Before you decide on buying the ideal light for your indoor cannabis cultivation, pay close attention to a few things. Namely, the following:
Type of Lights
Before LED came into the picture, people still used HID lights and CFL lights for growing cannabis. However, things soon changed once LED lights were introduced, being the most ideal light for indoor growing. Better yet, it was more affordable than the alternatives!
In addition, LED lights have longer durability, making them the prime choice for cannabis cultivators. Nevertheless, if you’re a beginner cultivator on a tighter budget, you can use CFL grow lights for cannabis.
LED lights produce a broader spectrum and you get to choose between three forms:
- panels (the most expensive bulbs with the longest lifespan)
- bars (row of diodes)
- bulbs (ideal for small growing)
On the other hand, even the best grow lights for marijuana need some space in-between, so count that one in as well before ordering anything.
LED lights are known to be the best alternative for heavy electricity consumers. For example, an HID light will consume 45 watts per square foot, whereas an LED light consumes less than 32 watts for the same area coverage.
Hence, picking the right LED growing light for your cannabis cultivation operation can save you a lot of electricity and therefore money.
Weed Lights & Spectrum
Can you grow marijuana with LED lights? Yes, you can grow weed, on one condition — the light contains the full spectrum.
What is the full spectrum light?
Full spectrum CBD is one thing, but regarding the lights…In short, the full spectrum is meant to mimic natural sunlight and is made of the following lights: yellow, orange, red, blue, UV, and IR. It’s also important to use a light with two switching modes for the veg and bloom phases.
Just keep in mind that you need to place it at the right distance if you don’t want to burn your canopy. Keep it about 30–45cm above your plant, and you’ll soon get the right buds for your new weed grinder!
LED lights consume less power than regular lights, they are more versatile, and are made of eco-friendly materials. In fact, a 200W LED light can easily cover the same area as a traditional 300W MH/HPS light, saving a lot of your hard-earned cash in the process.
To calculate the energy bill, you can follow one simple formula: total Kilowatts x kWh x hours per day x days. For example, if you use a 1000 watt LED grow light by Black Dog, for example, for 18 hours per day, your electricity bill will amount to about $84.186 per month.a
Before you become a master cultivator, you need to consider the size of the place (small room, big tent, etc.) where you plan on planting your cannabis.
If unsure of the number of plants you plan to grow, use one square foot for each flower. Most LED grow lights come with specifications that will help you determine how many lights you need to use.
For example, if you grow marijuana in a big tent, you should use more than one light. I.e., use four lights for an 8’ x 8’ area to cover your canopy evenly.
When it comes to watts, you can use the following watts guide:
- 1′ x 1′: 32 watts (~30 to 40 watts)
- 2′ x 2′: 128 watts (~120 to 140 watts)
- 2′ x 4′: 256 watts (~240 to 300 watts)
- 3′ x 3′: 288 watts (~250 to 300 watts)
- 4′ x 4′: 512 watts (~500 to 650 watts)
- 5′ x 5′: 800 watts (~700 to 900 watts)
- 4′ x 8′: 1024 watts (~900 to 1100 watts)
- 6′ x 6′: 1152 watts (~1000 to 1200 watts)
Black Dog offers the strongest LED grow lights that cover 7×7 ft (veg phase) and 5×5 ft (flower phase).
Durability & Coolness
The average lifespan of a LED bulb is approx 50,000 hours, which translates to around 5 years. The bulb’s durability will depend on the heat — hence why every good light has a built-in cooling system.
Some products on our list last for even longer — 70,000 hours (Black Dog PhytoMAX-2 1000) and 100,000 hours (ViparSpectra XS4000 Series).
When it comes to the price, you must understand that lights that cost more offer more light and better coverage. Therefore, first, decide on the number of plants you intend to grow.
For example, if you intend to grow only 1–2 plants, you’ll have to spend at least $100 to find the product that will produce the right amount of light. For 2–4 plants, expect to spend about $150–$200.
If you want to find the best LED grow lights under $300, we recommend you try Morsen 2400, or Spider Farmer SF-2000.
The price will also depend on other factors, such as the quality of the parts, diodes, durability hours, performance, light intensity, spectrum, etc.
You’ll find that most LED grow lights come with a warranty that ranges between 3 to 5 years. The warranties cover replacement parts. In case you have certain issues with the product, the companies will send you free parts within the warranty period.