The Best Light Setup for Growing Cannabis: Beginners guide!April 9, 2022
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Last year we released a video titled “best lights for growing cannabis” which turned out to be extremely popular, so we thought we’d expand a little bit on the topic.
One of the major problems with growing cannabis indoors instead of outside is lighting.
The sun is remarkably powerful, even if it doesn’t (yet) become so hot we all shrivel up and die.
The trouble is, you need a lot of lighting indoors to recreate the levels of energy that a cannabis plant can absorb from sunlight.
So, what are the options. Currently, there are four main types, and the one you opt for will depend very much on the nature of your set-up. Are you just growing a few plants for yourself, or are you growing it commercially – strictly for resale to the pharmaceutical market, of course!
In 2021, the most common lighting set-up for DIY self-consumption growers is an LED one. Advancements in the technology mean they are now extremely affordable, highly efficient, and they consume far less energy than other options. There’s not much point in growing cannabis that costs you more than the stuff you can buy on the streets!
As we’re going to concentrate on set-ups for grow rooms, it’s impossible to ignore HID lights – short for high-intensity discharge.
These are still extremely popular with those who believe that lumens is all that matters, but there are other options. LED fans believe PAR, or photosynthetically active radiation (try saying that after a couple of tokes!) is the Holy Grail of lighting.
Metal halide lights are great for the growing cycle as the blue spectrum is ideal for leafy growth, then changing to HPS lights when you want the warmer, red spectrum to encourage flowers to grow.
CMH, or ceramic metal halide is catching people’s eye, literally as it is seriously bright, but the 315W CMH lamp doesn’t come anywhere near being as effective as a 600W HPS or high-pressure sodium lamp.
The other most popular light is a CFL or compact fluorescent light. A 250W CFL light is in theory comparable to a 600W Metal halide or metal hydride light, although from our experience this type of light is only really any good for seedlings!
However, there are a couple of things that also need to be taken into consideration when deciding on your perfect lighting set-up.
First, are we talking about lights for seedlings and micro growing. If so, then best to stick with CFL and other fluorescent lights or low wattage LED’S
Second, you have to work out how much light your grow room needs.
If you are using feminized plants, then LED lighting works well because it doesn’t waste energy.
LED lights consume less power, and 120 watts will do one plant, 280 watts will do four plants, and 350 watts can do upto eight plants.
For autoflowering strains HID lights aid faster growth through their greater power, although again, many would argue they can achieve similar results using LED Lighting.
As a rule of thumb, for HPS lights, you need 250 watt light for two plants, 400 watts for four plats, 600 watts for six plants, and 1,000 watts for upto eight plants.
Finally, when considering all the factors you’ll want to remember that the more wattage you use, you’ll achieve the greatest amount of lumens, however, as a byproduct you will also be generating a lot of heat, and powering these lights will require a lot of electricity.
This extra heat may be beneficial when working in colder climates to keep your growing environment warm, whereas LED lights (which inherently generate less heat) may be ideal when you want to keep the temperatures down operating in hotter climates!
Hopefully that’s shed some light on the subject for you, but if you have any ideas of your own or have any topics you’d like us to cover in the future, by all means leave your ideas in the comments section below, and of course if you enjoyed this video make sure to like and subscribe, so you too can become a cannabis expert!