grow lights

I would really appreciate some information on grow lights. As an indoor garden greenhorn, I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the choices. I’m the most concerned with keeping the little ones cool. Can I just go to Lowes and pay $14.98 for a 15 watt grow light? Thank you in advance!

I have used regular fluorescent shop lights for decades. There is scientific literature showing that the cool white tubes overall are the best for growing typical plants. No advantage to using the fancy color spectrum tubes. For some species, adding a bit of incandescent is important to get the right amount of red/far red light. But to grow ordinary roses, especially seedlings, regular lights are the best buy.

However, these days you ought to put up the extra money to get higher efficiency lights that have modern circuits. So they produce more light for less electricity, and make some less wasted heat. The tubes for these are somewhat smaller than the old standard fluorescent and usually the mounting pins are arranged differently. The light output is appreciably greater so you can have them a bit further from the plants, which means more area per tube gets a decent level of light.


Each of my fixtures holds two 4 ft long T5 bulbs; the T5 bulbs put out more light than the old T12, last longer, and use less electricity. If my memory is correct, a fixture plus two bulbs costs considerably more than $14.98.


Not sure exactly how much information you wanted, but here is an article I wrote for the RHA newsletter last year about lighting options for indoor growing spaces.

Let there Be Light

On the first day of germination, the hybridizer said,

Thank you so much for this! It will certainly help

Hello, we are marketing a T5 lamp adaptor (Save It Easy) in Australia and New Zealand that enables ANY existing T8 luminaire (fitting) to retrofit an electronic T5 lamp DIRECTLY into it - just like changing a lamp!

Our website is and we give a 25% minimum power savings guarantee. T5 lamps give a similar light output, have a longer burning life (GE Starcoat High Efficiency lamps quote 36,000hrs on 12hr switching cycles) and only contain 1/3 the mercury content of T8 lamps.

Check out our website and I will be only too pleased to answer any qestions you may have. Cheers Joe Trimboli