T5 grow lights are high output fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights which operate cooler and uses less energy than metal halide and HPS grow lights. The lights are set in lamp systems that are set in differing heights to allow growing for the plants. To start off, use of a 2 feet 2-lamp system and as the plant grows, increase to a 4 feet 8-lamp system. This should cover for all the stages of the growth of plants.
There are different types of T5 grow lights which should also correspond to the different stages of plant life. For budding, flowering and fruiting plants, use lamps with 3000k. The 6500L lamps are used for vegetative growth. Then there is the combination of 50% 3000K lamp with the next 50% of the 6500K lamp for all purpose growth. Do not confuse the other types of fluorescent grow lights such as T8 and T12. These are used for start seeds and plants that require low intensity lighting. T8 lights are less expensive and more energy efficient than the T5.
Even though these lights are a new innovation of light source for hydroponics and indoor gardens in the United States, they are rapidly gaining in popularity and have been successfully used in Europe for several years. T5 grow lights were originally invented as a light source used together with reflectors for aquarium lighting. But as the lights have shown success in plant growth application as well, it is rapidly taking the place of other forms of grow lights that use excessive amounts of electricity.
There is an increasing market for organically grown fruits and vegetables. Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in a liquid nutrient with or without gravel, or another supporting medium. The method of growing plants in liquid nutrients is rapidly gaining in popularity, especially in places where there is little or no sunshine most of the year and the need for fresh vegetables is in demand.
This need has increased the availability as well as the use of grow lights to artificially stimulate the ‘endless summer’ effect or the red, yellow and blue regions of the spectrum of light. The different spectrums provide the necessary light needed for plant growth. Blue LED lights which stimulate the vegetative growth of the plants are used together with the T5 grow lights to imitate the blue spectrum of natural sunlight. Even if the use of these lights requires a lot of electricity, there is still the undeniable necessity of having fresh fruits and vegetables. The only downside to this type of farming is the increased in incidents of salmonella bacteria growth, but then again, that is an altogether different topic to discuss.