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Growlight questions

Jul 22, 2014
Hey, TF. I am replacing my set of 2 4' T8 shop shop lights in favor of something better. I plan to buy a 2' 4 lamp T5 fixture. I am mostly on Amazon. I have been looking at a few fixtures.

Amazon.com: 2 ft. - 4 Lamp - F24T5-HO - Fluorescent Grow Light Fixture - Spectralux 6500K Lamps and Wire Hangers Included - Sun Blaze T5-24: Patio, Lawn & Garden

Amazon.com : EnviroGro FLT24 2-Ft, 4-Tube Fixture, T5 Bulbs Included : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Amazon.com : Hydrofarm FLP24 T5 Designer 2ft 4-Tube System w/bulbs : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden

These are my three main contenders.

Do you any of you use one of these three, or have advice on picking a fixture?


I Am the Terror Of the Night!
Jun 28, 2014
Zone 5
I have two fixtures very similar to the last one you posted. One is a GGL brand, the other is a viking. I think.
To me, they both feel the same and perform the same duty. I use one for my lowland tank, and my highland nepenthes.
I feel you absolutely cant go wrong with the two foot, 4 tube fixtures. They are a great investment and work well for cps.
Mar 29, 2015
Fairbanks, AK, USA
Do you need higher light density, which is probably the main advantage of T5HO? If so, it seems to be better to go with 4 bulb 4' T5HO. The efficiency is not so different between T8 and T5HO, so there isn't any advantage here. The reflector of T5HO can be better than T8 (especially if you are comparing it with a cheap shop light), which can contribute a little to the overall system efficacy. Also if you go from 4-bulbs of 4' T8 to 4 bulbs of 2'T5HO, the total output (and energy consumption) is similar, but you end up with uneven light (the 2'x2' area right below the fixture has high light density, but the side has lower density). In terms of efficiency, 2' T5HO has generally slightly lower efficacy than 4' T5HO for some reason.

I have quite a few Hydrofarm fixtures. I'm not using them any more, but it lasted well without any issues for 3-5 years.

As a related note, LED replacement bulbs for florescent fixtures are getting more efficient and cheaper. If you consider this path in the future, T8 LED is much cheaper than T5HO LED at this point.