Just like any other plant, the marijuana plant also needs a substantial amount of light. The intensity of light needed will vary from one species to another. It will also differ at different stages of growth. Nonetheless, light is essential for proper germination, growth and development. The main benefit of light is production of chlorophyll. This is the green matter that makes a plant look healthy. It is also an indicator of a plant containing all the necessary ingredients. Usually, plants grown in the outdoors will receive sufficient lighting throughout their lifespan. There is a common slogan that states more light equates to more buds.
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The Appropriate Amount of Light
Cannabis is a very versatile plant. It can virtually grow anywhere. However, it also requires a substantial amount of light for it to grow properly. On average, the plant has a lifespan of one year. This basically means the plant will grow from seed to plant within one year. The sun is known to be the best source of light. This is due to its intensity and lengthy availability. Generally, a plant will require more light during its germination stage, (at least 8 hours). When in the budding stages (flowering stage) it will require less light (at least 12 hours of night).
Why People Are Opting For Indoor Growing
Traditionally, marijuana was mainly grown in the outdoors. However, of late, quite a number of people are opting to grow the plant indoors. There are a couple of reasons that are influencing this trend. These comprise of the following:
- Scarcity of Space: – Due to lack of enough space, it is becoming more suitable to grow it in the garage, backyard, or in potted plants.
- Legalization: – The plant is increasingly becoming legal in many states and regions thus giving people a new opportunity to cultivate it.
- Improved Technology: – Better technology is leading to quality grow lights that are nearly as effective as sunlight.
- Better Management: – Environmental and weather conditions affect how well a plant will grow. However, growing it indoors allows a grower to manage the plant much better. For instance, a greenhouse will minimize the effects of pathogens, parasites, diseases, and much more.
- Convenience: -Having your plant within your reach also adds convenience to the grower. The need to go out in the field especially during bad weather is completely done away with.
Types Of Grow Lighting
Over time, different types of marijuana grow lights have been invented. Each type of light will have its benefits as well as drawbacks. Therefore, as a potential cannabis grower, or a person looking to upgrade the lighting, it is necessary to research on the most suitable ones. You should also note that Incandescent light is not appropriate for marijuana growing. The most common types readily found in the market are as follows:
- High Intensity Discharge (HID)
These are among the most powerful lighting devices. They will produce high intensity of light thereby accelerating the germination and growth. Unfortunately, they also produce a lot of heat which is not suitable for the plants. You may thus need to locate them at a distance. In addition, you also have to come up with a design that easily dissipates the heat or else you may turn your garden to a kiln. Furthermore, they are not so energy efficient hence will increase your power bills. The lights may come as HPS (High Pressure Sodium) or Metal Halide (MH) lights.
- Compact Florescent Lights (CFL)
CFL are also quite popular especially for the first timers or novice. They are also referred to as starter lights. Unlike the HID lights they are quite basic hence easy to setup. In addition, they also consume less energy due to their simple design. Another advantage of the starter light is that it does not produce as much heat as MH or HPS. So, you can use them within a very small area or in a region that has restricted ventilation. Unfortunately, the lights will usually be suited for a small space. Besides, upgrading the lights is not easy and straightforward.
- LED (Light Emitting Diode)
LED lighting is viewed as the light for the future. Every other day, newer technology makes them more efficient and user-friendly. For instance, some LED lights are quite durable. They also produce very minimal heat hence fit for the plants. In addition, the grow lights are also known for their energy efficiency. As a grower, you can always leave the lights on for longer without fear of tripling your power bills. Unfortunately, the initial cost of installing LED lights is quite high. On the other hand, finding the right system that works may require a bit of research and skill. This is probably because the lighting fixtures are still in development.
What to Consider When Installing Grow Lights
As a grower, you should play close attention to the cost of purchasing, installation, and also power usage.
- Intensity of Light:
The more intense the light the more productive the crop.
- Heat Production:
It is also good to consider using lights that have minimal heat as too much heat affects productivity.
- Energy Efficiency:
Using the lights increases the power bill. Therefore, you may need to go for energy efficient lighting.
- Brand Reputation:
It is important to go for well known brands as this assures you of good production. This may particularly apply to LED where some brands are very good while others simply do not work.
- Suitability for Each Stage:
Some lights will generally work in all stages. However, some will only be fit for a certain stage. For example, Metal Halide (MH) is usually ideal for the vegetative. On the other hand, HPS are suitable for the flowering stage.
The possibility of growing cannabis indoors brought relief to many growers as well as users. The availability of the plant was no longer determined by the weather and climatic patterns. For instance, it was known that during long nights, there was a scarcity. Furthermore, bad weather such as hurricanes, storms, or torrential rains would easily sweep clean a field full of marijuana. Fortunately, grow lights have not only made it possible to increase your yield, but also watch over the plants. Besides making use of the ever decreasing spaces, it also ensures that you will always produce high quality commodity all year round.