LED vs Fluorescent Grow Lights

Growing weed requires you to have the proper lighting. Yes, there are many other things that go into a successful marijuana crop, but the lighting is one of the most important aspects by far. Without the proper lighting, not only will you not get a good yield, but you might not even reach the end stage at all. Now, there are many different kinds of lights out there, so choosing the right one can be a little difficult.

Two main types of grow lights are LED grow lights and fluorescent grow lights. There are always hard liners who argue that this type is better than that type, but they both have their merits and their disadvantages too. Let’s do an LED vs fluorescent grow light comparison to find out exactly what is going on here.

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Fluorescent grow lights

Fluorescent grow lights are a really popular choice among both beginner and expert weed cultivators for various reasons. First off, they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, thus allowing you to get the exact kind that is right for your situation.

Fluorescent lights are often used indoors for lighting up rooms, but they can also be used for small herb gardens, and of course for growing weed. Many people love using fluorescent lights to grow weed because they put out quite a bit of light without using too much electricity. Fluorescent lights are usually pretty cheap to buy and they won’t run up your energy bill too much.

There are two main types of fluorescent grow lights you can go with. One is the CFL grow light, which is that classic twisted shaped fluorescent light bulb you are probably familiar with. They are small and compact, allowing you to equip them in places where there is not much room to spare, yet they still put out a great spectrum of light.

The closer these guys get to the plants, the better the yield will be. The other type of fluorescent light is the T5, which are much longer and wider, just like those classic long fluorescent tubes you are used to seeing on ceilings. They do take up a lot of space, but they can still be kept close to the plant and provide a good light spectrum too.


  • Very inexpensive to purchase
  • They don’t produce too much heat, making them pretty safe to have fairly close to your plants without burning them
  • They don’t use much electricity, thus helping you save money on your energy bill
  • They work well for small spaces
  • Work great for young plants, clones, and seedlings. A small fluorescent light is perfect for small plants that can’t handle a big light


  • They don’t put out as much light as some other types of lights. The yield when using a fluorescent light will be much smaller than if you use an LED or HPS light
  • They will not do well for tall plants in the flowering stage because the light doesn’t penetrate down very far

LED grow lights

LED grow lights are a fan favorite for several reasons. Unlike fluorescent lights, the light from an LED can penetrate down fairly deep, so you don’t have to move them around as much. LED lights tend to run cooler and use less power than big time HPS grow lights. Also, LED lights can simply be plugged in and hung over your plants. They are really easy and straightforward to use, plus they have a good light spectrum.


  • LED lights tend to be pretty cool, sometimes even having built in cooling systems, thus allowing many growers to not have to deal with heat problems at all
  • Most LED lights can be plugged in, hung up, and they are ready to go
  • LED lights are said to produce very resinous buds
  • LED lights can penetrate down fairly deep into a plant
  • They do not use very much electricity


  • LED lights are not good for tight spaces. Even though they run cool, the high amount of light they put out can still burn plants. LED lights need to be kept fairly far away from the weed plants
  • LED lights do produce higher yields than fluorescent lights, but they also produce smaller yields than HPS grow lights


As you can see, when it comes to the LED vs fluorescent grow light debate, both options make for a good choice in their own right. It really depends on your circumstance and particular setup.

James Alexander James Alexander
Hey, I'm James! The founder and head writer here at GreenBudGuru.com. I started this site to share my passion and knowledge of all things cannabis. I used to work as a budtender in central Amsterdam, and have over 7 years of growing experience.

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