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6 Best CFL Grow Lights – Why Are They Great For Starters?

Compact fluorescent lights are one of the most popular light bulbs on the market. These lights can be easily found in the office, at home, and even in grow rooms.

This is because the lights are easy to find, affordable, easy to use, and they don’t produce a lot of heat. Also, the cost of maintaining CFL lamps is lower when compared to other types of bulbs.

Even though CFL lights are not as durable as LEDs or HPS lights, they still have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. So, if you’ve been looking for an affordable and reliable light for your small grow room, then you will like these lamps.

We’ve conducted thorough research to bring you the best CFL grow lights on the market. Read our review to the end to make an informed choice. The CFL lights that we’ve highlighted feature some of the best features that you can desire in a grow light. These are as follows:

Product

Wattage

Color Temperature

MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base CFL Bulb

26-watt

2700-k

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KOR 13 watt Mini-Spiral GU24 Base T2 CFL Light Bulb

13-watt

2700-k

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Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt CFL Grow Light Bulb

60-watt

6500-k

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SunBlaster CFL Self Ballasted Propagation lamp

26-watt

6400-k

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Hydrofarm Agrobite FLCDG125D CFL Bulb

125-watt

6400-k

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Philips T2 Spiral CFL Light Bulb

100-watt

6500-k

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MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base CFL Bulb

MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb, 26-watt

What We Liked Most About the Product

MaxLite is a well-known brand in the field of energy-efficient lighting products. It has been in existence since 1993 and they have a lot of lighting products to offer. The MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 base CFL bulb is just one of their various lighting bulbs on the market.

The MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Spiramax 26-watt CFL is a perfect light for individuals who are just getting started with indoor growing.

It is affordable and provides a soft white light, which is ideal for plants in their flowering stage. Additionally, the light is simple to install and even newbies won’t have a challenge at all. This is because no fixtures are needed for installation.

Product Overview

The MaxLite Spiramax 26-watt lamp will be great for a person looking for an affordable and durable CFL light. This bulb is cheaper than LEDs and HPS lights, but still delivers a soft white light that will promote faster plant growth.

On top of that, the light has a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs, but it doesn’t produce a lot of heat. So, you can place it very close to your plants without fear of burning them.

Producing maximum lumens of 1850, this light bulb is neither very bright nor dull. This makes it great for different stages of plant growth.

Besides, it has a 2700k light spectrum, which is suitable for plants during their flowering stage. And since it comes with 26-watts, the lamp is only great for small grow rooms and not more than two plants.

Additionally, this CFL grow light isn’t compatible with dimmers as it is non-dimmable. The GU24 fits all fixtures with GU24 sockets, hence you will have an easy time setting it up. No need to buy extra light fixtures and maintenance costs are lower, too.

However, the MaxLite Spiramax 26-watt CFL light is not very effective and you may have to buy several of them to be effective in your grow room.

Pros:

  • Affordable light bulb
  • Easy to install
  • It is not very bright
  • They save energy, thus will reduce your overall electricity bill
  • Soft white light
  • Meets or exceeds federal efficiency standards with the energy star rating

Cons:

  • It as a short lifespan of only 10, 0000 hours
  • Not very durable as several users have complained about the lights becoming defective after some time of use.
  • They are not dimmable so they cannot be used on a dimmer

Overall, this is an inexpensive CFL lamp that you will have a simple time installing in your grow room. It is best suited for the flowering phase of your growing plants.

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KOR 13-watt Mini-Spiral GU24 Base T2 Mini-Twist CFL light Bulb

KOR 13 Watt Mini Spiral - GU24 Base - (60W Equivalent) - T2 Mini-Twist - CFL Light Bulb

What We Liked Most about the Product

If you have a slightly larger grow room and want to install several lamps to give your plants the much-needed light for growth, then you will like the Kor 13-watt mini-spiral CFL light.

Featuring a pack of 4, these lights have 13 watts, which is equivalent to 60-watt incandescent bulbs but will less energy consumption.

What we liked most about the Kor 13-watt mini-spiral GU24 base T2 mini-twist CFL lights bulbs is that they are cheap but still long-lasting. They have a lifespan of 10, 000 hours, which is better than incandescent bulbs.

Product Overview

The Kor 13-watt mini-spiral lamps are versatile as they can be utilized in different environments. It can be in the office, grow room, hallway, bathroom, kitchen, etc. The manufacturer also provides different color options for different purposes.

Since the overall cost of putting up a grow room is high, having such affordable lights help you to save on the total cost. These lights are inexpensive, considering they come in a pack of 4.

Also, they help you save on your electricity bill as they consume less energy when compared to incandescent, HPS, and LED lamps.

Besides, these CFL lights produce brilliant 800 lumens, which are enough for most grow plants. On top of that, it produces a warm white light with 2700-k, which makes them suitable for the flowering stage.

Ensure to space your plants well in the grow space so that they all get equal light for proper growth. With these CFL bulbs, you can grow your plants indoors without worrying about different seasons.

Even though these lights are easy to install and use, they get extremely hot. So, you should be careful when handling them after they have been on for some time. Also, you should dispose of them correctly as they contain hazardous material when they break.

Pros:

  • Energy saver bulbs
  • Simple to install
  • Produces a warm white color ideal for the flowering stage
  • Easy to maintain with 10, 000 hours lifespan
  • Warm white color is ideal for the flowering stage of plants
  • Four units are enough for a 4×4 – inches grow room
  • It has a longer lifespan when compared to a 60-watt bulb

Cons:

  • Several users have complained that the light gets extremely hot
  • The lamps break with much ease

The Kor 4 pack 13-watt mini-spiral CFL light bulbs are versatile and reliable. They will also help you to save on your electricity bill as they consume less energy. Use these bulbs during the flowering phase to get the best out of them.

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Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt CFL Grow Light Bulb

Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt CFL Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb for Plant Growing - 6500K

What We Liked Most About the Product

The Apollo Horticulture 60-watt CFL grow light bulb is one of the most popular CFL lights on the market. Made by one of the powerhouses in grow room equipment, this bulb can be fully relied on in the entire plant’s growth stages. However, it is more suited for the vegetative and flowering phases of growth.

What we like most about the Apollo Horticulture 60-watt compact fluorescent lamp is that the light is affordable but saves 75% more energy than other types of bulbs like incandescent, HPS, metal halide.

Product Overview

At such an amazing price, you get a reliable grow light for your plants. Unlike HPS or metal halide lights, you can place this light closer to your plants but they won’t get burnt. Instead, the lamp will promote faster and steady growth.

What’s more, the light uses 60-watts, which is the same as a 250-watt incandescent bulb, but with less heat and energy consumption.

With a full light color spectrum of 6500-k, this CFL light will be best suited for the vegetative and flowering phases of your growing plants.

Nevertheless, you can still use this cool white daylight for all the growth phases of your plants. With this in mind, this light is suitable for indoor growing of vegetables like spinach and kale.

Furthermore, the Apollo Horticulture 60-watt CFL bulbs don’t need a fan as they don’t become very hot like HPS lights.

However, the manufacturer recommends using their lights in a well-ventilated environment. Also, you will have an easy time installing this lamp in your grow tent as they fit in standard sockets.

Despite all the fantastic features and functions that this CFL light boasts of, it still has some shortcomings. First of all, the light bulb is costly if you want to purchase several units.

Secondly, many buyers have reported receiving damaged bulbs. But this shouldn’t worry you as the manufacturer provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, if you receive a broken or defective bulb, you can always return it for replacement.

Pros:

  • Excellent brightness
  • Uses 60-watts that is equivalent to 250-watts
  • Saves you cash as it uses less energy
  • Simple to set up
  • Straightforward to use
  • Delivers a full spectrum of cool white light
  • Produces less heat when compared to other bulbs
  • They easily fit in standard sockets

Cons:

  • The bulb is quite expensive
  • Many users have complained that the bulb doesn’t last longer

The Apollo Horticulture 60-watt bulb is a very bright light that will promote your plant from the first phase of growth to the last one. But if you want the best results, use it in the vegetative and flowering phases of growth.

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SunBlaster CFL Self Ballasted Propagation lamp

SunBlaster CFL Self ballasted Propagation lamp, 6400K Light Spectrum, 26 Watt

What We Liked Most About the Product

The SunBlaster CFL Self Ballasted Propagation lamp is another outstanding compact fluorescent light for small grow rooms. Just like its name, the SunBlaster CFL light produces a powerful light with maximum lumens of 1700. Similar to many other CFL lights, this unit is easy to install and will save energy.

The most outstanding feature of this light is the 6400-K color temperature. This means that you can use the lamp for both the vegetative and flowering phases of your plant growth. Thanks to the natural color that is very similar to that of the sun.

Product Overview

Unlike some CFLs that fit in specific light fixtures, the SunBlaster Self-Ballasted Propagation lamp fits into various light fixtures like wall sconces, table lamps, and track lights. So, apart from using it in your grow room, you can also install it in your living room, bathroom, or even office.

If you want CFL lights that you can rely on for your indoor growing, the SunBlaster CFL grow lights won’t disappoint you.

The lights not only provide excellent brightness, but they also don’t burn your plants no matter how close they are. On top of that, they produce less heat, which means that you won’t need fans in your grow room to keep temperatures cool.

Additionally, the light uses 26-watts, which is equivalent to a 100-watts incandescent bulb. This means you get more brightness at less energy use.

In the end, you will save energy and reduce your electricity bill. Also, the maintenance cost is lower when compared to HPS and metal halide bulbs.

One thing you should note is that these bulbs are slightly costly than other CFL lights. Also, they get very hot when used for several hours. Therefore, you should handle them with caution to avoid being burnt.

Pros:

  • Quick to install
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces your electricity bill
  • Full-color spectrum for all stages of growth
  • Uses 26-watts which is equivalent to 100-watts
  • It produces less heat than other lights
  • It fits standard size light sockets
  • Affordable light

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive than competitor CFL light bulbs
  • The light gets too hot to touch

The SunBlaster 26-watt CFL grow light can help you to grow and maintain healthy plants throughout the year.

With a full spectrum, you can use this compact fluorescent light for all stages of growth without worrying about anything. The lights are easy to install, use, and save energy.

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Hydrofarm Agrobite FLCDG125D CFL Bulb

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D Fluorowing Compact Fluorescent System with CFL Bulb

What We Liked Most About the Product

If you’re ready to spend to get one of the best CFL grow lights on the market, then you will like the Hydrofarm Agrobite FLCDG125D Fluorowing CFL bulb.

This is a complete light system with a compact reflector. Unlike the CFL lights that we’ve discussed above, this one comes with all the fixtures that you need, making it ready for installation.

What we like most about this light is that it features a compact reflector that allows the light to cover a larger area than most CFL lights. As a result, it can be used in a small to medium-sized grow room of up to 4’ x 3 ‘.

In short, the light can be used to cover up to three plants. However, you’re not limited as you can use more lights to cover a larger grow area.

Product Overview

The Hydrofarm Agrobite utilizes 125-watts, which is equivalent to 450-watts incandescent bulb. Alternatively, the Hydrofarm Agrobite system can accommodate a 200-watt CFL bulb, which is just exceptional.

Producing maximum lumens of  7000, this is the brightest CFL light bulb on our list. As a result, it covers the largest area of 4ft X 3ft and up to 3 plants.

With such excellent coverage, this is the perfect CFL light for covering a larger grow area. On top of that, this CFL lamp is made for the vegetative and flowering phases as it has a full spectrum of 6400-k. However, the daylight white light is still ideal for all of your indoor plant’s growing phases.

Moreover, this light uses more energy when compared to other CFL lights on this list. As a result, it provides a more brilliant light but it’s slightly hotter. Also, you will end up paying more on your electricity bill, which is understandable.

What we don’t like about this CFL light is that it becomes slightly hot. Also, the initial price is high, which may be unfavorable to new growers who want a simple light for one or two crops.

Since it comes with a 1-year warranty, you don’t have to worry about the product arriving damaged as your investment is protected.

Pros:

  • Super easy to install
  • Provides full-day spectrum for all year use
  • Utilizes 125-watts, which is equivalent to 450-watts
  • Produces less heat than other bulbs
  • Even light output unlike spiral design
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Compact reflector spreads the light far

Cons:

  • Not ideal for larger grow rooms
  • Not very ideal for the flowering stage
  • Users have complained about the light arriving damaged

Generally, the Hydrofarm Agrobite Fluorowing CFL system with a CFL bulb is easy to install, use, low-maintenance, and cost-effective. With the compact reflector, the light bulb will cover a larger area than most CFL bulbs.

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Philips T2 Spiral CFL Light Bulb

Philips T2 Spiral CFL Light Bulb: 6500K, 100-Watt, Daylight, E26 Medium Screw Base

What We Liked Most About the Product

Philips is one of the leading lighting companies in the world. The Philips T2 Spiral CFL light bulb is one of the best CFL grow lights on the market.

The light bulb is compact, bright, eco-friendly, and cheap. This unit comes in a pack of 4 at a very affordable price. So, you can place all the bulbs in a larger grow room or cover a few plants and keep other bulbs away for replacing later.

What stands out most about this CFL light bulb is that it produces an astonishing 1600 lumens using an equivalent of 100-watts. Besides, it delivers bright white daylight of 6400-k, which means that you can use the light for all the grow plant’s growth stages. However, it is best suited for the vegetative phase and not flowering stage, yet you can utilize it for both.

Product Overview

The compact fluorescent light bulb is compatible with 120 Volt devices and it is recommended for indoor use only. What’s more, the light bulb saves energy, which in returns reduces your electricity bill.

Besides, this CFL bulb produces an ambient light which is also suitable for offices, living rooms, kitchen, and bedrooms.

The Philips T2 Spiral CFL light bulb is an eco-friendly unit, which makes it perfect for grow rooms and even greenhouses.

No harmful gases are emitted, thus your plants will grow healthily. The 23-watt bulb is an equivalent of 100-watts incandescent bulb. Therefore, it may end up using slightly more energy than a 13-watt bulb. However, this CFL light is 13 times more durable than an incandescent bulb.

When installing this light, note that it fits with a medium screw base and not with the Philips HUE products. The good thing is that installing the unit is simple and straightforward.

Also, you can fully trust that it will work as stated as it is energy star-certified.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly bulb
  • Easy to install
  • Simple to use
  • Durable bulbs that last 13 times longer than incandescent bulbs
  • Energy saver light bulb
  • Versatile bulb for all uses
  • Affordable bulbs
  • Daylight color for all plant growth stages
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • They are only for indoor use and not outdoor use
  • It gets hot after being on for some time

The Philips T2 Spiral CFL light bulb is not only an affordable light but as well as reliable. You can use it for the vegetative and flowering phases of your grow plants. It is simple to use, compact, and very bright.

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Advantages of CFL grow lights:

  • Compact, thus ideal for tight places
  • They produce less heat, thus can be put close to your plants without burning them
  • They are cheaper
  • Installing is simple and straightforward
  • They are readily available in stores, online, and even in remote places
  • They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wattages
  • They consume less electricity when compared to incandescent, LEDs, and HPS lights

Disadvantages of CFL grow lights:

  • They have a short lifespan than HPS and LED bulbs
  • Not ideal for larger grow rooms or a wider variety of plants
  • Very labor-intensive
  • They contain mercury, which is a life-threatening material

FAQ

What is CFL grow light?

When Thomas Edison devised the classic incandescent lamp, it was one of the greatest inventions at that time. But today, these bulbs are no longer efficient ad that’s why CFLs were created to replace them.

In full, CFL refers to compact fluorescent lights. These lamps are easily distinguished by their spiral, curly design. As a result, these lights are more compact than fluorescent bulbs.

What to consider when selecting a CFL grow light?

Since there are several CFL grow lamps to pick from, it is vital to know what type of grow light will be ideal for your grow tent or grow room.

And if you want to select the best light, then you should consider the following factors: wattage, lumens, and kelvins. These factors will help you land a lamp that suits your plants and grow space.

How far should I put the CFL light from my grow plants?

Unlike other types of bulbs, the CFL lights don’t put off a lot of heat; thus, you can install them close to your plants. You can install them somewhere between 2-inches and 4-inches.

Putting other types of bulbs like LEDs and HPS close to your plants may burn them. But this is not the case with CFL lights. However, you should adjust them accordingly as they can also burn your plants if they are extremely close.

Why should I use CFL grow lights instead of other types?

Instead of using lights such as HPS, LEDs, or metal halides, you can CFL grow lights in your grow room because of these reasons.

First of all, CFL grow lights are cheap when compared to the ones that we’ve mentioned. Secondly, these lamps are easily available.

Also, they consume little electricity and don’t produce a lot of heat. Besides, you don’t need special fixtures to install these grow lamps.

How much wattage do I need per square foot?

The wattage of a CFL grow light is crucial because it shows its performance. Also, you should calculate wattage per square foot so that your plants don’t get less or more.

It is recommended that you provide between 80 and 100 wattages per square foot. Most plants need 40 to 70 watts. So, if you have three plants in your grow area, then you may require a total of 150 wattages.

Bottom line

CFL grow lamps are the perfect lights for new growers with small grow rooms. The lights are cost-effective, easy to install, compact, versatile, and produce less heat.

What’s more, you won’t have to change them during different stages of plant growth. Also, most of the CFLs run cool, so you won’t need fans to keep them cool.

However, compact fluorescent lights are not very efficient and have a shorter lifespan. Overall, these are quality grow lamps that will help you to grow your plants healthily and get higher yields. Take your time and pick the best CFL lamps from our list above.