eBay T5 Lights?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by uscman, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Pretty much I'm just looking for any reviews, positive or negative on these lights. The lights are ALOT cheaper than most of the online stores, and I just want to see someone's experiences with some of these lights.

    I dont know if it matters, but I will growing in a 4x2x5 grow tent and hopefully 4 girls. I've been looking at the 4ft 6bulb t5 structure. It looks like it will barely fit into my tent by 1in lol.
  2. No one has bought any of these off eBay?
  3. Be the brave penguin.
  4. How much cheaper are they I have had someone on here recommend me to t5 lights for around 200 or a little less on amazon.
  5. Yup. Got my t-5 4' 8 bulb over a year ago and love it. Only had to change out a single bulb so far. Amazon for under $200
  6. The fixture on eBay was $110 with free shipping. I need to buy the bulbs separately though. Htg was around $220. I just ordered the eBay one, so I'll be back here in a few months to let you guys know how it turned out.
  7. Definatly let us know I'm about to walk in and buy a hydrofarm t5 4 ft 8bulb and hooking it up today.
  8. I just won an auction for a new T5, 24", 4-light fixture.
    I noticed that a lot of the ones on Ebay are "used", at least the cheaper ones.
    I don't want "used" bulbs, so i grabbed a new one on the cheap.
    $79.99 for this Sun Lighting unit... Free shipping!

    My tent is exactly the same size as yours.
    I just finished a grow, flower only, with a 600HPS.
    There was no Veg growing, and the plants could have used it.
    I got a decent yeild, but learned a lot.

    So now I needed a "Veg" light that would not kill my PGE.
    This T5 unit 24" was the solution.
    I thought about the 4' models, but the size was in question, so i went with this one.
    I'm going to veg for about a month under this new light, then switch to flowering with the HPS.

    I also considered the local hydro store, but they want full retail...
    Thank-you Ebay!
    I'll let you know what it looks like when I get my hands on it, just bought it last night.
  9. Interested in the results. Please share if growth rate under the Sun Lighting unit is normal. Quality of the light too possibly. Interested as I'm in the market for another 24" 4bulb and $80 ain't a bad ticket.

  10. USCman: some of us have to learn the hard way. I figured I could save a few bucks buying my first T-5 fixture on line and what they advertised and what I eventually got, after waiting close to a month for delivery, was really very discouraging. A lot of online businesses are selling apples from an extra barrel. That's why they say three to six weeks waiting period because they're waiting to get enough orders to get them from their source in China. What I finally got had a cheap reflective surface that wasn't much better than tin foil and distorts real easy when you change to light tubes for different frequencies.

    What Iv'e done since is to take a look at my local hydro store to see what they carry as far as brands and price. if they're the same and you don't mind waiting then maybe buying on line is good. It wasn't for me.

    I have since bought three more T-5 fixtures from our local hydro store: Discount Hydro in Riverside, California. I expected to pay more but they matched the price and I didn't have to spend $20 extra on shipping and handling and wait for them to get off their asses and ship it. Some thing to think about because when you need stuff you need it. I hope that helps. Hank
  11. So, this is my first "veg" grow cycle.
    And my first attempt with these lights.
    I don't have anything to base off of.
    However after reading some of the other postings, I know what to look for.
    The only concern I had was, it needs to be "NEW".
    I didn't want something previously loved...

    I'll be making a new grow journal once I get things set-up.
    Light should be here today.
    I'll pick up my clones tonight if the package is recieved.
    I'll post pic's of the light when I get it in my hands, and do a little review.
    Then other's that have the good lights can let me know where this one needs help.
  12. Quite frankly, you get what you pay for. :confused_2:

    Just pony up the extra few $$ and get one from a shop with a MFG warranty rather than buying a cheap fixture off ebay that will burn out in a week or two.
  13. Hmbab: if time permits I'm going to send you some ideas you might find helpful in using T-5's. Hank
  14. #14 hmbab2000, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2013
    I'm up and running...
    Here is the thread.

    I'd love anything new to learn Hank!
    I look forward to your response.

    As for the light, I'm very satisfied so far.
    It has 4 bulbs, on 2 switches. One for inner pair and one for outer pair.
    Has a great mounting cable that comes with, able to mount in a couple different ways.
    I have already found that it puts out enough heat to hold the tent in the low 70's.
    I also have a thermostat controlled heater in the tent.
    With the thermostat set to 70, it did not come on once after the tent got to temp.
    It's been floating between 73-75. That works for me!

    I first got the light, and installed the bulbs.
    It fired right up but was a bit dull, i wondered if it was poor quality reflector...?
    It was a clear protective film on the reflective surface!
    Sure am glad I looked close, it was almost not noticable!
    You can see from the pictures in the link that the light is looking good!
  15. Hmbab: I'll try to make it worth the wait. I start work again tomorrow night and that makes me as busy as a long talied cat in a room full of moving rocking chairs. I started a piece on T-5 lighting and I'll try to get back to it ASAP. Hank
  16. Hmbab: I hope this helps.
    There are pros and cons that we should consider when we’re thinking of using T-5’s. They’re a big improvement over the older forms of fluorescent lighting like the T-12’s and T-8’s and I like them better than the curly-cue CFL’s. T-5’s are also a lot neater than using the multiples of individual CFL’s that some people string up as haphazardly like they do Christmas lights.
    In T-5’s, everything is in one cool burning, compact, light weight fixture, and the light is reflected down or out by a highly polished integral, usually corrugated, reflector. The fixture and lamps are fed by a single power cord and if you have a big enough grow that it requires two or more fixtures then you can daisy chain them together; that is plug one into the other. That still leaves you with only a single power cord to deal with. This makes the T-5’s generally a lot neater application in a confined growing space than most other fluorescent lighting options, and that’s an important feature when you have to work in that space.
    T-5’s are also thrifty to operate. Twenty-four inch long tubes each draw thirty-five watts of power per hour and the forty-eight inch long tubes only draw 55 watts each. But how much does that adequately illuminate? This presents some unique challenges and gets us into some interesting math problems. What most people don’t understand is that T-5’s, like other forms of fluorescent lighting, do not project light very well and they only illuminate what’s close and directly underneath them, or immediately next to them if they’re arranged vertically.
    A friend, we’ll call him Tim, grows in a 5’ by 5’ tent and he allows only one square foot per plant. We tried to get that passed in a California election a couple of years ago but it didn’t make it. He’s hopeful that some day it will pass and he can legally fill his entire tent. A square foot has sides of only one foot. He thought he could get away with it because his tent has two doors, one in the front and one in the rear ad he’s got long arms. In my experience, I’ve found a square foot to be inadequate spacing.
    My plants generally grow bigger and his overcrowding his plants; the tight proximity of plant to plant, hinders air circulation. He lights them with two T-5 fixtures four feet long and 6 tubes wide. They cover an area of approximately 4’ by 5’ or 20 square feet. The nine plants growing in the center, immediately under the fixtures, do great but the outside fringe of 16 plants in that outer one foot perimeter grow a lot less vigorously
    Additionally, his center plants grow taller faster which makes it a bitch to keep the lights properly adjusted over the tops of his plants. As a result the fringe plants grow scrawny trying to stretch to the available light. The plants on the fringe also don’t produce as many buds or buds of the same size as his center plants.
    In comparison, I allow 2.25 square feet, or an area 1 ½ feet long on each side for my plants. My tent is 2 feet 3 inches deep by 4 feet 5 inches wide inside. My entire ceiling is two T-5 fixtures, four tubes wide, hanging form the upper bracing. I grow the presently state allowed six plants to keep my meds sugar bowl full and my two fixtures do a great job of lighting up my plants for a sea of green. Since they’re all equally illuminated their growth rate is pretty much equal and my light height to plants tops is very easy to keep adjusted at a couple of inches.
    If you’re seriously interested in growing with T-5’s I want to suggest one more thing: a progressive light schedule, as taught to me by a local hydro teacher. He suggested that the stages of plant life are controlled by diet and photo period and it changes very gradually in nature. About 6 minutes a day.
    The average inside grower starts out with seeds or clones and feeds them a diet rich in nitrogen, low in phosphorus and potassium. He keeps them on a photo period of sixteen hours of light under a wavelength of green to blue 5,000K to 6,500K lamps. They continue that schedule and diet throughout vegging until they want to force flowering.
    To force flowering they change the photo period to 12/12 under red 2,700K lamps and they feed a diet of low nitrogen that is higher in phosphorus and potassium. I have seen plants go into shock with this method, but in all fairness they always seem to recover.
    My instructor’s method is much gentler. We start with the same high nitrogen diet and a photo period of 20 hours of lights on under green to blue lamps of 5,000 to 6,500K. The plants get four hours of R&R. At the end of the first week we drop the light by one hour which increases the dark by one hour and we continue that process each week. It’s really very simple and it works.
    Each week you continue dropping the light by one hour, thereby increasing the dark period by one hour. At the week of about 13 to 14 hours of light you’ll start seeing some interesting changes in your plants. They’ll usually start to pre-flower on their own and you’ll likely see that beginning of their last growth spurt. That’s when I change their diet to a half strength flowering formula lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus and potassium. If all goes well, and it always has, they get the full strength formula the next week. I continue this program all the way to black out period just before harvest.
    Where most growers only go to 12/12 I’ve found it even more productive to continue dropping the light schedule until we reach 10 hours of light and 14 hours of darkness, and I continue that for the last few weeks until harvest.
    I’ve used T-5’s and this progressive light schedule for the last two years and it has been successful in both hydro bubble tubs and soil. It worked equally well with Vita Grow nutes and Technaflora’s, “Recipe for Success.” If you’re going to try T-5’s I would urge you to try the progressive light schedule as well. I hope that helps. Hank

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