Want to grow indoor, you will need a light, you will need artificial lightning, T-5, T-12 are a good start. If you are a beginner in indoor growing, my first advice, well it’s always the same for beginners in any thing: Start Small.
Now for indoor growing there are different types of artificial lighting.
The first, the more common, affordable and easiest to use are neon tubes.
There are different types of tube sizes and color spectrum.
These tree types of tubes are the more commonly used. They mostly come in 48” long tubes, the numbers after the T means the diameter of the tube, the 2 pins at each end also are closer as the diameter gets smaller. T12 and T8 is the same technology, a T8 tube can fit in a T12 fixture, the main difference is that T8 take about 20% less energy. But T5 is a new technology, more efficient and is in a class of it’s own, and all the research and new development in neon tubes is make on T5’s.
It’s hard to know exactly the efficiency of the T12 or T8 tubes because about of all the different kinds that are available on the market, and like you see on the picture some are 36W, some 30W and they can go up to 48W.
Why I like T12 and T8 is because for starters they don’t cost a lot, if you start with used T12 fixtures, like I did, some where given away by neighbors changing there fixtures. And the tubes are aquarium style that can be found in any local hardware store.
OK at some site they call it the poor man ( woman ) fixture. I call it the wise man ( woman ) fixture. If you don’t like the adventure of growing indoors, then it didn’t cost you a lot.
And an other thing nice about T12 or T8 tubes is that they don’t come hot, so the leaves of the plants can touch the tubes and they won’t burn.
Now even thought the light efficiency of those tubes are less than other type of lighting, since you can put the plant so close to the tube, there is less of the light lost.
Like you can see in the picture above, the light input lost in distance is calculated by square, so the closer the better. And you don’t have to worry if the plant grows to fast one day, because the leafs won’t burn.
With T12, T8 you can grow all kinds of leafy veggies, ( ass I experience, I will publish my results ). But for now,
this is my first vertical experience, and like you can see, everything can grow, not strong enough for tomatoes, but I ad a few pickles.
It’s just that it takes a little longer to grow.
I am new at the T5 technology, I have 2 Sun Blaster neon, everything grows well under these tubes. With time I will experience against T12, T8.
But a good site that explain well the T5 technology is
they have infos on the K and the lumens, the kind of tubes is available and reflectors.