Aim to keep the budget low, since if you’re spending more money you should just go for HPS or LED systems, and get some quality day-light spectrum bulbs like Emart 4332004402 Full Spectrum Light Bulb.
The amount of heat these give off is so limited that forgoing to use of large ventilation systems is doable, as long as odors aren’t a concern. Put a CFL in a closet with a small reflect and some mylar around the room, and you’ll be surprised by the amount of light they can produce for such a small purchase.
There are minor benefits to swapping to one of these bulbs during flowering, as a supplemental, but the extra growth versus effort and expenses isn’t that much. Sticking with the best day-light bulbs throughout the grow is the best way to go about this type of project.
This is a four-pack of day-light spectrum CFL bulbs for an absurdly good price that, combined, will be plenty to grow cannabis into maturity. The Philips T2 Spirals will not last as long as the aforementioned Emart brand product; however, if a single grow is all you’re after, look no further.
Small & Low-budget Grows
These will never match the light-giving powerhouses that are LEDs and HPS systems, but a well-cared for plant underneath a good CFL system will indeed bear fruit.
You can also spend a bit more and get the Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLCDG125D CFL System for multiple plants.
This is the rub of a lot of powerful CFL lights, they tend to burn themselves out and don’t last like LEDs. That being said, this is a very powerful light that will give plenty of power to a medium-sized grow all the way to harvest. The reflectors here are sturdy and well built, they do a good job reflecting that light where it needs to go. The Agrobrite is a good middle ground between the likes of more expensive LED and HPS systems, without shelling out the cash needed for those.
Lastly, they just don’t tend to last for a long time. Lower light-spectrum CFLs burn out at a very fast rate compared to daylight bulbs. Stick to daylight spectrum bulbs and spend your budget and effort elsewhere.
For the money, we think this is the best CFL light for growing cannabis.
Set up your lights so that they can start around the height of your pots and eventually be raised to the final height of your plant (2-3 feet depending on your marijuana strain and how long you let your plants stay in the vegetative stage).
Personally, for me, adjusting the lights was one of the most fun parts of growing marijuana using this method because it gave me something to do while I was hanging out in my grow room.
This will greatly help reduce the amount of salt buildup and prevent nutrition problems from occurring. If your marijuana shows signs of drooping, chances are you are over or under-watering.
Pros of Growing Marijuana with CFL Grow Lights and Coco Coir
I think it would be safe to assume that even a beginner can expect to get 1-3 ounces of dried buds per plant if you just follow these instructions. Even if you mess up (and you will), you’ll still get at least that if you can get your plants to harvest.
Yields to Expect: 1-3 ounces/plant (if you follow the directions in this tutorial)
These lights are easily found at the store or online. You can get lower or higher wattage bulbs, but I like bulbs close to the 40w range because they produce a lot of light, but are still a small, manageable size.