Cannabis cultivation has been a growing trend in today’s modern world as marijuana is fast becoming an accepted commodity. Because of that, indoor marijuana growers are also on the rise. But since the sun’s light distance from cannabis indoor tends to be quite wide, you need artificial lights to do the job for you.
What are the types of artificial lights used in cannabis cultivation?
There are three main of artificial or grow lights are:
High-intensity discharge or HID lights have been the most commonly used grow lights since the 1990s. This is because they are efficient light sources to use and can provide a lot of light (as the name suggests) for your cannabis to stay happy. The optimal light distance for HID lights is somewhere in between 30 and 50 centimeters.
Fluorescent or CFL bulbs are grow lights that are easiest to find as they are readily available in any kind of store. That is because these lights are commonly used in many households. Moreover, they are much more affordable than any other light source. If you are using CLF bulbs, make sure that they are about 10 to 50 centimeters away from your plants.
LED are the newer types of lights used for cannabis cultivation. It was only in recent years that it became a viable option for many growers as advancements have improved the amount of light that LED bulbs can provide your cannabis plants. LED lights need to be distance about 15 to 50 centimeters from the cannabis plants.
Pros and Cons of each artificial light source
Pros: HID bulbs are initially very affordable when you purchase them. They are also very easy to use and set up as you won’t need a lot of experience to know how to properly put up an HID bulb. They are also proven to show results as they have been used by indoor growers for decades already.
Cons: HID bulbs tend to produce a ton of heat compared to other light sources (hence the name high-intensity discharge). That said, your indoor system needs to have an efficient ventilation system to exhaust all of the heat that the bulbs emit or else your cannabis might not be able to grow well in such a high-temperature environment.
HID bulbs also don’t have a long lifespan as they will eventually degrade and become useless. This means that you might incur a lot of expenses when you constantly change bulbs every now and then. HID lights can also spike your electricity bills up because of how they need a lot of power to operate.
Pros: They are readily available in the market and can be easily purchased. They also have standard sockets that can fit any light socket that common houses have. This means that they are easy to use and to install. They also come in a lot of different types of colors that vary depending on your needs and goals for the strains you are growing indoors.
Cons: CFL lights don’t have the same kind of light output as an HID has. This means that they are not as powerful and as effective at supplying your cannabis plants with the optimal amount of light they need to thrive well in an indoor system. If you want to increase output, you will be forced to use a lot of CFL bulbs but that will only spike your electricity bill up.
Pros: In terms of energy efficiency, LED lights are the best. That is why a lot of homeowners have switched to LED lights. Cars are also using LED for their headlights. Even phones and tablets use LED lights. What this means for your cannabis plants is that you will be able to provide them with the optimal amount of light at a lower cost.
LED lights also don’t emit as much heat as HID bulbs. That said, you won’t have to worry about burning your cannabis plants or emitting too much heat for your marijuana to handle. And, just like CFLs, LEDs can easily fit standard light sockets.
Cons: LEDs emit less intense light. This means that your plant yield won’t be as high as it should be. That said, Kris Krane, president of a cannabis consulting firm, said that LED technology still isn’t up to par if you want to produce high-quality strains of cannabis.
Also, LED lights tend to be initially more expensive than some other artificial light sources. Nevertheless, they still work well in the long run especially if you are planning to run a larger cannabis operation because of how LEDs tend to be more power efficient than all of the other types of artificial lights on the market.