Grow Lights for Marijuana Cultivation

Nov 18, 2013 Growing Tips
Grow Lights for Marijuana Cultivation

Grow lights are able to provide your marijuana plants with artificial sunlight. If you like to have fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers all year around grow lights are just for you. They also allow you to start your seedlings early in the season. There are three different types of grow lights.

Grow Lights for Marijuana Cultivation

Marijuana loves plenty of sunlight. Here are some useful tips:

HP sodium lights emit 20% more light than any other lamps.

Horizontal reflectors generate 40% more light than vertical ones.

The most reflective surfaces are: pebble specular, anodized aluminum, white.

The worst reflective surface is mirror finish.

400 watt lights must be 18-24’’ above your plants, 600-1000 watt lights must be 24-30’’ above your plants.

Light meter is a very useful thing!

Using grow lights you will get the strongest and healthiest marijuana plants. The brighter light the better!

HID (High Intensity Discharge) Lighting
HID lamps are the most efficient to the consumer. There are two types of HID grow lamps:

Metal Halide – MH

Metal halide bulbs emit light in the blue spectrum. Blue spectrum of light encourages plants growth and is good for green leafy growth and also it keeps plants compact. If it is impossible to grow your plants under sunlight use metal halide lights as a primary light source. The average service life is about 10,000 hours. The bulb will work beyond this time but it won`t be efficient. Comparing brightness (lumen) per unit of energy it can be stated that MH lights produce up to 125 lumens per watt compared just to 39 lumens per watt with fluorescent lights and 18 lumens per watt for standard incandescent lights.

High Pressure Sodium – HPS

High pressure sodium lamps produce an orange-red spectrum of light. This spectrum of light encourages plants to flowering and budding. If used together with natural sunlight these lamps are the best for secondary or supplemental lighting. It will be great to use them in greenhouse.

This type of light is not only good for flowering; we will tell you why it is also a great economical choice. Their average service life is 18,000 hours of use, but after this point they will start to draw more electricity while producing less light. High Pressure Sodium lamp emits up to 140 lumens per watt. But there is one disadvantage – they do not produce the blue spectrum.

If you start to grow a marijuana plant under a HPS bulb, you would see vertical growth. Most marijuana plants grown under HPS lamps would become thin and long and you will have to prune them. But not in a greenhouse. Sunlight will compensate the lack of the blue spectrum preventing any stretching caused by HPS bulbs.

HID Lighting Helpful Tips

Hanging height: These types of lamps emit heat and must be hung according to size. 100-250 wattage systems should be placed 2 feet from the marijuana plants. 400-600 wattage systems should be placed 3 feet from the top of the marijuana plants. 1000 and up wattage systems should be hung 4 to 5 feet from the top of plants.
How long should lights run?

Generally, the time of operation depends on the type of plant. Most marijuana plants need about 10 to 12 hours of sunlight for good growth. But if cannabis plants produce fruits or flowers they need up to 16 hours of light.

Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lights are perfect for seedlings. They are also can be used for low-light cannabis plants cultivation. These lights produce less heat and can be hung 8\”-15\” from plants to be effective. Fluorescent lights lumen is output not enough for flowering and budding.

Incandescent Lighting

Incandescent lights are also good for seedlings. This type of light does not require a ballast. These lights also have low lumen output so they work only for individual plants.