Another reason why you might need lights for growing weed is when you grow multiple plants. A single plant in a sunny room or discreetly placed on a balcony can grow just fine with sunlight and perhaps a small LED, such as what we sell on A Pot for Pot’s website. However, multiple plants will need more substantial lighting.
How do you know which lighting system is best for your situation? Well, you first need to know what you are looking for, and the best way to do that is by learning some key terms. This article will explain the fascinating features of lights for growing weed and list 10 of the best.
Lighting Terms That you Should Know
Regular (photoperiod) cannabis plants require different spectrums of light to produce flowers. Blue spectrum light is needed during the vegetative stage, while red spectrum light is needed to transition to the flowering stage. However, if you start with autoflowering plants, you will not need to change the lighting to start the flowering stage, so the light spectrum is less of a concern.
Related: Where to start?
For all types of cannabis, it is usually a good idea to purchase lighting that has both blue and red light spectrums. With regular plants, it saves you from the hassles and costs associated with changing the lighting to induce flowering. LED lights have a full spectrum of light, so you can use the same lights from seedling to harvest.
Wattage refers to a light’s power rating. Pay attention to this number because it has a bearing on how many lights you will need. For example, if you have a smaller grow space, one light with high wattage may be enough. However, if the lighting you choose has low wattage, you will need additional lights to provide the proper coverage.
Wattage also helps determine how far away you should keep your plants. Generally speaking, higher wattage lights need to be positioned further away from your plants because they can burn them. LED lights are an exception to this rule because they give off surprisingly less heat when compared to the other types of lighting with the same wattage.
Lumens is a measure of how much light a given light source emits during each second the light is on. Like the light spectrum, lumens are more relevant for photoperiod plants. “Regular” cannabis plants require varying amounts of lumens during the different stages of growth. For example, they need between 2,500 and 5,000 lumens per square foot in the vegetative phase, but it jumps to 10,000 lumens per square foot during the flowering phase.
That is why it is a good idea to assess the lumen measurement when considering lights for growing weed. Cannabis plants need lights that provide enough lumens intensity for their proper growth.
Kelvins refer to the warmth and color of the light being emitted. During the vegetative stage, cannabis thrives best when provided cool daytime blue light with approximately 6,400 kelvins. Conversely, flowering cannabis performs best with a warmer red light of 2,700 kelvins.
As you can see, picking the best lights for growing weed is more than simply selecting the priciest model available. Especially if you are growing photoperiod plants, you should think about how many plants you are growing, where you will be growing them, and how much energy you can afford to spend.
With all these variables in mind, you can then consider your options. Here are some of our favorite cannabis grow lights:
1. Roleadro LED Panel
Whether you are new to growing marijuana indoors, or a certified expert, you will certainly agree that the Roleadro LED panel is an excellent option because of its versatility. Depending on the configuration of your indoor grow space, the Roleadro LED panel can be used on its own or in combination with other lights. This light emits both blue spectrum light and red spectrum light, meaning your photoperiod plants will have all the light they need.
In terms of coverage, the light from this LED panel can reach 7-8 square feet, so you can easily compute how many you’ll need based on the size of your indoor grow space. The Roleadro LED panel has an estimated service life of 50,000 hours, so they should last for a long time, and, like all other LED lights, this panel emits hardly any heat while working. That means, your plants are unlikely to experience light burn.
2. Sun System LEC 315 Light
The Sun System light emitting ceramic (LEC) is included in our top 10 lights for growing weed indoors because of its solid reputation. It’s been around for a quite a while, and there still aren’t many (if any) negatives to say about it.
The Sun System light emitting ceramic provides all the far frequencies of red light in addition to all the blue light, so your plants will have all the light needed to thrive and produce huge buds. This full spectrum is superior to what is provided by other lights currently on the market. The Sun System is also easy to set up and was designed to reduce the radiant heat generated by its arc tube.
3. Advanced Platinum Series Grow Light
This 12-band LED light is ideal for a variety of indoor plants, including weed. One of the best things about this light is the money you can save. When you replace other lights for growing weed with the Advanced Platinum Series LED light, you will immediately notice a drop in your energy use.
Related: The Cheapest Way to Grow Pot Indoors
This superior energy-efficiency doesn’t come at the cost of light intensity since the Advanced Platinum LED light also boasts of having one of the highest PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) on the market. It’s also broad-spectrum (since it’s LED) which means less work for you.
The only possible downside of these lights for growing weed is their sound. Some people may find the fans a little noisy (when compared to less powerful lights).
4. Sunblaster CFL Grow Light
The Sunblaster compact fluorescent grow light is one of the best in its class. It can be affordable, too. In fact, the four-pack provides a great value for those sticking to a budget.
As a general rule, however, CFLs produce the least amount of light, so these lights are best used for germinating or producing clones.
The Sunblaster CFL light doesn’t require any change to the existing light fixtures since the bulbs are compatible with the common bulb holders installed in homes and other buildings. They, unfortunately, don’t last long. Their rated lifespan is 10,000 hours.
5. Apollo Horticulture MH Light
The Apollo metal halide grow light is rated 400Watts and has 4,200 kelvins. This makes this the perfect light for the vegetative growth stage of photoperiod plants (but not relevant for growers of autoflowers). This light is best suited for those growing a larger number of plants. This is because it is a bit demanding to install and use since it doesn’t come with the standard E26 base. It uses an E39 stand instead, so, you’ll need to install a separate ballast.
The good news, however, is that this light has plenty of options. If you purchase and install a dimmable ballast, you can dim the light as needed. That makes the Apollo MH Light suitable for photoperiod cannabis plants at various stages in their growth process.
However, with an expected service life of only 10,000 hours, you will need to replace these lights a lot more frequently than LEDs.
6. Lithonia Lighting GRW
The Lithonia Light GRW is a hanging light that is suitable for both larger indoor weed grow operations as well as small hobby gardens. This is because you can simply adjust the chains to adapt the light system to the evolving size of your plants.
Related: The Basics of Growing Marijuana
The system is user-friendly and designed to be used straight out of the box. Simply plug it into an available wall socket, and it is good to go. The GRW also comes with a lens to help concentrate the light downwards to maximize the light source and better benefit your plants.
7. The Vivavolt T5 Fluorescent Grow Light
This fluorescent light is very similar to the fluorescent lights you find in people’s homes. However, the Vivavolt T5 also provides the wide spectrum that photoperiod marijuana needs to grow indoors.
The fluorescent light tubes are also two feet long, so the four 24W tubes each provide double the amount of light that you can get from ordinary lights. The T5 is suspended from two points, making it easy to install or adjust relative to the size of your plants. This light system works very well for larger gardens because of how much space a single light can cover.
Vivavolt T5 lights also cost less than LEDs, but LEDs last significantly longer.
8. iPower 600-Watt Light
If you are looking for a great value, this light should be on your list. It is full-spectrum, and also optimized for marijuana growing because it includes dimmers that help the plants “think” the days are getting shorter. However, if you are growing autoflowers, this isn’t something you’d need to be concerned about.
One of our favorite features – the main reason we’ve included it in our top 10 lights for growing weed indoors is their safety mechanism. Fires from faulty lighting are a dangerous risk, and this light comes prepared. The bulb has open and short-circuit protection. This protects you from being shocked when it reaches the end of its life, or if you try to switch it on after a defect with its ignition.
9. G8LED Mega LED Grow Light
This light has stood the test of time for more than eight years, so you can be certain that your money will be well spent.
The G8LED Mega LED Grow Light is perfect for indoor plants since it provides the full spectrum that they need, combined with massive coverage. It covers 18 square feet! For photoperiod plants, you can boost its performance during flowering by installing a few 90W red flower boosters. The buds that form will be huge and dense with cannabinoids.
How do you maintain such a powerful light? Small inbuilt fans keep the lights cool and therefore eliminate the need for additional ventilation. Your plants will not suffer from light burn even though they are receiving plenty of light.
The only drawback of the G8LED is that it is on the pricier end of the lighting options, but what you get makes this high cost pale in comparison.
10. California Lightworks Solarstorm LED Grow Light
As an LED, the 440Watt California Lightworks Solarstorm will work for your plants’ entire lifecycle. The light provides five bands of high PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) from the deepest blue colors to the deepest red colors of light – a rich blend of everything your marijuana plants need.
Unlike other full-spectrum options, the Solarstorm is dual operating. The light includes a single switch to provide either blue-spectrum light for the veg phase or red spectrum light for the flowering phase of photoperiod plants.
The downsides of this light are that it is rather noisy and doesn’t include dimming options. However, it still deserves a spot on our top 10 list.
As you can see, lights for growing weed can be complex – especially when you need to grow multiple plants or use photoperiod plants. You may have also noticed that many of the top 10 lights are LEDs, and it’s no surprise. LEDs offer superior energy efficiency, varied light spectrums, and a long life. Indoor growers of all experience levels know how well LEDs perform, which is why we offer a Light for Pot - Single Pot 75 Watt LED Grow Light in the A Pot for Pot shop for those that choose to grow indoors. We also strongly recommend growing auto-flowers.
Whether you are growing a single plant, or a massive garden, LED lights are some of the best options around.