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Compact Fluorescent Grow Light System for Home Use

Grow lights aimed at commercial producers of vegetables and herbs are rather easy to find these days. By contrast, budding indoor gardeners looking for compact fluorescent lights that meet their needs for growing microgreens, herbs, cherry tomatoes, seedlings, chilli peppers, and other plants on a small scale at home often have trouble finding stores that sell smaller grow lights. If you've been struggling to find a small fluoro grow light in the garden centers and nurseries in your area, it may be time to turn to the World Wide Web.

Amazon, the world's leading online retailer, has a whole range of grow lights available for beginner and more advanced gardeners, and most of these systems come with free shipping. Many of them also use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs which are considered the most economical choice for those looking for supplemental artificial light for home use. CFL bulbs and tubes replicate about 94 percent of the solar spectrum, providing light that is pretty similar to natural sunlight. However, they are not as effective as the expensive high-intensity discharge (HID) lights used by commercial farmers, so you will be more limited in what you can grow. Compact fluorescent systems are generally considered the best grow lights for growing microgreens, baby greens, seedlings, low-growing herbs, and lettuce (especially loose-leaf lettuce varieties).

And, if you can set up your indoor garden next to a south-facing window that provides your plants with supplemental sunlight, you may also be able to successfully grow chilli peppers, jalapenos, strawberries, and dwarf or miniature varieties of plants like tomatoes and eggplant (aubergine). Large fruiting plants and flowering plants, however, usually need more intense light than what CFL systems can provide.

Grow Light for Home Use

Choosing a CFL System

Don't know which CFL system to choose? Hydrofarm's bestselling 125-Watt Compact Fluorescent Grow Light System has received excellent ratings from customers who have purchased it, and it comes with some nice features for those who are looking for a basic light for growing small plants indoors or for starting seedlings to get a jump start on spring plantings:

  • It uses Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) technology, one of the most common technologies used in modern grow light systems designed for small scale home use
  • The light tubes give off very little heat, making this system ideal for starting seeds and growing microgreens (you can position the light close to the foliage without risking the tender foliage getting burned)
  • It comes with full daylight spectrum light tubes which allow your plants to absorb light that's quite similar to natural sunlight
  • It features a compact reflector which directs light to the plants
  • It includes practical V-shaped hanger hooks which make it easy to hang the system
  • It comes with a 1-year warranty
  • The product is manufactured by Hydrofarm, America's oldest and largest wholesaler and manufacturer of high-intensity grow lights and hydroponics equipment

Hydrofarm's 125-Watt Compact Fluorescent Grow Light System is also very reasonably priced. When last checked, the suggested retail price on the manufacturer's home page was $69.95. Note that the manufacturer only sells to retailers, so consumers looking to buy a Hydrofarm product should contact a retailer such as Amazon:

Note that at the time of writing this article, Amazon's UK subsidiary, Amazon.co.uk, does not supply this product. If you live in the UK and are looking to buy a fluorescent grow light online, you may want to check out Garland Grow Light Garden which is available on Amazon.co.uk.