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A Guide to Marijuana Grow Lights

Are you interested in growing cannabis, but you do not have the liberty to grow outside? No worries, you can do your cannabis cultivation indoors. One thing that you should learn about, though, is using marijuana grow lights. Grow lights will take the place of the sun and serve as a power supply for your plants and their buds. Light is similar to food for your plants, so without having a light source, your cannabis plant will not produce enough buds.

Three Main Classifications of Cannabis Grow Lights

As a grower, you have lots of options for grow lights that work well for growing cannabis but in the end, they boil down to three major types:

Fluorescent Grow Lights

  1. Compact Fluorescent Lights
  2. T5 Grow Lights

High-Intensity Discharge Grow Lights

  1. Metal Halide
  2. High-Pressure Sodium
  3. Ceramic Metal Halide

LED Grow Lights

Some cannabis growers might have encountered induction grow lights, but you should beware. Either it is called magnetic induction or plasma induction, induction lights actually perform quite poorly when they are used to produce some cannabis. In all honesty, they are not appropriate for marijuana, and they come with high prices. Also, incandescent bulbs are never right for growing, so do not bother buying them.


Pros and Cons of Fluorescent Grow Lights

These lights come in many different shapes and sizes, from twisty bulbs to long tubes. They are the most popular because they make efficient and pleasant lighting for herb gardens without using up a lot of electricity.

  1. CFL Grow Lights – These are twisty looking light bulbs that can be bought in hardware stores and similar places. They produce an excellent spectrum for growing cannabis, and they can be used in compact spaces where other lights can typically not.
  2. T5 Grow Lights – These are the most readily available kinds of grow lights, and they can be used for a massive list of herbs. They can usually be bought in home improvement and gardening stores. T5 lamps are much bigger and broader than CFLs, and they typically come as part of a panel, but they can still be placed a few inches away from your plants without worrying about burning them.

Pros of Using Fluorescent Lights:

  1. Cheap to buy
  2. Does not require too much electricity
  3. Great light spectrum
  4. A great choice for small spaces
  5. Best lighting for clones, young plants, and seedlings

Cons of Using Fluorescent Lights:

  1. Fluorescent lights get smaller yields per watt than the other types of grow lights if you use them during the flowering stage while the buds are still forming.
  2. The light from a fluorescent lamp does not penetrate far down into the plant, so they cannot give the best support to taller plants. 


Pros and Cons of High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights

HID Grow Lights are more efficient than fluorescent lights, and they are powered by large irregularly shaped bulbs. Usually, they are screwed in into a reflector or hood to reflect more light into the plants. HIDs are a great option for cannabis cultivation, but they can also be quite hot and also hooked up to exhaust to help vent out the heat.

  1. Metal Halide Grow Lights – They are generally used during the vegetative stage because they produce a bluish light that vegetative plants love, though this type of light can also be used all the way to harvest.
  2. High-Pressure Sodium Grow Lights – They are often used during the flowering stage because they are very efficient and their yellow light can stimulate the production of buds. HPS grow lights in the flowering stage get better yields per watt than any other grow light available in the market. 
  3. Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) and Light Emitting Ceramic (LED) Grow Lights – These are common names for the same type of light. They use ceramic as part of the lamp, just like HPS. CMH bulbs are more efficient compared to other MH lights. 

Pros of HID Grow Lights

  1. HIDs are the most efficient type of grow light, as they can get the highest yields.
  2. HPS grow lights are the most perfect for the flowering stage. You can actually expect 0.5 to 1 gram per watt in ideal growing conditions.
  3. HIDs are very simple to use because they can be hung from the right distance with no need to adjust the lights.

Cons of HID Grow Lights

  1. HID lights can get really hot, so it generates a lot of heat, so your plants would require some form of cooling.
  2. As a result of the heat mentioned above, most growers use an exhaust fan with ducting to vent out the hot temperatures.
  3. HID lighting also means there are a few more parts than other types of lighting. They usually contain a bulb, a fixture, external ballast, exhaust systems, and an extra cable.


Pros and Cons of Using LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are trendy among cannabis growers because they are an alternative to HPS grow lights. They also have a tendency to run cooler, and they also come with built-in cooling. LED grow lights can often be plugged into a wall and simply hung over plants, which is definitely much more comfortable than setting up HID grow lights. LEDs also have significant penetration, so they do not need to be moved around frequently like fluorescents.

Pros of LED Grow Lights:

  1. LEDs almost always have built-in cooling that pushes heat up and away from the plants.
  2. Growers can get away without venting heat at all.
  3. The smaller size LEDs can be plugged directly into the wall and hung over your plant without needing to do anything else.
  4. Some growers believe that LEDs produce more resinous buds.

Cons of LED Grow Lights:

  1. Although the LED lamp itself usually does run a lot cooler than a similar wattage HPS bulb, they can still produce heat and they have bigger sizes like 300W+, which may need to be vented with an exhaust fan to prevent the grow space from getting too warm.
  2. LEDs get some slightly smaller yields per watt than HPS grow lights on average.
  3. LED grow lights tend to need a lot of space between the lamp and your plants, which mean that you need a taller and wider space. 


Now that you are familiar with the most common cannabis grow lights, you can start taking your pick to begin your cannabis cultivation. Remember to choose the perfect strains that would match the growth capacity of your indoor garden, so that you can make the most of your investment.