T5 Vs T8 Vs T12 LED Growth Lights

For a long time,people consider that fluorescent lights are not suitable for large-scale application in facility agriculture because of their size too large and low luminous efficiency. But compact energy-saving CFL light and tubular energy-saving T5 light(5/8 inches in diameter, about 1.6cm; common indoor lighting is T12, 12/8 inches in diameter, about 3.8cm) have been emerged  that change people’s consideration.

Their luminous efficacy can reach 75 to 90 lumens/watt, and also have good light quality. The combination of various colors of light is more reasonable.Moreover,compared with HPS light and metal halide light,they produce less heat ,which can be  close to the plant, such as 10 cm, the plant will better absorb and use the light.

T5 tube with color temperature of 2700K to 3000K is suitable for promoting flowers because it has more red light in its spectrum;T5 tube with 5000K to 6500K is a full-spectrum light, which can promote vegetative growth because of its more blue light.

The full-spectrum T12 tube is very suitable for seedling cultivation, and is widely used on crops that require low illumination such as grass flowers and African violets. Compared with it, T5 tube can provide better spectrum with higher efficiency, which is suitable for promoting flower bud and quality.So,what are other differences between T5,T8 and T12 Tube LED growth lights?Let’s look at more details.

T5 led growth light

The difference between T5 and T8 tube

The difference between normal T8 tube, three color T5 tube, T8 LED tube and T5 led tube are:

Outer diameter: The outer diameter of T8 is 26mm, and T5 is 16mm;

Light holder specifications: T8 tube match with G13 holder, T5 match with G5 holder;

In addition, the length, power, and tube voltage and current etc are also different. In fact, T8 LED tubes and T5 LED tubes have been replacing of normal T8 tubes and three color T5 tube.

T8 ordinary fluorescent tube (halogen powder tube, the theoretical luminous efficiency is 72lm/W, the actual luminous efficiency is about 33lm/W)

T5 three color tube (theoretical luminous efficiency is 94lm/W, the actual luminous efficiency is about 40-45lm/W)

T8 LED tube (about 145lm/W, the luminous efficiency is 4.5 time that of ordinary T8 tube)

T5 LED tube (about 145lm/W, the luminous efficiency is 3.5 time that of T5 tube)

The difference in size and lumen


What is the meaning of the”T”in T5,T8 and T12. The “T” stands for “Tube”, and the number after the “T” indicates the diameter of the tube.

Each “T” is 1/8 inch, and one inch is equal to 25.4 mm. Hence,

The diameter of the T12 tube is (12/8)×25.4=38.1 mm

The diameter of the T10 tube is (10/8)×25.4=31.8mm

The diameter of the T8 tube is 25.4mm.

The diameter of the T5 tube is (5/8)×25.4=16 mm

The diameter of the T4 tube is (4/8)×25.4=12.7 mm

But LED tube is a little larger than normal tube,the outer diameter of the T8 LED tube is about 30mm, and the outer diameter of the T5 LED tube is about 18mm.

Length and power:

The length of the T8 tube (width 39mm, height 52mm) such as:

20w length 604mm/30w length 908.8mm/40w length 1214.6mm;

The length of the T5 tube (width 23.5mm, height 39mm),such as:

8w length 302.5mm/14w length 563.2mm/21w length 863.2mm/28w length 1163.2mm/35w length 1463.2mm;

In theory, the thinner the tube is, the higher the efficiency, which means that tube emits more light in same wattage .  The ballast of T5 tube is contained in the miniature space of the bracket. The efficiency and quality of this kind of ballast are not very good, resulting in low efficient and bright low than T8 tube.

Nevertheless,since the thin tube is easy to conceal, and flexible, T5 tube are also popular.


The luminous efficiency of LED tubes is not much difference between T8 and T5,they can reach 145lm/W-155lm/W.

Color temperature:

The color temperature is called K.

Different color temperatures will make people feel different visual.There are three types of color temperature:

a. Yellow light: The color temperature of yellow light is below 3300K. The color of yellow light is similar to that of incandescent light. More Red light give us a warm, healthy and comfortable feeling. It is suitable for families, houses, dormitories, hospitals, hotels, etc.

b. Warm white light: its color temperature is between 3300K-5300K. .The warm white light is soft light, making us feel happy, comfortable and peaceful. It is suitable for shops, hospitals, offices, restaurants, restaurants, waiting rooms and other places.

c. Cool color light: its color temperature is above 5300K -10000K, the light is close to natural light, giving us bright feeling, making us concentrate, suitable for offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, drawing rooms, design rooms, libraries Reading rooms, exhibition windows and other places.

The higher the color temperature, the closer to the blue ,and the lower the luminous flux,and the lower the color temperature, the closer to red.

For example:

T5 is an energy-saving light, most of which is close to daylight color, and T8 is an old-fashioned fluorescent light, most of color temperature is 6000-6500K.

T5 Vs T8 LED Growing Lights

Can’t the plants use LED lights? Let’s talk about what kind of LED light is full spectrum? What are the advantages of T5 lights? And what is the difference between T5 Vs T8 LED growing lights.

T5 LED Pros:

T5 full-spectrum plant growth lights are ideal suitable for plant growth in various stages, indoor gardens, water-cultivated or soil-cultivated plants, and is also suitable for any growth period of plants.  

Energy-saving and power-saving by 50%, free of air-conditioning and cooling

Improve plant growth cycle

Improve seedlings survival

Promote plant seedlings grow evenly

Promote the leaves are green

LED plant light decay  as small as one-thousandth;

High long lifespan

Replace 3-5 times the high-pressure sodium light

Customized waveband spectrum, the wavelength is match with the photosynthesis spectrum of plant growth requirements, and promote the rapid growth of plants.

The mixed spectrum of red, blue, orange, white, green, and yellow is suitable for the physiological

The full-spectrum LED light is composed of red, blue, green, white, yellow and other colors of lamp beads, which imitate natural light and provide the required light source for the aquatic plants in the fish tank.If you are a fishing enthusiast, you may be interested in fishing tackle with LED lights.

However,normal LED lights do not have ultraviolet light, which is the key light source to promote the color of plants. Therefore, many people say that LED lights are not suitable for grass tanks.

In fact, there is a high-performance white light LED,also called UVLED, which contains ultraviolet. However, these LED aquatic light is more expensive.

Plant photosynthesis requires light wavelengths around 400-700nm. The blue light with wavelength of 400-500nm, and the red light with wavelength of 610-720nm,and they are the main light to promote the photosynthesis of aquatic plants. However, under the illumination of the red and blue light sources, the colors of plants are not good-looking. So,We need to add the green light source but not too much, because the action of its light source is opposite to the red and blue light. Green light can promote the opening of the stomata of plants, which is not good for photosynthesis. Hence, the number of green lamp beads are not too much.

In addition, adding yellow light on the basis of red and blue light will be beneficial for significantly increasing the growth rate of plants.

The influence of spectral range on plant physiology:

280nm ~ 315nm has minimal impact on morphology and physiological processes

315 nm~420nm chlorophyll absorbs little, affects the photoperiod  and prevents stem long. 

420 nm~ 500nm (blue) The absorption ratio of chlorophyll and carotenoids is the largest,  greatest impact on photosynthesis

500 nm~620nm pigment absorption rate is not high

620nm ~ 750nm (red) The chlorophyll absorption rate is “high”, significant impact on photosynthesis and photoperiod

750nm ~ 1000nm Low absorption rate, stimulate cell elongation, flowering and seed germination

>1000nm is converted into heat

Wrapping Up

we have introduced the differences between T5,T8 and T12 LED grow light and some light knowledge in this guide, In summary,red-orange light and blue-violet light, with wavelengths of 420-500, 620-700 is the most suitable light for plant growth because of light absorbed by chlorophyll, red light promotes flowering and fruit, blue light promotes leaf growth,but we only need a little UV light because of too much ultraviolet light its wavelength is 320—400,which can accelerate the decomposition of organic matter.

All the wavelengths of LED plant growth light are in the above range,and the efficiency of the LED plant growth light can reach 95%,which are ideal for plant growing,go here know more quantum bard VS LED grow lights.