One of the crucial components a cannabis plant needs is light. During photosynthesis, a plant converts light energy into chemical energy, enabling it to grow strong and healthy, and with marijuana in particular, light also fuels bud production.
When growing outdoors you can harness the power of the sun, yet in an indoor setting, sunlight is mimicked through the use of grow light bulbs, which try to present the same spectrum of light as the sun.
Grow lights enable you to control exactly how much light your plants receive, ensuring they receive the same amount of light every day, without the grower having to fix problems with poor weather or cloudy days that occur in an outdoor setting.
Some grow lights are more expensive than others, but also more efficient, saving money in the long run. Some lights are bulky with several parts, some light in weight, and some are better suited for young or mature plants.
There are many different types of lights out there, so it can be daunting to know where to begin. Here's a guide to four basic kinds of grow lights on the market and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Kinds of Grow Lights
There are several types of lights, but below are the four most common ones you'll see in a grow space. There are numerous variations within each of these four kinds as well, and new lights and technology are released all the time.
Lights have fixtures and bulbs, and some require a ballast. Depending on the type and model, the bulbs or the components can be more expensive. There are many abbreviations, but do not be alarmed.
HID (high-intensity discharge) is an umbrella term under which MH and HPS bulbs fall, which we'll go over more below. These kinds of lamps have a hood that reflects light and bulbs that are enclosed capsules containing a gas, as opposed to bulbs you 'd see in your house, which have a filament that heats up.
For HIDs, light occurs as an arc between two nodes inside the bulb. The gas contained in these bulbs is what makes MHs and HPSs different. HID bulbs are usually more expensive than the reflective hoods that hold them.
HIDs have been the standard in indoor weed growing for decades, but LEDs are quickly catching up to them.
Both kinds of HIDs are usually inexpensive to purchase yet will eat up electricity. HIDs throw off a lot of light and heat, which the plants need to grow and get potent. However, they run hot, contain heavy metals, and ballasts can fail.
However, because of their low price, if you're new to indoor cultivating and unsure how often you'll do it, you may want to invest in an inexpensive HID light at first to test the water.
MH (Metal halide)
These bulbs contain mercury and metal halides, generate a bluish light, and are typically utilized for vegetative growth. They require a ballast to regulate the current. In the past, ballasts have been big and bulky, however digital ones are now available.
HPS (High-pressure sodium)
These HID bulbs typically have sodium, mercury, and xenon, and generate a yellow/orange light, and are commonly utilized for flowering plants. Some cultivators will start plants under MH bulbs and switch them to HPSs when plants enter the flowering stage, using the same hood. These lights also need a ballast.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are fluorescent lights similar to what you would find in a school or office building, but smaller. For growing weed, they are typically called "T5s"-- the "T" represents "tubular" and the "5" refers to its diameter, "⅝".
There are daylight bulbs and warm white bulbs; the former better for vegetative growth, and the latter for flowering.
These fluorescent lights are inexpensive and effective and good for vegetative growth. They're especially great for helping along germinating seeds and small seedlings since they do not emit much heat and will not scorch the fragile seeds. They will not increase your electricity costs too much.
The downside to CFLs is they aren't great for flowering plants, and growers will usually utilize a different kind of light to finish plants. CFLs just don't generate enough strong light for plants to pack on weight.
Components come in all shapes and sizes and can usually fit 4-12 long fluorescent bulbs; a standard size is 8 bulbs. Fixtures normally have a reflective material to bounce light in one direction, down on your plants.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are relatively new to the cannabis cultivating world, compared to HPSs, MHs, and CFLs, but they are quickly proving to be the way of the future. LEDs might be more pricey to purchase initially, yet they are far more efficient and kinder to the environment and your electricity costs. Some cities even give tax breaks to commercial cultivators that use or change to LEDs since they're better for the environment.
LEDs also typically run a lot cooler than HIDs, so you might not need additional equipment to cool down your grow space, and one LED can typically be utilized for both vegetative and flowering growth. Some high-end LEDs enable you to adjust the spectrum for each growth stage.
New LED grow lights appear regularly, however knockoffs abound. There are a lot of inexpensive LEDs that don't generate the right spectrum of light for plants.
For all the grow lighting supplies with the best and latest technology in Riverside, California, contact Grower’s Choice at 909-972-8419 or visit our website at Growersc.com for more information.