Growing cannabis outdoors means dealing with a host of issues from inadequate sunlight to pests. Since the cannabis plant is photoperiod sensitive, it requires 16 to 18 hours of light per day during the vegetation stage, whereas at least 12 hours of darkness is required during the flowering stage.
Maintaining optimum conditions for a good quality high yield crop throughout the year is an impossible task. Thus, indoor growing is preferred for medical purposes as it gives one complete control over the conditions, ranging from moisture to lighting. In this post, we’ll take a look at the types of indoor lights — both traditional and modern-day — used to grow the drug indoors.
Conventional Lighting vs Modern-Day/Smart Lighting
The following are the traditional lights that have been used to grow cannabis indoors:
- Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide (CDM)
- Metal Halide (MH)
- High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)
- Fluorescent Lights
The first three are high-intensity discharge lights that are used during different stages of the plant’s life-cycle.
MH produces a bluish light and can be used all the way through to vegetation stage, while HPS lights produce a reddish tint which is good for promoting bud production. Although the high-intensity discharge lights are highly efficient, they can burn a hole in one’s pocket.
However, in the modern-era, cultivators are no longer bound to using these costly options. These days, all indoor facilities are equipped with LEDs. Courtesy of full-spectrum light-emitting diodes, companies no longer require installing and maintaining different bulbs for different growth stages. In fact, contemporary LED bulbs come with built-in cooling systems, which alllow them to be placed much closer to the plants without the fear of causing any damage.
Conventionally, fluorescent lights were used to prevent smaller plants from burning under high-intensity lights, especially during the vegetation stage. But, once past the vegetation stage, fluorescent lights do not offer enough Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) for the plants, which in a nutshell implies smaller yields with low-quality buds.
For a medical marijuana cultivator, the said result is a huge No! LEDs come in handy here as well as they offer more PAR and help growers get the most out of their set up.
The Bottom Line
In comparison with all the traditional high-intensity discharge lights, LEDs are the most efficient and cost-effective.