Grow Light for Cultivation
Why Cannabis needs light
The spectrum of visible light includes violet, blue, green, orange, and red colors. In general, these wavelengths are within the range of 380nm to 750nm1. While a small amount of red light is necessary for flowering, UVC can cause sunburn and is thought to enhance THC levels in Cannabis plants. In general, blue light is best for vegetative growth2 as it encourages healthy leaves. It is important not to overlight cannabis plants, as it will stretch the plants and become difficult to control.
In addition to spectrum, Cannabis plants require a certain time of darkness. The plant does not like artificial light during its dark “sleep” cycle. This natural cycle is perfect for cannabis, but artificial light will stunt growth and stress the plant. Using artificial lights can also cause hermaphroditism, which will result in pollination of the female plant – not to mention ruining the plant. So, how do we choose the right light?
What is Grow Light and How It Works
A grow light is a type of fluorescent lamp that mimics the light you find in your home. Fluorescent lights are two-foot-long and provide double the light. Fluorescent tubes are easy to install and adjust. They work well for larger gardens and cost less than LED grow light. LEDs, on the other hand, produce less heat and will not run up your electricity bill. But before you invest in a new grow light, it’s important to know how to use one.
The first step in growing cannabis indoors is to understand the science behind this process. The plants use photons, particles of light, to produce energy. These particles are called photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The grow light’s output is based on its PAR or Photosynthetic Photon Flux, or PPFD3. PPFD measures the density of photons under the grow light.
Types of Grow Light as T8 and HID and other
There are many different types of grow lights available for cannabis cultivation, and some are more effective than others. HID lights, for example, have a higher wattage per watt than their fluorescent counterparts, and they produce light using arc current, vaporized mercury, or metal halide gas. HID lamps have a color spectrum similar to that of the sun, but are not as efficient for indoor gardening. Some people prefer HID grow lights because they use less electricity. Other types of grow lights are fluorescents, including CFL and T5 plant lights. Most HID grow light enthusiasts recommend using both MH and HPS grow lights.
HID grow lights give off a high level of light, but they’re expensive, so cannabis operations may want to use T5 or T8 fluorescent lighting instead. Many authorities and rebate programs encourage energy efficiency, which is good news for cannabis growers. Metal halide grow lights emit slightly blue light, but they can be used for the entire grow cycle. They also tend to cost less than T8 grow lights.
- Biosun-L LED Grow Light. Where to buy? Manufacturer’s website.
- VIVOSUN 6500K T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Light Fixture 4FT 8 Lamps. Where to buy? Manufacturer’s website.
- iPower 1000 Watt HPS MH Digital Dimmable Grow Light. Where to buy? Amazon.
Pros and cons of T8 Grow Light
There are many advantages to using a T8 grow light for cannabis cultivation. This light is smaller than most T5 fluorescent grow lights, measuring about one inch in diameter. It is also longer, and has a wavelength of 450-650 nm. Moreover, T8 grow lights produce a full spectrum of light that promotes plant growth. Hence, it is an excellent choice for indoor hydroponic gardens.
There are many advantages to using T8 grow lights for your plants, but you should know the pros and cons of each type before deciding which one is best for your cannabis cultivation. For example, you may not be able to get a full spectrum of light from a T5 bulb. For this purpose, you should go for a high-output model. LED systems are known to produce the highest PAR value.
T5 grow light bulbs need specific fixtures and will be too expensive for many cannabis growers. Nevertheless, the T8 grow light will last longer and produce more UV rays. This means you will be able to save money on your electricity bill. However, it is important to know the lifespan of T8 grow light bulbs before you buy one. It is important to consider the power and wattage of each bulb when buying one.
Pros and cons of HID Grow Light
Generally speaking, HIDs are the kings of big yields. However, some growers may need a higher temperature to maximize their yields. In these cases, HID grow lights are the best choice. Though they tend to cost more upfront, they are less expensive in the long run. Moreover, HIDs are very reliable, which makes them an attractive option for home growers.
Both MH and HPS grow lights are highly efficient, but they have their own advantages and disadvantages. MH bulbs are blue in color and act like spring sun, which helps promote photosynthesis better. They work best during the vegetative growing stage of marijuana plants. For this reason, HID grows are not ideal for outdoor growing. However, HID grow lights are perfect for indoor marijuana cultivation. Despite their higher price, they deliver the best results.
HIDs draw more electricity than LEDs. Furthermore, they produce heat, so you have to spend more money on cooling equipment and climatization. Additionally, your plants tend to stretch out, which can be difficult to manage if you are growing in a tent. You should also take into consideration the space requirement of your home grow space. However, if you’re planning to use your HID grow light for a long time, you should consider LEDs as an excellent option.
Cannabis Grow Light Comparison
When comparing different lighting systems, it’s important to know which ones work best for your particular strain. For instance, HPS plants require a higher intensity than do mild-lighting plants. But it’s possible to use any one of the different lighting systems depending on the type of plant you’re growing. Fortunately, there are a few common traits between all of them. Read on to learn about the differences between them and how to choose the right one for your needs.
LED lights have the advantage of being more efficient and more environmentally friendly, though they can cost more up front. Using LED lights to grow your cannabis is not only more energy efficient, but they’re also more expensive. High-end LED grow lights also provide greater control over the spectrum of light your plants receive. High-end LED lights, like Scynce LED Raging Kush 2.0, allow you to adjust the spectrum based on the stage of plant growth.