Best T5 HO Fluorescent Fixture Comparison Test and Review of 4' x 8 Bulb Grow Lights

Hello my fellow growers, Nate here and we’re just finishing up doing a new test that we’re going to post that I was very excited about. Even though they might not be considered the coolest lights in the industry, T-5’s four foot eight bulb high output T-5 fixtures. We’ve been wanting to do this test here at GrowersHouse for a long time because there are tons of people that ask us “Which T5 fixture is best? Which one is the best to use? Which one gives you the best spread, output?” We finally got all the lights in house, ripped them out of their boxes, put them under our lighting footprint the five-by-five. What we did was essentially put the same bulbs in four different T5 fixtures.

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We used the Grow Crew 4 foot 8 bulb T5 fixture, the EnviroGro 4 ft 8 bulb T5 fixture, the Sun Blaze and the Quantum BadBoy 4 ft 8 bulb T5 fixture. We had our suspicions of which fixture would do best and you’ll see in the testing below that the Quantum BadBoy fixture actually has a really awesome spread. But the things to really watch out for is that there are different scenarios for theses T5 Fixtures that that could produce higher output but we also noticed that the ballast driving them were also running at higher wattage.

 

We actually did some of our own calculations to figure out what we considered an efficiency ratio. You’ll see those ratios in the PDF here: click me.

 

By looking at this testing you can really see exactly how much wattage these fixtures are drawing from the wall, exactly what the amperage is, and exactly what the footprint is. Really the only difference in these fixtures is that they have different ballasts and different reflectors but we used the same exact bulbs (link) for each fixture. We just took the bulbs out of one fixture and put them in the next so we can keep that variable held constant, and these are in the exact same space using all the exact same power.

 

This test is very enlightening if I do say so myself. If you have any feedback leave them in the comments below. We’re also going to be testing out T5 Bulbs here in a second especially with the introduction of the new Hortilux Power Veg T5 Lamps so keep an eye out for that.

 

For that we'll change out a whole bunch of different T5 bulbs in the same fixture to see which T5 bulbs are really the best ones. These fixtures are used for vegetative growth primarily and seeing which fixture had the best spread really helps us figure out how we can put these fixtures in our vegetative growth areas so that we have good even light and we’re getting the most out of those t5 fixtures.

 

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So first off before we get into showing you the PAR footprints of the fixtures I wanted to show them, or show you guys what the spectral output of a T5 high output light.

Now looking at this spectral graph this is actually a Grow Crew High Output (HO) 4' T5 54w Bulbs - 6500K and you can see that the spectrum is relatively broad actually. You got reds, yellows, even some greens, blues and some deep blues.

 

T5_PAR_FootprintsSo this is what the spectral graph looks like of a high output 54 watt T5 bulb, now jumping into the fixtures you’ll notice at basically every PAR footprint the intensity is a little more uniform wide than it is long and that’s to be expected with these fixtures because the reflector kind of diverts the light to go left and right rather than the long way, (wide instead of long). This is a really good fact to know because it can help out in mapping out your grow room. You don’t need as much cross lighting going sideways from the fixture as you do longitudinally.

 

Stacking these fixtures up against each other you can see that there wasn’t a huge variance. We’re probably talking only about a difference of about 10% (about the outside perimeter) but once you get towards the center the difference between the least intense and the most intense unit is about 20% from the Grow Crew to the Quantum BadBoy. (Measured at 24 inches above)

 

Other than the Quantum BadBoy the fixtures were pretty similar like the EnviroGro, SunBlaze and Grow Crew fixture were all kind of neck-and-neck. It depended which area you measured on which fixture does best but the Quantum BadBoy stood out quite a bit and I think that is because the ballast is driving more wattage to the bulbs and the reflector is actually larger and the reflective material inside of it seems to be a better quality.

 

You’ll even notice that there’s kind of an arbitrary ratio that we came up with but take it for what you will, but we wanted to show it off anyways. It is the PAR over watts ratio, you could consider it somewhat of an efficiency ratio or like how much light output per watt, and you’ll notice that the Quantum BadBoy again did best out of all these fixtures. So if you’re looking for the best unit out there, I’d say the Quantum BadBoy is definitely it. Other than that this is Nate from Growers House, stay tuned for more tests. Happy Growing!

Best T5 Test Results PDF Here: click me

 

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