Great Tips for Selecting the Best Growth Lights

Every experienced grower knows how lights are one of the most important components of a cannabis growing set up. They are supposed to mimic the sunlight, cannabis natural light resource. Therefore, for the plant to grow properly it needs the right amount of light and preferably the right spectrum of lights according to sunlight.

The increased interest for indoor cannabis cultivation resulted in increased demand for high-quality lights. Consequently, lighting technology is evolving and has resulted in new and improved light solutions that are super-efficient for indoor growing.

There are several types of light solutions that are popular among growers nowadays. They are all different but they can be equally efficient according to your needs. Getting informed about the characteristics of the type of lights and their use can help you make the right decision for your growing setup.

Here are the pros and cons of the different types of lights intended for indoor growing.

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HID – High-Intensity Discharge Lights

HID lights have been the standard choice for cannabis horticultural industry for a very long time. They are considered the most efficient in terms of grams per watt yield. These lights usually have a huge bulb that passes the electricity through a glass tube that contains a mixture of gases. The blend of gases determines the color of the light and the lights spectrum. Therefore there are two types of HID light:

1.    High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights

  • They emit light that is on the red-orange end of the spectrum that is great for the flowering stage as it promotes blooming and flowering.

2.    Metal Halide (MH) lights

  • They emit light that is on the blue end of the spectrum. It is a cool light that promotes leaf growth.

The Pros of HID lights:

1.    Superior flower production.

2.    High energy efficiency.

3.    HID light bulbs are very durable. They can last up until one year or 18 months.

4.    HIDs give great coverage. For commercial growers with large grow spaces 1000W HID is ideal and for home growers 400 – 600W.

The Cons of HID lights:

1.    They produce a vast amount of heat due to the high heating of the lamps. The ballast that regulates the voltage also generates heat. (high temperature can burn the plants)

2.    HID lights require good configuration as they come in many parts. They can be high maintenance for novice and difficult to be set up properly.

3.    They consume a lot of energy which will transform into a very high electricity bill.

4.    Due to the poor color spectrum plants will be light starved and may appear washed out.

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LED – Light Emitting Diode Lights

LEDs are relatively new on the home growing light scene but they are already the darlings of indoor growers. It seems that they are ideal for indoor growing as they have all the components needed for plants to thrive and grow properly. Besides that, they are simple, efficient and economic.

LEDs are the only lights that can be suited to emit all the spectrum of colors needed in different stages of growth i.e. they can mimic natural light very efficiently. Therefore, you can use different color spectrum LEDs for optimal plant grow by just flicking the switch. Moreover, many plants grow normally if given both red and blue light, however, LED grow lights can be designed to emit similar amounts of red and blue light with the added green light for optimum growth.

The Pros of LED Lights:

1.    Very low energy consumption and high efficiency.

2.    LEDs can be fine-tuned to cover the precise spectrum of colors needed for specific grow space.

3.    LEDs run cool which allows you to easily regulate the temperature in your grow room.

4.    Watering will also be reduced due to less evaporation in moderate temperatures. This is a great advantage since recent watering may result in lowering the addition of nutrients.

5.    You can place LEDs very close to the plant. They don’t heat and won’t burn your plant while providing a high intensity of light for maximum growth.

6.    Many of the latest LED improvements include infrared and UV rays that can penetrate in the plant resulting in producing vast amounts of cannabinoids.

The Cons of LED Lights:

1.    High start-up costs as quality LED lights may be very expensive to purchase. However, it will pay off quickly due to energy savings.

2.    Heaters should be installed additionally. If the temperatures in your grow room are low you will need additional heaters as LEDs do not provide heat.

3.    It might be tricky to determine the correct distance between the plants and the light. There are risks both if the lights are very far or very close to the plant. It can result in insufficient light or risk of light bleaching if it is too close.