T5 Vs T8 Grow Lights – Everything You Need to Know

T5 vs. T8 Grow Lights

Selecting the correct lighting source for the indoor can imply the distinction of a harvest, veggie, and a flower, or an underwhelming yield. However, do you know what kinds of grow light you require for a different scenario?

Most of the lighting options are not that much costly; however, in the event, you select the wrong one, it could result in a loss of effort and time for indoor growth. So, it is essential to look at T5 vs. T8 grow lights to know which one is your requirement.

The experts in this field cannot ever actually stop the debate of T5 vs. T8 grow lights and explain why one is better. So, you will look at essential things and the differences of these grow lights to make a wise decision on which one to purchase.

You may have heard that the T8 grow lights are more effective and energy-saving than standard T12 while looking for indoor fluorescent grow lights. You must also know about the T5 that is also one of the new grow lights.

Well, what are the primary distinctions between these two different technologies? How are they different in comparison, and which is better for your garden? Let us have a look at T5 vs. T8 grow lights.

What are the Grow Lights?

These are the light bulb that can be used in various tasks that can duplicate the energy and influence of exposure of sunlight or UV rays to plants in every stage of the plants’ life. These will permit an individual to grow plants indoors or in locations that have poor conditions of weather. 

What Is It? 

It is just a code that tells the bulb’s size. It entitles the diameter of the lamp tube and energy efficiency level.  

Explanation of T5 Grow Lights

Having a diameter of 5/8th of an inch, T5 bulbs are the lighting having tubular style with the latest generation.

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T5 uses less energy utilized every lumen produced with a higher output of brightness, and it is significantly more energy-saving than its predecessors, i.e., T8 and T12 bulbs. You can also get them in a choice of HO, i.e., High-Output, that will increase the efficiency and brightness even more.

Explanation of T8 Grow Lights

T8 grow lights have tabular style having a 1-inch diameter, and these are one of the most frequent of all the bulbs of T style. 

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T8s are somewhat less efficient in energy in contrast to T5 bulbs; however, these are most frequently to suit an extensive range of housings without any need to create any changes. You can interchange T8s with the older generations; however, T5s cannot be.

T5 vs. T8 Grow Lights

To decide which grow light is better, is it T5 or T8, you need to consider the below-mentioned factors and features.

Quality of Efficiency/Light

When it is time to consider the efficiency of T5 vs. T8 grows lights, the T5 edges out the T8. The T5 is brighter for every watt of energy, and its output is more robust than the T8 as T5 has a tremendous lumen-watt ratio. Talking about just the efficiency, T5 is the better light as it offers light more concentrated and focuses on just one spot because of its small diameter. It implies extra watts/cm.

T5 grow light is better for plants that are just about to flower as they require extra intense light because it offers more watts/cubic cm. T8 is less potent than T5 for flowering; however, if you are using T8 for this purpose, you have to place it near the plants to give the same outcomes as T5. 

As the T8 has less glare, T8 is the better lump in the event you want actual light quality, so it is more qualitative for home utilization and mostly identical for growing plants. T5 is brighter and robust as compared to T8, having an extra number of glares.

Tip for Your Assistance – To assist you in comprehending T5 and T8 efficiency distinction, you can consider this little comparison. A T8 grow light will need a six lamp one, and a 4-lamp high output can be utilized as a normal 400W metal halide.

Temperature and Heat

The heat produced by T5 and T8 is mostly equal in the event you are presuming that the T5 and T8 bulbs’ sizes are the same (well, this is not possible). The intensity of heat provided by both the bulbs is different. In contrast to T5, the T8 grow light is safe to touch and is cold as the heat is generated from a more significant region.

There are great chances that T5 grow light can damage your plants if these are hot in contrast to T8. One more time, you can put your plants close to the T8 grow light as it feels comfortable and more relaxed. Although you must be clear that T8 grow light is not 100 percent cool, well, it is not possible.

You can operate such kinds of bulbs at any temperature when it is time to consider this factor. In the event these are of excellent quality, the temperature makes them durable. One major thing to consider is that at 35 degrees Celsius, T5 performs efficiently, while at 28 degrees Celsius, T8 performs efficiently.

Tip For Your Assistance – If you can place the grow light 4 to 8 inches above the plant, you must go for T5, and in the event space is less, then go for T8. In the event, you do not forget to water the plants regularly, and the room is adequately ventilated, you can also put the T5 bulb below four inches. It will permit one to move the T8 also.

Color Rendering/Spectrum

The color rendering of T8 and T5 are mostly identical. Hence there are also some when talking about spectrums. But you do not have to forget that it does not imply that both the bulbs’ brightness is the same, as T8 is less bright compared to T5. Distinct sorts of models are there that give majorly red/blue spectrum light or complete spectrum.

Hence, it is highly suggested to note the bulb’s temperature that you desire to buy.


T5 and T8 grow lights have nearly an equal life expectancy. These both will be durable for approximately 36000 hours in the event you implement the 12/12 light cycle. But, talking about the lifespan along with degradation, the T5 grow light is extra long-lasting. The T8 grow light is more responsive to repeated on/off switching, reducing the life expectancy considerably. 

Because of repeated on/off switching, the life expectancy of T8 is less and implies that you must change it frequently and utilize more amount of money. So, you will get it costlier as compared to T5. If you want to install the grow light in a location that needs light 24/7, it is inexpensive to purchase T8. This will be durable like the T5.


To seedlings in gardening, cuttings, or any other agricultural locations, the T8 is mainly used for utilization. The owners of aquarium mostly make use of the T5.

But T5 and T8 grow lights are utilized these days and can be utilized for growing plants for home and commercial use. You can also make use of these grow lights as they offer fantastic side lighting in the greenhouse. Well, when it is time to make use of these grow lights, only your imagination is the limit.


T8 is, without any doubt, a great bet when you search for an inexpensive light. However, both are priced the same, with T5 being somewhat extra costly.


The diameter of T8 is almost of the same size as a $.05 nickel, and T5 is identical to a $.10 dime. So, T8 is more significant than T5.

Downfalls of T5 Grow Lights

Well, T5 grow lights have two significant downfalls apart from merely being incredibly energy efficient.

  1.  T5 lights have less life expectancy as compared to the T8 grow lights. It is not a significant cost issue; however, in the event, you are considering it for large-scale indoor tasks for growing, this can prove to be a big issue concerning the cost.
  2.  T5 bulbs generate extra heat in contrast to the T8 grow lights. The heat can take unacceptable conditions for growing at any point in time if you want a lighting solution for a closet setup that lacks ventilation.

Downfalls of T8 Grow Lights

The cost of energy efficiency in using T8 bulbs can increase exponentially, relying on the indoor grow project’s scale. So, you must increase your growing tasks, and it is highly suggested to go for extra energy-efficient lighting options. So, preferably, T8 grow lights are perfect for the initial growth stages. Their less amount of maximum capacity for lighting can hinder and obstruct the growth at the time of flowering and vegetable stages.

Final Words

The debate on T5 vs. T8 grows lights cannot be ever finished comprehensively. These have comparability in various factors that make it challenging to select one from the two. You must select a particular model as per your requirement.

A grow light can give you and your garden a lot of advantages if you are a beginner or a pro. A grow light can help your plants to flourish from average to excellent quality with its growth and warmth. T5 and T8 grow lights will assist you in lessening the risk of losing a plant because of weather or weakness; however, they also enhance the plant’s durability.

Logan Bennett
With an academic foundation in English Literature from Harvard University and over a decade of professional experience, Logan Bennett brings a rich tapestry of insights to his writings. Logan has consistently provided in-depth analysis and engaging content. His journey began as a junior editor at a renowned publishing house, where his passion for storytelling and narrative construction flourished. Apart from the work, he indulges in photography, capturing the world through his lens. His dedication to excellence and his multifaceted background enrich our content landscape. Sometimes, he loves to go hiking.

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