So, you are thinking about growing your own weed. Or maybe you already tried, but the results were horrible because you used your bedside lamp for light. If you are here then you are wondering what types of lights will actually help your plants grow. Perfect, this article outlines the best lights for growing weed at every stage. Now, try to remember your Grade 6 science class when they taught you about photosynthesis. This is the key to your success. Before you begin growing, it is key to understand lighting, heat, and ventilation.
The Sun is a full spectrum light, meaning that it has every color wavelength. Growing outdoors can be great, but it does pose many problems. Everyone knows you are growing weed, it is easy to steal, and although it is great, it doesn’t always give your plants the chance to produce the best yields. There are four main types of lights to consider when growing indoors: LED, Fluorescent, Metal Halide, and High-Pressure Sodium grow lights.
LED grow lights
LED grow lights are the most simple. If you are looking for low maintenance, low-cost option that still produces decent yields, LED’s are the way to go. You probably have a couple just lying around your room. Make sure the LEDs include green and white light for full-spectrum light. This will give you the best results. Simply hang the lights above your plants, hook them up to a timer and let them work their magic. Make sure to use proper ventilation. Even though LEDs don’t produce an extreme amount of heat, they will still require some form of venting.
Fluorescent grow lights
Various Fluorescent grow lights (T5 and CFL) are a great type of light, but only for certain applications. Fluorescent grow lights should be your go-to light for the early stages of your plant’s life. These lights don’t use much electricity. They also don’t burn very hot, so you can place them very close to the plants. The lights use a purple-white spectrum, which is ideal for seedlings. These lights will not be effective in the later stages, as they do not give off enough light. If you do choose to use them, they will lead to a smaller yield, meaning less weed for you to enjoy.
Compact bulbs (CFL) are relatively cheap and easy to find at most hardware stores. These are the ones you should use if you are just doing a home grow setup. For professional setups, you might want to try T5 Grow Lights.
Metal Halide grow lights
Metal Halide grow lights should be used once your plant has grown up a little. These will provide more light. These lights tend to come in an integrated fixture with an external ballast and reflector hood. They give off a lot of heat, so you will definitely need to set up proper ventilation. These lights will produce light in a bluish spectrum. This is ideal for plants in their vegetation stage.
High-Pressure Sodium grow lights
Metal Halide grow lights are one of two High-Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights. The other being High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). These produce the highest yields per watt of electricity compared to any other lights.
High-Pressure Sodium lighting should be used for your flowering stage. This light will entice budding, and grant you the largest yield. HPS lights give off a more yellow to near full-spectrum light. They must be used with reflector hoods and proper ventilation.
Choosing your light
There are a lot of options here. If you are looking for a simple low-maintenance, low-cost option, LEDs are definitely the way to go. These will provide your plants with enough light and will not produce extreme amounts of heat, while still producing reasonably sized yields. This is your choice if you are on a budget.
You can choose to just opt for one of the other options if you already have some lying around, but it is recommended that you use all three. Each light has the ability to grow weed, but they will work best when used at their ideal times. Ultimately, the best lights for growing weed at every stage means you have to make more of an investment if you want the best yields. This option will be slightly more pricey, require a proper ventilation setup, and is a lot more maintenance as you will need to change the lights. It will pay off in the long run as you will produce a much larger yield than if you just use one of the lights on their own.
How much should you light up?
Hopefully, you have realized that your plants need light. But they also need some time to be in the dark. In the vegetation stage, your plants will be thirsty for 18 hours of light, for the flowering stage they only really need 12 hours of light. If this is too much work for you, then get a cheap timer and hook it up to your lights. This will ensure that they receive the optimal amount of light and if you’re doing multiple lights to get the best lights for growing weed at every stage, you’re winning. Setting up your lights can become frustrating at times. If this is the case, you can always light up when lighting up.
The type of light you chose will also affect your ventilation setup. Ventilation is key. Although your plants need light, they don’t need to be in a sauna. Make sure to keep your plants at the correct temperature so that you don’t kill them. For most stages, you should try to keep the temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Never go above 85 degrees or below 64 degrees. If you really feel like it, you can use the ventilated air to heat other rooms. Make sure to use a carbon filter to eliminate the smell. When setting up your ventilation, make sure there is also a way to allow for air intake. You don’t want to suffocate your plants. Humidity should be taken into account as well. Too much and you may start to see fungus and mold on your plants, too little and your plant will dry up.
For more info on growing cannabis, make sure to check out our growing guides.