The best grow lights for weed help you reap monster yields for your indoor garden. When growing indoors, you need the right amount of light for plants. A simple desk lamp won’t work. Weed isn’t like your traditional houseplant. Indoor cannabis gardens need bulbs that have the right color spectrum and light intensity as the sun.
Conventional lighting such as incandescent bulbs in your home isn’t enough to stimulate the photosynthesis needed to grow your plants. Indoor gardens need a consistent and powerful light source. Choosing the right type of light during different parts of the plant’s life cycle is crucial. Our article shows you which types of light work best for your indoor grow.
Understanding Color Spectrum
When shopping for supplemental lights, you’ll encounter different numbers representing color temperatures measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Essentially, the color temperature of a lamp describes how the appearance of the light to the human eye when lit. For reference, sunlight falls in the 5000K to 7000K range.
Color temperatures represent the relative coolness and warmth of the color spectrum. Lights in the 2700-2800K range represent “warm” light. Higher temperatures indicate a “cooler” effect featuring lights that have a bluish tint. When growing cannabis indoors, you’ll need both low and high spectrum bulbs. If possible, go for full-spectrum bulbs to streamline your lighting needs.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
Most modern fluorescent bulbs can provide decent lighting for your indoor plants. Fluorescent lighting is perfect for small spaces or those on a smaller budget. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are ideal for clones and small plants. T5 bulbs are also good for supplemental lighting. Ideally, look for fluorescent bulbs with a full-spectrum of color.
These affordable bulbs produce a fairly weak light that needs to be very close to the plants to have an effect. Its light doesn’t penetrate into the garden as much. That means it’s not great for growing tall plants. Expect to grow about 0.25 grams of flower buds for every watt of light. The other two types of lighting can get you up to four times as much yield.
LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights are a bit more expensive than fluorescent bulbs, but use less energy and last longer than CFLs or T5s. LEDs also have a higher light intensity for deeper light penetration. LEDs are ideal for a larger grow since they can produce a higher light intensity per square foot. Unfortunately, all that intensity translates to more heat compared to fluorescents.
Some LED bulbs have built-in cooling capabilities, but you may need an exhaust fan to reduce the temperature in your garden. When buying this type of light, look for bulbs that have a full-spectrum of lighting power. With the right set-up, LEDs can produce about 0.5 grams per watt or better.
HID Grow Lights
High-intensity discharge (HID) lighting is the gold standard for commercial cannabis cultivators. Why? HIDs produce a powerful light that goes deeper into the foliage than LEDs or fluorescent lighting to produce higher yields. As a result, this lighting requires a lot of energy and fixture costs. It also produces an excess of heat requiring an exhaust fan to vent it out.
There are two types of HID bulbs. Metal halide (MH) grow lights are primarily used during the plant’s vegetative stage because of its bluish light. High-pressure sodium (HPS) lights produce a yellow light that’s perfect for the flowering period. These two types of light are often used together up to harvest season.
Ceramic metal halide (CMH) and light-emitting ceramic (LEC) are essentially the same types of light. These bulbs use ceramic similar to an HPS in order to increase lighting efficiency compared to MH lights. HPS lights are still considered the most efficient in terms of yields per watt. HPS can produce between 0.5 to one gram or more per watt.
Best Grow Lights for Cannabis
The best grow light for you will depend on the size of your garden and budget. When shopping for lights, consider factors like warranties and money-back guarantees. Remember, lights differ in energy use, maintenance level, and color spectrum. Here are just a few of the best grow lights for growing cannabis for personal use.
iPower 600-Watt HPS Dimmable Grow Light
This lighting option is an affordable and effective option that comes with both HPS and MH bulbs for use during various stages of growth. Dimming functions allow you to mimic shorter daylight. This choice has short-circuit protection against excessive currents that can shock you.
Roleadro Galaxyhydro Series LED Grow Light
Roleadro’s full-spectrum LED panel is ideal for any stage of your plant’s growth. This light has both red and blue spectrums, which are necessary during the plant’s vegetative and flowering phases. Its heat removal system keeps your bulbs cool even during extended uses.
Apollo Horticulture GLBMH400 MH Grow Light
Apollo Horticulture’s 400-watt bulb is best used during a large garden’s vegetative stage. This light can last you up to 10,000 hours before needing replacement. Install a dimmable ballast to reduce light intensity when needed. Since it doesn’t come with a standard base, you’ll need to consider the cost of buying a proper light fixture.
Hydrofarm 125-Watt Compact Fluorescent Grow Light with Dew Guard
Hydrofarm’s CFL is a good choice for a beginner grower on a budget. The kit comes with a complete unit featuring a light reflector to maximize lighting capabilities. This kit is super easy to set-up, too. All you need to do is take it out of the box, plug it in, and set it above your cannabis garden.
Master Grower Certification
Become a growing expert and start your cannabis career today. Our master grower certification offers you comprehensive cannabis training to take your garden to the next level. You’ll learn the fundamentals of growing from seed to harvest. We’ll teach you what you need to know about seed germination, irrigation, pest control, lighting, ventilation, and so much more.