Marijuana grows best under artificial light. But not all lamps are made the same. When you’re growing weed, you need to choose a lamp that will provide the exact right amount of light for your plants. There are three main types of lights in marijuana grow rooms: HID (High Intensity Discharge), CFL (Compact Fluorescent) and LED (Light Emitting Diode). Each is appropriate for specific uses, but which one should you choose? Here, are some factors to think about when selecting your marijuana grow lights.
What are the Different Types of Marijuana Lights
Lights come in different sizes and styles. HID, or high intensity discharge, is the most common type used in cannabis grow rooms. HID bulbs are “full spectrum” bulbs that come in all shapes and sizes. HID is suitable for all cannabis strains, but its warm, bright light can harm some cannabis strains. These lights usually cost about $40 to $50 per bulb. The light produced by CFLs are compact fluorescent bulbs. These light bulbs use mercury to produce light. CFLs are known for making a warm, yellow color. These bulbs also are generally cheaper than HID bulbs, but their light does not penetrate as deeply. CFLs are typically only used for growing cannabis indoors. CFLs are designed to last for up to 10,000 hours of use. This is generally the equivalent to 20 to 30 years of continuous use.
The easiest way to think of an LED is as a compact fluorescent lamp, which is essentially a halogen light that emits green light. The advantage of an LED is the long lifespan. CFL’s last up to 50,000 hours, which is one to two times less than CFL bulbs. However, CFL’s only emit light for one hour per day, which is not much. HID lamps typically last between 100,000 and 250,000 hours. LEDs are extremely efficient, making them a better choice for growers. Lifespan LED grow lights last between 10,000 and 50,000 hours, which is up to 50 times longer than CFL bulbs. For the best light, LED lights give a constant glow 24 hours a day. CFL grow lights only emit light when they are needed.
CFL Versus HID
A CFL is a type of light bulb that emits a warm white light. It provides nearly as much lumens (amount of light) as a full-size light bulb, and it consumes about 25 percent less energy. HID bulbs emit a harsh, yellow light that is very easy on your eyes and sometimes harms your plants. They should only be used in bathrooms, hallways, and outside in some light shade. HID bulbs can produce a lot of light. It depends on the color temperature of the bulb, and the strain of marijuana you’re growing. You can use the bulb in an HID grow room because it’s considered safe for those plants, but you should change it out periodically to ensure it’s running at a consistent temperature. LED lights are getting much more popular.
When to Use Each Type of Marijuana Light
HID (High Intensity Discharge) Most indoor marijuana grow lights come in this category. They have a very low wattage output of 200-300 watts, so you’ll need at least 4-5 of these lamps in a typical grow room to produce enough heat to help your plants grow. If you’re planning to grow indoors, HID lights are generally the best choice. HID lights are commonly found in greenhouse grow rooms. CFL (Compact Fluorescent) This type of grow light is one of the best general-use lights. CFL lights are produced with a compact fluorescent bulb and produce a uniform, less powerful light output. CFLs are generally found in grow rooms that are only growing a few plants. They’re great for growing large quantities of cannabis that are needed for infused edibles or concentrates.