T5 LED Grow Lights: Everything You Should Know

T5 LED grow lights can raise many questions when considering the right light for your beautiful mini-indoor farm.

 Because as an indoor grower, you must consider several factors, such as temperature, humidity, spectrum, and light output. 

So you might wonder how the lights work and compare them to standard LED grow lights.

 Also, whether they’re all full spectrum, read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. 

What Are T5 LED Grow Lights?

T5 LED grow to lig. Thus,e advancement of grow lights. They’re T5 fixtures fitted with LEDs instead of fluorescent tubes. 

See, the fitting of both tubes is similar. Thus it’s easy to replace the T5 fluorescent tube with an LED one. 

What’s unique about T5 LED grow lights is they consist of LEDs with the highest light output, strong enough to facilitate plant growth. Their design specifically supports seed starting.  

What Does T5 Mean?

The T in T5 represents the shape of the bulb, tubular in design. And the 5 indicates the diameter of the tube as a fraction of an eighth. Thus, 5instead8 of an inches (⅝). 

How Do LED T5s Work?

Now LED T5s employ plug-and-play tubes. And unlike standard T5s, LED T5 tubes have LED (light emitting diodes) instead of argon and mercury gas. 

Interestingly, LED T5s can run for up to 50,000 hours without deeming. Also, they use a low amount of wattage. 

For the LED T5s to function, they require a fixture similar to that of other T5 tubes. Thus, you can use the standard T5 fixture for your T5 LEDs.  

How Do T5s Compare to LEDs

  • Heat: LED T5 to-grow lights produce less radiant heat than regular T5s. They only emit about 11% compared to the 30% that fluorescent grow lights produce. So as far as minimum radiant heat goes, LED T5s are the way to go.  
  • Cost: Granted, T5 fluorescent grow lights cost less than LED ones. However, the LED lights have a longer lifespan. You’ll spend less replacing them than the standard T5 grow lights. 
  • Energy efficiency: T5 LED lights are the most energy-efficient bulbs. With these grow lights, you can save up to 50% compared to T5 bulbs. 
  • Lifespan: As mentioned earlier, T5 LEDs have a longer lifespan. They can last up to 50,000 hours of constant light emission, making them perfect as long-term growing light. Also, these lights reduce the amount of waste from disposed bulbs. 
  • Safety: Now regular T5 bulbs contain traces of highly poisonous mercury. And should the bulbs break, this gas is toxic to the lungs and kidneys. On the other hand, T5 LED lights consist of diodes instead of these potent gases.    

Are All T5 LED Grow Lights Full Spectrum?

Full spectrum grow lights

(Caption: Full spectrum grow lights)

Unfortunately, some of the T5 LED grow lights lack the full spectrum aspect comprising red/blue/yellow or blue/red/white glow. Instead, they have a cold or warm spectrum. 

Now the cool glow spectrum has a temperature rating of at least 5,000K and mainly contains blue and white light waves. 

These lights enhance clones, seedlings, and foliage formation stages. Also, they stimulate root formation and branching. 

As for the warm glow spectrum, it has a temperature rating of 2,000 to 3,000K and produces red and orange/yellow wavelengths. 

Such lights stimulate flowering, bud formation, blooming, and root growth. 

Therefore, for great results, you can consider installing the two light forms available in T5 LEDs to get effects relatively close to the full spectrum at different plant growth stages.

 Also, you can use the warm white full spectrum T5 LEDs for sunlight-like lighting.      

Why Use LED T5 Grow Lights?

So far you can already start to see that there’s a lot to gain from using LED T5 grow lights. Here’s a complete breakdown:

  • Dedicated horticultural spectrum: Although not all are full-spectrum, LED T5s grow lights have both cool and warm spectrums with wavelengths needed for plant growth, from seedling to harvesting stages.
  • Energy Efficiency: Undoubtedly, it’s always important to consider the efficiency of a grow light. And T5 LEDs produce 1,600 to 1,800W, with very little going to waste. Thus, these lights reduce lighting energy consumption by up to half. 
  • Emit less heat: Interestingly, the design of T5 LED lights is such that it has the highest light-to-heat output ratio. See, they produce a softer light tone with minimal heat that’s adequate for plant growth, a quality that makes the lights ideal for growing. 
  • Ideal for seedlings and cuttings: What makes T5 LEDs great for seedlings and cuttings is the two types of light spectrums (cool and warm) it has.
 Tomato seedlings growing under LED grow lights

(Caption: Tomato seedlings growing under LED grow lights)

  • Suitable for various plants: See the light spectrums LED T5s have are good for a wide variety of plants, including decorative herbs and vegetables. That means there’s almost no limit to the types of crops you can grow in your indoor garden.      

How to Use T5 LED Grow Lights

For the best results, it’s essential that you position your T5 LED grow lights well.

How Far Away Should a T5 Grow Light Be

Now the appropriate distance can range from 2 inches all the way to 24 inches.

 Because different types of plants have different light intensity requirements, for example, decorative indoor plants don’t need a lot of light. 

So you can place the lights further away from such plants. On the other hand, herbs and leafy green plants like lettuce need much more light. 

Also, fruiting and flowering plants need even more light. Therefore, with such plants, the distance between the LEDs and the plants must be shorter. 

Otherwise, depending on plant type, placing the lights too close lowers the humidity, causing scorching. 

When it comes to how high, most manufacturers give recommendations. So the best thing to do is to place the lights at the recommended height and closely observe how the plants do. 

How Long Should You Expose Plants to T5 LED Lights

Like distance, how long you expose your plants to T5 LED lights depends on the type of plants you’re growing. 

So while some plants need full light exposure in a natural habitat, others require just a few hours. 

What that means is that for some plants, you need to use a timer so that you can set light intervals. 

However, generally, you should expose plants to at least 12 hours daily. 

But observe the plants regularly for signs of insufficient light or overexposure and make the needed adjustments.  


Are T5 LEDs Good for Plants?

Yes, they are, for several reasons. For one, they have a dedicated spectrum that supports various stages of plant growth. 

Also, they support seed starting, and you can use them to grow various plant types, whether decorative, succulent, herbs, or vegetables. 

How Many Hours Do T5 LEDs Last? 

Unbelievably, T5 LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours with constant use without degradation.  

Is a T5 Better Than a T8 for Growing? 

Yes, T5 LEDs are better. They’re more energy efficient and emit minimal heat compared to T8s. 

Also, they have dedicated horticultural spectrums with wavelengths that support plant growth.


So that’s it on T5 LED grow lights. As we’ve seen, these lights have ideal spectrums for seed starting and plant growth. 

Also, there are so many types of plants you can grow using these lights. 

And when it comes to energy consumption, they’re highly energy efficient. 

Further, they have a long lifespan and are safer. Now you can make a more informed decision when choosing the most suitable grow lights.