With so many different types of cannabis growing lights on the market today it can be hard to know which ones the grower should buy and which ones to leave on the shelf. Not to mention using the lighting correctly, that can cause all sorts of issues with growing healthy cannabis plants.
As you can see it is very easy for a cannabis grower to make mistakes when using cannabis grow lighting. In this article we will detail the most common mistakes that growers make when using growing lights for cannabis cultivation.
Different Types of Grow Lights for Cannabis Cultivation
There are several types of grow lights that can be used for growing cannabis, and the best one for you will depend on a variety of factors including the size of your grow space, the size of your plants, and your budget. Some of the most popular types of grow lights for cannabis include:
- High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights: HPS lights are a popular choice for cannabis growing because they produce a lot of light and are relatively cheap to operate. However, they do produce a lot of heat, so you’ll need to make sure you have good ventilation in your grow space.
- Metal Halide (MH) lights: MH lights are another popular choice for cannabis growing because they produce a lot of light and are relatively cheap to operate. Like HPS lights, they do produce a lot of heat, so you’ll need to make sure you have good ventilation in your grow space.
- LED lights: LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for cannabis growing because they are energy efficient and produce very little heat. However, they can be more expensive upfront than HPS or MH lights.
- Fluorescent lights: Fluorescent lights are a good budget option for small grow spaces or for seedlings and clones. They produce less light than HPS, MH, or LED lights, so they are not suitable for use during the flowering stage.
Ultimately, the best grow light for you will depend on your specific grow setup and goals. I recommend doing some research and considering factors such as cost, efficiency, and the amount of heat produced before making a decision.
Choosing Cheap Lights
Every grower will have different cannabis lighting requirements for their growing space. One of the biggest mistakes that we see in many cannabis gardens is buying lighting that is too weak for the space or a low quality cannabis growing light. There are hundreds if not thousands of low quality cannabis growing lights sold on places like e-Bay and Amazon. These lights are sold to provide extra light for a house plant setting and not growing quality cannabis buds. When shopping for the best cannabis growing lights, make sure to check that it will provide enough light for your plant in all stages of cannabis growth, from germination, to vegetative growth up to and including flowering of the plant. The plants will need more light progressively up to the start of the flowering stage of growth.
Having a weaker growing light may work great for seedlings, and vegetative growth, however once you are ready to start flowering the plant the lighting may be far too weak to grow larger cannabis buds.
How to tell if your Cannabis Growing Lights are Sufficient?
When growing cannabis there is a fine line between giving your cannabis crop too much light, and not enough light.
Giving your cannabis plants too much light can result in cannabis plants that can turn yellow, burn at the growing tips, and most of all jack up your electric bill for no reason. There are a few key signs the grower can use to assess if their cannabis plants are receiving too much light from their cannabis growing lights.
First, the leaves will start to turn yellow for no reason, and many growers will mistake this as nitrogen deficiencies. If the leaves fall off by themselves this can be attributed to nitrogen deficiency, however if they are hard to remove by hand this could be a sign of over lighting your plants.
Your lights could also be too close to the tops of your growing cannabis. If this is the case you will see plants that look bleached at the tops and buds. To test this place your hand under the growing light. If it feels warm after a minute or two then it is most likely too close to the plant. Move the light up from the plant until there is very little heat at the growing tips of the plant.
On the other hand if your plants are receiving too little light, then they may start to stretch. The plants will grow very tall, with weak stems. They will fall over easily in vegetative growth. In flowering the buds will be light and airy and will not produce much weight when harvested.
In this case the grower will need to increase the size of their lighting, or if possible move the lighting closer to the tops of the plants. By moving the lighting up and down, you can test the best cannabis growing light heights for your plants.
Using a Light Meter for Cannabis Growing Lights
A LUX Meter can be purchased by the cannabis grower, to measure the strength and lighting output of their lighting. These can be useful for testing the power of your lights, and to see if the lighting is becoming weaker. If the lights are outputting less LUX it may be a sign they are needing to be replaced, or you may have burnt out LEDs.
Using a LUX meter can benefit a grower to help them understand how much lighting they need to grow healthy and productive cannabis plants. They can help growers place their lighting at the correct heights to get the best from the lighting that they have. Most growers don’t know that many cellular phones now come with a LUX sensor that they can use for free. Check your brand details to see if your phone has this type of sensor, otherwise you can buy one to check LUX of your lighting.
Biggest Mistakes we see Cannabis Growers making using Cannabis Growing Lights
- Not providing enough light: Cannabis plants need a lot of light to grow properly. If you’re not providing enough light, your plants may grow slowly or not produce as much bud.
- Providing too much light: On the other hand, providing too much light can also be a problem. Cannabis plants can become stressed if they receive too much light, leading to reduced growth and lower yields.
- Using the wrong spectrum of light: Different stages of the cannabis grow cycle require different spectrums of light. For example, blue light is better for vegetative growth, while red light is better for flowering. Using the wrong spectrum of light can lead to reduced growth and lower yields.
- Not providing enough coverage: It’s important to make sure that all parts of the plant are getting enough light. If some parts of the plant are not getting enough light, they may grow slower or not produce as much bud.
- Not providing enough air circulation to cool lights: Good air circulation is important for cannabis plants to grow properly. Without it, plants can become prone to diseases and pests.
- Using lights that are too close or too far away: The distance between your lights and your plants is important. Lights that are too close can cause your plants to become stressed, while lights that are too far away may not provide enough light.
- Using the wrong light duration: Cannabis plants need a specific amount of light per day in order to thrive. Make sure you are providing your plants with the correct amount of light by using a timer to control your grow lights.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your cannabis plants grow healthy and produce a high yield.
Cannabis growers should take cannabis growing light just as seriously as their nutrients, soil and air movement when setting up and starting a growing space. The lighting is just as important for growing healthy cannabis and having successful yields for their plants. We have also made many of the mistakes above when using growing lighting and we hope this article will help you to not make the same mistakes that we have made over the years when it comes to growing lighting for your valuable cannabis crops!