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What are the Best Lights to Use for Growing Cannabis at home?

Helpful Hints on lights and what you need to know:

The quick and the dirty. This blog will be focusing on some necessary information regarding light selection when starting as a beginner grower.

Learning that Light is Weight!

Maybe you have already heard, but light is the most important determining factor for your yield when it comes to growing weed. The more useful light (Photosynthetically Active Radiation-PAR) shining on the leaves of weed plants, the more energy (in the form of sugars) the plant produces. And the more sugars the plant creates the larger and tastier the yield.

If you also want to grow as much weed as possible, you will need to ensure that the leaves of your weed plants get as much light as possible. One thing to note is that all artificial light is not created equally. There are a variety of lights to choose from, and this can be overwhelming to a beginner grower wanting to start. Depending on the grow lights, not all penetrate the same depth into the Cannabis leaves so you will have to adjust your grow method accordingly. A scrog may be efficient for a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) grow lamp, but not for example for a High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) grow lamp.

Tips and FYI:

Scrogging; a type of powerful growing technique can be effective when growing with an LED or CFL grow lamp, but is, for example, very inefficient when growing with HPS grow lamps. In short: LED, HPS and CFL grow lights all have their own favoured grow method.

Growing methods for CFL grow lights.

These are the well-known fluorescent beams and the slightly thinner energy-saving lamps. Energy-saving lamps are a new type of fluorescent bar which is also called T5 lamp. All thin CFL lamps such as T-Neon lamps and thin light bars are T5 lamps. All thick light bars are fluorescent lamps.

CFL grow lights are incredibly efficient. That means that they emit a lot of light per watt. The problem for Cannabis growers is that CFL grow lights cannot penetrate their light very profoundly into the crop. Therefore, you may have to add another spectrum of light or get a more powerful bulb.

A CFL grow light is most efficient at a distance of 5 to 10 centimetres from the foliage. Too close can burn the leaves, so this is an important point. After that, the power of a CFL grow light decreases quickly, and at about 50 centimetres away, there is almost no available light left. Also, the light emitted from a CFL lamp can not shine through a Cannabis leaf, so that only the leaves on which the light falls directly benefit from it. As a result, CFL’s are sometimes best suited to grow for weed plants, especially when using the scrogging technique or sea of green.

The very best growing method for a CFL growing is a (semi) sea of green, where you top every plant once or twice. A sea of green is faster than scrogging, and the light can penetrate better into a sea or green. Provide CFL light in the colour 6500 Kelvin during the growing phase, so that the plants remain as short as possible. Then top each plant once or twice, so that you have 6 to 8 buds per plant. Hang the grow lamp as close as possible to the weed plants. Keep in mind that only the top 30 to 40 centimetres are well exposed.

Scrogging is also an excellent method for CFL cultivation, especially when you want to grow as few weed plants as possible. With scrogging it is challenging to keep the leaves immediately accessible since the foliage is very close when using this method. A sea of green is more open and therefore more suitable for a CFL environment.

LED grow lights

LED grow lights differ from CFL and HPS grow lights, in the sense that each LED is different. There are LED grow lights with 1 Watt diodes that do not radiate their light so deeply, but there are also COB LEDs that emit their light very profoundly. There are also LEDs with 3 or 5 Watt diodes that are in between in terms of depth. We have also come across some growers who use LED lenses that change the radiation angle of the light but also block light as well.

There are many differences between LED grow lights makes it difficult to name the very best grow method for LEDs. Ask the manufacturer of your LED grow light about the radiation depth so you can determine the optimum height for the lights). The shorter it is, the more you have to think about a scrog or sea or green to increase your yield. The deeper the LED shines its light, the better it is suitable for growing with very high weed plants.

The depth radiation of LED grow lights differ per brand and model. Make sure that you check the specs on the package, so you know what type of lighting your plants will be getting.

Growing methods for HPS grow lights

High-pressure gas discharge lamps such as HPS grow lamps, and CMH grow lamps have a lot more depth radiation. The light from these lamps is powerful enough to shine through leaves and penetrate deep into Cannabis plants. If you were to use these grow lights for a sea or green or a scrog, you would lose a lot of light, and you should maybe consider these lights with larger weed plants.

When determining the best option for you with regards to lighting, try to figure out what growing method you are planning on using and go from there.

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