Cannabis Grow Lights Explained

Grow Lights for Weed Guide

Without the use of light, there is no way to grow weed indoors. Light gives synthetic sunlight to marijuana, which helps photosynthesis and other processes. You will need at least a half-functional light to successfully grow marijuana indoors.

The next question you want is what kind of light is best for the grow room. Three major types are tested and trusted, and though they serve different purposes, they all give beneficial light to marijuana.

The Three Major Types of Lights:

  1. LED Light
  2. HID Light
  3. Fluorescent Light

The best light for you depends on your experience level and why you need the light. All types of light have merits and demerits, which we will highlight in this post. This post will help you choose which light is best for your marijuana.

marijuana growing lights

LED Lights

Most experienced growers prefer to use LED lights for obvious reasons. Apart from fluorescents that are inexpensive, LED lights are also affordable for everyone. But one of the significant differences between led light and other types is penetration, which tends to reach the holes and cracks of rooms better than any different light.

Anyone that has used LED light knows it barely emits heat. They have a kind of inbuilt cooling system. If LED lights are well-positioned, you won’t need a special ventilation or extractor fan.

The LED light does not require an expert to set it up; you only need to purchase and place them throughout your marijuana plant.

LED light conserves a lot of electricity consumption compared to other types of light; if you set it up correctly, this will save you from an outrageous electricity bill.
Please note that HID light gives more yield per watt than a LED light, but a fluorescent light produces less yield per watt than a LED light.

Pros of LED Lighting

1. They are easily accessible because they are found in almost every store, and they come at a low cost.

2. They are safe to use, just hang them around the plant and it gives proper ventilation. They emit heat upward and not directly to the plant due to the inbuilt cooling system they possess. In terms of cooling effect, HID lights are trailing LED light.

3. LED light gives higher marijuana yield and sticky bud, which produces better than fluorescent.

3. LED light is user-friendly. Just hang them and you don’t need any technical input to use this type of light.

Cons of LED Lights

1. Many growers in the past have complained that led light burnt their marijuana plants, thus keep the led light 30 inches from the plant to avoid this.

2. LED light needs a bigger space to maximize its usage. Before you can hang them around your plant, there should be enough space between your plants and the bulbs used in the grow room. This shows that you need a grow room that is high.

3. Even though LED lights give more cooling effect and don’t emit much heat compared to others, keep in mind that LED light emits above 300watts. Therefore you will need a proper ventilation system to handle this.

It is good to use LED light in a big room; no technical input is needed to set up reasonably good yield and low-cost energy. If you want to harvest small quantities like 2 – 5 ounces, use LED lights. They come in different colors like green, red, white, etc.

HID Lights

High-intensity discharge, popularly called HID lights, is mainly used by growers that need to increase the temperature in their grow room.

HID is known to emit a lot of light. They produce the most potent and best yield in relation to light.

Compared to LED lights, HID lights are more challenging to set up. They will cost you a more expensive electricity bill since they consume higher electricity. But on the other hand, they discharge high light intensity. Therefore, HID lights are not for beginners, especially if you have less than 10 marijuana plants. It is capital-intensive and might take much work to set up a beginner.

This post is not intended to discourage you from using HID lights but rather to state some facts. Growers in cold regions or grow rooms with low temperatures might need HID light to function optimally.

Three Types of HID Lights

They are metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and ceramic metal halide.

1. Metal Halide: Growers like to use this type of light during the flowering stage because when they are plugged, you will notice bluish spectrum light. Using it at the vegetative stage of marijuana is better than applying metal halide at the flowering stage.

2. High-Pressure Sodium: HID light is another useful grow light. This light helps marijuana to grow bud while it boosts THC production, which is needed in all potent cannabis. Metal Halide that we previously talked about shows blue light, while high-pressure sodium light produces yellowish light.

This is the best light for marijuana in the flowering stage; there is no better light option at this stage than high-pressure sodium light because it gives good buds and high yields.

3. Ceramic Metal Halide: High-pressure sodium light still has the highest capacity, and ceramic metal halide is directly behind it in terms of size, while ceramic metal halide is more effective than metal halide lights.

Pros of HID Lights

1. HID produces the best THC and best yields. You are sure of getting between 1 to 1.25 grams of bud for every emitted watt by the HID light. The HID light is the best kind of bulb to purchase if you need a quality harvest.

2. Unlike some other types of grow light that requires adjustment, an HID lamp can be placed some distance away from your marijuana plant, and you will still get the best result. It does not burn plants because they are not placed directly on them, unlike led light.

3. Experienced growers prefer using HID light at the vegetative stage; high-pressure sodium light is also useful during the flowering stage.

Cons of HID Lights

1. HID lights are not easy to set up, and they are not cheap. To have a standard HID grow light in your room, you will need the bulb itself, an exterior ballast, active cables, standard cooling, or ventilation system.

2. If you can’t afford or don’t have access to a lot of electricity, HID light is not for you. Any grower that wants to use this type of light must also have proper ventilation because the light emits a lot of heat. You should be around the grow room whenever HID lights are on because they produce a lot of heat that needs regulation.

3. Ensure you have a unique cooling system if there is a need to use HID light beyond 200 watts in your grow room. Extractor fans should also be installed in this kind of place to provide fresh air and removal of stale air.

Though this light is expensive, it is nothing compared when it comes to the provision of high yield marijuana and productive buds. If this is your first attempt to grow cannabis, HID light is not meant for you because you will spend at least $600 to set up 250 watts worth of HID light while you will still need to pay at least $70 monthly for electricity depending on the electricity rate in your country. A 250 watt HID light cannot produce more than two ounces of marijuana per month.

how to grow cannabis indoors

Fluorescent Lights

In some countries, this is the most accessible kind of light for growers, even though they are not the best in the quality of buds. They have some types which cannot be found in the two other types of light that are previously mentioned.

Few fluorescent light qualities are varieties in size, length, and shape. Fluorescent lights are used at homes and are easier to set up than the other two lamps. This is best for you if you want to reduce your electricity bill cost.

Pros of Fluorescent Lights

1. They are not capital intensive, very accessible, and consume the least electricity compared to the other two types of grow light.

2. You don’t need standard ventilation if you are using fluorescent light because it emits a little heat.

3. It also possesses an average light spectrum when you are growing marijuana.

4. This is the best light option if you are growing marijuana in a tight space; fluorescent light can be placed a few inches from marijuana without burning the plant.

Cons of Fluorescent Lights

1. Most growers that need high yield don’t use fluorescent light because it gives low yield and potency.

2. HID light and LED light delivers more quality buds compared to fluorescent light. Fluorescent light only gives 0.25 grams of bud per watt which is too small compared to other lights

3. It is not advisable to use fluorescent light when your marijuana gets to the flowering stage because this light gives low penetration.

In conclusion, I hope you have learned about growing light, and you might be wondering which one is best for you. HID grow light is highly recommended, but you must read and follow our analysis carefully.

Fluorescent light is the best option if you don’t have a spacious grow room and capital. But LED light stands in the best position if you don’t have much money and need good yield and penetration.

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