Choose the right lighting for indoor growing
With the cold weather fast approaching, outdoor growers are moving indoors to continue harvesting throughout the winter. Shopping around for which lights to use indoors can get overwhelming with so many different types.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects to consider when growing indoors. Marijuana plants can be manipulated to produce higher yields by changing their natural light cycles. Lighting is also important because they need it to complete photosynthesis, which is basically the process that plants use to create their own food. Cannabis plants absorb light energy through the chlorophyll in their leaves. This energy is used to react to water with carbon dioxide to create food sugar.
Photosynthesis is directly associated with the color, duration, and intensity of the light that the plant receives. So, by changing the lights you are affecting how much food your plant makes to feed itself. Colors of light like cool blue or warm orange increase the plant's ability to produce food. During the summer months, cool light is the most perceptible and keeps plant growth dense and shapely. During the fall harvest months, the light is warm-colored and generates flowers. So basically, cool colors promote growth and warm colors induce flowering.
Not only is the color of light important, but also the duration of light your cannabis plant receives. Are you starting to get a feel of just how important light is for your crop? Your little plant should be getting 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness while it is growing. When it is ready for flowering, switch to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. You can decide for yourself when you want it to be day and night for your plant. This is especially helpful during the cold winter months when you may want to leave the lights on during the night and off during the day. That way, there isn't a severe difference in temperature during nighttime and daytime.
When you're deciding on what lights to buy for your grow room take into consideration how much light you will need, the size of your grow room, realistically the electrical capabilities of the room, the color of the lights you want, and pricing. Lights are a big investment that will only cost more money as they use up a lot of power.
The color spectrum fluorescent lights are best used for seedlings that do not yet have big leaves, and that need a lot of light.
High-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) are a great option for growing, as it produces the best intensity per watt. HPS is an economical choice with its long lifespan. After 18,000 hours of use, they will produce less light and will need replacement. HPS creates a warm orange glow, and this type of light provokes hormones in plants that promote buds and flowering. So as proficient as they are in producing a warm glow, they are deficient in producing cool blue light. Therefore, they are best used for flowering lights. If you were to start a seedling under an HPS bulb, then you would see fast horizontal growth when you keep your lights low on the plants (80 cm/31.50 inc). You can prune your plants early on to prevent them from getting too tall.
Metal halide lights (MH) are super-efficient for providing artificial light to indoor growers. It is one of the brightest cool lights available and great to use as a primary light source. MH lights are good for growing foliage and producing solid plants. The lifespan on average is about 10,000 hours. Although it will still have a good glow after so many hours, the quantity of the blue range energy will be declining.
Take these last few tips to make your indoor growing successful. Always take notice of how close your plant is to the light source as you risk light burn if it is too close. Try to give all of your plants a consistent and equal amount of light amongst them. Don't crowd your plants or else some might get deprived of light as taller plants tower over the small ones.
When this happens, you can always put bins under your pots to get them closer to the light source.
Growing indoors is a great way to have bud for smoking all year round. It may be a bit difficult and confusing at first to set up, but from then on you can count your blessing....one bud at a time.