Best CFL Grow Lights

Top 8 Best CFL Grow Lights: Buying Guidelines & Review

There are vast choices of CFL grow lights available in the market today. But most often, we find ourselves thinking which among it is best for our grow room

Yup, you are not alone in this dilemma!

Choosing which is which can be quite a daunting task. This is especially true for all those newbies in indoor gardening.

To help you out with your woes, we gathered important guidelines when buying a CFL grow lights. Moreover, also took the liberty to present to you the best products to look out for. 

Here it is!

We know you’re busy. So, if you do not have the extra time to read the entire article, feel free to skip ahead on our top picks!

Overall top pick:

Philips 433557 Energy Saver CFL T2 Twister Bulb

1st Runner-up:

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D CFL System w/ Bulb

2nd Runner-up:

Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt 6500K CFL Light Bulb

PreviewCFL Grow LightBest ForAvailability
Philips 433557 Energy Saver CFL T2 Twister BulbOverall product Check Price
Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D CFL System w/ BulbAll-in-one kit Check Price
Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt 6500K CFL Light BulbProfessional use Check Price
SunBlaster CFL Self-Ballasted Propagation LampValue for money Check Price
Westinghouse Lighting 3667000 5 Watt CFL BulbCloning phase Check Price
Satco S7334 Hi-Pro Spiral CFL BulbFlowering phase Check Price
Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLC26D 26 Watt Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light BulbSmall applications Check Price
MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base Compact Fluorescent Light BulbVersatility Check Price

Best CFL Grow Lights

1. Philips 433557 Energy Saver CFL T2 Twister Bulb

Best CFL Grow Lights

The 6500K color temperature is the perfect substitute for natural sunlight during the winter season. Or, if you choose to grow in low-light areas like the attic or basement, this can work as well. So, using this grow light enables your cultivars to continue to thrive despite the absence of Mr. Sun.  

Its daylight hue starts out as soft white light. Then, it illuminates gradually until it reaches its full brightness in a matter of a few seconds. This action makes it gentler for your eyes to adapt.

This 23-watt lamp helps you save money too. Basing on a 3-hour/day basis, you are likely to spend only less than $2 for your annual energy fee. Moreover, it uses 77% less energy than a standard incandescent lamp.

Apart from that, Philips T2 is also an eco-friendly product. It makes use of recycled glass and packaging material. So, in a way reduces its greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint. That just hits the sweet spot of every eco-conscious consumers!

Things to concern:

Philips T2 CFL bulb has the tendency to get hot. So you need to take extra precautions when handling the light to avoid accidental burns.   

This bulb is also intended for use in indoor settings only. This is something important you should take into account when buying.

Magic Lines:

Budget and environment friendly.

Features:

  • 23 watts
  • 6500K color temperature
  • 1600 luminous flux
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Energy Star certification
  • Compatible to use with a standard medium screw base
  • Available in 4-pack and 6-pack
  • Available in different color temperatures
  • Also available in 9 watts, 13 watts, and 18 watts 
  • 2 years warranty

 

2. Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D CFL System w/ Bulb

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D CFL System w/ Bulb

Hydrofarm Agrobrite CFL kit is a full lighting system that includes everything. Unlike others, it already comes a compact reflector hood. This helps to maximize your light coverage over the plant’s canopy.

The bulb itself produces a daylight spectrum. So it is suitable to use from vegging to flowering stages. Moreover, with its 125 watts of power, it is sure to accommodate a small to medium grow space.

This CFL system is also fuzz-free to install. All its components are already fully-assembled and ready to use. It is not that heavy too. With a weight of only 3 pounds, you sure won’t have a hard time affixing the entire kit. 

Things to concern:

Hydrofarm Agrobrite CFL system is more on the expensive side. Although you have to consider as well the inclusions in the kit. You are not just paying for the bulb, but the cost covers for the hood and the dew guard too.

Magic Lines:

Effective and hassle-free.

Features:

  • 125 watts
  • 6400K color temperature
  • 7000 luminous flux
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • CSA certification
  • Includes a mogul socket with 8-inch power cord
  • Includes hanging hardware and junction box
  • 1-year warranty

 

3. Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt 6500K CFL Light Bulb

Apollo Horticulture 60 Watt 6500K CFL Light Bulb

The Apollo Horticulture is a 6500K CFL bulb that resembles the natural daylight. Thus, it is suitable to use not only for the vegetative stage but even up to the flowering phase. 

The light output of this 60-watt lamp is comparable to a 250-watt incandescent lamp. That is 75% lesser energy! Moreover, this CFL does not radiate as much heat as the traditional lights. So, it is safe to position close to the plant’s canopy to further maximize the light.

Although it may not be as hot as others, precaution is still a priority. As per the company’s recommendation, it is best to use it in a room with proper ventilation. A greenhouse setting would be ideal. 

Things to concern:

This CFL grow light have a shorter lifespan of only 600 hours in comparison to the 10,000 hours of other bulbs. Aside from that, there were also several reports of faulty products. It is a good thing though that the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Magic Line:

Professional quality grow light.

Features:

  • 60 watts
  • 6500K color temperature
  • 5,000 to 6,000 luminous flux
  • 600 hours lifespan
  • Standard E26 socket
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

 

4. SunBlaster CFL Self-Ballasted Propagation Lamp

SunBlaster CFL Self-Ballasted Propagation Lamp

The SunBlaster CFL light is one of the favorite go-to lamps of indoor growers. This full-spectrum bulb is suitable to use on herbs and houseplants among many others. 

With its 26-watts power, it is bound to replace a 100-watt incandescent lamp. Not only is it energy-efficient, but it has a very affordable price point too. 

Moreover, SunBlaster CFL is very easy to install and can fit a standard size socket. It is a screw-based bulb so you do not have to worry about having a separate ballast in the set-up.

Things to concern:

A faulty product is quite common for this SunBlaster model. It is quite a relief though that they have a good aftersales service to help you sort out this kind of matter. 

Magic Lines:

Quality results at an affordable price.

Features:

  • 26 watts
  • 6400K color temperature
  • 1,700 lumen output
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Compatible to use with standard E26 light socket

 

5. Westinghouse Lighting 3667000 5 Watt CFL Bulb

Westinghouse Lighting 3667000 5 Watt CFL Bulb

If you are looking for grow lights for your plants in the cloning stage, this is it! This gives out a soft white 2700K color temperature with a brightness of 270 lumens. The light is not as harsh but still enough to allow your cultivars to thrive.

Westinghouse Lighting’s CFL bulb is a low wattage lamp. With only 5 watts of power, it delivers a light output the same to that of a 25-watt incandescent bulb. Which, by the way, is more expensive and much harder to find nowadays.

Because of its minimal wattage, it is least likely to scorch your plants. So, it is safe to position close to the plant’s canopy to maximize the benefits. Even a good 2-inch distance would be great.

Given its limited power, though, it is more apt to use on the cloning phase. Otherwise, the light might not be enough to supplement the needs of more mature plants. 

Things to concern:

Westinghouse Lightings 5-watt CFL lamp is not quite a versatile lamp. The minimal amount of light it generates restricts its use only on the cloning stage of growth. And so, you are compelled to replace the bulbs as your cultivars mature and move on to the next phase.

Magic Line:

Small wattage but big results.

Features:

  • 5 watts
  • 2700K color temperature
  • 270 lumen output
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Compatible to use with standard E26 light socket

 

6. Satco S7334 Hi-Pro Spiral CFL Bulb

Satco S7334 Hi-Pro Spiral CFL Bulb

Satco S7334 Hi-Pro CFL is ideal for growing cultivars in the flowering stage. Its soft white 2700K color temperature gives it the right amount of light intensity. Not too bright but just enough for the bud to flourish throughout the phase.

The lamp runs in 40 watts power. Although the light output it delivers is tantamount to a 150-watt incandescent lamp. That gives you better savings in your electricity bill.

This Satco CFL is also convenient to use. It has an electronic ballast that turns on the light at an instant. No flickering! Moreover, it has an E26 medium base that is compatible to use with most standard size sockets.

Things to concern:

Although the lamp delivers a good result, it seems to fall short on its longevity. Several consumers reported the bulb burned out even before the 10,000 hours its claims to last. 

Magic Lines:

Effective grow light for flowering. 

Features:

  • 40 watts
  • 2700K color temperature
  • 2,600 luminous flux
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Energy star rating
  • Compatible to use with standard E26 light socket
  • 2-year limited warranty

 

7. Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLC26D 26 Watt Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLC26D 26 Watt Spiral Compact Fluorescent Grow Light Bulb

Coming from a trusted brand, Hydrofarm Agrobrite is one of the most popular choices in CFL lights. This 26-watt bulb is comparable to the brightness of a 130-watt incandescent lamp. Thus, it is giving you higher output but at much lesser energy consumption.

This grow light is more suitable for delivering localized lighting in small seedlings. Or, you can also make use of it as a supplemental light to your indoor houseplants. 

The Agrobrite spiral lamp is best used along with Hydrofarm’s Dayspot fixture. But this bulb comes with a standard fitting socket though. So, it is still likely to fit any standard E26 medium base fixtures. 

Things to concern:

Several customers reported that it did not last longer than it’s supposed to. In contrast to the 10,000 hours it claims, some units burned out much faster in actual. 

Magic Lines:

Effective grow light for small applications.

Features:

  • 26 watts
  • 6400K color temperature
  • 1,600 lumen output
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • UL listed 
  • Best paired with Hydrofarm Dayspot fixture
  • Compatible to use with standard medium E26 base light fixture

 

8. MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

MaxLite MLS26GUWW6 GU24 Base Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

MaxLite CFL is a 2700K light with a nice soft white appearance. Having a brightness of 1850 lumens, the light output is not way too bright nor too light. Thus, you can assure that it will not be too harsh to harm your cultivars.

This is a non-flickering light equipped with a quick-starting electronic ballast. MaxLite runs in 26 watts. It is far more power-saving than traditional incandescent lamps. Moreover, you can guarantee its efficiency with the Energy Star certification. 

MaxLite CFL has a GU-24 bi-pin base. This is compatible to use on most standard GU24 lighting fixture or socket.

Things to concern:

While MaxLite CFL is a good bulb, you may need at least 4 to 5 bulbs for it to induce flowering. In that sense, you may tend to spend more for the quantity it requires.

Magic Line:

Easy to install and non-flickering.

Features:

  • 26 watts
  • 2700K color temperature
  • 1,850 lumen output
  • 10,000 hours lifespan
  • Energy-efficient
  • Energy Star certification
  • Compatible to use with standard GU24 light socket
  • Also available in 13 watts and 18 watts

 

What to consider when buying a CFL grow light?

  • Wattage

Wattage pertains to the amount of electricity the lamp needs to convert it into light. Needless to say, the more wattage there is, the more light it can deliver. And so, the better it is as well for growing your cultivars.

CFLs are ideal to use in small grow spaces. In general, a wattage between 80 to 100 per square foot would be enough. So, if you have only 1 to 3 plants in an area, you should be fine with a bulb or two of a low-wattage CFL lamp. 

  • Lumens

Lumens refer to the amount of visible light emitted per square foot. In the same principle as wattage, the higher the lumens, the better it is for your plant’s growth. In the case of CFL, as much as 10,000 lux would be applicable as long as your space can manage the radiated heat from the lamp.

  • Color Temperature

The color temperature, often measured in Kelvin, is one of the most important metrics. This represents the light spectrum on which plays a significant role in photosynthesis. For the process to take place, the CFL light should be within the 2700K to 6500K wavelengths.

The 6500K wavelength has a visible appearance of cool daylight. This is suitable to use on the vegetative stage of plant growth. Meanwhile, the 2700K appears as a warm or soft white. It is more apt for the flowering phase of the cultivars.

  • Indoor/Outdoor Use

Not all CFL bulbs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses. Some are being designed for indoors only. These bulbs are least tolerant of temperatures below 20°F and other elements.   

Meanwhile, the outdoor-specific CFL bulbs are being built with extra protection. This allows them to withstand a more rugged external environment.

So, make sure to use the correct bulb for its intended purpose to avoid shortcomings. Check the label always.

  • Certifications

Certifications, such as Energy Star, is also an important factor to consider. This only implies that the product is compliant with the quality standards. Meaning, these bulbs were being tested and proven to be energy-efficient and safe for consumer use.

Wrapping Up:

The CFL lamp is truly a reliable grow light whether for indoor or outdoor gardens. We hope that the guidelines helped you ease your dilemma in determining what to look for in a CFL bulb. Furthermore, the 8 products we presented here are the best of the best. So, we are positive that these products are sure to give you a good start!

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