If you are someone looking to make a small farm operation, you need to learn everything you can about grow lights. For those who do not know, grow lights are the type of bulbs that try to recreate the effects of sunlight. It can be done in many ways with different types of lights.
However, you will quickly find that it is not exactly cheap, especially if you want to use LED grow lights for plants. Although they will give you a better result, in the long run, your upkeep cost would not make it worthwhile for you. The only option you have is to go with fluorescent lights.
Nowadays, there are a few different types of fluorescent lights in the market that you can use as grow lights. In this article, we will be looking at two of them, T8 grow light and T12 grow light, and pitting them up against each other for your benefit.
But before we dive into T8 Vs. T12 comparison, let us take a look at what each of them is.
T8 lights are the modern fluorescent lights that are widely used in the industry. They have a high capacity for light emission and decent color rendering. Because of their narrow 1-inch tube diameter, they are highly energy-efficient, which makes them suitable for budget operations. This type of light uses an electronic ballast.
T12 lights are relatively old when compared to T8 lights. The thickness of the tube is 1.5 inches in diameter. For mounting, this type of light requires magnetic ballasts.
When T12 lights first came out, people did not care much about the color rendering or the energy efficiency of fluorescent lights. For this reason, you will notice T12 consumes more electricity and also lacks the depth of T8 bulbs.
Difference Between T8 Vs. T12 Grow Lights
Now that you have an idea of both types of lights, it might be worth going over some of their differences. It will help you get a better idea about which fluorescent light is the better investment for you.
- The major difference between the two types of grow lights is the diameter of the tube. With the T8 lights, you have a diameter of 1 inch, whereas T12 comes with 1.5 inches of diameter. However, due to this narrower diameter, T8 light bulbs have higher energy efficiency.
- In fact, the research found that T8 light bulbs save 40% more energy when compared with the T12 bulbs. As a result, many companies started to gravitate towards T8 bulbs, and the production of T12 took a small hit.
- Another major distinction between the two is the ballast. The ballast in a lighting system is what regulates the current and creates the voltage when powered. For the T12, magnetic ballasts are used, while T8 lights use electronic ballasts. If you mount T12 lights on magnetic ballasts, there is a high chance you will face flickers or malfunctions.
- Another major distinction between the two fluorescent lights is their color rendering ability. T8 lights generally provide better colors and are easier on the eye than T12 lights. The moment you replace T12 with T8 lights, you will notice the difference.
Despite the clear distinction of quality, T12 lamps do not cost any less than T8. They charge pretty much the same, which means if you have a chance to upgrade, you should go for it without too much hesitation.
The only time when using a T12 light is justified, is if you get a unit at very low price. Even then you should only use it on small seedlings sparingly. If you want your crops to grow in the best way, it is better to stick with T8 lights, in most cases.
Let's Watch a Comparison Video of T8 Vs. T12
As you can see, T8 lights are miles ahead of T12 in terms of efficiency and quality. It is worth noting that T12 lights are based on old technology, and when it came out, it had its place in the market. But these days, they just cannot keep up with the capabilities of T8 lights.
We hope our article on T8 Vs. T12 grow lights could help clear out which unit is worth your money.
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