Growing cannabis indoors seems like a tricky task if you don’t know what you’re doing. As a beginner, you might be overwhelmed just by the amount of equipment you’ll need in order to yield the most bang for your buck. Getting started might be a pretty big investment with tons of things to purchase, but one that will almost certainly pay off!
There are some things you can cut corners on -like getting a smaller grow tent and air filter, but one thing you don’t want to skimp on is the grow light.
Growing anything indoors automatically means less sunlight -which just happens to be a huge part of what plants need in order to grow (especially cannabis plants during the flowering phase). So before you go out and purchase your indoor cannabis grow lights, make sure to follow these tips.
1. Know your options
CFL (compact fluorescent lamps)
CFL’s are essentially a more compact version of what you would see in school classrooms and office buildings. In the world of growing weed, you’ll probably see references to T5’s, where the “T” means tubular, and the “5” refers to its diameter of ⅝’s.
CFLs are cheap and efficient lights for growing cannabis indoors, but they don’t provide enough light energy to maximize flower production during the final growth phase. This is why many growers switch out their lights toward the end of the growth cycle to something more powerful.
HID (high intensity discharge)
HID lamps come in two main variations: MH (metal halide) and HPS (high pressure sodium). The difference between the two comes from the gas contained within the bulb itself. MH lamps are typically used during the vegetative stage of growth, and HPS lamps are versatile enough to cover both the vegetative and flowering stages.
HID lamps have been used by major marijuana manufacturers for a long time due to their ability to produce a lot of light and heat. You need to be careful though when it comes to using HID lamps -they use a lot of electricity, and produce a lot of heat.
Make sure your breaker board can handle the excessive power necessary to run these lamps for months at a time, and that your tent has plenty of airflow and ventilation. Otherwise, you could be in for a disastrous first attempt!
LED (light emitting diodes)
While HID lamps have been the conventional go-to for cannabis growing operations in the past, LED lights are becoming the new norm. LED grow lights are extremely energy efficient, so you won’t have to worry about overloading your breaker board or running up the electric bill as much as you would with HID lamps. LED’s tend to run much cooler than HID’s, so you won’t have to worry about your tent burning down either!
LED lights are suitable for both vegetative and flowering stages of growth, so there’s no need to switch out lamps -just switch the UV setting! The technical capabilities of LED grow lamps unfortunately make them more expensive, but they last longer, and will most certainly save you energy consumption!
2. Select a light suitable for your growing plans
One of the most challenging parts to growing cannabis is making decisions before ever getting started. How many plants are you allowed to grow at one time? -This will vary depending on where you live.
How much time can you spend on everyday gardening maintenance? The answer to this question will help you determine the number of plants you should grow.
How much space do you have for a grow tent? The answer to this will also affect the number of plants you’re able to grow, as well as the type of plants you want to grow. Indica plants will grow short and bushy, so you can leave them in a shorter tent, but sativa plants tend to grow tall and lanky, so a taller tent might be necessary. Learn more about the difference on Veriheal.
If you’re only interested in cultivating one or two plants, then there’s no need to purchase a walk-in-sized tent with enough light for twenty different cannabis plants, but if you’re interested in getting started on one or two plants and expanding to four or five down the road, then it might be wise to invest in more light.
The bottom line is that if you can afford the cutting-edge LED grow lights, then you should make the investment. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get started, then go with the T5’s using daylight bulbs during the vegetative stage, and swap them out for warm white bulbs during the flowering stage -it’s that simple.
Growing cannabis indoors can be tricky, but getting the right indoor grow lights can make your next harvest the best one yet!