The Top Indoor CFL Grow Guide Of 2022!

Last Updated on May 19, 2022 by Marco C.

Do you want to read the top indoor cfl grow guide of 2022?  You have come to the perfect place.   

This article will overview the best information about growing indoors using CFL lights.

CFL is the abbreviation for compact fluorescent bulbs.  They are one of the most common light bulbs used in indoor aquaponics systems.  If you do not have enough outdoor space with full sun, you will need to grow your plants using lights.

It is important to learn about the different types of bulbs and colors.  Each kind of bulb has a different effect on your plants.  Make sure to do your research before getting started to avoid mistakes. 

Lucky for you, this is a great starting point.  We will overview the benefits and downsides of using CFL lights in your system.  By the time you are done reading this article, you should be confident in getting started.

Consider this your indoor CFL grow guide!  If you follow it you will have no problem being successful!

Keep reading now!

What Is The Difference Between CFL and LED Lights?

CFL grow lights are among the most popular bulb selection for beginner growers.  There are many reasons for this.   

To start, CFLs are considered the least expensive bulb choice. They are very easy to find at most stores.  If one breaks, you can easily and cheaply get a replacement.  

They were developed as a replacement for incandescent light bulbs.  CFLs use much less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

So, if you work with CFLs, you will not run up an outrageous electric bill!  This is super valuable when it comes to running any indoor grow operation.  

On top of all of that, CFL bulbs come in different shapes and sizes.  This means they are customizable to any grow setup.  

LED lights are much more expensive.  You need a special kind of LED light to grow plants.  The light spectrum must mimic the sun. 

What Is The Difference Between CFL and LED Lights

LED lights are usually sold as panels that may require a certain fixture in order to install.  However, LED lights more naturally mimic the sunlight.  According to Kansas State University, “Some LED systems are designed to improve efficiency by delivering red and blue spectrums of light exclusively (the wavelengths required for plant growth).”

But, if you are a beginner and on a budget- CFL bulbs are a better option. 

Now let’s explore more details about compact fluorescent lights.  Continue reading this indoor CFL grow guide to learn more!

Read more about: How To Increase Brix Levels In Plants? Your Answers Now!

How To Use CFL Bulbs For Grow Lights

The first thing you need to know is that there are three main types of CFL bulbs.  These are categorized based on the color and type of light they emit.  One kind is called soft white, bright light and the last one is daylight.  

In terms of indoor grow systems, you only need to choose between the soft white and daylight CFL bulb.  The main difference between these two is the spectrum of light that they emit.

Plants need a certain kind of light at different stages of their life.  The three main stages of a plant are vegetative, flowering, and fruiting.  

Since they require different types of light depending on the stage, you will end up using both types of CFL bulbs mentioned. Some people set up both lights and use them throughout the entire growth cycle.  Others switch the bulbs depending on the time.

This is one way you can customize your grow lights.  Feel free to experiment to see which light combinations work best with your plants.  

The daylight bulbs are best for when the plant is in the vegetative stage.  This is when the plant does most of its vertical growing.  

Once the plant starts to flower and fruit, it is better to use soft white bulbs.  These lights have the most optimum color range for plants to produce a strong fruit.  

The bulbs are sold as individual pieces or one long, horizontal bulb. It is up to you to decide which ones work best for the system.  

However, it is quite common for indoor growers to install horizontal bulbs with light fixtures that span across the top of the plants.

How To Use CFL Bulbs For Grow Lights

Read more about: Best Plants To Grow In Aquaponics

How Many CFLs Should I Use To Grow 2 Plants?

A rule of thumb is to use about 100 watts of energy per square foot of plant.  So if you are growing 2 plants, you need to use at least 300 watts of CFL bulb.  This depends on the size of your plant.  

Many plants grow in different shapes and sizes.  So be sure to research which kind of plant you are growing.  If you have read this indoor CFL grow guide, you should be good to get started on growing plants indoors!

Give it a try and have fun while doing it.  Feel free to comment and ask questions below!


Can CFL bulbs be used as grow lights?

Yes, CFL bulbs can be used as grow lights. In fact, is it one the best kinds of grow lights to use for indoor growing. This is because they are cheap, easily available and energy efficient. They also come in all different shapes and sizes. So you can quickly make a custom set up inside your home.

How many CFLs do I need for 2 plants?

A typical rule of thumb to follow is 100 watts of energy per square foot of grow space. Measure your growing container to calculate the area. Once you know the square footage, you can quickly calculate how many bulbs you should use. Keep in mind that different types of bulbs have a different wattage. It is labeled on the box of the bulb!

What is better CFL or LED for growing?

Using CFL and LED bulbs for growing each has a different benefit. Since CFLs are cheap to buy, it is best to use them if you are a new grower. This means that if you make a mistake, you can easily replace the bulbs. However, the LED bulb more accurately replicates the spectrum of the sun.

Can I use CFL and LED together?

It is possible to use LED and CFL bulbs together. But, it is not recommended as you do not want to use too much light for your plants!