In growing cannabis indoors, one of the most essential things that should be taken into consideration is its lighting. As the plant requires immense light to grow through photosynthetic reaction, it’s important that one should be able to install artificial lights into their grow room.
There is various lighting equipment that you could use as an alternative to sunlight. Sources such as Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) could be utilized to aid its growing process. However, among these, the most popularly use artificial light for cannabis cultivation are the LED lights.
Mainly, LED lights are used for different purposes. It could be used into our homes, offices, schools, or even into our gadgets unknowingly. It’s truly a great invention with a diverse potential for development among fields of study.
As for this article, we’ll not dig deeper on its other uses. We’ll keep our attention on growing cannabis in comparison to LED grow lights and the regular LED lights that we have been using in day to day use.
What are the LED lights?
Simply, LED lights are electrically driven equipment which produces light through the action of one or more light-emitting diodes (LED). It has proven to have a longer lifespan and more efficient comparing to fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
It manifests diverse characteristics, running through DC current. It perceives to incorporate a variety of colors with widely differing temperatures on each of the LED lamp. This unique feature makes these lights useable through various applications. It has been used for household and commercial lighting. It has been adopted through several gadgets, flashlights, and holiday lights since its more practical for longevity and efficiency.
The Normal LED Lights
Normal LED lights are any regular household LED lights attached to our fixtures. It’s mainly used for general purposes with ‘white light’ emission as similar to any household incandescent bulbs. This light incorporates ‘warm white’ to ‘daylight’ temperatures taking at 2,700 to about 6,000 K.
As modern methods had been developed, regular LED lights had existed through multiple types of sizes and designs. Among many other lights, white LED lights are believed to be the most energy-efficient with the highest life expectancy. It’s considered the most flexible with good control of illumination as needed.
Advantages of Regular LED Lights
- Energy Efficient
- Promotes Longevity
- Inexpensive Price
- Accessible Everywhere
- Disadvantages of Regular LED Lights
- Limited Light Spectrum and Wavelength
- Emit High Amounts of Heat
- The Grow LED lights
This kind of LED lights is specifically intended for plants to aid in development. They’re designed as an alternative to sunlight supporting the process of photosynthesis which all plants undergo to generate energy and food.
Grow LED Lights varyingly exist in multiple color spectrums. This light spectrum releases multiple measurements of wavelength, temperature, and color. Nevertheless, each wavelength supports a different phase into a plant’s growth. At a certain point, that color should be exposed as needed.
Advantages of LED Grow Lights
- Diverse for Photosynthesis Reaction
- Wavelength Specific
- Good for Visible Aesthetics
- Disadvantages of LED Grow Lights
- Harmful to the Eyes and Skin
- An Expensive Option
- Energy Intensive
There are a lot of LED lights at different colors sold in the market. However, for cannabis plants, there are only two to three colors essential to the growth of cannabis plants. This usually includes red, blue, and yellow.
Why the Color of Lights affects in Growing Cannabis Plants?
Plants are naturally grown using sunlight as their source of light. Nonetheless, we’d consider yellowish-light or white as the primary colors for photosynthesis. However, with the development of colors, it has been furthermore extended into a variety of types.
The absorbance of light with plants has been shown to differ according to the color of its light.
In a color spectrum, the highest-energy light is the color purple or violet which is located at the end of the spectrum. Purple and violet have the shortest wavelength and therefore, contains an enormous amount of energy. Whereas, at the other end of the spectrum, the red light which emits long wavelengths at lower energy.
These amount of light absorbed will be transmitted as energy into the plants. It’s then used for producing food and transport of nutrients all throughout the plant’s system.
However, as purple lights are most desired, plants only absorb specific amounts of energy. Nevertheless, it has also been found that each color on the light spectrum has its own purpose during the process of photosynthesis.
That is why growers tend to expose more of this color during a specific period of a plant’s life to maximize their growth or yield as needed.
a. For RED LIGHT (720 nm to 740 nm)
This supports the growth and stability of the plants. It promotes generation and expansion of leaves, making it bigger and stronger for growth.
b. For BLUE LIGHT (400 nm to 520 nm)
Damaging if exposed solely. However, if combined with other lights, it will enhance the growth rate of the plants.
c. For ULTRAVIOLET (200 nm to 380 nm)
No exposure is needed. Its harmful rays for the plant
d. For VIOLET (380 nm to 445 nm)
It enhances the taste, aroma, and color of plants, buds, or its fruits.
e. For GREEN (495 nm to 570 nm)
It intensifies chlorophyll production. Though, it has the least absorbed light during photosynthesis as it has a similar color to the leaves.
What Kind of LED Light Should I Use in Growing Cannabis Crops?
Well, you could develop using regular or grow LED lights. In fact, you can develop any form of lighting equipment with cannabis plants.
However, you’ll expect greater yields with grow LED lights as compared to the normal one. Why?
Its because grow LED lights have a much wider color spectrum with multiple degrees of wavelength, color, and light absorption. As each color poses a different function in photosynthesis, its important for a cannabis plant to be exposed of these color spectrum to process efficiently food for enhancing bud yield, develop potency, and grow strong or healthy.
Applying LED grow lights would rise its growth and bud yield. Whereas, normal LED lamps will provide only a monochromatic white light for the plant. Though it’s still viable, it’s not as efficient with grow LED lamps which manifests a diverse light spectrum.
The Final Word
Choosing between Regular or Grow LED lights depends entirely on you. As grow LED lights are expensive and energy-intensive, you have to consider what’s most practical for your disposition.
If you’re doing it for business, then it’s most recommended to invest with grow lights as it will dictate a lot of quality with your plants. However, if you’re just growing for personal consumption, then you should get a lot of thinking for this one. Good luck with that!