The Best CFL Grow Lights: 5 Top Choices Reviewed

Thomas Angas by Thomas Angas | Last Updated: April 5, 2020

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You’re probably already very familiar with CFL lighting given how common it is around home and office buildings but did you know that it’s also commonly used in hydroponics?

As you’re about to see, CFL lights are a great choice for your home grow setup given how economical they are to run and versitile they can be. In this guide we take a look the best CFL grow lights for hydroponics and recommend our 5 top choices.

Let’s get started!

a picture of a cfl grow light

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At A Glance: Our Top 5 CFL Grow Lights For Hydroponics

What are CFL Lights?

CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) are a type of energy saving bulb that were first developed as a replacement for incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs are extremely popular in domestic lighting and over the past few years have become a favourite of hydroponic gardeners as they produce very little heat and are cheap to run.

This is important as it means the lights can be situated close to the plants without risking them burning the leaves and they can be run for hours on end without racking up huge energy bills.

If you’re interesting in understanding more, check out this hydroponic lighting guide.

Best CFL Grow Lights

We’ve spent 36 hours reviewing and testing the various different CFL grow lights below along with another 10 hours researching them online.

1. Agrobrite FLC26D 26-Watt Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light

The Agrobrite FLC26D is a 26 Watt Spiral CFL bulb that produces 1600 lumens with a 6400K color temperature which is more towards the blue end of the spectrum making it ideal for plant growth. Tested upto 10,000 hours this is an economical bulb that will last for years without racking up the bills.

2. SunBlaster 13 Watt CFL Grow Lamp

Despite only outputting 900 lumens, we really like the SunBlaster grow lights. At 13 watts they are extremely economical to run and with a color temperature of 6,400 kelvin they are versitile enough for growth and development of your plants.

We’d recommend these bulbs to anyone who’s growing plants in a room that has a natuarl light source and just needs a little more illumination. When we tried these on our house plants we saw them responde within days.

3. Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLB125D

We’ve previously heard mixed reviews about Hydrofarm lighting products but without actually testing them for ourselves we didn’t really know what to think so we were excited have the oportunity to test out the Hydrofarm FLB125D.

The bulbs were actually pretty decent with 7,000 lumens light output, no excess heat generation and with a dual 2700K/6500K kelvin color temperature it can be used for vegetative growth as well as flowering.

4. Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLT24 T5

The first T5 grow light on our list, we certainly weren’t disappointed with the Agrobrite FLT24 T5 from Hydrofarm. For ths review we tested the 2 foot option which comes with 4 x T5 Tubes producing an output of 8,000 Lumens. With a 6400K color tempetature this is a great choice for those wanting a bulb thast promotes root and stem growth.

5. Philips T2 Spiral CFL Light Bulb

While not as bright as other bulbs on our list (at just 1,600 Lumens), the Philips T2 is still a solid choice for anyone with smaller grows of just one or two plants. The bulb produces 6500K which is close to daylight which will keep your plants happy. It’s worth noting that these bulbs do have a very blue output so if you’re looking for something with a little more warmth then you’ll probably want to checkout the others on our list.

The Bottom Line

So there you have it, hopefully now you understand a little bit more about the benefits of compact fluorescent lamp lighting and have managed to find the best cfl grow lights for your home hydroponics setup.

Thomas Angas, the founder of Authority Gardening lives with his wife and two darling pups. He spends his free time writing, hiking and learning how to become a better gardener. He launched Authority Gardening in 2017 to help people all over the world their gardens grow.