Cannabis is one of the major energy-consuming crops in the United States. Grown for both recreational and medicinal purposes, this crop demands massive energy. A greenhouse uses an estimate of 580kw per kg, and for indoor cannabis growing, 4400kW – 6100kW is used to produce a kg of cannabis.
With the increase of carbon dioxide emissions over the years and negatively impacting our environment, having sustainable practices is now crucial. Lights are an option that provides safe energy. Different types of lights are used to grow cannabis indoors. A lot of people stay in areas where natural climates do not support the healthy production of cannabis.
In growing cannabis, the “vegetative stage” needs 18 hours of light. This is the stage where the plant develops its stem and leaves. After two to four weeks, you will then switch the lights and leave them on for 12 hours, and the buds will develop, thus called the “flowering stage.”
The different types of lights grow the crop differently. Please the below.
FLOURESCENT GROW LIGHT (CFL)
CFL is an abbreviation for Compact Fluorescent Light. This type of light can be bought at home improvement stores, the grocery store, or other stores. It is ideal for small growers and provides an affordable starter light option.
These lights are easy to find in the store near you and also come at an affordable cost. They also utilize the standard sockets, so you do not have to re-install new types of sockets, which are another reason why they are the quite affordable and ideal option for those who are starting cannabis cultivation. They are available in different color temperatures; the “daylight” and the “warm light”. The “daylight” bulbs are best for the plant growth stage. The “warmer light” bulb, which has a more reddish light is used when the crop is flowering.
It has a lower light output in comparison to other growing lights. You will need to place them very close to your plants for better results. This light is ideally suited for small growers; otherwise, you will need a number of them if you plan to grow lots of crops that are not economically viable.
THE HID GROW LIGHTS
The High-Intensity Discharge (HID) growers light the best in the cannabis growing process. The cannabis flourishes under these lights, and excellent results have been recorded due to the use of these lights. There are two types of high-intensity discharge lights; the Metal Halide (MH) and the High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). The MH lights are cooler and give a bluish light making it suitable for the crops’ vegetative phase. The HPS, on the other hand, provides a reddish light making it ideal for the cannabis flowering phase. Advanced growers use a combination of the two lights for their cannabis cultivation, but in a case where you have to pick one, the HPS light makes a better fit. The 6000W HPS lights make a better option as they provide a great balance between the amount of electricity used and the light discharged. The HID lights complete set includes bulbs, a rector, and ballast.
This light has been proven to lead to excellent yields of cannabis. Also, in comparison to other lights, the HID lights have a lesser initial cost.
The 600W HID lights, and other more powerful ones tend to emit large amounts of heat. This means that you have to ensure there are enough vents to ensure your growing room is not heated up. Also, because of the heat emission nature, these bulbs have a limited life span. Some growers replace their bulbs every year. Another limitation of the HID light is that their bulbs require a special kind of socket with ballast and hood. You can’t just plug it in the ordinary socket. These lights also consume a lot of power, and your electricity bills might get significantly high.
LED GROW LIGHTS
LED lights in the past few years were lights not eligible for any growth. However, thanks to technology advances, these lights are among the best grow lights. The LED lights now have modernized Chips on Board (COB) technology, which has enabled them to provide adequate light enough for plant growth.
The LED lights are energy sufficient for all the lights. They provide the most lights against their running costs. Unlike the HID lights, they are way cooler, eliminating the need for extra ventilation and the risk of burning your crops. They do not need the ballast either. You can just plug them in a standard outlet for use.
In comparison to other lights, the LED lights demand a high initial cost. The modern LED fixtures will lessen thousands of cash from your pocket. But you plan to grow for a long time; they can make a good investment as they do not emit too much heat demanding extra vents. Another challenge with the LED lights is that the lack of industry standardization, and you may end up buying a fake gadget.
CERAMIC METAL HALIDE GROW LIGHTS
The Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) Lights jumped in the market a little later than the other lights but are quite popular. They are more efficient compared to the HPS and MS lights. They produce more light per electricity watt compared to the HPS and MS lights.
They have a longer life span compared to the High-Intensity Discharge lights. With its higher UV output, the plants can produce more important oil essential for growth. The CMH light also has better penetration into the crops due to its balanced spectrum.
These lights have a high initial cost when compared to the MH and HPS lights. However, for long term use, the ceramic metal halide grows lights do save you money.
Which one do I buy?
When shopping for lights, you first know what your needs are and how much you are willing to spend. You also need to consider their life span and their energy consumption. You also need to know if you need the lights for short or long term purposes.
Other grow lights emit lots of heat and may force you to ventilate your indoors some more.
If you are just beginning and testing waters, with a few crops, then go for a cheaper brand. Along with it, make sure to consider other necessities like grow area, airflow, and environment control; grow system like hydroponics or soil and chicken soup for cannabis. Only you can decide what suits you best.
Dr. JimZ® is a fourth-generation family-owned business manufacturing the best all-natural fertilizer on earth. Our products are designed to feed the microbes first and Build Your Soil Up rather than tearing it down!