T5 Fluorescent Light VS. VG80 LED Grow Light: Which Is Better for Your Indoor Plants?

When it comes to cultivating healthy indoor plants, choosing the right lighting is crucial. Moreover, the efficiency, spectrum, initial cost and lifespan of the grow light are factors that must be considered when choosing an indoor plant grow lamp. For indoor plant growers, fluorescent grow lights and LED grow lights have become popular choices.  Among them,VG80 LED seedling grow lights launched by Mars Hydro in the past year and T5 fluorescent lights in the market have attracted wide attention due to their similar functions.

Therefore, in this blog post, we will discuss the differences between the two indoor plant growing light, so you can choose the best one for your plants.

Overview of T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights and Mars Hydro VG80 LED Grow Lights

T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights

T5 Lights


“T" simply means tubular and the numbers indicates the diameter of the tube. A T5 fluorescent tube is generally considered to be the most energy efficient fluorescent tube, which widely used in indoor gardening and hydroponics for providing artificial light to plants. These lights utilize T5 fluorescent tubes that have a diameter of 5/8 inch, or approximately 16 mm.


They offer a range of color temperatures and provide high-intensity, evenly distributed light for optimal plant growth. With their compact design, T5 fluorescent lights are well-suited for small spaces and reduce the risk of heat damage to plants. 


However, the upfront cost of T5 fluorescent lights may be higher compared to traditional fluorescent options, and they may not provide the same level of spectrum customization as LED grow lights. 


VG80 LED Grow Lights for Seedlings and Vegetative

VG80 LED grow lights for seedlings and vegetative


Similarly,  VG80 LED grow lights are also with light size and specifically suit for small spaces like grow tent, greenhouse, plant racks, etc. And they are designed for seedlings, the vegetative stage and cloning, offering customizable spectrums to meet the specific light requirements of plants. They provide energy efficiency, with LED technology converting a higher percentage of electricity into usable light. And VG80 LED lights have a low heat output, minimizing the risk of heat damage to delicate seedlings, and they boast a long lifespan and durability. 


These grow lights offer wide and uniform light coverage, promoting even growth and preventing leggy plants. With adjustable hanging heights, VG80 LED grow lights allow growers to optimize light intensity for each growth stage. In our previous blog, we have detailed introduced this light for you to understand it better.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Lighting for Indoor Plants

When selecting lighting for indoor plants, several factors should be considered to ensure optimal growth and overall plant health. These factors include:

  • Light Intensity: Different plants have varying light intensity requirements. Understanding the light needs of your specific plants will help determine the appropriate lighting intensity for their growth.
  • Light Spectrum: Plants require specific wavelengths of light for different stages of growth. And grow lights with customizable spectra are gradually becoming the best choice.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient lighting not only reduces electricity costs, but also minimizes environmental impact.
  • Heat Output: Some lighting sources can generate significant heat. Excessive heat can damage plants or lead to increased water evaporation, affecting humidity levels in the growing environment. 
  • Lifespan and Maintenance: Opting for lights with longer lifespans reduces the hassle and cost associated with frequent replacements.
  • Coverage Area: Determine the size of the growing area and choose lighting that provides adequate coverage for all plants to ensure uniform light distribution across the entire growing space.
  • Cost: Consider the upfront cost as well as long-term expenses associated with the lighting system. 
  • Ease of Installation and Use: Consider the installation process and the user-friendliness of the lighting system. 


Comparison: T5 Fluorescent Light vs. VG80 LED Grow Light

T5 Fluorescent Light vs. VG80 LED Grow Light


T5 lights and VG80, the both lights can have great effects on seedlings and plants at vegetative stage or cannabis cloning. However, if we need to pick a winner, the below analysis may give you the answer!


Energy Efficiency:

Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow lights are highly energy-efficient, converting a high percentage of electricity into usable light, with only 80 watt of power. They consume less energy compared to T5 fluorescent lights, resulting in lower energy costs.

T5 fluorescent lights are relatively energy-efficient compared to older fluorescent options likeT8 and T12, but they are not as efficient as LED grow lights.


Light Spectrum:

Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow lights offer customizable spectrums tailored to different stages of plant growth. They provide a balanced spectrum with a combination of blue and red wavelengths, which are crucial for promoting photosynthesis and overall plant development.


T5 fluorescent lights provide a broad spectrum of light, but may lack specific wavelengths important for optimal plant growth. However, T5 lights can be supplemented with additional bulbs to enhance specific spectra.


Lifespan and Durability:

Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow light bars have a long lifespan, typically lasting for 50,000 hours. They are durable and resistant to breakage. Besides, VG80 incorporates a unique transparent waterproof lampshade on its light panel, which safeguards the diode and circuitry from moisture. This feature enables VG80 to function effectively in extremely humid conditions without compromising its longevity.


T5 fluorescent lights have a relatively long lifespan compared to older fluorescent options. However, their lifespan is shorter compared to LED lights (usually 30,000 hours), and they are more fragile and prone to breakage.


Heat Output:

Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow lights generate minimal heat (about 11%), making them efficient in maintaining optimal temperature conditions for plant growth. They can be placed closer to plants without risking heat damage.


However, T5 fluorescent lights produce more heat compared to LEDs (about 30%). Additional cooling measures may be necessary to manage heat buildup.


Coverage Area and Flexibility:

Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow lights for seedlings and vegetative stage offer a wide and uniform light coverage, ensuring even growth across plants. They can be adjusted in height and angle to accommodate different plant sizes and growth stages.


T5 fluorescent lights provide a uniform light distribution, but may require more fixtures or bulbs to cover a larger area. Their fixed tube design limits flexibility in installation and arrangement.


Initial Cost:

When comparing the initial cost of a T5 fluorescent grow light and a  Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow light, the T5 fluorescent option tends to be more affordable upfront. Because T5 fluorescent lights are generally cheaper to purchase initially compared to LED grow lights like the VG80. However, it's important to consider the long-term costs and benefits.


While the initial investment for the T5 fluorescent light may be lower, it typically consumes more electricity and has a shorter lifespan compared to LED grow lights. This means that over time, the operational costs and the need for replacement bulbs can add up, making the overall cost higher.


Safe Problem

While T5 tubes are safe when they are intact, they can become potentially hazardous if they are broken. T5 fluorescent tubes, like other fluorescent bulbs, contain a small amount of mercury gas. This gas is toxic to humans and can have negative effects on our kidneys, lungs, and nervous system.


In contrast, VG80 plant grow lights are a safer alternative because they do not contain any mercury. 


Can You Replace T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights With VG80 LED Grow Lights?

It’s clear to see from the above content, LED grow lights have become a popular alternative to traditional fluorescent lights for indoor gardening and plant cultivation. However, when replacing T5 fluorescent grow lights with VG80 LED grow lights, you may need to consider the differences in size and installation requirements. Please ensure that the VG80 seedling LED grow lights are compatible with your existing fixtures, or make any necessary adjustments for proper installation.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best grow lights, please make sure to refer to these most important factors mentioned above. And while T5 fluorescent lights have been commonly used in the past, the advancements in LED technology have revolutionized indoor gardening.


At last, if you have any other questions about Mars Hydro VG80 LED grow light bars, please feel free to  contact us!