Fixtures come in all shapes and sizes and can usually accommodate 4-12 long fluorescent bulbs; a standard size is 8 bulbs. Fixtures usually have a reflective material to bounce light in one direction, down on your plants.
These fluorescent lights are cheap and efficient and great for vegetative growth. They’re especially great for helping along germinating seeds and small seedlings because they don’t put off much heat and won’t scorch the delicate seeds. They won’t run up your electricity bill too much.
New LED grow lights come out all the time, but knockoffs abound. There are a lot of cheap LEDs that don’t produce the right spectrum of light for plants.
Here are a few different CFL grow lights at different price points.
Best HID grow light brands
You can find lights for under $100, but they may be low quality and not produce the right spectrum of light, and you can also easily spend as much as $2,000 for a large, state-of-the-art LED.
HID (high-intensity discharge) is an umbrella term under which MH and HPS bulbs fall, which we’ll discuss more below. These types of lamps have a hood that reflects light and bulbs that are enclosed capsules containing a gas, as opposed to bulbs you’d find in your house, which have a filament that heats up.
LEDs also typically run a lot cooler than HIDs, so you may not need extra equipment to cool down your grow space, and one LED can usually be used for both vegetative and flowering growth. Some high-end LEDs allow you to change the spectrum for each growth stage.
HPS (High-pressure sodium)
Young and mature plants, or vegetative and flowering plants, respectively, like different types of light, and you can buy grow lights that target each spectrum. Commonly, growers using HIDs will use MH bulbs for vegetative plants and HPS bulbs for flowering. Some LEDs are also designed to target different light spectra.
Some grow lights are more expensive than others, but also more efficient, saving money in the long run. Some lights are bulky with many parts, some light in weight, and some are better suited for young or mature plants.
This is especially common in the flowering/budding phase, especially towards the end of flowering when the same leaves have been directly under the LED for months. Discolored leaves don’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong, especially if the LED grow light is being kept far enough away, but if you’re noticing it particularly near the lights, it’s a good indication it might be light burn. Most modern LED grow lights need to be kept at least 12-18″ away to prevent light burn.
Breakdown of Most Popular HLG LED Models:
Grow Space: 3’x4′ or 3’x5′
LED grow lights need to be used properly to get the results, but if you know what to expect they pay you back with built-in cooling that allows a grower to hang their lights directly over their plants without worrying about fans, ducting or ballasts. They are easy on the electricity bill and don’t cause a lot of heat problems.
LEDs vs Other Popular Cannabis Grow Lights
This company is known for great customer service and a 5-year warranty on all their lights.
Average Yields: 6+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields
The standard panel LEDs have small to medium wattage diodes and the lamps tend to be more compact. Most LED grow lights available today are in this style. They are sort of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of features from both.
Six plants in a 4’x4′ grow tent, grown under two ES300 lamps
Cannabis plants grown under the L450 Kind LED grow light
There are three main types of LED lights for growing cannabis indoors – standard LED, COB LED, and spread-style LED. The one you choose will depend on your budget and individual grow space.
LED Lights for Cannabis
Although most LED lights now are full-spectrum, some are still made only for vegetation. Ensure you’ve got a full spectrum LED light fixture if you’re using the same lights throughout your grow. You’ll also need the right amount of lumens (not wattage!) for your grow space.
LED lights have heaps of benefits when it comes to growing marijuana. For starters, they’re generally far more affordable compared to HID fixtures.