August 05, 2021 4 min read
Not only can grow lights make a huge impact on the growth of your plants and ultimately your yield, it can be one of the bigger expenses when starting your first home grow. It’s important for new cannabis cultivators to understand the needs of marijuana plants and the different types of grow lights for weed in order to have a successful harvest.
There are three main types of grow lights for weed. These are HID, LED, and CFL lights. Each of these come in a variety of price points and wattage.
HID stands for high-intensity discharge, which is broken up into two categories depending on the bulb type. HID lights use a hood and either MH (metal halides) or HPS (high-pressure sodium) bulbs, both of which use gas instead of a filament. MH bulbs are filled with mercury and metal halides and produce a blue light used for the vegetative growth stage, while HPS bulbs use sodium, mercury, and xenon to produce an orange light used during flowering. Growers often use the same hood and simply switch out the bulbs during various stages of plant growth. HID lights used to be the most popular type of grow light, however due to their low power usage and convenience, LED lights are growing in popularity. If you’re just starting out, a HID grow light is a great option since they can be very affordable and are found at most grow shops. While plants love the heat generated from HID grow lights, one downside is that it can lead to higher electricity bills.
You’re probably used to these bright, harsh lights since they are often used in offices, hospitals, and schools. Compact fluorescent lamps, shortened to CFL are very cheap and won’t give off too much heat or rack up your electricity bill. Just like HID lights, CFL grow lights have two different bulbs that should be changed out depending on the growth stage. However, fluorescent lights are best for the vegetative stage and many home growers will switch to a different setup for the flowering stage since CFL grow lights aren’t intense enough to produce giant buds.
Light emitting diodes (LED) lights are the latest edition to the grow light world. LED lights are often more expensive than the other two marijuana grow lights mentioned, however they are better for the environment since they don’t take much electricity to run, don’t have any harmful gasses or heavy metals, and are very efficient. Many LEDs can be used for all growth stages or have settings to change the spectrum manually. LED lights also generate a low amount of heat, so small plants and seeds won’t get too hot. Another plus is that LED grow light setups can be as small or as large as you want since LEDs come in so many different sizes. While LED grow lights are an amazing option, keep in mind that these lights are not cheap and if the price of the lights are too good to be true, it’s probably a knock off that is not made for plants. Be sure to do your research before purchasing an LED grow light.
Since marijuana legal states cap the number of plants home growers can cultivate (it’s usually around 6 to 12 plants), two grow lights are usually enough for the average person. If you’re growing marijuana indoors and you only have a small space like a closet, one light is enough. Some people that grow the maximum number of plants prefer to separate the plants that are in the vegetative state and those that are flowering since the lighting needs are different. If you’re planning to do this, you’ll need two separate grow lights. It’s important to remember that wattage is more valuable than quantity. A single high watt grow light can do the job the same or even better than multiple low watt lights.
As we mentioned earlier, there are three main types of plant grow lights for weed and companies continue to innovate and create new products all the time. Choosing the right grow light really depends on your expertise, budget, and the space and setup you have. If you plan on growing marijuana for the long term, it’s wise to invest in a high-quality grow light from the start. Remember when breaking down the costs that indoor grow lights will make up a large chunk of your budget. One cost most first time home growers forget about is the electricity bill, which can vary greatly depending on the type of light you choose.
If you’re just starting to build your indoor grow setup, it’s much easier to purchase a complete grow tent kit that comes with everything you need. The Mars Hydro TS1000 Grow Tent Kit is perfect for small spaces like a bathroom corner or closet, but the best thing is that you won’t need to place orders from multiple websites to get all the equipment. This grow tent kit includes a 2.3 ft. by 2.3 ft. grow tent that will reflect the light from the 150 watt LED panel, which hangs from the roof. You’ll also get a high-efficiency duct fan, duct clamps, carbon filter, flex ducting, four 5-gallon grow bags, a timer, and a thermo-hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity.
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