If you’re looking to grow marijuana plants indoors, you need to choose the right grow lights. Without adequate light, you won’t get a decent harvest. The best lighting usually equals the highest quality THC, so it’s essential to get the best ones you can afford. There are so many different types of grow lights available that finding the ideal ones for your needs is challenging.
This article provides a handy list of some of the best marijuana grow lights for indoor weed currently available on the market. Some of them are cheap; others are a little pricier. Regardless, if you use them correctly, they’ll get the job done.
Why Should I Use Indoor Marijuana Grow Lights?
The uninitiated may believe that house lights are sufficient for cannabis plants. However, even if you use LED lighting, it is almost certainly too weak to help a marijuana crop in a grow room. Remember, your home’s lights are designed for your eyes rather than plants. The light spectrum required to help us see is very different from what plants require for photosynthesis.
There are plants like microgreens that can flourish with a basic lamp. However, marijuana plants require fairly strong and consistent light to help them into the blooming phase. Remember, when you grow cannabis indoors, you’re competing with the sun in terms of light! This means you need high-power lights in your plants’ grow space.
These days, cannabis growers are spoiled for choice with grow lights. There is an incredible array of options, providing better safety, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency than ever before. Simply put, if you want a decent yield, you must invest in specific marijuana grow lights.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Grow Lights for Weed
Before we reveal the different grow lights for weed, there are quite a few factors to consider. Therefore, we condense them into a handful of handy categories below.
First thing’s first; what is your budget? If it is under $100, you can still find something. However, you won’t get anywhere near the yield of what a $1,000+ high-quality LED system provides, for instance. Also, bear in mind that you need different lighting for the various stages of the grow cycle.
It is best to calculate how much cannabis you need each year. MMJ patients and regular recreational users are best served making a one-off investment in decent standard lights. Also, the more harvests you intend to have, the quicker you ‘pay off’ the cost of lights. If you only plan to grow cannabis occasionally, HIDs may fit the bill because of their cheaper initial cost.
Certain lights run significantly hotter than others. HIDs, for instance, run extremely hot and need an air conditioning unit. Otherwise, the temperature of your grow room could become excessive and harm your plant’s growth. Please note this is an extra expense to add to the ‘cheaper’ HID setup.
How big is your grow room going to be? If you don’t have much space, you should steer clear of ‘hot’ lights, or else the room’s temperature will increase rapidly. You also won’t have enough space to install an AC unit.
Check your breaker board to ensure there are plenty of outlets and enough power to handle your lighting easily. Next, go through your full list of equipment to determine its power usage. If you don’t have enough power capacity, the risk of electrical fires increases markedly.
Growth Cycle Stage
The lighting required by cannabis plants varies according to their stage in the growth cycle. Young plants require a different light spectrum from their mature counterparts. For example, Metal Halide lights are associated with plants in the vegetative stage. In contrast, HPS lighting is frequently used in the blooming phase.
The Best Indoor Cannabis Grow Lights: What Types Are There?
There are various light types, with different pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for. We offer a rundown of the most common options below. Are you stuck for time? Check out the pros and cons of each at a glance.
● Creates less heat compared to other lights.
● Incredibly energy efficient, which means a lower energy bill.
● You can purchase them from a variety of locations.
● Long lifespan.
● No learning curve for beginners.
● High initial cost.
● They can require large boards of LEDs due to their relatively low power.
● Some manufacturers make dubious claims as to the strength of their lighting.
● They’re typically the choice of professionals.
● They are the most intense light option available, ensuring your plants get all the light they need.
● Lower initial cost than LED.
● You need multiple types of HID grow lights for different stages of growth.
● HID lights require additional investment in protective hoods and reflectors.
● You need to replace the bulbs regularly.
● They run extremely hot and consume a lot of power.
● Low electricity usage.
● Low heat output means you can place them close to plants.
● Widely available.
● You can use them in a small grow space.
● Only useful for small grows.
● Reduced efficiency and low yields.
● Every bulb needs a socket.
Short for light-emitting diode, an LED is a simple form of light with an efficient energy signature. Due to how the light is generated within an LED, they use a meager amount of electricity for the same amount of light compared to other sources.
However, LEDs have a pricing problem. The lights you need for cultivating cannabis are costly. If you try and use the cheap, Christmas-style lights, your weed harvest will be smaller than the LED’s carbon footprint. If you want to invest in your bud correctly, prepare to spend a substantial amount of money.
One great benefit of LED grow lights is that they create comparatively little heat compared to other types of light.
This ensures you don’t overheat your grow room. Marijuana plants like a warm environment. However, excessive heat damages them and may also cause a fire in your grow room.
LED grow lights can also distribute a fuller light spectrum due to how the light is created through electroluminescence. This can result in a better, higher quality yield from your bud.
This benefit is somewhat counteracted by the fact that the average LED light board is quite low-powered. As a result, you either require multiple boards or a huge, single one. Also, you only get the best results with LEDs that offer a full spectrum of light.
HID Grow Lights – The Traditional, Energy Hungry Choice
HID grow lights, short for High-Intensity Discharge, are large light bulbs that emit a tremendous amount of heat and light. They usually require a full exhaust fan to remove the excess heat, and electricity consumption is enormous. Also, they generally need a decent amount of time and space to set up a properly working system.
HID Lights are typically divided into a few different varieties or sub-categories:
Metal Halide Grow Lights
Metal Halide or MH grow lights are primarily used during the vegetative stage. This is the part of the cannabis plant’s life where growth takes off and leaves begin to flourish. MH lights produce a strongly blue-tinged light, which the plants prefer at this stage of growth.
It might sound strange that a plant prefers a type of light. However, different colored lights are mostly just different wavelengths and intensities. Due to this difference in wavelength, the plant prefers stronger or weaker lights at various stages of its development.
For the early vegetative stage, the blue glow from the metal halide lights is best.
High-Pressure Sodium Grow Lights
High-Pressure Sodium, or HPS, grow lights are far more efficient than other forms of HID. They emit a gentler, yellow light that cannabis prefers when it is in the flowering stage. This yellow light helps encourage intense bud production. In addition, it allows you to configure the eventual size of your harvest more precisely.
You can buy HPS lighting in a variety of strengths, but don’t use 1000W. It is far too powerful and is only suitable if you have created a vast underground field of cannabis plants! Instead, a pair of 400W or 600W HPS lights should suffice.
Light Emitting Ceramic Grow Lights
Also known as ceramic metal halide lights, this type of lighting features a collection of ceramic heating elements inside the lamp. Manufacturers use ceramic because it has a higher arc tube temperature. Arc tubes help create the lighting within MH lights. The result is enhanced efficiency and color rendering.
The choice of whether to use LEC over the standard MH grow light is a personal preference. However, it’s also tied to cost. LEC grow lights represent a higher initial investment. Yet, they also are more efficient over the long haul, lowering your overall electricity bill.
HID grow lights are old school and can produce a vast harvest but use a considerable amount of electricity. However, they’re still widely considered the standard for indoor marijuana cultivation due to their efficiency and power output. They are also cheaper to buy before electricity costs enter the equation.
Fluorescent Grow Lights – Best Used for Small Grows
The two types of fluorescent lights are T5 and CFLs. The former is long and narrow, while the latter are twisted into the shape. They have cool, warm, or full-spectrum colors. Growers sometimes use them because they are cheap to buy and have a low energy consumption, saving money on energy bills. They also provide a pleasant color for an indoor growing site.
Fluorescent lights also don’t require a ridiculous variety of different lights like HID lights.
Furthermore, fluorescent lights don’t need the investment of an additional setup like with HID. You also don’t need to include a particular ventilation system to keep the room’s temperature down.
However, fluorescent lighting provides lower yields than its rivals. You must also position them close to your plants to derive any benefit. This means you can use them in a small room, but they are ineffective if you plan to grow several plants.
Final Thoughts on the Best Grow Lights for Indoor Marijuana
When growing marijuana indoors, you have to decide what takes top priority. Do you care about your energy bills, the environment, secrecy, or efficiency?
If you’re looking for discretion, LED grow lights and fluorescent grow lights are the likeliest options. However, if you’re after efficiency, HID is probably the best grow light for marijuana available. That is, as long as you don’t mind the increase in your electricity bill.
Then again, if you have a grow space of less than five square feet, fluorescent light is enough when your plants are small. You can upgrade to a 250W HPS as the plants get larger. If you have space, an MH light for plants in the vegetative stage and HPS for the blooming phase works well. Using MH lighting throughout is fine but will have fewer flowers, more foliage, and a lower yield.
Different options work best for different solutions, so pick the one that’s right for you and work to its advantages. Once you have selected the right light for your needs, you can start growing cannabis. After choosing the soil type, your fertilizer preferences, and a few other things, of course!
Can I Use Any LED Light as a Weed Grow Light?
Yes. However, a plant’s LED light power requirements change during the growth cycle. As your plants get larger, they’ll need a high-powered LED to thrive. The standard LED bulb that works during the first few weeks of growth is insufficient in the flowering stage.
Do I Need Special Cannabis Grow Lights?
Yes. Cannabis plants grow naturally in the sun, which provides an incredible amount of light. You need to replicate this light source as much as possible, and this is where marijuana grow lights come in. Apart from providing enough light, they also ensure your plants benefit from the right light spectrums.
Are House Lights Good for Plants?
No. The lighting in the average home is wholly ineffective for marijuana plant growth. It is designed to help us see, not assist plants in achieving photosynthesis.
What Is the Average Cost of Indoor Grow Lights?
It isn’t easy to give a reliable estimate since there are several light options, and you need different lighting depending on the stage of growth. In general, you might pay close to $300 for a standard 1000W HID grow light, while a 630W LED light could cost over $1,500.
How Much Light Does a Weed Plant Need?
This is another challenging question to answer. According to cannabis cultivation experts, you should begin by multiplying your grow room’s width by its length. For example, a room that’s 200cm long and 120cm wide (2m x 1.2m) has a grow space of 2.4m2.
Then you need to decide on the type of lighting you want. For instance, you would need 1000W of HPS lighting or approximately 500W of LED lighting in our example. First, however, more complex measurements are considered, such as photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD).