Light is one of the most critical factors for the growth of plants, cannabis inclusive. There is no need to worry about their light source for outdoor growers who rely on sunlight for the sun to grow their cannabis. However, indoor growers who sow their pot seeds indoors have to worry over how to replicate the effects of the sun’s rays indoors. Highlighted below are the most popular types of lights you can buy.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Lights
Buying lights for your cannabis plants is a crucial investment. Before making that financial outlay, you should consider these important factors:
Your budget is the most important consideration before you choose which growth light you buy. Growth lights can cost as little as $100 or be as expensive as $2,000 for state-of-the-art LED light systems. You should, however, note that the type of lights you buy determines the quality of harvest you will reap. Small, inexpensive lights will result in a smaller yield, while more expensive lights will help you reap a better harvest.
Besides the actual prices of the lights, you also have to consider energy costs. Different lights consume varying amounts of electricity and will have different impacts on your energy bill. High-Intensity Discharge lights, while they may be cheaper, usually require more energy to run, while LED lights consume less electricity but are more expensive to purchase.
Heat is another factor that adds up to the cost of your light setup, as lights that run hot will require the purchase of fans or a cooling system to eliminate the heat. Besides the cost of the additional fans, they will also increase the amount of energy you use.
Ventilation is another consideration when you purchase growth lights. The quality of ventilation you have access to will determine what type of light you can utilize. Some lights, such as HID lights, generate a lot of heat and need good ventilation to cool them. To run hot lights in a poorly ventilated environment, you will have to invest in cooling for the lights. LED lights are best for these environments as they generate very little heat.
You have to ensure that your breaker board can supply enough electricity to handle all the electrical equipment you need to power. These include lights, fans, humidifiers, and so on. This is extremely important as these are equipment that you will need to run continuously for several months. Overloading your breaker board increases the risk of fire outbreaks significantly.
4. Number of lights
The number of lights you will need to run your indoor marijuana garden will depend on the size of the garden. Most home growers will need only a couple of lights as most states have legislation limiting the number of plants that can be grown to between 6 and 12. Those that can produce more than this number will have to buy enough lights to cater to the size of their garden. One can also buy one high-powered light to replace several smaller ones.
5. Growth stage
Cannabis plants at different stages require lights of different spectrums. Some LED lights can produce lights of different spectrums. To achieve this with HID lights, growers use metal halide bulbs during the vegetative period and High-Pressure Sodium bulbs during the flowering phase.
Types of Cannabis Grow Lights
There are a lot of different lights that you can use in the growth of marijuana. The most common types are discussed here. However, you should note that even the few most common lights have different variations.
1. HID Lights
HID lights, or High-Intensity Discharge lights, are some of the cheapest lights to purchase. Their affordable cost price is offset because they consume enormous amounts of energy and produce a tremendous amount of heat. This makes them expensive to run as besides the energy costs you incur, you also have to purchase fans to cool the lights. These lights have been used as a standard by many indoor growers over several years, with other types of lights only recently beginning to catch up. There are two different types of HID bulbs. HID lights are made up of two parts, the hood, and the bulb. While you can buy the hood cheap, the bulbs are significantly more expensive.
2. MH bulbs
Metal Halide bulbs contain mercury and metal halides and used to be regulated by bulky ballasts until the development of digital ones. These bulbs are used in the vegetative phase of cannabis growing. The plants prefer the blue-tinged light produced by these bulbs in this stage.
3. HPS bulbs
High-Pressure Sodium bulbs are much more energy-efficient than their metal halide counterparts. They produce a soft yellow light that cannabis plants in their flowering phase prefer. The bulbs contain sodium, mercury, and xenon. HPS lights of 400 – 600 watts should be okay for the average grower as the 100-watt bulbs are just too powerful.
4. CFL Lights
Compact Fluorescent Lights are similar to the regular fluorescent lights you will find in a school hallway or gym. The only difference is that they are smaller, as indicated by the word ‘compact’ in their naming. They are often referred to as T5 lights due to their tubular nature and ⅝ diameter. CFL lights are cheap and energy-efficient and would be the perfect lights for growers, except that they do not produce enough light for plants in their flowering stage.
5. LED Lights
Light Emitting Diodes have only recently begun to gain traction in cannabis growing. While they are relatively new, they are quickly becoming the new standard in the cannabis growing community. Although they can be pretty expensive to set up, LED lights consume very little energy while producing adequately bright lights. LEDs are also better for the environment and produce very little heat. Some LED lights can even produce rays of different spectrums, eliminating the need to change bulbs at different phases of growth.
When you grow cannabis indoors with lights, you have to decide what is most important. Will you prefer to buy cheap lights that consume a lot of energy, or would you rather spend a lot of money at the start and spend less on electricity? You also have to consider the conditions in which you are growing your plants. What works well in one space may not be suitable for a different area. You can find the best pot seeds for your indoor cannabis garden at Higway420 regardless of which lighting option you decide to use.