The typical homegrower will only need one or two lights. Most states limit grow amounts to 6 or 12 plants, and one or two lights should be plenty for that. If you plan on running two separate rooms, one for vegetative plants and one for flowering plants, you’ll need two lights.
However, because of their low price, if you’re new to indoor growing and not sure how often you’ll do it, you may want to invest in an inexpensive HID light at first to test the water.
Consider how often you’ll be growing weed and how long it will take to pay off the initial investment—if you grow once a year, it’ll take a lot longer to pay off an expensive light than if you grow multiple harvests a year.
Make sure you have enough outlets and power available in your breaker board for your grow space to comfortably accommodate all equipment. Figure out all pieces of equipment, such as lights, fans, possibly an AC or dehumidifier, and calculate how much power they’ll require. You’ll be running this equipment every day for months, so if you don’t have enough power it can be dangerous. Never overload an electrical outlet.
Ventilation is also a concern. If you’re growing in a tight space with a light that runs hot, you’ll need to have fans in there, which also take up space. If there’s not enough room for a light and a fan, you may need to invest in a light that doesn’t run as hot, such as an LED. For example, grow tents are usually built tall to allow room for equipment up top, not to grow plants all the way to the ceiling.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are fluorescent lights similar to what you’d find in a school or office building, but smaller. For growing weed, they are usually called “T5s”—the “T” stands for “tubular” and the “5” refers to its diameter, “⅝”.
HIDs have been the standard in indoor weed growing for decades, but LEDs are quickly catching up to them.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are relatively new to the cannabis growing world, compared to HPSs, MHs, and CFLs, but they are quickly proving to be the way of the future. LEDs may be more expensive to buy initially, but they are far more efficient and kinder to the environment and your electricity bill. Some cities even give tax breaks to commercial growers who install or switch to LEDs because they’re better for the environment.
Aside from the price of the actual light, also take into account utilities—all lights will add to your electricity bill every month, but some more than others. High-intensity discharge lights—known as “HIDs”—may be cheaper to buy but can gobble up electricity, whereas LEDs are more efficient and kinder on your electricity bill but usually more expensive to buy.
HID lights for growing marijuana.
There are many types of lights, but below are the four most common you’ll find in a grow room. There are many variations within each of these four types as well, and new lights and technology come out all the time.
Fixtures come in all shapes and sizes and can usually accommodate 4-12 long fluorescent bulbs; a standard size is 8 bulbs. Fixtures usually have a reflective material to bounce light in one direction, down on your plants.
Lights have fixtures and bulbs, and some require a ballast. Depending on the type and model, the bulbs or the fixtures can be more expensive. There are a lot of abbreviations, but don’t be alarmed.
Here are a few different CFL grow lights at different price points.
How many grow lights do I need to grow weed?
The first thing to consider before buying a grow light is how much money you want to spend. With more states coming online with adult-use legalization, homegrowing is becoming more popular and growing technology is getting better and more efficient all the time.
There are many different kinds of lights out there, so it can be daunting to know where to begin. Here’s a guide to four basic types of grow lights on the market and the pros and cons of each.
Both types of HIDs are usually inexpensive to buy but will eat up electricity. HIDs throw off a lot of light and heat, which the plants need to bulk up and get potent. But, they run hot, contain heavy metals, and ballasts can fail.
How big a light you need will depend on the number of plants you plan on growing, but also on the size of your space. If you’re growing in a closet or a small grow tent, you’ll only be able to fit one small light in there. If you have a wide open basement, you could invest in a bigger light as opposed to two smaller ones.
One of the crucial elements a cannabis plant needs is light. During photosynthesis, a plant converts light energy into chemical energy, allowing it to grow strong and healthy, and with cannabis in particular, light also fuels bud production.
Another reason why you might need lights for growing weed is when you grow multiple plants. A single plant in a sunny room or discreetly placed on a balcony can grow just fine with sunlight and perhaps a small LED, such as what we sell on A Pot for Pot’s website. However, multiple plants will need more substantial lighting.
Can I leave my grow light on 24 hours?
Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.
Top 10 Indica Strains.
In terms of coverage, the light from this LED panel can reach 7-8 square feet, so you can easily compute how many you’ll need based on the size of your indoor grow space. The Roleadro LED panel has an estimated service life of 50,000 hours, so they should last for a long time, and, like all other LED lights, this panel emits hardly any heat while working. That means, your plants are unlikely to experience light burn.
The only drawback of the G8LED is that it is on the pricier end of the lighting options, but what you get makes this high cost pale in comparison.
Online Grow Support.
As you can see, lights for growing weed can be complex – especially when you need to grow multiple plants or use photoperiod plants. You may have also noticed that many of the top 10 lights are LEDs, and it’s no surprise. LEDs offer superior energy efficiency, varied light spectrums, and a long life. Indoor growers of all experience levels know how well LEDs perform, which is why we offer a Light for Pot – Single Pot 75 Watt LED Grow Light in the Pot for Pot shop for those that choose to grow indoors. We also strongly recommend growing auto-flowers.
Regular incandescent bulbs give off more yellow and orange light, starving leafy plants while they burn them.
With all these variables in mind, you can then consider your options. Here are some of our favorite cannabis grow lights:
10. California Lightworks Solarstorm LED Grow Light.
Whether you are new to growing marijuana indoors, or a certified expert, you will certainly agree that the Roleadro LED panel is an excellent option because of its versatility. Depending on the configuration of your indoor grow space, the Roleadro LED panel can be used on its own or in combination with other lights. This light emits both blue spectrum light and red spectrum light, meaning your photoperiod plants will have all the light they need.
The Sunblaster CFL light doesn’t require any change to the existing light fixtures since the bulbs are compatible with the common bulb holders installed in homes and other buildings. They, unfortunately, don’t last long. Their rated lifespan is 10,000 hours.
The good news, however, is that this light has plenty of options. If you purchase and install a dimmable ballast, you can dim the light as needed. That makes the Apollo MH Light suitable for photoperiod cannabis plants at various stages in their growth process.
Whether you are growing a single plant, or a massive garden, LED lights are some of the best options around.
4. Sunblaster CFL Grow Light.
As an LED, the 440Watt California Lightworks Solarstorm will work for your plants’ entire lifecycle. The light provides five bands of high PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) from the deepest blue colors to the deepest red colors of light – a rich blend of everything your marijuana plants need.
The fluorescent light tubes are also two feet long, so the four 24W tubes each provide double the amount of light that you can get from ordinary lights. The T5 is suspended from two points, making it easy to install or adjust relative to the size of your plants. This light system works very well for larger gardens because of how much space a single light can cover.
The Lithonia Light GRW is a hanging light that is suitable for both larger indoor weed grow operations as well as small hobby gardens. This is because you can simply adjust the chains to adapt the light system to the evolving size of your plants.
One of our favorite features – the main reason we’ve included it in our top 10 lights for growing weed indoors is their safety mechanism. Fires from faulty lighting are a dangerous risk, and this light comes prepared. The bulb has open and short-circuit protection. This protects you from being shocked when it reaches the end of its life, or if you try to switch it on after a defect with its ignition.
The downsides of this light are that it is rather noisy and doesn’t include dimming options. However, it still deserves a spot on our top 10 list.
Full tutorial on CMH / LEC grow lights (LEC stands for “Light Emitting Ceramic” and is a type of Metal Halide bulb that is built with ceramic like an HPS – basically it’s sort of like a blend between MH and HPS bulbs)
Pros and Cons of HID Grow Lights.
Cannabis plants under a T5 grow light – when plants are trained (like these ones in a Scrog setup) you can get pretty decent yields from fluorescents.
CFL grow lights are the twisty-looking bulbs you can find anywhere you normally buy light bulbs. They produce a great spectrum for growing cannabis and can be used in tiny spaces where no other grow light would fit such as the inside of a cabinet.
For the many growers who are unable to cultivate cannabis outside in the free abundant sunshine, grow lights are necessary to successfully grow cannabis indoors. Grow lights take the place of the sun, and power the growth of your plants and their buds. Light is like “food” for your plants, so without a lot of bright light, even a healthy cannabis plant won’t produce much bud at all.
These are actually just two names for the same thing. This type of metal halide bulb uses ceramic as part of the lamp just like an HPS. As a result, CMH bulbs are more efficient than regular MH lights (though still not as efficient as HPS bulbs).
If you get very high-wattage LEDs, you may need to vent out heat to keep the grow space cool.
Full tutorial on MH & HPS grow lights (most common grow light combination for cannabis)
More Light = Bigger Yields! (up to a point, it is possible to give your plant too much light!)
HID grow lights are much more efficient than fluorescent lights and are powered by large, oddly-shaped bulbs. They are usually screwed into a reflector or hood to reflect more light down onto the plants. HIDs are great at growing cannabis, but they also get very hot and are usually hooked up to an exhaust to help vent out heat.
3 Main Classes of Marijuana Grow Lights.
Compare the Pros and Cons of Each Grow Light.
Keeping CFLs close results in the best yields and growth.
T5s are much bigger/wider than CFLs and usually come as part of a panel, but they can still be kept mere inches away from your plants without worrying about burning them.
2.) High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights.
3.) LED Grow Lights.
Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights.
There are lots of options for grow lights that work well for growing cannabis indoors but in the end they boil down to 3 major types:
Pros of Fluorescents.
Simply hang an LED light over your plants and start growing!
Metal Halide grow lights are generally used for the vegetative stage because they produce a bluish light that vegetative plants love, though this type of light can also be used all the way to harvest.
These cannabis plants are thriving under T5 grow lights.
There is a larger size MH/HPS grow light available (1000W), but at that size it starts going outside the scope of a “hobbyist” grower as far as ease and yields. In addition to needing a lot of extra cooling which costs electricity, a 1000W HPS grow light is less efficient compared to a 600W grow light (as far as how much light is put out for electricity used). I think most hobbyist growers would be happier with a 600W, or even two 600W lights, over a 1000W 🙂
T5 Grow Lights.
“LEC” and “CMH” both refer to Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights, which is a type of HID light that is a bit more efficient than a regular Metal Halide light.
Some types of induction lights are well suited to stadium lighting but honestly they just aren’t that great for growing cannabis and they come with huge price tags. Even a lot of LEDs are cheaper and you’ll get better results with them. You can learn more about induction grow lights here.
The light from an HPS appears yellow, and is great for flowering plants because the light spectrum stimulates bud production.