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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lights/Lightening on your indoor cannabis plantation

Lights for indoor cannabis plantation Light is one of the most important things we have on earth, some say water is the most important thing, but without light, there wouldn´t be liquid water on earth. So what is more important, light or water? Well, that´s like the question, what existed first, the hen or the egg?
We humans also need sunlight, without it our body wouldn´t be able to build vitamin D. For cannabis plants it is even more essential, as they need sunlight for the photosynthesis, that’s just the word for the ability of the plant to build Chlorophyll and thus be able to suck out nutrients out of the soil.

If you had been reading our blog about “how to grow cannabis” or at least some of its postings, than you already know that you will need different lights for your cannabis plants, depending if they are in the vegetation period or in the flowering period. Here you will find the explanation why the number of Watt is not the most important factor for lamps, as it doesn´t tell you how much of its light can be used from the cannabis plants.

You will also find out what is behind measurement unit PAR and what nanometers are. For sure you will also know than everything else you need to know about light and how plants can use it. And finally you will also achieve the information what kind of lamps you should use for your indoor cannabis growbox or growroom.

What are phase wavelength, PAR and nanometers?

The spectrum of light has a range from ultraviolet to infrared. The phase wavelength is always measured in nanometers; the shortcut for nanometers is nm.
But for plants, including Cannabis, not every phase wavelength is useable. Plants for the photosynthesis can use everything between 400 and 700 nm only.
That brings us to the measurement unit PAR, it is the unit that tells you how much of the light is useable for the photosynthesis.

It sounds complicated now, but it isn´t. Just keep in mind, nm tells you the wavelength and that only 400 to 700 is useable and PAR fits it together, so that you don´t have to count around.
PAR also stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation.

Why doesn’t a high Watt amount mean better light?

As you can see above, Watt just tells you how much power the lamp uses to produce light. But just because the light is stronger, it doesn´t mean that it produces more light that can be used for the photosynthesis.

Now you should know what to look out for, for a high PAR-Watt number, as this is the amount of power that fuels your cannabis.

What light to use for the cannabis vegetation period?

For sure you should use neon lights for the “Cannabis Vegetation Period”, they need not much power, don´t cost much money when you buy them and they have a low heat production. But watch out to not just buy any neon light from the home improvement store, because they got a wrong light spectrum in most cases it is under 300 nm.

The best idea is to check what´s in stock in a head- and growshop, so you can be sure that the material offered is in the right nm area for your cannabis plant growth. For each square meter of grow room, you will need around 2 neon lights. Neon lights can be bought for just a few Euros; if you need also the fixture it costs a bit more. But in total you will be at around 90€ per square meter.

What light to use for the cannabis flowering period?

HPS sodium vapor lamp to grow cannabis
A HPS sodium vapor lamp is required for this period. Modern sodium vapor lamps even offer the ability to switch between the light spectrums and therefore can be used for both cannabis growing periods. But that can be expensive, as they need really much power to run. Another problem is the heat they produce, because this makes a large space between the cannabis plants and lamp necessary. Since you got not much space in your grow box, you should maybe check for a cooling system, so that your cannabis can grow closer to the lamp without being burned. You can find here more information about the “Cannabis Flowering Period”.

Are there alternatives to these lamps to grow cannabis?

There are not much alternatives, you could use energy saving lamps for the cannabis vegetation period. But they are not suited perfectly, so they are only the perfect option for the first third to half of the vegetation period. It can be said you can forget about them, as your neon lights already don´t use that much energy.

LEDs for growing cannabis
A way better and newer method is the usage of LEDs for growing cannabis; they are now also available with a light spectrum that fits to the photosynthesis. The problem is that LEDs are very expensive, but since electricity becomes more and more expensive, it is worth to think about it. But be careful to find a long lasting and good quality, because LEDs are always expensive, yet not always of good quality. The growing LEDs are only a few years old and therefore the producers are still gathering information to make high quality grow LEDs.

Now you understand a bit more about the lights used to grow cannabis at home! Seriously, is not that difficult to grow great cannabis flowers in your house for your own personal or medicinal use!

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