Light is Needed in Hydroponics in Growing Marijuana
Grow light systems used in growing marijuana allows you to extend the plants’ growing season. They do this by offering marijuana plants an alternative source of sunlight. This offers a lot of advantages for growers interested in having a steady supply of marijuana all year round, regardless of the season and photoperiod.
Artificial lighting is also perfect to jump-start the harvesting process by planting the seeds months ahead. However, since there are several types of lights that can be used to grow marijuana in a hydroponics setting, it is important to at least understand how much light is needed for your plants.
Guide in How much Light is Needed
MH (Metal Halide)
MH bulbs produce a high amount of light in the blue spectrum. This is what you need to enhance plant growth. It is also the perfect light type that can be used as a primary source of light especially if there is no, or minimal sunlight available in a growing area. The average lifespan of an MH bulb is about 10,000 hours cumulative. When talking about the brightness (lumen/unit of energy consumed), MH bulbs can produce a maximum of 125 lumens per watt, which is good for marijuana growing indoor environment setup.
HPS (High-Pressure Sodium)
This type of lighting system is less in the blue spectrum but emits a red-orange glow, which is perfect in triggering the plant hormones to increase budding and flowering. They can work perfectly as a supplemental lighting. Therefore, this is perfect for greenhouse growing environment. At the same time, it is also the more economical choice among growers.
Because of the heat coming from these fixtures, it is very important to hang the light depending on its size. This means that smaller wattage systems, such as 100 and 250, needs to be hung in about 2 or 3 feet over the plants. Medium wattage systems, on the other hand, need to be hung about 4 feet over the plants. At the same time, high wattage systems, that is, 1000 watts and up, need to be around 4 to 6 feet above the plant tops.
For how long should the light be turned on? Well, this really depends on the plant type. Most marijuana plants need around 10 to 12 hours of light in order to enhance growth. Plants that flower often show signs of improvement when placed under grow lights for about 16 hours a day.