Published: May 04, 2022
T5 grow light is the right one for indoor growing?
Indoor cultivation must meet the basic needs of plants (water, light, nutrients), therefore, it is important to create an environment that has all of them. Regarding lighting, there are multiple options that have been produced in the market in order to provide plants with artificial lighting that helps them grow in their different stages. For example, t5 grow light is one of the most used models.
We say more used, because it is a type of light that has been implemented - among other things - for small indoor crops. However, we can say that they do not currently represent the most optimal type of light for the growth and development of plants in this type of environment.
While the characteristics of a t5 grow light respond to positive aspects to highlight, there are other types of artificial lights - such as LED grow lights - that provide plants and their consumers with greater security, better energy and more savings in general.
Precisely, to be able to understand this in greater depth, we want to tell you a little about t5 grow light and LED grow light, establishing their main characteristics, differences, benefits and disadvantages.
That way - and taking into account the characteristics of your crop - you can make the best choice if you are a beginner grower.
T5 grow light vs LED grow light
Within the artificial lighting market for indoor cultivation, t5 grow light is one of the best known and used for a long history of time. While LED grow light, although it is already quite a few years old and has been positioned correctly thanks to its advantages, not many growers may prefer it because in some cases they are more expensive.
However, it should be noted that LED grow lights provide greater benefits to plants of any kind that, in the long term, are the best investment you will make. They are - mainly - the newest technology in terms of artificial lighting for plants and also, the ones that provide greater security to crops.
We have to tell you in detail about each of them so that you can see it for yourself. Similarly, in order to choose the right light, it is also important that you know your type of plant, the size of your crop, the purposes of that crop and what you are willing to invest for it.
T5 grow light: fluorescent type
T5 grow light belongs to the family of fluorescent lights. That is, they emit a visible light that is released thanks to a process that begins with metal electrodes that emit electrons from one end to the other, allowing current to pass between them, emitting ultraviolet light.
We know that this type of light is harmful to any living being. However, it is still considered good for plant growth, because inside, the tube through which light is emitted contains a material called phosphorus, which absorbs ultraviolet light rays and emits only fluorescence. That way, the plants are kept safe under this type of light.
Due to these characteristics, it is known that t5 grow light emits a low-energy light that is usually more efficient for plants or small seedlings and, above all, during the seed grubbing-up stage.
Likewise, they are considered a better option than incandescent lights, because they are cooler and a little more efficient than these. In addition, they are cheaper and more compact.
T5 grow light is ideal for herbs, vegetables, small plants and cuttings. For plants that are larger, their amount of light emitted, their spectrum and energy, is not enough.
In fact, remember that each color of light emits an energy that during a certain stage of growth of the plant is usually better (for example, blue light is suitable for growth and is complemented by purple light). That way, if your plant is larger and requires a more complete light spectrum , you will have to acquire many t5 grow light and even so, it will not be enough to achieve the desired optimal growth.
LED grow light: broad-spectrum light emission
LED stands for light-emitting diode. The energy they release is produced when protons and electrons collide, releasing a type of energy known as a photon.
These types of lights are capable of emitting broad-spectrum light, that is, of different colors. In addition, they are very efficient for energy saving, do not produce too much heat (that is, plants do not run the risk of burning), allow to adjust the amount of light energy emitted, are those that emit a light much more similar to that of the sun, their useful life is long compared to other types of lights, they are more expensive but a good long-term investment.
Characteristics to take into account for the choice of the right type of light
Remember that choosing the right type of light depends on the specific characteristics of your crop. That is, the plants you have in it, the space you have, your budget arrangement, the amount of light needed and the temperature of the place.
But if we talk only about lights, the most important thing to know will be:
- The durability of light.
- The energy efficiency it emits.
- The security that this energy provides to a certain type of plant.
- The temperature of heat and color it emits.
- Your initial cost.
Let's know a little more about these, why they are important to take them into account and compare t5 grow light vs LED grow light.
Efficiency: energy emitted
During its time of predominance in the market, T5 grow light was considered within the fluorescent lights as the most energy efficient. However, the advances proposed by LED lights represent an energy saving of up to 60% more than fluorescent lights of the T5 type and any other.
So LED grow light represents the type of light that is most efficient with respect to the energy they emit to plants, because they do not consume too much energy. That means that the costs with respect to electrical energy decrease considerably.
Safety for plants
For both plants and humans who may consume the product of those plants (or are simply their caretakers) the safety that lights provide is important.
T5 grow light is safe as long as it does not break. Remember that inside they contain mercury and if in any case a bulb breaks or explodes, it immediately contaminates the entire crop and damages it.
For its part, LED grow light does not contain any material that may be toxic or harmful to plants or humans. However, with them it is important to keep the eyes protected, because, if you look directly at them for a long time, the retinas could suffer negative consequences.
It is important that plants are kept safe from any toxic elements. Much more if your product will be for human consumption.
Without any discussion, only LED lights have been designed to emit a full spectrum of light. This is possible thanks to the fact that it is known that this is precisely what plants need to have optimal growth and reproduction.
Likewise, they do it at an adequate temperature that does not heat the plants or make them run the risk of burning or receiving light in excess and subsequently not being functional.
Regardless of the plant's growth stage, the best thing about LED lights is that they can adjust their power, their light colors, and the energy they ultimately emit to plants.
As we have mentioned from the beginning, T5 grow light is a type of fluorescent light that is quite affordable, while LED grow light is usually more expensive at the beginning.
But taking into account the characteristics mentioned above, we can already notice that the investment for an LED grow light is much more valuable in the medium and long term.
On average, LED lights can have a guarantee of lasting up to 50 thousand hours. While the T5 only reaches 20 thousand hours, hopefully.
At this point, the option of changing bulbs is much less necessary if LED grow lights are purchased.
Why do we recommend LED grow lights?
Recovering all the explanations previously developed, we want to rescue the fact that LED grow light will always facilitate much more of the work in the crop, given that they are the light technology that has managed to cover all the characteristics of artificial lighting that a plant requires for its growth and development.
Definitely, all this compensates for any cost that these may have because, in the long term, your plants will grow healthier and your product will be much more suitable for consumption. In addition, you will save many electricity costs and your plants will grow totally safe.
If, on the other hand, you want to start your cultivation with T5 grow light, remember that this type of light is much more efficient for small plants (such as herbs) that do not require too complex a lighting process.
Also keep in mind that the most important thing for plants is to have an environment that, although artificial, can provide you with all the comforts you could find in nature. Therefore, the more optimized, the better plants will be harvested.
Although for experienced growers fluorescent lights have been good companions, the technological advances brought by LED grow lights allow us to enjoy many more comforts and advantages that definitely - as a chain reaction - last over time and also in the pocket.
If it is necessary that you know in greater depth the operation and contribution of the lights towards the plants, we recommend that you visit our blog. There you will find all the information you need and, in addition, the LED lights we produce.