Compact fluorescent grow lights (CFL grow lights)
In the old days fluorescent marijuana grow lights were pretty useless as they had low output for a large size. However, the new CFL (compact fluorescent lights) such as the T5 and T8 fluorescent grow lights that between them cover the full visible light spectrum have made them a viable alternative. Efficiency at the high end ranges from 75 to 98 lumens per watt consumed. CFL grow lights emit very little heat and so can be placed extremely close to plants, a couple of inches away. This saves on space and heat extraction problems. Bulbs in the 2700k to 3000k range provide higher yellow / red spectrum which promotes flowering. CFL grow lights in the 5000k to 6500k range spectrum offer lots of blue light which promotes plant growth.
Above is a picture of a CFL 300w which is self ballasted, cool running 300w grow light and you can get it in a choice of light spectrums with high lumen output. Often CFL grow lights cover one part of the growing range, either vegging or flowering and often do not cover the entire light spectrum required for high yield marijuana growing.
One product on the market is Eco-Lights which claim to be a ‘high powered compact fluorescent grow lamps (CFL)’ and usually are very good as a supplementary light to your main grow light. Like many fluorescent grow lights they are available in both the blue and red spectrums for vegetative and flowering growth respectively. These are not as high intensity lights as HPS but are cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. They do not require a separate ballast as they simply screw into a standard E40 fitting (normal grow light lampholder) and run directly through a mains plug. We here at HowtoGrowMarijuana.com however like the full spectrum LED grow lights. They run for longer, take up less space and deliver a lot more intense light equivalent to a HPS but about 1/8 of the electricity and like the the CFL’s do not require a ballast.
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