Are you wondering what Compact fluorescent lamps or CFL grow lights are? Then, you should know that these are affordable options, and you can use the bulbs in small indoor gardens. These products look like a series of vertical tubes. If you are a hobbyist, then you must use this. In addition, these lights can impress the mind of first-time growers.
If your homes or apartments have limited space, then for indoor plants, you can use CFL grow light bulbs. These feature a mogul (E39) base. So, the design is done in such a way that you can use them with CFL reflector fixtures. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use these with standard household fixtures.
What are CFLs?
Compact fluorescent lamp Grow Lights come with mind-grabbing designs. You can use these bulbs instead of classic incandescent lamps. It is the lamp that Thomas Edison could not make in one attempt. He failed ten thousand times. But finally, he succeeded.
These are long-lasting. If we compare it with an incandescent bulb, then we can undoubtedly say that it has ten times more lifetime. In addition, it may put out less heat. Like incandescent bulbs, these too, take less wattage. However, these can give an equal amount of lumen output.
Why do you need to use a CFL Grow Light?
You need to use CFL Grow Lights for indoor plants for many reasons.
- Low cost
- Low electricity expenditure
- Easily available
- Highly customizable
- Don’t need special fixtures.
- You can place it near plants.
- These are available in several shapes, sizes, wattages, etc.
Types of CFLs:
Regarding gardening, you can see two types of CFLs— soft white and daylight. Color temperature differs between these two types mainly. It is one of the essential characteristics of lighting when it comes to growing plants. Therefore, people need to combine both bulbs when they use these lamps for plant growth. Let’s know about these two bulbs in detail.
These bulbs are at the top of the plant growth’s vegetative phase. You should know that the plants put out many leaves in this phase and grow very fast in anticipation of their flowering stage.
When it comes to the initial phase of a plant’s life cycle, you should choose these bulbs and lighting fixtures. But do you know why you should select them? When the vegetative phase runs, these can save some power over a high-pressure sodium or metal halide system. You need to keep them closer to these plants. Thus, you can protect them from getting burned. But you may not do this with a lighting system because these can put out more heat. Therefore, the stems will not get stretched out, due to which the plant will not grow weak. In addition, the entire health will not weaken.
Cool White, Bright White (3500-4100K):
These bulbs are not optimal for the vegetative or flowering phase. So, avoid using these.
Warm White, Soft White (2700-3000K):
These bulbs are suitable for the plant’s flowering phase of its life cycle. It can mimic the sun’s state when plants are undergoing their flowering phase and spreading seeds for other plants’ generation.
Advantages of CFL Grow Lights:
- You can use a CFL light to exchange several lamps with lower wattage. In addition, you can get the same amount of light easily using these products.
- It is possible to set up easily. In addition, to set up these bulbs, external ballasts are not needed. Do you know how to use metal halide (MH) or high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps? If yes, follow the same process. Screw it into the fixture only.
- You can use the bulbs when any phase of a plant’s growing cycle is running. If you want bulbs that can deliver a whole spectrum of light, you need to go with 5000K and 6500K lamps. You can use these bulbs for the vegetative stage.
- On the other hand, go with 2200 and 2700 Kelvin lights if you want to buy a model which is suitable for the flowering phase. This is because these lights play a vital role in developing flowers and broader leaves.
- Compared to LEDs or HIDs, these are less efficient.
- It comes with a short life compared to HIDs, and LEDs.
- Unable to generate a full & broad spectrum.
Where can we use CFL Grow Lights?
You can use them in indoor growing spaces like grow tents and cabinets. How many lamps you need to use per growing plant depends on the plant type. Make sure you have researched carefully to select the most suitable lighting condition for your plants.
You can use these bulbs to grow different indoor crops, including tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. In addition, people can use them for growing orchids, carnivorous plants, and so on. Besides, you can use them if you want to start seedlings that can be planted outdoors.
How to use it?
If you want to use it and get the best results, you must use mixed lightning. We can say these dual Spectrums. Remember that you may not get any expected returns like shorter plants, smaller sizes, and buds.
Where should you place the CFLs?
You need to know that bulbs emit light from each angle. Therefore, you should place the plants in such a way that they mostly point toward the bulbs.
If you want to use the spiral ones, you can find a lot of light coming off of the sides compared to the front. Therefore, it is essential to align its sides facing the plants. Place the bulbs four to six inches away from the surfaces of the plants.
If necessary, you may use a reflector. When a lot of light is pointed away from a plant, using a reflector can help to harness the wasted light. Moreover, it helps to redirect the light toward the plants. Do you have the reflector? If not, you may need aluminum foil, white paint, or panda paper. Remember that these are good alternatives to a reflector.
Best CFL Grow Lights:
Description: If you are looking for a model which is both reasonable and can work effectively, this one is the best choice. But what is special in this model? In this regard, you need to know that you do not have to maintain it too much. Besides, you can use it easily.
What about the set-up fixture? In this case, you should know that the model allows you to hang it easily. Besides, if you are looking for a model that is easy to set up and works instantly, this one is a great option.
This model has one hundred and twenty-five wattages, whereas it offers lumens near about 7000. With the help of this product, you can grow a maximum of three plants within 3″x3″ feet set up. However, we advise growing a maximum of two plants in 2″x2″.
Like other models, it can effectively work with the plant’s growing phase. Besides, the model comes with a daylight white light. So, if you are looking for something which can suit the vegetative phase, it can be a great pick. In addition, you may use this for growing leafy vegs, including lettuce, spinach, and so on. However, do you want to get optimal results? Are you willing to grow buds & fruits? Then, try to add additional warm, red spectrum lights.
- Low heat
- Awesome design
- Users can switch bulbs to change the spectrum.
- The Mogul socket can be fixed only.
HOBORY Grow Light Fixtures
Description: Want to buy a model which can be controlled with a remote? Then, it is the product that you should use. This bulb has a feature that allows the users to adjust the brightness of plant light from 0% – 100%.
This product has many timing modes, including 4H/8H/12H/16H. With the help of one light, it is possible to manage its intensity. In addition, the product enables you to use it for big indoor growing areas. Do you want to use such a model that is suitable for different environmental planting? This model is the best choice hence. You only need to set it up. After that, the LED plant can turn ON or OFF automatically.
What is unique about the product? It comes with the recent high yielding led technology diodes. As a result, the model can offer the highest par/lumen. Its top-shelf feature can easily amaze you. Besides, the intensity is up to 30%. The best thing about this product is that it consumes less power. Use this lamp to save your electricity bill.
Never creates noise: If you want a product that can illuminate your plants, use this one. Its default aluminum heat sinks can deliver the most effective dissipation effect. In this case, you should know that the aluminum heat sink comes with a 4mm thickness. Due to the absence of fans, it does not create any sound.
Perfect for all growing phases: Spray the model’s surface with glue to use safely in humid environments. It is considered that this light is exceptionally close to natural light. It comes with 3000K, 5000K, 660nm & 730nm IR.
But what about crucial leaf growth, plant germination, flowering, and so on? Use the four dimming & timer modes. Along with saving energy, these modes can make the growth process of plants quicker.
- You can use this for all the growing phases of the plants.
- Save energy using the four modes
- Don’t create noise
- No batteries in the thermometer.
Hydroponic Full Spectrum CFL Grow Light Bulb
Description: Are you searching for a fluorescent light bulb? Want to buy a model that comes with a compact design? Then, use this one. It uses up to 75% less energy. But is this durable? In this regard, you must know that it is long-lasting too.
Long-lasting: Its longevity is ten times more compared to the typical models.
Applications: You can use this for growing, warehouse, photography, etc.
- Color temperature is optimal
- 5500K daylight energy
- It needs an adapter or converter.
SunBlaster SL0900156 Fluorescent CFL 6400K Self-Ballasted Light Bulb
Description: It is a perfect option if you want to use a model to save energy. You can use the product for houseplants, indoor gardening, or hydroponics. Are you looking for a product that you can use for indoor plants? Then, you must know that it is perfect for this purpose. Its 26-watt bulb comes with a 6400K spectrum. This one is perfect for the growth and propagation of the plant.
Default ballast: With the help of its ballast, you can easily replicate the sun’s natural light.
Multi-purpose: You can use the 26-watt light bulb screwing it into any socket. Moreover, you can use this lamp for several purposes. It weighs 11.20 ounces and is 6 x 3 x 10 inches.
- Versatile usages
- Self-ballast is available
- Not long-lasting
SLOW DOLPHIN Photo CFL Full Spectrum Light Bulb
Description: Want to know what makes this product so unique? Then, you should know that this model is free of flicker. Besides, it doesn’t create any noise. In addition, it generates about 2250 lumen. 5500K is the temperature of the product, whereas 110V is its operating voltage.
Watts: It is of 45W, and this one is similar to 225W normal Incandescent Light Bulb Output.
Compatibility: This model can fit on any E26/E27 standard socket. 6.7 inches is the length of every 45W bulb, whereas 2.3 inches is its diameter.
CE Certificate: These CFL grow lights for flowering have an accurate CRI. In addition, you can get a bright light using this product.
Save energy: The product is suitable for Photography or Home/Office Supplies. In addition, you can use the model for a professional photography studio. Using this lamp, you can improve the photo quality a lot.
- Energy efficient
- E26/E27 sockets can be used.
- Not long-term usable.
How to choose the best CFL Grow Light?
Remember that quality and quantity of light are the two major factors affecting your garden’s productivity. Usually, these come with Lumen, wattage, and Kelvins. However, do you want to know how much these affect plant growth? In this regard, you should know that these units are not so helpful in case of measuring plant growth. Hence, you can use DIL and PPFD for measurement.
It stands for photosynthetic photon flux density. This one is a PAR unit which lets you know the photon number in visible light. In this regard, you should know that the range of visible light should be 400nm-700nm.
It stands for Photosynthetic Active Radiation. Usually, plants need 400nm (Blue) to 700nm (Red) light range to grow.
This term represents Daily Light Integral. If you want to count the photon number in a single photoperiod, use this one.
Like LEDs, CFLs are not so much available in the market. Moreover, CFLs don’t come with too many PPFDs. Therefore, considering these terms is optional if you plan to buy CFLs.
1) You don’t get sufficient details about these measurement units as the manufacturers don’t mention these in detail. Remember that PPFD will not provide much information unless you grow plants in a tiny place.
2) This term, PPFD, lets you know the photon number which can reach plants. Hence, all wavelengths are treated similarly though some wavelengths are more powerful. According to several studies, we know that a plant’s growth does not rely on light quality. It is more crucial compared to color types. But you can see similar PPFD for the two light types.
DLIs are used mainly for LEDs. The reason for that is we can customize the wavelengths. But it is impossible for CFLs. So these bulbs come with the spectrum’s specific wavelength.
However, CFLs don’t come with good PPFDs, like LEDs. Hence, you should know that most CFLs do not come with high DLIs. Other units, like lumens, wattages, and Kelvins, can be used for measurement.
3) CFLs generally provide many advantages like less cost, less heat, and so on. Besides, you can set up these bulbs easily. These are also portable.
These are the top five CFL Grow Lights that we have mentioned in this article. In this article, we have given about CFLs in detail. Still, if you have any queries, let us know via comments.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can you use CFL as grow light?
You have to screw the model into the fixture. Besides, you can use these lights during any phase of a plant’s growing cycle. In addition, these products come with specific color temperatures, which are more suitable for various phases of the plants.
- Do you need a ballast for CFL to grow lights?
Every fluorescent bulb that you use needs a ballast.
- How far should CFL lights be from plants?
Make sure that you keep these models anywhere from four to six inches from the plant’s surface.