Best fluorescents for plants:T-12 vs.T-8

ramsay22February 23, 2009

I realize that the T-8 is more efficient than the T-12, but assuming same type fixture and bulbs, which is best for growing?

Since the T-12 fixtures and bulbs seem to be less expensive, I am thinking about using them, unless the T-8's are actually more effective. Advice? Thanks

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T8's + Wal-Mart = $20

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 1:51PM
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The sprawlmarts where I live (and they are HUGE Walmarts with full grocery) do NOT carry shop lights.

Not all sprawlmarts are created equal! ;-)

I have one T8 and one T12 fixture. In some ways I like the T12 better for the plants because it seems to be wider. The bulbs are a little bigger, and they are spaced a little further apart, so the overall shop light is wider. When I slide my tray under it, I seem to get much better coverage then I do from the T8.

Here in Southern Ontario, I can't find a shop light for under $35.00. I bought a T8 for $39.00 as it seemed to make sense that if I was going to fork out that much money, what is another $4.00 for a more energy efficiant fixture that will likely still have bulbs available and easy to find 5-10 years from now??

(sorry about the hijacking the thread, from what I have read, either fixture is fine, they both put off the same amount of light. I am sure you can find fixtures that are wider and thiner in both t12 and t8. This has just been my personal experiance!)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:25PM
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That's odd... I live in Ontario too, and I got my shoplight from Home Depot for $15 CAD. I then replaced the ballast with a 4-tube electronic ballast to overdrive the 2 tubes for another $18CAD.

As for which is best, IMO, light is light... if you you're not paying the engergy bills, either will work the same. The main difference between the 2 is that you using 32W (T-8) to produce just a tiny bit more light than your 40W T-12. At some point in time, I've had both set up at the same time, and there was no noticible difference on how well the plants grew between the 2 setups.

Hope this helps...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 11:30AM
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So are you saying that the T-8 produces more light than the comparable T-12 bulb even tho the wattage is lower?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 2:20PM
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Yes it does. Just look at the lumen rating on the tubes the next time you walk into the hardware store. That number is a rough measurment of how much light it gives off, scaled for the human eye...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 4:06PM
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The wattage is not what is important, it is the # of lumens. Think if it this way, a Regular Compact Fluorescent light bulb uses way way fewer watts the then a standard bulb, but gives off the same amount of light!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Don't know if you have a lowes around but I bought a 10 pack of 6500k T12 lamps for $20 and a 4' dual lamp T12 fixture for $10. Naturally price will differ from area to area but I thought that was a pretty good deal even though they are T12. Not that my opion holds alot of weight but everybody is right about not looking at wattage but lumenous output (dont know if thats a word) with flourescents, check out a T5 fixture but remeber to look at the lumens and the wattage. If I remeber correctly it was around 90 lumen per watt which is close to a hid light output but you pay for it. Check out these links:

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 9:23PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Got my second light today and hung it, I'm pretty sure I'll be going back for a 3rd. $8.98 for the fixture $1.80 for extra chain and $4 for 2 cool bulbs. I had some extra S hooks around but couldn't find them so I made the hooks in the packaging into S hooks.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:59PM
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