and rank each one based on performance. Then we combine our findings with customer reviews, build quality, and assemble a list of the top 5 T5 grow lights of the year for all budgets. From producing clones to growing from seed to harvest, we've got a T5 grow light that's perfect for your dream yields. Let's check out the best options below:
1. Editors’ Choice
$219.95 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐ (4 Reviews)
54w T5 8 Bulb Fluorescent Grow Light Panel (6400K)
If you're looking for the best T5 grow light for your money, this is the light you need.
Its 6400K color temperature gives you a near-full spectrum of light capable of growing flowering and non-flowering plants alike. 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 2-4 flowering plants from seed to harvest- not to mention a whole mess 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 2-4 Flowering Plants
✔ +8sqft Coverage Area
✔ Switch from 4-8 bulb coverage
✔ 40,000 Lumen Output
2. Best Flowering Light
$219.95 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 Reviews)
54w T5 8 Bulb Fluorescent Grow Light Panel (2700k)
When your plants need an extra boost of flower power, this is the T5 grow light they need.
With 8x bulbs of 2700k light, your plants receive optimal amounts of red wavelengths, integral for root, flower, and fruit development. Its reflector helps spread light over an 8sqft coverage area , with an intensity of 4,875 lumens per square foot (39,600 total). On its own, it can cover at 2-3 flowering plants. However, with this intensity, you can supplement your primary grow lights for even stronger fruit and flower growth.
So whether you've got ornamentals that need a strong flowering light, or you're working with HID's that can use a huge boost in red wavelengths, this is the perfect light for your plants.
✔ Cover up to 2-3 Flowering Plants
✔ Perfect Supplemental Light for Fruiting Plants
✔ Low Heat Output
✔ 39,600 Lumen Output
3. Best for Propagation
$129.95 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (7 Reviews)
54w T5 4 Bulb Fluorescent Grow Light Panel (6400K)
If your primary goal is to propagate tray after tray of clones and seedlings, this is the T5 grow light you want.
Its rectangular reflector gives you 4sqft of light coverage. Its 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 32,000 lumens (8,000 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 1 Flowering Plant
✔ 32,000 Lumen Output
✔ 4sqft Coverage Area
4. Biggest Coverage Area
$319.96 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (0 Reviews)
Agrobrite T5 648W 4' 12-Tube Fixture with Lamps
If you're looking for a T5 grow light with a huge footprint and intensity to match, this is the light you need.
Equipped with 12x 54w bulbs, this light gives you an intense 12 sqft. footprint- 4sqft larger than others. It also has a total output of 5,000 lumens/sqft., which is more intense than 400w HID grow lights by 10,000 lumens. And with a color temperature of 6400k, these T5s give your plants the heavy amounts of white-blue spectrum they need to grow up to 4 flowering plants.
With 12 slots available for any bulb configuration you can think of, this grow light will give you the strongest, most tailor-made coverage you can get from a T5.
✔ Equivilent to 400w HID With Less Heat Output
✔ Grows 2-4 Mature Plants
✔ 60,000 Lumen Output
✔ 12sqft Coverage Area
5. Best for Single Plant Growers
$59.68 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (0 Reviews)
Compact Fluorescent System 125W/6400K
If you've got an herb plant or bonsai that needs plenty of light but you don't have the room for a large T5 grow light, this is he light you need.
Its 6400k bulb gives off 7,000 lumens of white/blue light- the perfect strength for a single herb, vegetable, or small flowering plant. Its reflector is domed and designed to direct light down onto your plant for better intensity, unlike larger lights that spread and weaken light output.
So if you've got a plant you want to start out on the right foot, or you've got a small plant you want to grow to fruition, this single-bulb T5 grow light is what your plant need.
✔ Perfect for Small Herbs and Flowers
✔ 7,000 Lumen Output
✔ Domed Reflector Helps Focus Light Directly onto Plants
✔ Great for Starting Clones/Seedlings
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 thanHID'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.
Types of T5 grow lights
There are several different kinds of T5 lights in terms of wattage, but the main ones you’ll encounter in the world of grow lights for plants are 24 watts and 54 watts.
In this section we'll go over these advantages of these two types of grow lights, and the options you have to choose from:
24 Watt Lights
✓ 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 Lights
✓ 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 and Fixtures
- 1-2 Bulb Fixtures- These fixtures are best used for 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.
- 4 Bulbs Fixtures- 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 to veg. At the same time, you can get a few of those clones into the flowering stage.
- 8 Bulb Fixtures- These are what you need if you want to grow plants from seed/clone to harvest. They can give off up to 5,000 lumens per sqft, which is strong enough to bring 2-3 flowering plants to harvest.
- 12+ Bulb Fixtures- 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 4+ 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
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "The light works great!" Jason B.
I used the t5 6400k to start then switch to this 2700k. It made beautiful buds that were full of crystals. With that said to all who said that he or she can't afford to grow BS, all you need is a t5 6400k for the veg then switch to the t5 2700k and your going to be amazed. Seriously. I also have led from here and there also amazing. So GrowAce Is legit.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "My favorite grow light" -Jessica M.
This light is awesome! I can easily fit 4 standard 1020 flats under this light. Everything was pre-assembled for the most part. Just put the bulbs in (which are wrapped very well by the way for shipping) and hang the light. It's incredibly bright and is doing SO much better than the previous standalone LED grow lights I got. My cilantro, basil, peppers, watermelon, tomatoes, etc..are growing so well under these lights. I can't recommend these enough.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "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!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "The best T5s on the market" -Chris G.
The high build quality is what I have come to expect from Agrobrite. With proper care, the housing seems like it will last forever. Although there are cheaper alternatives, the clean design and sturdy construction make these T5s worth the investment, compared to the lights that use flimsy thin sheet metal and plastic parts to make their housing. The plants are very happy under these lights and the difference in the speed and lushness of the new growth is very evident.
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:
- Single and Dual bulb T5's can grow clones, herbs, and spices.
- 4-Bulb T5 lights are best for germinating seeds and clones, and gowing small vegetables.
- 8-Bulb T5's have the power to grow vegetables, smaller fruit-bearing plants, and ornamental flowers.
- 12+ Bulb T5 grow lights are capable of growing medium-sized fruiting plants, flowers, and vegetables (including root 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 December 2021.