Growing weed with fluorescent lights can be easily accomplished by smart growers who properly understand the pros and cons of these types of systems. In the first days of Cannabis cultivation in the late 60’s and 1970’s, there were few other options for lighting a grow and the earliest pioneers of indoor pot farming used fluoros to vegetate and flower their plants.
Then, new developments in HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting such as MH (Metal Halide) and HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) took over as growers upgraded to stronger lighting (and way more heat output). Nowadays, LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology is making advancements yet still pricier than simple fluorescents.
Fluorescent tubes and CFL (compact fluorescent light) units are affordable and very handy for growers with limited space or issues with heat. Micro-growers and those using small tents will benefit from the ability to place their lighting systems close to the plant canopy without the fear of burning sensitive plant tops.
Fluoros lend themselves to ScrOG or Screen of Green type growing where the branches of your plants are spaced apart through a horizontal wire or string grid so that plant tops efficiently reach as much light as possible. Some growers choose to use fluorescents only for sprouting seeds, rooting clones or during the vegetative stage, choosing stronger lighting systems for flowering.
Tubular fluorescents come in a variety of lengths and widths; look for affordable T5 models such as the Durolux T5 fluorescent lighting system designed specifically for growing plants. High output (HO) fluoros emit twice as much light as the regular kind, but they also use a lot more electricity. These are the preferred fluorescent units for indoor farmers looking to increase the production of glandular trichomes and terpenes.
In conclusion, if you choose to be growing weed with fluorescent lights, make sure you purchase systems specific for growing plants, change the bulbs often and place them close to your plant tops for successful harvests.