One of the main components of growing cannabis is light. You must give your cannabis plants as much light as you can so these can grow healthier and become more productive. We will focus on indoor growing lights, specifically growing weed with LED. This type of lighting is one of the best choices for cultivating cannabis.
Many growers swear that they were able to produce higher yields without sacrificing the temperature of their growing area. By using high quality LED lighting on cannabis plants with good growing qualities, you can get as much as 0.5 to 1 gram per watt of power.
Take note that we considered the type of strain or cannabis in the equation. There are more factors to consider like the growing skill of the grower and the light quality of the LED lamp. For instance, 200 watts of LED would give you around 100 to 200 grams or about 3.5 to 7 ounces of yield.
More Reasons to Use LED Lamps
Aside from shining brightly, LED growing lamps to have a lot of impressive qualities you may not be aware of. Here are some of the following:
- LEDs last longer
- LEDs shine the brightest but won’t make your room too hot
- LEDs won’t cost too much energy to use
- LEDs are perfect for growing all kinds of plants
- LEDs are available in different colors
LED Growing Lamp Models Nowadays
The grow lamps you’ll find in online stores and growing stores have better performance compared to those that are available in the past. Modern LED growing lamps are now available in full-spectrum models or wideband spectrum models. These LED lamps come with more colors and not just blue and red diodes. Growers say that these colors result in healthier plants with better growth. Red color, infra-red, and far-red is needed for the flowering stage.
There are also lamps with improved lenses that can focus directly on plants and enhance light penetration. This type of lamp can improve yields while using the same light as other LED lamp models.
Three Kinds of LED lamps
Although there are many styles and forms of LED growing lamps, there are three main types used in cannabis growing. Take note that each has its pros and cons therefore, there is no such thing as the best one.
Spread Style LED Lamps
In a spread-style LED lamp, small LED bulbs are spread across a wide area. This design allows brighter and maximum coverage for a larger growing area or for growing more plants. Some perfect examples of spread-style LED lamps are Rack, Quantum Boards and those spider-type LED growing lights.
- Quantum board – this type of grow light was created by the Horticulture Lighting Group. The term is now openly used to refer to LED lamps with the same style. Quantum boards are available in low wattages with bulbs spread on a large board. The popularity of this type of board has dramatically increased because of the best growing results of this lamp.
- Spider LED lamps – this type of spread-type LED looks and works like Quantum boards. The diodes are spread in different directions but are set on small panels or arms like a spider instead of just being set on aboard.
An example of Spider LED lamps is the SPYDRx LED lights. These may be more expensive but are known to produce the best results.
Traditional LED Lighting
Standard LEDs are available in different wattages and are very compact. Modern LED lamps are available in panel style. Think of Panel LEDs as a hybrid of a Quantum board lamp and COB style lighting. Panel LEDs come with a mixture of the qualities and characteristics of the two lamps.
There are also updated hybrid LED growing lamps that come with a combination of big and small bulbs. These have unique form factors that combine the good qualities of the different lamp styles.
Chip On Board LED Lighting
A type of LED lamp is the COD or Chip On Board LED. This type of lamp is very bright and very intense since these come with numerous LED chips installed in a small area. This type of lamp can produce very intense light compared to other LEDs. Each of the COB section uses a particular amount of power. And when it comes to the COB, Cree is the best brand.
Rather than using a dozen of very small diodes, COB lamps with LEDs will only have a small number but large COBs. Every COB has strong lenses that focus very intense light to each plant. This type of COB is very popular because this helps light penetrate better.
Variations of the COB Lamp
An AutoCOB is a type of COB with only a single COB for every lamp. With this design, it’s easy to spread the light over your growing area a single lamp at a time. You will also find LED grow lights with a single LED COB while multiple units may be spread if you need to light up a larger area or several plants.
Every COB has a spectrum therefore you can make your color spectrum that will help your plants bloom by simply combining different AutoCOBs. This is easy to configure especially if you have an irregularly-shaped grow space. You can also use COB LED lights into regular light bulb receptacles.
Consider LED Growing Lights for the Following:
- If you want to use the best cannabis grow lights with a customizable light spectrum then an LED lamp is for you.
- If you want to find out if LED grows lights are ideal for your growing area.
- If you don’t have a tight budget to spend on your cannabis growing setup. LEDs are known to be the most expensive type of grow lights.
- If you don’t want to install additional exhaust systems or air ducts then LEDs are for you. With LED lamps, simply hang the LED lamps on top of your plants and let these cool on their own.
- If growing quality (bud size, trichome development, smell/aroma, and potency are very important to you as a grower.
Five Top LED Grow Lights to Check Out
If you’re growing weed with LED lights and you’re looking for the ideal LED lamp for your setup, consider these five top models.
ViparSpectra is a popular LED lamp brand with different models. Many growers swear that ViparSpectra lamps can enhance the quality and number of yields. There are different models and the most commendable is the ViparSpectra 450W, the 450W Pro Series, 600W, 700W Pro Series, and the 1200W ideal for advanced growers.
All ViparSpectra lamps come with heat management parts like a heat sink and a built-in fan. You don’t need to install additional fans and cooling equipment to deal with rising temperatures brought about by your grow lights.
Electric Sky from The Green Sunshine Company
The Green Sunshine Company makes Quantum Boards or the popular Spread Style LED lighting. With their Electric Sky LED grow lights you can get higher yields at very low power consumption. The lamps come in a solid panel but when you check it out, the very bright LEDs are spread to cover more plants and for a larger growing area. All models also come with fans to reduce the temperature caused by the intense LEDs.
Kind LED Grow Lights
Another type of LED light that is starting to become more popular is the Kind LED. Those who have used Kind in growing cannabis were able to produce massive yields but take note, these LEDs are among the priciest. The price ranges from $500 to $750 but many say that it’s worth every penny.
Just like ViparSpectra, there are different models of Kind LED lights. These vary from the recommended grow space size, power consumption, the average yields you can get, and other factors. But you can be sure that all Kind LED systems are equipped with a fan and heat sinks to reduce heat from its colorful LED bulbs.
HLG (Horticulture Lighting Group)
HLG was the first company to coin the “Quantum Board’ on LED lamps which come with diodes that spread over a frame. These grow lights instantly went popular the minute these arrived in the market. Growers who were able to try these grow lights have reported great results from the amount of yield for the electricity that the lamps used.
HLG LED lights are available in affordable to expensive models. These are available in different sizes to match the size of a small or large growing area. The LEDs are dimmable; the large LED light panels consume more power compared to smaller ones.
Advanced Grow Lights
If you’re looking Platinum for a cheaper alternative then check out Advanced Platinum LED lights. It’s a new name in LED grow lights but their lamps have wider light spectrums compared to other LEDs. This makes this grow light more efficient as a wider spectrum of boosts plant growth and reduces nutrient deficiencies and leaf problems.
Many growers are recommending Advanced Platinum Grow Lights because of its great results. And aside from the affordable price, you will get a good 5-year warranty on your purchase. All LED light models come with fans, heat sinks, and a control panel to switch the lamp to veg (good for the growing phase) and bloom (ideal for the flowering phase).
Tips for Using LED Growing Lights
1. Consider a Heater in Cooler Climates
LED lights are good for growers who live in warm climates as these lamps don’t give off too much heat. But the heat from growing lights is also important to plants as this can dry the soil and increase humidity needed by very young plants. So if you are located in a place where the climate is cooler, consider adding a heater inside your growing area. Monitor the temperature of your growing area regularly.
2. Move Your Plants Closer to the Glowing Lights
Because LED lights don’t emit too much heat, you can move your plants closer to the lamp or vice versa. When plants receive more light, it grows healthier and can produce the best yields. A good rule for seedlings and vegging plants would be around 2 to 4 inches. Place your hand under the lamp and check if it’s too hot. Place the lamp farther away if you think that it’s too warm for your plants.
3. Water Your Plants Considerably
LED lights won’t make your growing area too warm and this reduces water evaporation in the soil. Water stays longer in the soil to benefit your plants and thus, you don’t need to water your plants often. Check the soil in the pots before you start watering. If the soil is dry then you may water your plants. Never water when it’s moist or if the soil is still wet.
4. Apply Nutrients Less Often
As you water less often, you use nutrients less often as well. You can reduce the nutrient build up in the roots when you apply nutrients less than often. You will save money from buying expensive nutrients and use the money you save on other growing supplies.
5. LED Lights During the Seedling Phase
As your seedlings are starting to take strength and make more leaves, these will need good lighting to grow. But compared to older plants, seedlings are more sensitive to light. This is why you must be careful in using very intense LED lamps.
If you have LED lamps with a dimmer then use this to reduce light intensity. If your lights don’t have this, move your lights away from your young plants. But don’t move these farther away because this may result in stretching or taller and lankier stems.
If you’re using LEDs with a veg and bloom switch, use the veg option for a cooler light. This color is the best kind for this sensitive phase. Follow an 18 hours light, 6 hours darkness growing schedule. And as your seedlings grow to stronger and more mature plants, you can gradually improve light intensity to encourage more growth.
6. LED Lighting During the Vegetative Stage
During the vegetative stage, your plants need more light as these are actively growing. If you’re using LED lamps with a dimmer then moderately intense to intense lighting is encouraged at 20 to 24 hours a day. This will help maximize your plants’ vegetative growth. If your LED lamps come with a veg and bloom switch, continue applying the veg feature with cool bluish light.
Take note of your plant’s response to light. If it’s growing bushier and taller day by day then you’re on the road to growing healthier and stronger plants. If these are growing lankier with spindly trunks and stems then these are not getting enough light. Adjust your lamp’s intensity and height as necessary.
So when do you flip the switch to flower your plants? This will depend on the amount of space you have to grow your plants. You can let your growing plants remain under 18 to 24 hours of light for as long as you want but these will grow very big and tall after quite some time. Remember, the maximum height of cannabis plants will depend on the type and strain.
7. LED Lamps During the Flowering Stage
To initiate the flowering stage in photoperiod plants, place them in a strict 12-hour light and 12-hour dark lighting schedule. Do not interrupt this schedule, otherwise, your plants can revert to the vegging stage and this can stress your plants. Cannabis plants that miss their flowering phase may become hermaphrodites and hermies can accidentally pollinate female plants and destroy all your hard work.
LED lighting during light hours should be intense. If you have a lamp with a veg and bloom color light switches, power on the bloom switch. You must also move your LED lights closer to your flowering plants. Take note when using LED lights, change light colors, and intensities gradually. Quick changes may only stress your plants and cause poor growth and reduced yields.
8. LEDs and Autoflowering Plants
Growers often prefer autoflowering plants rather than photoperiod ones because, with autos, they don’t need to bother with triggering the flowering phase with a special light schedule. Autoflowering cannabis plants should remain under an 18 to 24 lighting schedule per day until they reach harvest time.
If you’re using LEDs with a veg and bloom switch, use these during the appropriate growth stages. This feature can help improve plant health and will also enhance your yield.
9. LEDs vs HID Lamps
HID lamps or high-intensity discharge lamps are widely used and often with good results but the main problem is that these lamps can give off too much heat. Also, most ready-to-use grow tents and cabinets come with HID lamps. But if you can manage heat using fans then why not try HID but if you are concerned about heat buildup and you want to use different light spectrums to grow your plants then stick to LED grow lights.
Growing weed with LED lights makes it easier and more efficient to cultivate all kinds of cannabis strains. But make sure to follow instructions very carefully and to buy only safe and efficient LED grow lights. Don’t rely on cheap or budget LED light versions that will never give you the best results.