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The home cultivation of cannabis is becoming popular with each passing day. The wide spectrum of uses that the plant is put to has led to a surge in its demand among consumers. Homegrown cannabis is not only being used for its psychoactive purposes but also for the therapeutic and medicinal uses that the herb has. There are two potential ways of growing cannabis, which are outdoor-grown cannabis and indoor-grown cannabis. Outdoor grown plants are more in accord with nature and grow more resilient to the surrounding temperature fluctuations. However, they are exposed to exterior hazards like too hot weather or freezing temperatures that can affect the terpenes or slow down the bud growth. Hence, some growers prefer an indoor setup for growing the marijuana plant.
If you have chosen to grow the plant indoors, then several factors have to be considered and moderated perfectly to get the best results in the form of yield. Moreover, you need to replace the sunlight with the grow lights. The grow lights will determine the growth of the buds. Light is the essential food for the plants and enough amount of bright light shall be required for the indoor growth of the cannabis plants. Moreover, the vegetative stage of the cannabis plants requires 18/6 lighting schedules. Therefore, it is essential to choose the correct grow lights for the plant. This article will provide all the details about the grow lights that you can purchase for your indoor marijuana plant.
Types of Grow Lights
There are numerous kinds of grow lights available in the market. However, the broad categories boil down to three of the major types of grow lights that are as follows.
- Fluorescent Grow Lights
There is a range of shapes and sizes in which the fluorescent grow lights come. Beginning with twisted bulbs to long cylindrical tubes, fluorescent grow lights are popular among users because of the efficiency and the pleasantness that the shade of light can produce. Florescent grow lights can be excellent for indoor gardening including cannabis plant setups. They can be operated for a prolonged period because they consume fewer amounts of electricity. Let us now look at the subtypes of fluorescent lights.
- CFL Grow Lights
CFL grow lights are the most common type of florescent light and are widely available in the market. They usually come in a twisted shape and can be used for cannabis plantations. They provide a great spectrum for cannabis and can be fit into tiny spaces like cabinets where no other grow lighting system could be implemented.
- T5 Grow Lights
The T5 grow lights are another type of fluorescent light that is also easily available and is a popular choice for garden as well as home décor. This means that you can use them to light the cannabis plants and the grow room or any other part of the house. They are bigger and flatter in shape in comparison to the CFL grow lights. Moreover, they come in a panel setting and can be kept near the plant without the worry of burning the plant.
Benefits of Fluorescent Lights
- They come within an affordable price range.
- They do not consume much electricity.
- Fluorescent lights do not produce much heat unless a pack of them is lighted up in a small space.
- The lights provide a bright spectrum that is useful for plants.
- The lights can be installed a few inches from the plants. This ensures the fact that they are the best choice for small spaces.
- The fluorescent lights are the best options for the initial days of the cannabis plants like clones and seedlings. This is because big-sized lights should be kept at a distance from them so that they do not end up burning the fragile clones. However, smaller lights like fluorescents are perfectly compatible with the seedlings.
- They are the best choice for the initial and the vegetative stage of the plant.
Drawbacks of the Fluorescent Lights
- Fluorescent lights fetch smaller yields per watt in respect to other kinds of grow lights.
- The light from the fluorescent units does not dive deep through the canopy of the cannabis plant. Therefore, they are best suited for short and flat marijuana plants.
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights
The HID lights are more efficient in comparison to the fluorescent lights. The HID grow lights come in the form of oddly-shaped bulbs. They are fit into a hood or a reflector for reflecting more light on the plants. These grow lights are widely used for growing cannabis. However, one of the concerns with these lights is that they tend to get heated up and are usually installed with an exhaust for venting out the heat. Let us now look at the subtypes of High-Intensity Discharge lights.
Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights
The metal halide lights are widely preferred for the vegetative stage of the cannabis plant. This is because the metal halides produce a blue-tinged light that is conducive to cannabis plant growth, especially during the vegetative stage. It can also be during the period of harvesting.
High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights
High-pressure sodium grows lights are preferred for the flowering stage of the cannabis plant. This is because the flowering stage features the growth of the cannabis buds consisting of the resinous trichomes. These high-pressure sodium grow lights emit a yellow-tinged light that is loved by the cannabis plant during its flowering stage. Moreover, these lights derive the best yields per watt of electricity.
Ceramic Metal Halide or Light Emitting Ceramic Grow Lights
These are metal halide bulbs, which constitute ceramic as part of the lamp. This increases their efficiency in comparison to ordinary metal halide bulbs. However, the HPS grow lights are the best kinds.
Benefits of HID Grow Lights
- The HID bulbs are the best and efficient grow lights. HPS grow lights are perfect for the flowering stage of the plants and derive the best yields per watt of electricity.
- HID lights can be anchored at the perfect distance from the plants and involve no guesswork.
Drawbacks of HID Grow Lights
- The HID units can emit a lot of heat. Too much heat is not at all good for the growing cannabis hence the bulb system is kept in a hood so that the heat does not affect the plants. This is particularly true for bulbs more than 250W.
- The HID bulbs might require an additional setup to vent the heat out like an exhaust fan.
- The HID lighting system comes with multiple setups like a bulb, a fixture, cable, ballast, and a heat ventilation system.
LED Grow Lights
The LED grow lights are gradually becoming popular among cannabis growers. The LED grow lights can be used as a potential alternative to the HPS grow lights. They are cooler than the other grow light varieties. Moreover, the LED grow lights come with an in-built cooling system. You have just to just plug in and hang the LED system over the cannabis plants. This means that the LED grows lights come with the easiest installation system. Unlike fluorescent lights, they can dive into the plant canopy and have great penetration capabilities.
Benefits of LED Grow Lights
- The LEDs come with an in-built cooling system, which results in the maintenance of optimal temperatures around the plant. Moreover, if installed properly you do not have to worry about having another heat venting system.
- The LED lights come with the easiest installation setup. Just plug in and anchor the lights to use them.
- Some growers believe that LED grow lights result in more resinous buds.
Drawbacks of LED Grow Lights
- If you are using the LED lights with more than 300 watts then they might produce heat and need a heat-ventilation system.
- LED grow lights fetch slightly less yield per watt in comparison to HPS grow lights.
- Installation of the LED lights requires space as the lights require space between the lamp and the plants.
Can incandescent bulbs be used as grow lights for cannabis?
No, incandescent bulbs cannot be used as grow lights for cannabis.
What spectrum of colors should be included in the LED setup?
While shopping for LED lights, growers should ensure that the lights must contain green or white spectrum light.
What is the best grow light for cannabis?
A combination system of the LED and the HPS grow lights are the best for growing cannabis.
Other varieties of indoor plant lights are available in the market. However, you can choose the grow light for your marijuana plant from the three major choices mentioned in this article. While choosing the type of grow light consider essential factors like the space available for the installation of the light, the lamp distance that has to be maintained, and other fixtures and heat ventilation systems needed for the plant to result in the maximum yield.
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.