Light is one of the most important things for a cannabis plant to grow. Light is essential for photosynthesis, the process by which plants transform the energy of sunlight into chemical fuel that powers their growth and development; in the case of cannabis, this fuel is used to produce buds.
Using the sun's energy is a great way to boost your harvest while gardening outside, but when you have to do it indoors, you'll need to utilize grow lights, which are specially designed to emit a spectrum of light that's similar to that of the sun.
When using grow lights, you can regulate the amount of light your plants receive, guaranteeing that they receive the same amount of light each day. This eliminates the need for the grower to account for weather fluctuations and cloudy days, both of which can negatively impact plant growth when grown outdoors.
When it comes to growing plants, certain grow lights are more expensive than others, but they also last longer and use less energy. Some lights are better suitable for young plants, while others are better suited for mature plants, and some are heavier or lighter than others.
Since there are so many options for illumination, it can be difficult to know where to start. Discover the ins and outs of the four most common grow lamp designs now available.
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CFL – Fluorescent lights
Growers employed fluorescent grow lights to mimic the sun in the early days of Cannabis culture, just as farmers and botanists had used them for decades for indoor growing and early germination in cold areas.
Fluorescent lighting, while effective, is prohibitively expensive, and a large number of bulbs are needed to adequately mimic sunlight. Also, a wide variety of fluorescent light bulbs must be used to simulate the whole spectrum of daylight.
When a crop is particularly delicate to heat, growers still rely on fluorescent lighting. This is especially true for young plants like cuttings and seedlings. However, keep in mind that the fluorescent lights still need to be close to the plants, typically no more than 5 cm away. As a result of advancements in fluorescent lighting technology, modern fluorescents can support somewhat better quality Cannabis cultivation than they could previously. In order to get the most out of your fluorescent lights and minimize your energy use, you need install reflectors.
HID – High intensity discharge lights
Stadiums and arenas were the first to deploy high-intensity discharge grow lights, which were developed for industrial-scale applications. These types of light are employed by many horticulturists and botanists to cultivate plants other than Cannabis due to their potency. However, they are effective for Cannabis, so I propose we discuss them.
The three most common kinds of high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are mercury vapor, metal halide, and sodium vapor. The mercury bulbs will be eliminated right away since their lumen to watt ratio is too low to be competitive.
MH – Metal halide lights
Metal halide grow lights produce light by arcing an electric current through mercury gas combined with some form of metal iodide such as thallium, thorium, or sodium. The light that it emits fits into an ideal region of the color spectrum for the growing phase of Cannabis. Particularly, it is useful for growing vegetation. Additionally, it can be adapted to many situations. The flowering period of plants can be manipulated with the help of 1000 watt metal halide lights.
For a long period after the advent of HID lighting, growers in the United States relied on metal halide lights, which delivered reliable results throughout the entire plant's development cycle. The best MH lighting may be found at that site.
HPS – High pressure sodium vapor lights
In the mid-1980s, when people finally started talking to each other about the disparities between American and European growing methods, researchers found a few odd outliers. To begin, the United States was significantly more energy intensive than the European Union. One possible explanation is that American growers prefer to use vertical reflectors and metal halide lighting, while Europeans like to use horizontal reflectors and HPS lights.
The flowering stage of Cannabis plants responds best to HPS lights, whereas the growing stage benefits more from metal halide. Xenon and sodium gas are contained in the bulb, and the light is produced by arcing an electric current through the bulb. As they warm up, their drab pink light transforms into a vibrant orange hue. Once again, these lights are ideal for indoor growing, particularly during a plant's flowering stage.
HPS lights come in a variety of wattages, including 250w, 400w, 600w, and 1000w. Except if you're cultivating an entire field in a bunker, you shouldn't bother with the 1000w light. In order to take advantage of the strength, you have to cool your grow area using an air conditioner.
Two 400- or 600-watt high-pressure sodium lights are your best bet because they will provide your plants with a uniform amount of light while also being very small and hence posing less of a risk of overheating. Remember that you may need to supplement your sodium vapor light with fluorescent illumination. If you're looking for the best HPS lights, click the link.
You can also use 'Agro' style lighting, which is really popular right now. Philips' affordable and blue-shifting 'Agro' lights are a steal. If you use your lights frequently, you should plan to change them once a year.
LED – Light emitting diodes
In the last ten years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have exploded onto the scene. LED lights have various benefits, but they aren't the best light for growing cannabis.
Because of their low voltage, they require less electricity and therefore less money to maintain. Furthermore, LEDs generate very little heat, so you won't have to worry about your grow room getting too hot if you use them. You'll use less ventilation and fans overall, which is another way to save money on utility bills. Using LED lights may need heating the space, however that depends on your business.
Low heat output from LEDs makes them nearly undetectable using thermal imaging techniques typically used to locate the infrared heat of more conventional HPS lights, which is a major benefit for growers concerned about privacy. Also, unlike HPS lights, which produce a constant humming in the background, LEDs produce very little audible noise when in use.
Be aware that not all LED bulbs are the same. Make sure the bulbs you're using have a high wattage and brightness rating. Your light output will increase proportionally to the height at which these are placed. Also, check sure the LED lights you use were designed to produce the full spectrum of colors your plants need for healthy photosynthesis.
Some farmers may be hesitant to employ LED lights due to the larger initial investment required compared to other, less expensive solutions. But, they are quite effective in their work. Assuming the area doesn't need to be heated, switching to LED lights will pay for itself in electricity savings in just a few years. LED lights also endure a long time and won't burn out, so you can relax while tending your plants. Manufacturers of LED bulbs claim that their products may last for more than 100,000 hours, which is equivalent to about ten years of harvesting. Here are the top-rated LED lights for growing weed online.
The amount of money you have available is the primary factor before purchasing a grow lamp. As more jurisdictions pass laws regulating the sale of cannabis to adults, home cultivation is gaining popularity, and growing technologies are improving and becoming more efficient.
You can find lights for less than $100, but they might not be very good quality or emit the correct spectrum of light, and you can easily pay as much as $2,000 for a massive, state-of-the-art LED.
Think about how often you'll be harvesting weed and how long it will take you to recoup the cost of an expensive light if you just cultivate once a year as opposed to numerous times a year.
All lights will increase your monthly electricity bill, but some more than others, so keep that in mind in addition to the cost of the light itself. LEDs are more efficient and easier on the wallet than their high-tech counterparts, the high-intensity discharge lights (HIDs), but HIDs are typically less priced.
Some lights, such as HIDs, produce more heat and hence may necessitate the installation of additional fans or an air conditioning unit, adding to the overall price tag. It's only natural that a rise in utility costs would coincide with the addition of new, power-hungry pieces of machinery.
Number of grow lights
Most home growers can get by with just one or two lights. Most jurisdictions have a cap of 6 or 12 plants per household, and for that number, one or two lamps should enough. You will need two lights if you intend to maintain two distinct spaces, one for vegetative plants and another for blooming plants.
In addition to the quantity of plants you intend to cultivate, the size of your growing area will determine the intensity of the light source you will require. One small light is all that will fit in a closet or a tiny grow tent, so plan accordingly. One large light fixture may be preferable than two smaller ones if your basement is particularly spacious.
Some bulbs get very hot during operation. Intensely luminous diodes (HIDs) generate considerable heat and necessitate a cooling system. Without proper ventilation, your grow room's heat could stunt your plants' development. Keep in mind that this isn't included in the 'cheaper' HID setup and will incur additional costs.
To what extent do you plan to expand the size of your grow space? In a small room, 'hot' lights should be avoided as they quickly raise the room temperature. There isn't enough room for a central air conditioner, either.
Make sure your breaker board has adequate outlets and power to run your lighting without any problems. The next step is to examine all of your devices and calculate their total power consumption. There is a much higher chance of electrical fires occurring when there is insufficient power capacity.
Can I use any LED light as a grow light for my plants?
While any LED light will work, not all lights will promote healthy plant growth. You can give your plants the greatest possible lighting by using the best LED grow lights, which emit light across the entire spectrum.
What types of grow lights are there?
The market is stocked with a wide selection of grow lights, including incandescents, fluorescents, high-intensity discharge lamps (HID), and light-emitting diodes (LED).
Do I Need Special Cannabis Grow Lights?
Yes. Marijuana plants receive an extraordinary quantity of light from the sun, where they thrive organically. Marijuana grow lights serve to mimic this light source as closely as possible. They not only make sure your plants get enough light, but also that they get the appropriate kind of light.
What Is the Average Cost of Indoor Grow Lights?
Because there are many possible lighting configurations and because different stages of growth require varied lighting, providing an accurate estimate is difficult. A typical 1000W HID grow light may cost close to $300, while a 630W LED light may set you back over $1,500.
Priorities must be set when cultivating marijuana indoors. Do you value efficiency, low energy costs, privacy, or the well-being of the planet?
LED grow lights and fluorescent grow lights are the most likely solutions if you're looking for anonymity. However, if you're looking for productivity, HID is perhaps the greatest grow light for cannabis. Assuming, of course, you don't mind paying more for your monthly electricity bill.
Conversely, when plants are little and your grow space is less than five square feet, fluorescent light will suffice. As your plants expand, you can switch to a stronger 250W HPS. If you're growing indoors, your best bet is to use MH lights for the vegetative stage and HPS for the flowering stage. Even while it's acceptable to use MH illumination exclusively, doing so will result in less flowering, more foliage, and a smaller harvest.
For any given problem, there is a unique set of choices that will yield the greatest results; exploit those choices to your advantage. Cannabidiol (CBD) plant life begins once the proper lighting has been installed. After deciding on the soil type, the sort of fertilizer you want to use, and a few other factors.