Marijuana grow lights beginners’ guide led, cfl, t5 and hid electricity kwh calculator


You’ll usually find them in longer, wider panels of multiple tubes. Like their smaller CFL counterparts, though, they run pretty cool, so you can still hang them quite close to your plants without harming them. And indeed they should be hung close—usually within about 4 inches.

HIDs are usually large oddly shaped bulbs that come in one of two varieties, Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS). You’ll also see ceramic metal halide and Light Emitting Ceramics (LEC) bulbs, which are two names for the same thing, a bulb that’s a sort of mix of MH and HPS technology.

Metal halide bulbs emit a bluish light and are often used for the vegetative stage of growing. HPS grow lights, on the other hand, are often added during flowering, as they give a yellower light that encourages bud production and are even more efficient than MH lights.

As the name suggests, the light they discharge is of a much higher intensity than fluorescent grow lights. However, there are trade offs. Not just the heat and the extra cooling required to deal with it, but also the extra parts you’ll need compared to LEDs or fluorescents.

Usually they produce the full spectrum of light needed by plants, meaning you can use them for the entire grow cycle of your marijuana plants. Which along with the ease and simplicity of setting them up makes them an excellent choice for inexperienced weed growers.

LED grow lights are arguably the simplest and most versatile lights to grow with, but there are so many models available now from so many different manufacturers that it can be difficult to choose. Later in this article we’ll give you some tips to help you find the one that’s right for you. Pros of LED Marijuana Grow Lights

PLEASE NOTE: Because LED marijuana grow lights are so simple to set up and use, can often be used for an entire grow cycle and work out cheaper in the long term with little or no loss of quality (arguably they can even raise bud quality and yield), we’re going to focus the rest of this beginners’ guide on LED grow lights.

And not only are they great for your first growing efforts, they’ll still be valuable to you later. Indeed, with extra experience you’ll get even better results from them. So you’re not going to outgrow them. How Plants Use and Respond To Light

So when you see the lumens boasted by marijuana grow lights, this measurement really only tells you how bright the light will appear to a human. What’s important to a plant is PAR, Photosynthetically Active Radiation—the wavelengths of light that a plant can use for photosynthesis.

The intensity of this light is measured in μmol/m2/s (micromoles per second per square meter) which is essentially the quantity of usable light falling onto a square meter of the plant per second. For a light hungry crop like cannabis, the more the better (up to about 800 μmol/m2/s, above which you risk damaging the plant).

This is very helpful for the vegetative stage, especially when growing indoors where the height of your grow space might be limited. It also helps ensure the plants are getting plenty of light as more of each of them is exposed to that light when growing short and spread out, and the available light doesn’t have to penetrate so far. Red

Yellows, oranges and especially plenty of red light are known to help cannabis plants transition to flowering and maximize the yield of bud. A lot of growers add extra red at the flowering stage. Some LED marijuana grow lights have a setting that allows you to do this very easily. Others have a full spectrum rich in red and blue that can be used for an entire grow cycle. Green

While you might remember from high school science classes that plants are green because they reflect green light, they don’t actually reflect all of it. In fact, green light can penetrate further into cannabis leaves and further below the canopy than other wavelengths, making it important to photosynthesis and efficiently nourishing the entirety of your crop.

• Secondly, an LED grow light’s quoted wattage might refer to either one of two things (this has yet to be standardized across the industry). For instance, a 300W LED grow light could be either one that draws 300W at the wall or one that is equivalent in brightness to a 300W HID grow light. Because LEDs are more energy efficient than HIDs, the latter “300W” LED light will likely only draw around 185W to generate the same brightness as a 300W HID.

• Pay attention to what LED chips are being used. You’ll see 10W chips and higher, and some of these are pretty good. However, 5W chips are currently the most mature technology and will provide as much brightness and intensity as you’ll need. With the right lenses and reflectors some of these are actually more intense than some 10W chips.

• The best LED marijuana grow lights will have reflectors and/or optical lenses to properly focus and intensify light from the diodes. Cheaper lights without these can still be pretty good, but the former should give your plants a brighter more even light coverage.

• Some top end lights are even programmable, often via WiFi and a smartphone app, to mimic the sun even more closely (for example, the Cirrus Titan 5 below). We’ve even seen some that go so far as to ensure that not only is infrared light in their spectrum but that it’s also the last light the plants see at night and the first when the lights come back on.

The little sister of the equally excellent NextLight Mega, its array of super bright American made LEDs will comfortably cover 2 x 2 ft for flowering and 3 x 3 ft during the veg stage. As well as being super bright, coverage is nice and even too. Just check out the coverage chart below.

As you’d expect, it runs cool. But more than that, clever design means it can dissipate heat without any extra moving parts. So it shouldn’t cost you anything extra in ventilation, even in a grow tent. And there’s no fan to potentially go wrong.

With a lifespan rated at 100,000 hours (15 to 20 years), it’s not going to need replacing anytime soon. A promise of long life that comes backed up by a 5 year warranty and some of the best safety testing and certification in the marijuana grow lights industry. Underwriters Laboratories Inc approve this light for both dry and damp conditions.

What we’re looking at for this scenario is a grow light that’s under $500 but with plenty of brightness for your buck. Something suitable for a beginner, but with a few higher end features. A light that you’ll be able to use easily immediately but get even better results from after a bit of experience.