Choosing the right indoor grow lights can be a daunting task for new comers, and veterans alike. With so many choices in types of lights along with different powers in wattage, choosing the right light can seem almost impossible. That's why here at Redbud Soil we have curated our top picks for high quality grow lights that can be used for growing marijuana and hemp. We offer options for indoor use, and greenhouse use. Whether you have a small personal home grow, or a large industrial commercial grow, we can outfit your grow with the best grow lights the industry has to offer.
How do I choose the right grow light for my grow room?
The first thing to factor in is how many square feet you are trying to cover with your grow lights. Once you have this number you can use the manufacturer specs to figure out the spacing for that particular grow light, and then you will know how many lights you need, and also how to wire for your said grow lights.
We can use a 1000 watt DE grow light as an example. It is the industry standard in a lot of commercial size grows. The price point is low, and they cover a roughly 5' x 5' area. They can be hung 10' to 12' in the ceiling, and will penetrate all the way through your plants. Depending on strains grown, you can average 2 to 3 pounds per light of dried product. Due to their large foot print you need less of them than a traditional single ended grow light, which translates into less heat being generated.
When choosing your grow lights you want to think about how big of a factor heat generation is. 1000 watt DE grow lights generate a lot of BTU's, but they also yield extremely heavy. Typically based off of the price of the end product per pound, the heat generation is easily justified. LED grow lights generate way less heat, but will also yield less. They also do not penetrate the canopy like a DE light will. That being said, if heat is an overall factor, then LED grow lights are definitely worth looking into.
Depending on the size of grow you are doing, you also need to consider what voltage you need your lights to be. Some large commercial grows in industrial building in the middle of cities, may have 3 phase power, where as a small home grow may want to use 120 volts. A lot of fixtures on the market today auto adjust their voltage based on the input coming into them. The only thing you would need to do is buy the correct cord set for the voltage being used, and plug into the appropriate socket.
What is the difference in all of these different lights like HPS, DE, Metal Halide, CMH, & LED?
The different types of lights all emit different types of light. An HPS light, which is also what a traditional DE fixture uses, is that orange glow you are use to seeing in grow rooms. They have been the work horse of the industry for decades. They yield well, and the color of the light grows healthy plants.
Traditionally growers of marijuana would use Metal Halide for vegetative growth. This is more of an old school idea as light technologies have progressed. You don't see as much metal halide being used, because of the use of CMH and LED technologies. However metal halide was the go to for veg because of it's bright white light. Their bulbs ranged from 4k to 10k in color temperature, and people would often use the 10k bulbs to finish out their flower rooms for a supposed boost in trichome production. This isn't used that much anymore do to newer lighting technology though.
Ceramic Metail Halide has replaced the use of traditional metal halide grow lights. CMH grow lights have more usable light for the plant which makes them more energy efficient. You can get a 1000 watt CMH light fixture that can cover a 5' x 5' and will also penetrate all the way through a plant like a DE light will. With more usable light for the plant, you tend to get heavy yields, and a more robust plant. CMH lights typically come with either a 3k or 4k bulb, and can be run the entire life of the plant. No need to switch between old style single ended hps lights and metal halide lights.
Newer in the grow industry is the use of LED lighting. Companies have been making and selling Led grow lights for many years, but until recently they haven't even come close to living up to their purported specifications. They lack canopy penetration, and your crop was full of airy popcorn buds. Newer model LED grow lights have increased canopy penetration and yields have increased over older models. LED grow lights use much less wattage than traditional lightning, while also producing less heat. You will save on your electric bill from the watts drawn from the light themselves, and also from the use of less AC being needed to cool your grow room.
LED grow lights are suited for home grows, and commercial grows, but care needs to be taken when choosing which light to use to make sure you have enough light for the square footage you are trying to light up. In warmer climates the lower yields may be worth the money do to the savings incurred from less BTU's needed for your AC. LED lights have truly come a long way over the past few years, and are now a viable option for all sized grows.
Choosing the right grow light for your next or current grow doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. With a little thought and planning you can ensure your garden is healthy and happy, and have plenty of light, with the right color temperature, for optimal plant growth. Our staff at Redbud Soil Company is always here to help guide you through the process of choosing the best lights for your particular situation. Give us a shout with any questions you may have.