One of the crucial elements a cannabis plant needs is light. During photosynthesis, a plant converts light energy into chemical energy, allowing it to grow strong and healthy, and with cannabis in particular, light also fuels bud production.
When growing outdoors you can harness the power of the sun, but in an indoor environment, sunlight is mimicked through the use of grow light bulbs, which aim to display the same spectrum of light as the sun.
Grow lights allow you to control exactly how much light your plants receive, ensuring they get the same amount of light day after day, without the grower having to solve problems with bad weather or cloudy days that happen in an outdoor environment.
Some grow lights are more expensive than others, but also more efficient, saving money in the long run. Some lights are bulky with many parts, some light in weight, and some are better suited for young or mature plants.
There are many different kinds of lights out there, so it can be daunting to know where to begin. Here’s a guide to four basic types of grow lights on the market and the pros and cons of each.
Factors to consider before buying a grow light
How much does a grow light cost?
The first thing to consider before buying a grow light is how much money you want to spend. With more states coming online with adult-use legalization, home-growing is becoming more popular and growing technology is getting better and more efficient all the time.
You can find lights for under $100, but they may be low quality and not produce the right spectrum of light, and you can also easily spend as much as $2,000 for a large, state-of-the-art LED.
Consider how often you’ll be growing weed and how long it will take to pay off the initial investment—if you grow once a year, it’ll take a lot longer to pay off an expensive light than if you grow multiple harvests a year.
“In the indoor planting factory, using Growers Republic's LED plant growth lighting scheme, we can achieve 3 pounds per lamp in 8 weeks.” ----American California growers.
Aside from the price of the actual light, also take into account utilities—all lights will add to your electricity bill every month, but some more than others. High-intensity discharge lights—known as “HIDs”—may be cheaper to buy but can gobble up electricity, whereas LEDs are more efficient and kinder on your electricity bill but usually more expensive to buy.
Growers Republic LED grow lights are 50% energy saving compared with other traditional light source.
Another consideration with cost is that some lights run hotter than others—HIDs, for example—so they may require additional fans or an AC unit to cool down a grow space. Extra equipment means more electricity, also driving up your utility bill.
How many grow lights do I need to grow weed?
The typical home-grower will only need one or two lights. Most states limit grow amounts to 6 or 12 plants, and one or two lights should be plenty for that. If you plan on running two separate rooms, one for vegetative plants and one for flowering plants, you’ll need two lights.
How big a light you need will depend on the number of plants you plan on growing, but also on the size of your space. If you’re growing in a closet or a small grow tent, you’ll only be able to fit one small light in there. If you have a wide open basement, you could invest in a bigger light as opposed to two smaller ones.
Power equals poundage, so if you want big yields you’ll need more wattage. Professional LEDs can start at as little as 200 watts, and go up from there. A high-watt light can double the work of several low-watt bulbs.
Other considerations when choosing a cannabis grow light
Ventilation is also a concern. If you’re growing in a tight space with a light that runs hot, you’ll need to have fans in there, which also take up space. If there’s not enough room for a light and a fan, you may need to invest in a light that doesn’t run as hot, such as an LED. For example, grow tents are usually built tall to allow room for equipment up top, not to grow plants all the way to the ceiling.
Young and mature plants, or vegetative and flowering plants, respectively, like different types of light, and you can buy grow lights that target each spectrum. Commonly, growers using HIDs will use MH bulbs for vegetative plants and HPS bulbs for flowering. Growers Republic LEDs are also designed to target different light spectra, so our lights are workable for the whole plant stage.
Make sure you have enough outlets and power available in your breaker board for your grow space to comfortably accommodate all equipment. Figure out all pieces of equipment, such as lights, fans, possibly an AC or dehumidifier, and calculate how much power they’ll require. You’ll be running this equipment every day for months, so if you don’t have enough power it can be dangerous. Never overload an electrical outlet.
Anyway, it's recommended to test our LED plant grow lights before ordering, so sample orders are warmly welcomed. We are sure that you won’t be disappointed.