Light is one of the most important factors to consider when growing marijuana. The right light will increase your yields and potency.
For your plants’ potency, you will need something that’s bright enough to give your plants all the light they need to grow, but not so bright that it burns them or causes them to wilt.
This guide will show you how to set up indoor grow lights so they don’t interfere with the growth of your plants.
Lighting Options for Indoor Growers
There are 3 main types of lighting options available for Marijuana growers: HID lights, Fluorescent Lamps, and LED lights.
All of them have their pros and cons but both will produce quality buds if used properly by an experienced grower who knows how to tweak settings like wattage output or spectrum ranges depending on what stage your plants are in their lifecycle (vegetative vs flowering).
- HID Lights (High-Intensity Discharge)
HID lights (high-intensity discharge) are one of the most common types of grow lights used in both indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation. They produce a high amount of light and hence consume a lot of electricity. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other types of lighting.
HID lights are available in many different sizes, ranging from 250 watts all the way up to thousands of watts. HID lights are made from metal halides (MH) or High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). The two types of bulbs differ in the color spectrum that they emit.
Metal Halide, or MH light bulbs
Metal halide bulbs are blue-tinted and mostly emit light in the blue part of the spectrum. These bulbs are needed for photosynthesis due to large amounts of light in the blue spectrum.
This is the best spectrum for growing cannabis plants during this stage.
Their duration is about 10,000 hours. They do not last long enough to be considered a good investment because they burn out quickly, but they produce more light per watt than any other grow light on the market today.
High-Pressure Sodium, or HPS light bulbs
These lights are yellow-tinted and emit most of their energy in the red part of the spectrum. They are best suited for flowering plants because they help them to produce more flowers by giving off more energy at wavelengths that flowering plants thrive on.
HPS lights have an average lifespan of 20,000 hours which is much longer than MH bulbs but shorter than LED or CFL lighting systems
Setting up HID Lights
Hang HID Lights from Ceilings
Hanging your lights from ceilings will help save space in your grow room or grow tent as you have more room for plants and other equipment in your tent or room.
Place 150-watt bulbs 17 cm away from your plant
Place 400-watt bulbs 30 to 40 cm, away from plants
Fluorescent Grow Lights
Fluorescent lights are a great solution for growing marijuana in small spaces. They are cheap, readily available, and can be installed in any room of the house. Fluorescents come in all types of shapes and sizes, with wattage ranging from 15 to 400 watts per bulb.
However, these lights are not powerful enough to grow large plants. They are suitable for young plants that need only a small amount of light.
CFLs also produce less heat than HID grow lights and can be used in small spaces without any problem.
The main drawback of using CFLs for growing marijuana is that they don’t last very long. You will have to replace them after about six months or so, depending on the number of hours they are used each day.
Setting up Fluorescent lights
Since the Fluorescent lights burn cool, you can hang a 250-450 watts lamp as close as 10cm; it will not burn your marijuana plants.
- LED Grow lights
The best indoor marijuana grow lights are full spectrum LED grow lights. These lights give your plants the full spectrum of light they need at all stages of growth.
The stages of growth for marijuana include vegetative and flowering stages. The vegetative stage is when you’re growing your plant from seedling to young adult plants, while flowering is when your plant starts producing flowers and buds.
Give Higher Yield
Growers who use LED lights report higher yields than those who don’t use them because they’re able to provide just the right amount of light for each stage in the plant’s life cycle.
When compared to other types of lighting, LEDs are much more efficient. For example, HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps lose about 90% of their light output as heat rather than growing your plants.
Setting up LED Lights
You should place your LED lights no more than 12 inches above your plants when they are young and 18-24 inches above them if they have matured fully. This will prevent a burn from occurring on any part of the plant due to heat stress or too much exposure to the light source itself.
Marijuana plants can grow up to 5 feet tall, so you will want space for them that is at least this tall. If you want to grow indoors, then you should measure the height of your ceiling and make sure it is higher than 5 feet. You will also need enough space for the rest of your setup, including fans and filters.