From a fellow grower: I saw a florescent setup said 250 watt, 5,000 lumens, I take it, this would be a better grow light, then say a florescent with cool white bulbs, also would that make the florescent a HO light system. Essentially is 5000 lumens at 250 watts better for plants then cool white fluorescent ?
Florescent lighting is okay for seedlings and early veg, but you need red and far red spectrum for productive flowering.
Watts- E*I, power/hour. Has no linear equivalent to light output.
Lumens- Photometric measurement of light intensity. Not as good as PPF for horticulture applications, but 5000 lumens better than 1000 lumens, yet not as good as 10,000 lumens.
Cool white- Indicates higher cct, which is basically a reference to light spectrum emitted from bulb. Cool white is not exactly better for growing than warm white. A cool white bulb has higher concentration of blue wavelengths and is typically a better bulb for vegetative growth. While a warm white bulb has higher concentration of red wavelengths and is typically considered a better bulb for flowering.
There is no “great” fluorescent light. The efficacy is just too low when compared to higher end led fixtures and even most hid fixtures. You can certainly grow some weed with fluorescent, but most will use them for starting seeds or not at all.