How to Buy and Use CFL Grow Lights

Within hydroponic circles CFL grow lights have become an increasingly popular choice. This can be primarily attributed to the fact they are widely available, relatively cheap in comparison to many other forms of grow lights, can be used in a standard socket and are smaller than full size fluorescents.
CFL Lights also produce almost no heat when in operation, especially when the amount of light they kick out is considered. This great performance combined with their energy efficiency makes them a fairly cheap option in the long term as well.

But if you have chosen to utilise CFL grow lights, and who would blame you with all of the benefits? Then what must you consider as you go through the purchasing process?
One of the first considerations is how powerful you want your CFL grow lights to be. Many become confused when it comes to the wattages associate with grow lights but it is fairly simple. On the box there will typically be 2 numbers, one is the actual wattage of the CFL lamp, the other is what the equivalent wattage would be for an incandescent bulb. It’s only really worth paying attention to the latter. It’s also worth checking which size grow tents would best suit different wattages.

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Light colours are another area of confusion, particularly as some stockists will retail different types of white, full spectrum lamps or provide you with a list of colour temperatures. It is worth looking at the spectrum of light a lamp produces and matching it to a particular stage in the plants life cycle, for example for the vegetative phase a colour temperature of 6500K or 5000K is likely to suitable, whereas during the flowering phase 2700K or 3000K is likely to be more suitable. If you buy a selection of bulbs that match each stage it is possible cater for your plants entire life.

CFL lights should ideally be placed around 3 inches from the plant’s leaves, this position should be maintained so that the plants are continuously stretching for the light as it would do the sun. Ultimately you need to be vigilant with your positioning to ensure that it is correct for your plants at all times.
CFL grow lights are a great option for many growers and with enough knowledge it should be possible to buy them so that they are perfect for your needs and the requirements of your plants.

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