A lot of marijuana enthusiasts and growers spend hours and hours googling about the best equipment to grow weed indoors and something or the other related to it.
Once you are sorted out with the growing space, the next thing you need to lay emphasis on is the appropriate lighting. A majority of cannabis cultivators know how significant proper lighting is with regard to achieving a good yield. Natural sunlight is undoubtedly suitable for growing pot. However, cultivators like to grow pot indoors for several reasons.
In the first place, not every person lives in an environment where the growing climate is optimal. Secondly, growing indoor includes artificial lighting and temperature that can be adjusted. It helps the cultivator to have much better control over the growing cycle of cannabis.
“So, which is the best lighting that I should use to grow weed, though?”
Honestly, it varies as per the circumstances. In this article, we have leveled up to cover all your lighting-related queries, and we will try to cover all the pros and cons of CFL and HPS, which are the two most popular lights as of now amongst the Marijuana growers, so as to help you select the most appropriate lights to aid in growing best in kind weed.
Well, without any further adieu, let’s get right into it!
CFL: CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) lights are energy-saving light bulbs.
You might already know that CLF lights are industrial fluorescent tubes that are used for home use. Actually talking, they are light-emitting fluorescent tubes whose size has been scaled down through bending and rolling strategies.
Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFL are a perfect fit for a smaller set-up and are pretty affordable as well. Advantageously, these bulbs have standard attachments or sockets so that you can use them with any standard light installation. They don’t need any special attachments or anything.
You can easily find “daylight” CFL bulbs of a capacity of 6500K or “warm white”, with a reddish tone of a range of 2700K. Bulbs with a daylight tone are more fitting for the vegetative growth stage, while CFLs with a warmer tone are better for the flowering stage.
A primary 40W CFL bulb will not even be too heavy on the pocket. Also, they last for about a year. It makes them amazing lights for cultivators if you are on a tight budget plan!
What All Things Must You Keep In Mind Before Buying CFL Grow Lights?
Now that you have an overview of what are CFL lights, here are certain things that you need to look out for before buying one for growing weed indoors:
Full-Spectrum and Coloured Bulbs:
If you are using CFL lights as grow lights for growing weed indoors, both full-spectrum and color bulbs can be very helpful during the developing stage. In any case, we would suggest that if you are not on a tight budget, go for the full-spectrum option for the best outcomes. However, before you pick a multi-spectrum alternative, consider that they are somewhat more expensive compared to the latter.
It is ideal to choose a multi-spectrum alternative since it is the nearest option to natural sunlight with a full spectrum of light. In any case, we do approve that the discussion on which one is better is proceeding and endless. We would put forward that you pick one that accommodates your plans and spending plan.
The area to be covered is very vital with regards to growing lights, and you need to pick the best one carefully. The area that these bulbs will cover will increase if you move the plants higher. However, the intensity of these lights that your plant might receive will be very low in the given condition.
Nonetheless, then again, if you move the light near your plants, the PAR will hike up, and the coverage will decline.
To understand this the best, read the specifications of the CFL carefully so as to pick the most appropriate one. Be that as it may, be attentive. There might be chances that the PAR value given on the packaging might be misleading, so be careful about it.
Lumen and Wattage of the Bulb:
Indeed, your consideration for wattage and lumen needs to be controlled by the space that your indoor area covers, or basically the number of marijuana plants that are in the canopy.
By and large, it is a clever thought to use 80W-100W per square foot of your growing region.
For every 2-3 plants, you will require bulbs with 150 wattages or more.
Simply ensure that when you pick the bulbs, you don’t choose wattages and lumens so high that the plants get burnt. Give an adequate amount and superior quality of lights to your plants, and they will grow the best.
Let’s discuss some Pros and Cons of a CFL set-up for cultivating weed.
PROS Of CFL:
- It is pretty affordable and is available very easily.
- CFL is a good source of light, especially for beginners, as it is effortless to use and set up.
- It uses a very negligible amount of electricity and saves energy.
- CFLs are optimal for clones and seedlings.
CONS Of CFL:
- CFLs have a shorter life span as compared to other lights.
- It isn’t the most suitable light source for flowering.
- Lastly, it is only ideal for smaller set-ups as it can grow one or two plants at the max.
HPS: High-Pressure Sodium Lights.
High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are basically High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights. They run and discharge light when an electrical current is transpired through a tube loaded up with xenon gas and a gas that is a blend of sodium and mercury fume.
The resulting light is hefty in the orange/red spectrum at around 2200K. The spectrum is ideal for flowering marijuana plants. HPS lights give the yellows 570-590 (nm), oranges 590-630 (nm), and reds 630-750 (nm) coloring range which is incredible for the pot-growing and flowering stages. However, one must keep in mind that the HPS lamp’s spectrum might vary from color to color and manufacturers as well.
HPS lights will need a stabilizer to lead the flow of electricity to the bulb. The older ballasts work on a magnetic system and are pretty bulky. However, the newer ones are pretty much lightweight, smaller in size, and used in housing lamps. Also, they consume around 50 to 150 Watts of power.
HPS bulbs have a very limited life span. Not only this, their efficiency can wear off dramatically after a point in time. Despite the fact that the light may, in any case, seem bright to your eyes, your HPS light might have lost a lot of its lumen output after a few yields.
What all must you consider before buying HPS Grow Lights?
Most importantly, you’ll have to consider whether you have sufficient ceiling height to work with HPS lights. If you take a look at any distance-from-foliage design for HPS lights, you will see that 1000W bulbs should be hung at about 24″ from the top of your plant tent/canopy.
If you have the space for growing weed indoors with HPS grow lights, here are a few more things that you must consider:
HPS lights come in a wide range of sizes and wattages. The size and wattage value you pick decide the light’s coverage range.
The higher the wattage, the more significant is the area covered, and the more distance is needed from bulb to tent. The basic wattages for HPS lights are 150, 250, 400, 600, and 1000. A 150W bulb can deal with a 1.5’x1.5′ space, while a 1000W can deal with 6’x6′.
You are already aware that one of the downsides to using HPS grow lights is the high heat it emits, yet there’s an answer: the air-cooled design. Air-cooled lights work to dispose of excess heat from the nursery.
The heat from the light is contained inside a chamber. There’s a venting hole in the light’s canopy for ducting (usually 4 or 6″), permitting you to drive the heat from the light chamber from of the grow room.
In case you don’t have budget constraints, We suggest getting your hands on an air-cooled HPS. However, since this is a newer technology, low-scale ACMPR cultivators with restricted spending plans might consider alternative ways to cool the room/ tent.
Single and Double Ended Systems:
Single-end HPS bulbs resemble a customary lightbulb that is screwed on only one side. The Double-end bulbs look more like fluorescents since they screw into the structure on the two sides.
Double-ended HPS lights are expensive. However, they also accompany a lot of benefits. Both the intellectuals and weed-growing experts prefer using double-ended HPS lights for getting a better yield and a proper dispersion of light.
Notwithstanding the fact that, if you are a beginner, you can opt for a single-ended HPS light set up.
Cost is an extremely important factor, yet fortunately, the basic cost of HPS grow lights is not as much as LEDs. However, avoid buying the lights that are incredibly cheap; they might be affordable due to some of the other faulty reasons.
Now that you understand HPS Grow light, let us now dive into its pros and cons.
Pros of HPS Grow Light:
- Buying HPS grow lights can be simple since they come in sets. It implies that you don’t have to buy any accessories or anything cause the lights are the only thing you need.
- Secondly, HPS grow lights are energy efficient.
- These lights help the plant flower properly since they emit red lights; you can be confident that they will allow plants to bloom abundantly.
Cons of HPS Grow Lights:
- If you are on a restricted spending plan, HPS lights might not be the most viable option as they are expensive.
- It is a bit too tricky to dispose of HPS lights as they contain mercury. Due to the mercury present in them, improper disposal might lead to pollution of other junk too.
CFL Lights vs HPS Grow Lights:
To be very honest, it depends if you should opt for CFL Lights or HPS Grow Lights. It is rather circumstantial. CFLs are the most fitting light set-up for smaller spaces. They will help the plants to grow in a much better manner and can form dank buds, yet will take more work from you consistently as you will have to change the lights at regular intervals. These lights should be placed near your plants, and plants rapidly develop into the lights in case you’re not tending your plantation.
However, HPS grow lights don’t need to be changed on a regular interval, and they produce a rather intense light (a higher lumen/watt proportion) that gets plants to grow quicker than with CFLs. Usually, you will get better results over time with HPS lights (however, CFLs can deliver damp buds as well). However, in a smaller indoor space, an HPS grow light takes up a few more inches of the vertical space as compared to CFL lights.
We hope this article helps you to make a wiser choice when it comes to picking between CFL Lights and HPS Grow Lights to grow weed indoors.