Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light Review

Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System

Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start

For an easy and affordable way to get your plants started for the indoor or outdoor garden, we suggest a simple high output fluorescent fixture, like the very popular Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System. For information about this fixture and what it can do for you, please continue reading.

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Whether you are starting seedlings or cuttings for an indoor or outdoor garden, or propagating or growing houseplants indoors, having a bright, yet cool light source is key. Typical High Intensity Discharge (“HID”) lighting, like metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs are fantastic for producing lots of lumens for growing out high-light plants, but they also produce a lot of heat, which can easily burn seedlings/cuttings delicate leaves and stems, and/or quickly dry out the superficial soil layer to which a young plant’s roots are limited to.

The best lights to start or maintain sensitive/indoor plant material in our view are high output fluorescents and LEDs, both of which provide a good growing spectrum and don’t produce too much heat, which allows the user to position the lights very close to the plant material without the threat of burning/drying.

Although we prefer LED lighting for more serious indoor gardening, fluorescent fixtures work very well and are much less expensive than LEDs, making them ideal for the causal indoor gardener. For example, one very good fluorescent fixture that is very affordable and can start a good amount of plant material is the Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System.

The Hydrofarm JSV4 uses a 4-foot, 54-watt T5 bulb that may look like an ordinary shop light bulb, but is significantly brighter than those bulbs – up to 20% brighter based on typical lumen ratings. In addition, it comes with a fixture and a light stand that makes lamp height adjustment very easy.

In fact, you will appreciate this easy height adjustment because fluorescent light fixtures need to be periodically adjusted based on  plant height. Unlike metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps, fluorescent lighting loses its potency very quickly as you move away from the bulb. As such, it’s always recommended to position a fluorescent light between 3 and 6 inches away from the tops of the plants, or within just a couple inches of the soil surface when germinating seeds.

Overall, the Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System does nothing revolutionary, but it’s a very solid, inexpensive option for those starting plant material or maintaining some low-light indoor plants (e.g., African violets, pothos, ferns, etc.) indefinitely. If you are trying to get very high-light plants started, or want to grow them to a larger size before transplanting, we’d suggest a more powerful fixture, like the EnviroGro FLT24 2-Foot Four Tube T5 Fluorescent Grow Light System, which provides a lot more light for a slightly higher price.

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