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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs produce less heat (almost no heat is emitted from the bulb itself) and more light than full-size fluorescent grow lights. CFL grow lights are a popular choice for home gardeners because they are inexpensive, available in many common stores, and can be used in regular light sockets.

Compact fluorescent grow light bulbs offer the widest range of color spectrums of any type of lighting and are versatile due to their small size and low heat output. CFL grow lights are especially good for shelf gardening because their low heat allows you to place lights on shelves that are stacked on top of each other. Smaller plants and seedlings can thrive in a well-designed indoor garden lit with fluorescent grow lights.

Read more here: CFL Grow Light Advantages

Disadvantages of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

The major disadvantages of compact fluorescent light bulbs are their inefficiency and poor light penetration. A bank of several compact fluorescent light bulbs can use as much energy as one HPS bulb, but will not produce anywhere near as much usable light for your indoor garden.

Optimizing CFL Grow Lights

Although CFL grow lamps will never equal the efficiency or output of HID lights, there are several things you can do to counteract the inherent disadvantages of fluorescent lighting.

  • Add a reflector. Compact fluorescent light bulbs give off 360 degrees of light, but only about 90 degrees of it can be used in any given growing system. Reflectors are a cheap and easy addition that will direct the light to where you need it and maximize your wattage.

  • Match your grow lights to the correct part of your plants' development cycle.

  • Higher watt ratings increase light penetration.

  • Increase light penetration by placing CFL grow lamps lights closer to plants.

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