4ft. 6-bulb T5 Fluorescent System

yucatanApril 12, 2012

I'm looking for an affordable, yet high quality 4 ft. 6-bulb High Output T5 Fluorescent system w/bulbs included if possible and free shipping. I'm mainly concernced with overall efficiency and price. I want to grow/fruit/flower about 5 tomato/pepper/cilantro/epazote/dwarf berry plants to maturity.

Does anyone have any favorite online stores and/or discounts/coupons?

How do the major brands of fixtures and bulbs compare?

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I am also looking for a similar light set up. It is overwhelming to choose! I want mine for seed starting and small propagations.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:05AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

"Your fixture with lamp will be less than half the price of the HOT5 mentioned above, with the same performance, and uses much cheaper T8 lamps."

It definitely has a lower initial cost and may provide a lot of light, but it's not accurate to say that it has the same performance as a HOT5 system. A big part of the advantage of HOT5's is not just the higher wattage, but the smaller bulb size as well. The closer you get to a linear light source, the more accurately light can be reflected around the bulb and down where it's needed. Many HOT5 fixtures have very well designed individual reflectors that take advantage of the smaller bulb size and can have a huge impact on the amount of useable light below the fixture. There is also the matter of electrical efficiency. Just because a T8 bulb is drawing 54 watts does not necessarily mean that it is producing the same amount of light as a T5 that is designed to run at 54 watts.

If your setup provides the light you need at a price you like, then that's great. But there are definite advantages to be had with a HOT5 system. Growing tomatoes and peppers to maturity will require as much light as possible. I would recommend metal halide lighting, but if fluorescents are a sticking point, then I would recommend HOT5's or even VHOT5's, though I haven't really looked into the latter much.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:55AM
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