5000k vs 6500k Color Temperature for Plants – Which is Better

(Last Updated On: November 8, 2021)

While we all know that light is essential for a plant’s growth, many growers aren’t aware of things to look for when purchasing bulbs or why they need specific types of light. Photosynthesis is how plants convert water and carbon dioxide to food when they are exposed to sunlight.              

There are two color temperatures that you may have noticed, either 5000k or 6500k. Experts and other people may advise you to pick one over the other. But which one is best for your plant’s growth? That’s why we have created this 5000k vs 6500k for plants article to answer all your questions.

Kelvin Color Temperature

Kelvin Color Temperature

Let’s first understand Kelvin’s’s color temperature before getting into the details of 5000k and 6500k for plants. The color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), using the Kelvin scale from 1,000 to 10,000.

You can use the kelvin scale to measure the source of light or determine its direction. The lower numbers, 1000k to 3000k, fall under orange or yellow, while higher numbers, around 4000k and 7000k, fall under blue.

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Types of Grow Lights

There are three types of grow light.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Fluorescent Grow Lights

The standard fluorescent bulb is T12. You can use it to grow plants, start seeds, or supplement natural light in other areas. They must be put within a few feet of the leaves to have an impact.

They are smaller than T12s and are still widely available. They provide more intense light and are ideal for lighting sun-loving plants. CFLs are great if you have plants in a small place. They are an excellent source of light for low-light situations or to lengthen the day and boost flowering.

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LED Grow Lights

LED Grow Lights

LED lights are more costly and consume five times more energy than fluorescent lamps, but they last five times longer; an ordinary LED bulb bought at a hardware shop is inappropriate for plant development. However, special technology is becoming more readily available from horticultural retailers.

Full-spectrum LED grow lights may provide much more light than fluorescent bulbs. A basic rule is that fluorescent bulbs may be used to cultivate a limited number of plants.LEDs, however, are better for growing larger numbers of plants as they provide more light intensity per square foot. Another benefit of LEDs is: LEDs produce less heat than other bulbs, which can be a problem if you have many lights in one place.

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HID Grow Lights

HID Grow Lights

They were a popular choice for large indoor plants before the advent of LED grow light. These lights are very powerful, but they are costly to buy, use electricity inefficiently, need special light fixtures,, and emit a lot of heat. Despite all this, HIDs are still very popular and highly effective. Because HIDs penetrate the foliage more than other bulbs, they are a good choice for large plants such as tomatoes and lemon bushes.

HID bulbs come in two varieties. The HID bulbs that are high-pressure sodium are better for flowering, and the metal halide bulbs that are needed to support vegetative growth are a higher spectrum. Both types can be used together. Each type of bulb requires its fixture.

What do 5000K light bulbs mean?

 A 5000K LED bulb is considered as the morning sunlight. And it is great for the growth of plants. Lighting that’s 5000K is Blue-White in color. This light is brightly emitted and has crisp lines.  Increase the red light level to 5000K or more and your plants won’t grow fast.

These are the reasons why blue-colored spectrums do not work well for flowers. They lack the growth power wavelengths. But plants are resilient. They adapt to what life throws at them.

The fact is that plants can grow under any light source. They don’t “need” to be blue for veg or red for flowers. They’ll even grow from the beginning under a completely LED light source.

What does 6,500K stand for in light bulbs?

These bulbs are the most popular, as they come with T5 fixtures. There may be 6,400 Kelvin and even 6,505 Kelvin bulbs which are almost identical. It is because they emit the same light as daylight, also known as daylight light. Any bulb with a color temperature above 5,000 Kelvins will emit daylight white light. It will slightly vary how blue or cool the light will be.

This light is the best for plants in the vegetative stages or growing, as it is comparable to sunlight that they would receive if they were outside during daylight hours. You can also use this to clone and seed plants.

Importance of Color Temperature for Plants

Color Temperature for Plants

It is vital for the growth of plants that you know how to determine the color temperature. It will display the required spectrum of light. It will show you how to reproduce the sunlight for indoor plants.

Light is the source of energy that plants need to grow. Red and blue are the most essential colors in the visible spectrum for maintaining plant health and boosting plant growth. Everyone is aware of the fact that plants’ growth is powered by light. This process is known as photosynthesis.

However, it may seem surprising to some that the color and wavelength of light have an important impact on how much plant energy is absorbed. This is because light colors have different wavelengths. Depending on their length, these wavelengths can provide different levels of energy.

Different light colors can help plants achieve different goals. Blue light, for example, helps encourage vegetative leaf growth. If combined with blue, red light encourages plants to flower. Cool fluorescent lights are great for indoor plant growth. So it is important to select the right color temperature for your plants’ growth.

Also, It is also important to consider how far away your light source is. This will impact the intensity of light your plants get. A light source that is closer to the plants will generate more light intensity. Your grow lamp should not emit heat that could cause plants to burn.

6500k or 5000k for Plants: Which is Better?

Plants will thrive between 2700k to 7000k. This range is similar to natural sunlight, which aids plants in growing better. We can therefore say that 5000k and 6500k fall within the ideal Kelvin range for plant growth.

If you are currently using 6500k or 5000k, you do not need to change. Both will give your plants very similar results. However, you will get ten different answers if you ask different people about the best color temperature for plants between 5000k to 6500k. Your plants will thrive on any daylight that is between 5000k and 6500k. You can choose anyone.

Both 6500k and 5000k are excellent for the vegetables, flowering, and fruiting phases. In addition, they are great for general growth.Only difference between 5000k & 6500k is 5000k can be considered morning light. 6500k, on the other hand,, may be considered noon light.

Which Is Brighter: 5000K vs. 6500K?

The Kelvin color temperature doesn’t depend on how bright the light is. For example, a 6500k LED lamp could dim light with 5000k, but the color temperature of Kelvin is not affected by brightness.

The color temperature in Kelvin does not indicate how bright a light source is. As a result, it cannot identify the source of light or the spectrum’s orientation.

Although there are many ways to determine brightness, the most common method is the lumen. A higher lumen is associated with brighter light. It also measures the intensity of light we can see.

The combination of Kelvin + lumen will tell you how intense a grow light’s light intensity is.

Most Asked Questions

Is 6500K good for plants?

Foliage is most prolific at temperatures around 6500K. However, some plants need warmer light, about 3000K for fruit and flowers. The higher spectrum bulbs are best if your goal is to grow seedlings, leafy green vegetables, or root crops.

Will 5000K LED grow light for plants?

While both 5000K and 6500K white lights are great for growing plants but not so great for flowering them, a warmer temperature would be better while it will still work.

Is 5000 Kelvin good for plants?

Anything lower than 1000K will cause the blue light to be less beneficial for plants. If you go higher than 5000K, the spectrum is blocked, your plants will not grow as vigorously and slowly.

How long should I keep the grow lights on?

Indoor plants require more light hours than outdoor plants. For most edible species, artificial lighting must provide 14-18 hours of light each day. Resist the urge to leave lights on all day. Plants need at least six hours of darkness each day to thrive. Adjust the height of the light fixture to maintain the optimum distance between the bulbs and the plants as they develop. It is determined by the kind of bulb and the wattage. The following are the primary parameters:

  • Fluorescent Grow Light: 3-12 inches
  • LED Grow Light: 12-24 inches
  • HID Grow Light: 24-60 inches


In this article we have provided a difference between 5000k vs 6500k for plants. Both of these colors will work well for your plants.

Choosing the right color temperature and light spectrum for your plants is important. In addition, you will need different light levels depending on which stage of growth your plants are at. It means that you might have to change the lights when they reach flowering.

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