T5 Fluorescent Grow Light Review – VS LED Comparison – PAR and Heat Test

T5 Fluorescent Grow Light Review  - VS LED Comparison   - PAR and Heat Test

Fluorescent grow lights are some of the oldest technologies used in indoor growing. The T5 is one of the few that have not had restrictions implemented on manufacturing. In this video we take a look at the T5 and compare it to a LED, determining if it still holds a place in the Indoor Horticulture community

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What do you think?


Written by Grow Ace

Content AuthorYears Of Membership


  1. Did you seriously compare a 4 bulb 54w per bulb CF total 212 w vs led 320w total so more than 30% greater power? Please explain how thats apples to apples. Well maybe if one is a tiny crabapple vs a big red!?!

    Not to mention the cost dif is greater than 30% led. wow guess what a light with 30%+ more power won. Duh!?!

    Further in your price life comparison t5 bulbs are well under $10 per to change out for 4 bulbs so under $40. What happens when some of those diodes go out or all of them?

    Typically the light is thrown out. Big difference. One is a throw away vs the cf that has easy blub and even ballast change out with parts at any hardware store. No solderimg etc bs . Can that be said about leds? Nope. You just have to eat aoither almost $300 hit for a smallish unit. Have to mail order it. A T5CF I run down to HD or Lowes and am backup and running in a hour or two.

    Hmmmmm are these not significant points you just happened to miss??

    Look leds are nice but there perf is much more critically based on the parts like high end drivers and diodes for true to label output and reliability.

    But T5HO 54W 46" are a simple any brand electronic ballast sockets and some bulbs that are at every hw store. I can pick up 2 bulb fixtures for 54w t5ho for $34 $25 on sale. So 2 of those fixtures runs say $70 with tax $90 with grow bulbs. I am looking at almost $300 for a good quality led.

    So I could have 6×2 bulb setups for the cost of a single 200-300w quality setup. CF t5 do not need to worry about quality of the electronics etc like leds do. Its what held leds back for so long in the first place. No doubt they are the future. But for weed still hps mh / cmd are king. Only because of small tents vs rooms is why leds have so much pros in terms of grow performance.

    So back to T5 HO CF. thats 54w x 6 or 324w. How about comparing equal cost for cost which now is equal watts to your led setup. So lets see what happens when the CF output is now 50 % greater than in your previous test so its equal to that led lamp you used. Have a feeling things will be different. Temp increase will now be equal or close to it. Light will be as well.

    Look leds will never in the near future have intesity to reach lower plant like hps or mh just is not going to happen. So unless you hang setups vertically angled to hit the whole plant from angle on the side……….

    If that was done T5 would make more sense as its cheaper.

    Grow tents are always a serious compromise to a room setup. To handle this is what gives LEDs the nod. Otherwise ideal would be a cmh hps combo with good venting. Leds might hit lumen numbers but they will never match lux/candela like these.

    Maybe in the next 3-5yr LEDs will hit T5HOCF price per watt and local source convenience. But they are not there just yet. But the weed market is almost solely driving the LEDs grow light fixture industry. Thus they are built to that specificity. If the same focus was put on CF as say the salt water aquarium industry did you would see much more tech in bulb frequency and fixture reflector design.

  2. I switched to T5s in veg The Growth was Unbelievable I'm Going to Test them in Flower Tent aswell Never have to worry about burning your plants like LEDS Can

  3. Lifespan in this case appears to be how long before the bulb burns out.
    What we are concerned with is how long a bulb can maintain it’s wavelength and strength of light output.

  4. The problem with this test is the leds are cranked almost to their full potential the ho T5's you're using are around half way what they can handle overdrive them to 80 watts each then try that test again !

  5. I find LED area coverage is always small. It all depends on how much you're growing in what you are going to use.

    Bigger areas-HPS or T5.

    Perfecting a single or just a few plants in a tent – LED

  6. this video sucks. he's not even starting at the same temps when he's measuring so how can you you just toss out numbers like that? you gotta be consistent when you do experiments dude.

  7. T5 may last 10k hr, it only costs like 2 bucks a lamp to replace. A led dying will take the whole circle with it sometimes as they are serial soldered instead of parralel.

  8. As I understand from reading around on forums. The T5 system is great for a mother plant room, as they stay in veg and dont need to grow fast. But for the main room, LEDs are way better.

  9. I just ordered a 4 lamp vivison
    T5 ho 6500k, at the beginning of the video I was like damn should have got the led again, but at the end I'm sticking with the order, I can replace the bulbs, add different spectrums and it's only for vegging seedlings or clones. I'm curious to see how they flower, but I'll use my cheap leds for flower for now. Thanks for the vid, and great comments

  10. Just buy a magnetic ballast and get magnetic LED T5 bulbs. All the benefits mentioned in this video are exponentially more efficient with the LED bulbs in the same ballast. FL's and CFL's are becoming just as obsolete as HID since LED has made it into the T5 game also

  11. T5's… i always see a T5 guy in the comments somewhere when LEDs are mentioned lol. I get it, it's not easy to change your ways. But it's clear that LED's are superior for most people. T5's are nice for covering a larger area for seedlings and such, but i don't see them lasting into the future as LED tech increases.

    Iv'e used HPS and T5's… and while dealing with the heat of a HPS is a BITCH… the overall quality of my plants were better. If you're going to go for the cooler lights, and the more cost efficient, i suggest LED's. But i'm basically just regurgitating everything that was said in the video lol, my dude nailed it.

  12. I use t5s. I have two 4' x 4 bulb set ups. one has all 6500k, the other 2 blue, 2 red. The 6500k gives more veg but lower leafs also wither away. The blue/red gives more compact growth but with little to no lower leaf withering. Not sure if one is better than the other…As far as root development, I couldn't tell a difference either.

  13. Nice infomercial…
    The comparison you used was apples to oranges…
    Why not compare the 4 ft flor tube to the 4ft LED tube?
    When I see people do this with products I usually think that I'm being "Sold" something.
    It looks like you're trying to promote the T5's and since you actually have an ad from them, obviously I'm correct.

  14. apparently you never read the NASA report on LED grow lights. they found that LEDs produced less vitamins.flavanoids and resin. this can be fixed by adding supplemental UVA. with the wide selection of horticultural bulbs available you can get any SPD you want with T5s. I run 6500k with a uva plus bulb for higher UVA and P@A bulbs for increased deep red and less green light and this combination works well for me. I have tried 561 samsung strip lights and mars hydro but ended up finishing with a MH bulb to get better resin production and flavor. T5's are not old technology.and are still the best selling grow lights on the market. LEDs are a distant 4th behind HPS and CMH.there are many videos here showing how well T5's flower.


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