Lighting for cannabis cultivation has improved a lot in recent years, thanks to technological advances in this regard, the demands of growers, legalization in many countries, and above all the need to achieve the most interesting type of light in the world. in terms of consumption and efficiency. At the moment we have different technologies or types of lighting available for indoor cultivation, but in this article we are going to see which ones are the best for different reasons. If you are thinking of renovating your grow room, you want to reduce your indoor consumption, or you need to improve performance without increasing electricity costs, you will like this article, so make yourself comfortable and I hope you enjoy reading it.
🎯 Best lights for marijuana today
Undoubtedly at this time the best lights to grow marijuana are those emitted by leds. LED is the acronym for Light Emitting Diode, that is, it is a diode that emits light, a small device that allows the passage of current in only one direction, which, when polarized, emits light. This represents a great advantage over other technologies that concentrate all the light in a spotlight, since in an LED unit there are many diodes spread over its entire surface, something that allows a much more interesting dispersion of light so that a good incidence to the entire crop area.
The light for classic marijuana had always been HPS (high pressure sodium) or HM (metal halide) technology because when indoor marijuana was first started growing in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the best available lighting. At that time they also began to use fluorescent lamps, which had the advantage of not emitting the heat that HPS give off, but they were only valid for covering the vegetative period and were not used for flowering due to their lack of intensity. Subsequently, CFLs (compact fluorescent) appeared, which are not very effective for producing buds either, but are still used for growing or maintaining mother plants and cuttings.
A few years ago, LEC (light emitting ceramic) technology appeared on the scene, which is similar in spectrum to HM but does not give off as much heat or consume as much, so it had certain advantages over classic lights for growing grass. However, although they were very successful at first, they were quickly overtaken by the latest generation LEDs.
🔥 LED lights for weed
The truth is that when the first models came out, many of us thought that growing indoors with LEDs would be a utopia, because they left much to be desired. The 1w diodes gave way to 2w and then 3w, and while it did improve the efficiency of the kits somewhat, they still couldn’t compare to the top selling grow lights at the time. Subsequently, COB (chip on board) LEDs appeared, which in a certain way began to approach the HPS in performance, but they were still not as efficient as the current ones. And so we come to the latest generation LEDs that we have available today, which have not only reached the power and quality of high pressure sodium or metal and ceramic halide lights, they have even surpassed them in every way.
Indoor crops with state-of-the-art LEDs require fewer energy resources, firstly because with lower electricity consumption they are able to achieve the same or higher yield, but also because by emitting less heat they require less air conditioning. This added to its much longer useful life than any other lighting technology, makes them the most environmentally sustainable.
Best LED brands for marijuana cultivation
More than the brand of the equipment itself, we must take into account the brand of the diodes and the drivers that compose them. In this case, Osram, Philips and Samsung have shown greater efficiency than any other brand. Among the LED systems, we must highlight those of the Lumatek brand and those of Mars Hydro, which from our point of view are above the others. But there are other lesser-known brands such as Solux or Sanlight that also assemble parts of the aforementioned brands, so they can provide similar benefits but at a lower price.
Within the different LED systems for cannabis cultivation, it is also necessary to differentiate between the screens that focus most of the light on one point, and others that consist of a structure with bars that distribute the light much better. In this last group, the Zeus models from Lumatek, the Fluence Spydr from Osram, or the Dreamcatcher and Galaxy from Solux are the ones that have the best quality/price ratio.
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✅ Growing marijuana with LED Vs HPS
The latest generation LEDs emit a spectrum of natural light, nothing to do with the old ones that projected a type of light that looked all reddish. This is a great advantage because they serve both for the growth and flowering of plants, and also allow you to see the real color of the leaves, and thus quickly check their health status or detect deficiencies, pests and fungi at first sight. In addition to being a good thing for us, the plants appreciate it because this light spectrum from the LED does not cause any stress. HPS emit a type of light that is very powerful but not very effective for plants, since it simulates the spectrum of the sun in summer, so they can be good for flowering but not so much for the vegetative phase. Metal halide lamps, on the other hand, simulate the spectrum of the sun in spring, therefore they are very good for covering the growth phase but not so much for flowering.
The height of the LEDs in marijuana cultivation is another advantage of this technology compared to traditional HPS. The height of the HPS was really marked by the temperature, although it has always been said that a 600w lamp must be placed 60 cm from the plants, the ideal was to bring them as close as possible within what the temperature allows, which in this type of light is usually very high. The LEDs emit hardly any heat, and this gives you the possibility of getting them very close to the plants, although it is recommended to leave a minimum distance of approximately 30 cm from the highest points of the plant.
🚀 Fluorescent, CFL, LEP, green light, ultraviolet and other technologies for indoor cultivation
Fluorescent tubes are still widely used in cannabis cultivation, but above all as maintenance light rather than for growth or flowering. This lighting is cold light, the color is usually white, and as they do not emit heat they can be very practical to place in shelves for rooting and maintaining cuttings. CFLs are compact low-energy fluorescents, and their main mission is the same as normal fluorescents, although CFLs can be used for the growth phase or for mother plant rooms. However, over the last few years, LEDs have taken all the prominence from fluorescents because they are also low in consumption, do not emit heat either, and are much more efficient.
LEP technology (Light Emitting Plasma) was very revolutionary at the time, but over time it has also been relegated to the background. It is a kind of mix between HPS and LEC, with great efficiency but with a lot of heat emission as a general rule. This type of lighting is more suitable for very large grow rooms, since with a 1000w unit you can illuminate an area of 2m x 2m, but placing the unit at a great height, so they do not make as much sense in grow cabinets. or small rooms.
We all know that darkness must be respected during the night cycle of plants, because otherwise we could cause light stress. So what can we do to be able to work on the crop without disturbing them? There are 2 options, either work during the day cycle, or place a green light lamp. Green light does not bother plants because it seems that they do not have photoreceptors for this type of light spectrum, therefore it does not cause them any type of stress.
📲 UV light for marijuana plants
Within the entire ultraviolet fraction of the sun’s spectrum are the famous UVA rays, which in addition to making us tan in summer, stimulate plants to produce more resin and essential oils. For years it has been known that plants grown in high mountains, on the equator, or in the tropics, generate more cannabinoids and terpenes than those grown in other regions of the planet. Within ultraviolet light there are also UVB rays, which, unlike UVA, have the ability to reduce the production of CBD, so it would not be so interesting for crops aimed at therapeutic consumers.
Another advantage of ultraviolet light for growing marijuana is that it can serve as a fungicide, reducing the germination capacity of the spores and slowing down the growth of the mycelium. As a negative point, it must be said that prolonged exposure to this type of light on our part is not good, it makes the use of protective glasses mandatory, and your skin may suffer burns or other problems. But as has happened with the rest of the types of light for cultivation, the new latest generation LEDs are taking over all indoor cultivation spaces, and being full spectrum they also emit a small part of UVA and UVB rays, for what are the best for everything.
✨ LED lights for marijuana for sale
If you are already convinced of renewing the lighting for your cultivation with LED lights but you still do not know which one to choose, I recommend you start with a bar system such as those of the Lumatek Zeus models, since from our point of view they are the best in relation to price quality. If you want a cheaper model, look at those of the Solux brand, which, as I told you before, do not have much to envy to those of the most advanced brands because they have a very similar technology and mount the same diodes and drivers, which after all After all, it is the most important thing about the LED.
Lighting for growing cannabis plants has come a long way and we now have many different technologies to choose from. In this article we have seen which are the most common today, and I hope it will help you to choose well the next time you have to renew the light in your indoor. If you liked it or have learned something new, I hope you share it on your social networks so that the information reaches more people, from here we thank you in advance.
⭐ Frequent questions
What is the best light for indoor cultivation?
Undoubtedly at the moment the best light for marijuana is the latest generation full spectrum LEDs, especially the bar systems due to the unbeatable distribution of light they achieve, the quality and light power, their low consumption compared to other technologies, and most importantly, its great efficiency.
How many watts should my grow light have?
Well, that depends on the type of light and the grow space you want to illuminate, but to give you an idea, with HM or HPS you need about 600w/m2, with LEC around 450w/m2, and with LED 400w/m2 would suffice. . With fluorescent lights it is not highly recommended to grow unless it is to maintain plants, because development is very slow.
What color grow light is best?
The best is the spectrum most similar to that of the sun, which is currently only achieved by the most modern LEDs. It is a color that hardly changes the real color of what it reflects, just as it happens with sunlight, but it contains all the colors that the plant needs for its correct development, from growth to flowering.