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Top 12 T8 Grow Lights In 2023

Brandon Forder
  Dec 6, 2023 5:15 AM

One of the most important things an indoor hydroponic grower can do to achieve optimal development is to set up a well-lit space. When it comes to grow lights, T8 grow lights are the best option for providing your plants with adequate lighting. This is why it's so important to understand which T8 bulbs are optimal for growing plants.

You'll need outstanding grow lights for your indoor hydroponic plants that can mimic the effects of natural sunlight. Choosing the best T8 bulbs for your indoor hydroponic garden will help you get the most out of your investment. If you're still unsure, keep reading.

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Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

Types of Lights

Fluorescent and LED light bulbs are typical choices for grow lighting in an indoor environment. Maryland Grows recommends LED grow lights since they are 30 percent more energy efficient than fluorescent lights. Fluorescent bulbs can shatter, however these lights are composed of plastic and won't do that. Keep in mind that LEDs don't produce heat, so you'll need to keep the temperature of your plants in mind when using them.

It is cheaper to use fluorescent bulbs than incandescent ones. Even though they emit a modest amount of heat, they are rarely harmful to plants. Seeds frequently germinate and grow better when they are kept warm. Traditionally, gardeners have relied on T12 bulbs. It measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

There is a growing interest amongst indoor gardeners in T8 bulbs, which have a diameter of 1 inch, and T5, which have a diameter of 5/8 inch. In contrast to LED or T5 fluorescent bulbs, which require a new fixture, T8 light bulbs can be used in your existing T12 fixture.

LED Bulbs

When it came to low-energy recessed lighting, only fluorescent bulbs were an option. Thanks to LED lighting innovations, the landscape of illumination has undergone a dramatic shift. Retrofitting fluorescent lighting with LED tubes is a great alternative to replacing the entire housing.

Fluorescent bulbs in parabolic and indirect light fixtures can be replaced by LED tube lights, which come in lengths ranging from 2 to 8 feet. Mechanics' garages, storage spaces, and fabrication floors are ideal environments for these devices. A more convenient option than fluorescent tubes, LED tubes can be purchased individually or in bulk. LED tubes have improved color rendering due to their lower power consumption and long lifespan (up to 100,000 hours). Compared to fluorescent lights, they get up to full brightness much faster and do not flicker at all.

The wattage equivalent isn't the only consideration to keep in mind while going from fluorescent to LED lighting. Consider the LED tube's lumen output and the fixture's height before making a purchase. 4 ft. tubes with 1800 lumens or less are the most popular for offices, retail areas, hotels, and other applications with similar ceiling heights. You don't want to make consumers or employees feel like they're in an interrogation chamber by overcrowding a location. LED tube lights with more than 2000 lumens provide the greatest output for higher ceilings with strip lights or high-bay fixtures, such as hospitals, warehouses, and parking garages.

The usage of dimmable tubes can be beneficial in locations where the brightness needs to be adjusted on the fly. A shatter-resistant coating that complies with the criteria of NSF and ANSI is ideal for food service applications. In order to qualify for state or local subsidies, DLC-certified LED tubes must exceed stringent efficiency standards.

It is important to know what kind of conditions tubes can withstand before using them. When using a dry location certified tube indoors, the tubes should not come into touch with water or any other moisture. If moisture is present, LED tubes with a damp site rating should not be utilized in direct contact with water.

Kelvin Color Temperature

To ensure uniform lighting in an area, it's vital to know the color temperature of overhead lighting. A higher kelvin number indicates a more blue-like light output, whereas a lower kelvin value indicates a more yellow-like light output. T8 bulbs with a 3000 kelvin color temperature emit a softer, more inviting light than their halogen counterparts. 4100 k T8 bulbs, commonly used in workplaces and workspaces to alleviate eye strain, have a color output close to clear metal halides and are called a cold white. 6500 kelvin T8 bulbs are a daylight-equivalent with a bluer hue than standard lighting. For showcase spaces, high-security locations, garages, and other areas where safety is a concern, a kelvin temperature of 5000 or greater is advised.


Are T8 LED lights good for growing?

They are indeed.

Compared to incandescent lights, T8 bulbs have a greater color rendering index (CRI). In addition, they produce a greater quantity of clearly discernible light. The light output from both bulbs is nearly identical. Plants that are sensitive to blue wavelengths benefit from a higher CRI. If you're seeking to get a close-up view of plants, a macro lens can come in handy. T8s come in two primary varieties. T8s with filaments and T8s without filaments are available. A filament-equipped T8 bulb puts forth more light than a non-filament-equipped T8 bulb. A filament is not required for T5 bulbs.

Is T5 better than T8?

Bulbs of the T8 variety are very popular when it comes to cultivating plants. To cultivate plants, an artificial light bulb called a t8 bulb is utilized. In hydroponics, or with a nutrient solution, most of the bulbs are utilised. The most prevalent indoor plant-growing method is hydroponic, which has been around for a long time. One notable difference between a typical T5 bulb and a t8 bulb is that the t8 bulb has a substantially higher wattage. You'll save money on your electric bill because the plant uses less energy because of the higher wattage.

What Type of Fluorescent Lights to Grow Plants?

If you're wondering what kind of lights you should use to grow plants, here's the solution. Lighting tubes or bulbs rated at 20 or 40 watts can be used for seedlings and year-round plants, respectively. They are ideally suited for growing little plants that don't require a lot of light, such as succulents. Philodendrons, for example, are low-light plants that can be purchased. T8 fluorescent grow lights are ideal for such plants because they require less light than other types.

High Output Lighting is still another choice. It has a higher output than the standard. Plants with an average life span of 10,000 hours are best suited for this type of lighting. Using these bulbs is a low-cost solution for growing plants that do not have easy access to natural light. Additionally, there are a wide range of options in terms of both type and size in the market.

How Much Fluorescent Light is Enough?

T5 lights are more powerful than T12 bulbs when it comes to illuminating tubes. When discussing fluorescent lights, it is important to know how much light they produce. During the installation, you should have a look at how much space you have. You may use any light meter to do this. However, make sure that your coverage is even so that the growing plants get enough light.


When it comes to lighting, nothing beats the warmth and brightness of the sun. It is still possible for T8 bulbs to stimulate the growth of your indoor plants by simulating the effects of sunlight. However, even if they don't provide you with 100% natural sunshine, they will still provide excellent results for the needs of your plants.

This is why we've chosen some of the best T8 bulbs for indoor plant cultivation.

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