Fluorescent lights

I am a first time grower and I am constructing my grow room from scratch in my basement. I will be growing 18 plants so I’m using fluorescent lights to keep the cost down. Framing work is done and i will be starting the eletric tomorrow. My question is, can I use tube bulbs over regular bulbs? Is there an advantage over one than the other? What watt do I need? I figure that tube lights will cover more of an area than a regular bulb. Any thoughts or advice?



Tubes are OK for veg growth but you’re going to be disappointed flowering with them …best of luck with your project!

Thank you for your response. I’m trying to keep the costs down and I do only want to buy lights once. What light do you suggest I could use for both veg and flower? The full spectrum lights I was looking at online were a bit more than I wanted to pay especially for my size room. I need something more like tube lighting to cover a lot of space. Thank you in advance.

Do you have a link for something you suggest by any chance?

You can get the Very High Output (VHO) T5 fixtures, but overall I still think buying some HID fixtures would be better in the end. If trying to only use Fluorescent lights then I would recommend both VHO T5 fixtures, with the new T8 LED fixtures too. It will give you full spectrum and should add more light overall.

For optimum use with the T5s/T8s, you’ll need to attach the fixtures to a moveable ceiling. Meaning, when plants are small you will want those fixtures as close as possible. Being able to raise and lower lights is important, specially since those fluorescent lights don’t have good penetration.

Me personally, I’d put up a few 600w or 1000w HID fixtures, then add a bunch of the T5s/T8s and LEDs around the HIDs and on the side walls too. When I get enough space I will have my grow room set up like that.

Hope this helps :evergreen_tree::evergreen_tree::v:

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I’m with you man I know things are expensive but this is one of those things where you get out what you put in. Lighting is part of the Trinity light,soil,nutes if you go cheap on those your going to have a disappointing yeild. I would get the mehizi or the viparspectra the cool thing about the viparspectra is you can Daisy chain them. They have an extra female plug on top so you can link multiple lights off of one saves outlet space and fewer timers.


Very nicely put!

Hey man I read and learned from the Masters like yourself


We understand what you want but the truth is some plants won’t even flower under tubes, and some don’t flower enough so you’d notice, it really doesn’t work well ( if they did we’d all be using them )

As far as cost-cutting alternatives I wouldn’t be the one to help, I use hid and it’s not those!

You should consider redefining your goals. I wouldn’t go into this thing by saying how can I save money? I would say how can I get good bud? …next is how can I save money doing it? This is one of those times where ’ buy once / cry once ’ might be best


Thank you everyone for your responses. Very helpful.

Owen consider fewer plants under stronger lights ? I believe you’ll be happier with the yield and the grow in general may go better too
-best of luck!

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@Owenation ,
First I would like to Welcome you to ILGM. B sure to check out the lounge. That where we all get to know each other without grow questions…

Anyway I got some info for ya. Let me know if you need anything else or just ask anyone here there all kinds of knowledge able people here.
Well here ya go…

Best practice:
To get the most out of fluorescent tubes, you will need to keep them 6-8 inches away from your plant. They are good for use on clones and seedlings or for vegetative growth. Try to avoid using them for flowering.

$80 for T5 Grow light 2 Tube – $220 for T5 Grow light 8 Tube.

20,000 hours.

-Excellent for seedling and clone growth.
-Low Running Cost.

-Not good for flowering.
-Bad light penetration.


What are they?
Compact fluorescent lights or CFLs are similar to standard fluorescent tubes, but are smaller in size and boast increased power. They are available in both daylight (6500k) and warm/soft light (2700k) and generate very little heat so are ideal for smaller grow spaces.

Best practice advice:
If you’re using CFL’s as your weed grow lights, you are better using more, lower wattage bulbs to spread the light around the plant. You will need to keep CFLs close to your plant as they a have poor light brilliance. Increase your light coverage and penetration by hanging lights around the side of the plant.

20,000 hours

What are the Costs?
$40 for a 100watt bulb.

-Good for small grow spaces.
-Low running cost.
-Do not require ballast.
-You can get them from home depot.

-Not suitable for larger grows.
-Lack penetrative power so need to be kept close eyes on them.

B Safe

With all those lights @ktreez420 they’ll be able to see your house from the space station. :joy: lmao
You’ll be the 8th wounder of the world…


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Thank you garragan and I will check out the lounge. It sounds like I will be best with the HPS 600 watt for flowering?

Is this all I will need for lighting in the flowering stage? Also I will be having about 18 plants in my grow room when it is complete. I figure I will need about 10 to 12 HPS lights? And sorry one more question, does this mean I need 10 to 12 ballasts or can I hook multiple lights up to 1 ballast?

Thanks in advance.


I’ve actually been reading up alot on LED lighting and now don’t know what to get. The more I read the more lost I feel. Haha.


The number of lights you need, is more dependant on area of your space, than # of plants. A 600w should cover a 4’X4’ space nicely. You really should consider starting with fewer plants, you will get better yield from fewer well spaced and lighted plants, than a crowd of plants competing for light and CO2


I have will have 175 sqaure feet once the room is complete. I think 10 to 12 lights will suffice? I was looking at the coverage and think it will be ok. Not sure though.

No you won’t need that many ballasts I grow 20 to 30 using two 1000 watts
You only need 50 watts per sq foot.
So all you really need is two 1000 watts HP’S lighting get the one
Iights. Like this one

J of these will be more than enough. I use two Of these


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