Compact fluorescent lights are often the most convenient lamps to use in small gardens. Unlike fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent bulbs have ballasts built into the bulb assembly so they can screw into a standard incandescent socket.
The light emitted from a CFL lamp is indirect. Since any light that doesn’t reach the plants is wasted, use reflectors to get the lights to the garden. Use fixtures with bowl-like reflectors to send the light in the right direction.
To maintain a fast growing garden, a minimum of 30 watts of fluorescent light per square foot is required during vegetative growth. More light, 40-60 watts per square foot will produce even higher quality growth. Compact fluorescent bulbs come in the following wattage – 13w, 26w, 55w, 125w, and 200w. The 125w and 200w bulbs require a mogul socket to screw into, but the 13w, 26w, and 55w bulbs all fit standard light sockets.
Compact fluorescent bulbs emit the most light when they are positioned with the base up. They emit less light when positioned base down and are least efficient when placed horizontally.