Grow Lights: Everything You'll Need to Know
Here we will discuss the three main classes of grow lights used for cannabis cultivation. With so many options on the market, they boil down to three main categories: Fluorescent Lights, HID or High-Intensity Discharge Lights, and LED Grow Lights. There is always more to know and room to grow, but this information is all you will need to get started growing your own medical cannabis. Your plants will need three essential things: Water, Airflow, and Light. Light is one of the most crucial aspects of growing medical marijuana because it determines how big and dense your buds get. Cannabis needs light, without it all the water and airflow in the world won't produce buds. That being said, let's see which light is best for your grow space.
Fluorescent lights come in many different shapes and sizes. Fluorescents gained their popularity by being efficient and low cost. In Fluorescent lights there are mainly two kinds of bulbs, CFL and T5. CFL lights are the twisted-looking bulbs you can find in any hardware store. These are typically used in small spaces where no other grow light would fit. T5 grow lights are the long tube-like bulbs that usually come as part of a panel. These are great for grow tents and grow rooms, as they can cover some space. You can keep T5 lights inches away from your plants without burning them as they don’t produce much heat
There is much more to HID lights than any other kind of light. These lights also provide more heat than any other type of light and usually require extra ventilation efforts to keep the temperature down. However, when you use these lights correctly, they are much more efficient than fluorescent lighting. HID lights are known for growing huge colas and even bigger yields. These lights usually have several parts including a hood, a bulb, exhaust, and even external stability.
The bulbs are large and oddly shaped. They come in a few forms: LEC (Ceramic Metal Halide), High Pressure Sodium, or Metal Halide. Metal Halide bulbs are used during the vegetative growth stage because they provide that blue light that vegging plants love. High Pressure Sodium lights are used during the flowering stage because their yellow light stimulates bud production. HPS bulbs are extremely efficient at bulking up the buds and produce higher yields per watt than any other type of light. LEC lights are ceramic bulbs that are rather efficient and typically used in multiple different stages of the plants lifecycle
LED Lights are more than likely the most popular grow lights amongst cannabis cultivators. From large scale cultivation facilities to Uncle John’s basement, LED’s are used because they provide a lot of value to a grow. LED lights tend to run cooler than other lights because most of them come with a built-in cooling fan. You can plug LED lights into the wall and start growing immediately. They don’t need to be moved because they have great penetration, meaning they will provide light to the more difficult spots in your garden. The yields tend to be great if you buy a high-quality LED light. They will also last much longer and you don’t have to worry about switching out bulbs.