Getting the right grow lights for your cannabis plants is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. After buying marijuana seeds from i49 and planting them, you don’t want the wrong bulb to affect your plant’s growth. It’s vital to know what to look for when choosing grow lights.
In this article, you’ll learn some of the most important factors to look at when choosing a grow light for your cannabis plant.
- Watts Per Square Foot
Grow lights have different watts. CFLs and LEDs produce between 75-150 watts per square foot, while HIDs produce between 250-500 watts per square foot. HID light fixtures are great for large spaces and high yield, but they require a lot of energy—and some can be up to three times as costly to operate every month than CFLs or LEDs.
T12 or T32 fluorescents typically produce around 50watts per sq ft. They also have higher heat production than LED lamps and CFLs. If you intend to use them, you may need to increase your grow room’s ventilation. However, this can lead to an increase in electricity costs as well because your AC or dehumidifier will require more energy to remove the heat.
If you’re not sure how much light your space needs, use a calculator to find out how many watts per square foot you need. You’ll also need to know the total wattage of the lamps and bulbs installed in the grow space.
To save electricity, don’t let your bulbs run full blast all day long. Turn them off when not in use and leave them on only during dark hours. That way, you’ll prevent your cannabis plants from getting used to more light at night and stay in the vegetative state for too long. However, if you have an LED system with dimming capabilities (like the HydroPonics Systems), you can use the dimming feature to adjust light levels throughout the day.
Lumens are a measure of how bright the light is. You will need to find out what type of grow lights you plan on using and look for its lumens rating, which ranges from 400 to 3000+.
The light that falls in the blue spectrum is usually around 3000+ lumens, with a number closer to 4000 being ideal. These types of lights have been shown to promote vegetative growth in cannabis plants as they emit more energy than red or yellow light.
If your goal is creating big yields, then high-intensity discharge (HID) grow lights may be right for you since these produce up to 100 watts per square foot while fluorescent bulbs only create up to 30 watts per square foot. However, HIDs require extra care to prevent excess heat and UV light from damaging the plants.
A good rule of thumb for choosing grow lights is to make sure that they’re at least three times brighter than your average indoor light bulb (a standard 100-watt incandescent)
- PAR Values
PAR values are a measure of the amount of light available to plants. Ideally, these values would be similar for both vegetative and flowering phases. Low PAR levels will not provide enough light for cannabis growth during the flowering phase resulting in lower yields and higher rates of calcium and micronutrient deficiencies.
The intensity of how much reds, greens, blues are contained within an LED chipset determines its effectiveness towards marijuana plant lighting needs. The higher the intensity, the more effective it is in growing cannabis.
It’s always important to consider what colors correspond to your cannabis plants’ needs. If your cannabis strain grows best in the shade, then grow lights with less blue light are ideal for it to thrive.
Green leaves require higher levels of red and yellow spectrums because they’re photosynthesizing more often than their counterparts do. Red hues help promote flowering and fruiting. You can get all these spectrums by purchasing metal halide bulbs and LEDs or CFLs.
When you are looking for grow lights, you need to think about their durability. This means that the light should be able to take some abuse and still work properly. Durability can come in many forms: high-quality construction, tough exterior casing, or heat-resistant parts.
It may be tempting to buy less durable lights because they are cheaper, but the long-term cost of replacing them will be a pain in your wallet.
The most popular grow lights for growing cannabis plants include HPS (high-pressure sodium) and MH (metal halide). Both have unique qualities that make each one better suited for specific situations.
Though they may be more expensive to operate, they produce less yields per watt than LED’s. For small spaces such as tents or closets where electricity is costly, it may not be worth buying an MH light if you can afford LEDs instead.
However, since some strains at i49 and other online shops require higher levels of blue light due to their genetics in order to develop properly during the flowering stage, MH might be what you need when no other option exists – especially if you want to make sure that your plants grow big and strong.
The number of grow lights you need will depend on the size of the space you have available. For example, a small indoor grower can get away with using only one or two lights while an outdoor grower will need many more to cover all plants at once.
Lighting is usually measured in watts per square foot and this measurement should be taken into consideration when planning your garden layout. If you are unsure what would work best for your project, contact professionals or other growers and ask for their advice.
You want to make sure that the light fixture or bulb isn’t too close to any plant leaves because it can cause them to develop brown spots which will turn black if left untreated. Instead, the lights should be about 18 inches away from a leaf stem before placing anything on top of the plant, including lights or reflectors.
The Bottom Line
It’s essential to learn about the many features that grow lights have before making a purchase. Doing so will ensure you select an efficient and effective light for your plant’s needs. These tips will help you find the perfect grow lights for your cannabis plants.