So far, LEDs have proven to be a mainstream solution for growing houseplant species, thanks to their widespread adoption and numerous benefits to the horticulture industry.

 

And when it comes to planting cannabis, growers are spoiled for this choice. It's true that light is plants' fuel for growth, and there's no better lighting option to choose for your cannabis buds.

 

This technologically advanced lighting option is at the forefront of other lighting varieties that the market offers. With the right PAR value, it allows you to grow healthier and thicker cannabis while saving a huge amount on your electricity cost and heat damage.

 

So, let's get into the fundamentals of how LEDs can be a favorable lighting option for cannabis, along with their pros and cons, comparison with other light sources, and how they can be used for efficiency, sustainability, quality product, and ultimately, profitability in your indoor facility.

 

Introduction- Why are LEDs necessary for Cannabis Cultivation?

 

Light is the most demanding requirement for plants' survival, and artificial light sources become an ultimate need for growers who want to fulfill their indoor cultivation dream comes true.

When marijuana growers choose to put in the lighting system, the endless selection of indoor light sources can be daunting –  growers have never had more choices, whether for home or commercial operations.

 

LEDs, among all others, are always the go-to option. But the question is, Why should growers invest in LED lights to grow indoor weed in the first place?

 

Here are a few pointers for you to understand. LED offers

  • Better efficiency
  • More productivity
  • High standards of safety
  • science-based technology
  • Extremely cost-effective

 

Also, know that Cannabis is a particularly tricky plant that demands a lot of care and a precise, controlled light spectrum. Intense or prolonged light rays can harm productivity and growth output.

 

Understanding cannabis growth demands and the science behind marijuana plant lights is a great way to get the most out of your planting endeavors. In this regard, LED Grow Lights Full Spectrum enable you to aid plant photosynthesis, replicate natural light, and support the cultivation of high-quality, high-yield, and consistent harvests.

There are many good reasons that justify the growing trend of LEDs as a sustainable grow light option. The cost effectiveness, durability, longevity, and less heat emission are some significant advantages you can avail of when you integrate the LED system inside your grow room.

Other than that, LED allows you to adjust the light spectrum according to the required wavelength of the cannabis growing period. For instance, during the vegetative phase of cannabis, a blue light spectrum ranging from 400nm-500nm is crucial for plant stem development and chlorophyll production.

Similarly, a good portion of the red light, usually in the spectrum of 600nm-700nm, helps cannabis transit into the flowering phase. It stimulates the hormones that trigger the flower initiation, maturation, and overall bud development.

With all this science in mind, LEDs are designed to provide growers with a customizable lighting option so that they can adjust the light ratio as required by plants' different growth periods, making the most of your plant in terms of top-shelf bud quality every harvest.

 

 

A Look at Traditional Lighting Options

 

Before the advent of LEDs, plants were grown using a range of traditional light sources, predominantly HPS and fluorescent bulbs. They were used as supplementary light fixtures to help plants achieve their desired growth pattern.

 

Although each light source supported enough in the formation and development of plants, they were insufficient in their spectrum to aid the entire plant-growing journey. So, first, let's understand what these sources are.

 

- Overview Of Traditional Lighting Methods (HPS, Fluorescent, Etc.).

High-Pressure Sodium or HPS

 

High-Pressure Sodium light, or commonly HPS, was historically used as a high-intensity light source for cannabis cultivation. This fixture emits a strong light spectrum, usually in the orange/red range at around 2200K. They operate when an electric current is passed through the tube containing a mix of sodium and mercury vapor.

 

These lights vary significantly in wattage (from 75–4,000 watts), produce plenty of lumens (light energy), and have the ideal CCT (correlated color temperature) for growing cannabis.

 

These grow lights provide the yellows 570-590 (nm), oranges 590-630 (nm), and reds 630-750 (nm) color spectrum, creating a favorable environment for marijuana flowers and buds development.

 

Fluorescent Bulbs

 

The other fluorescent bulbs are the standard household light source, typically in a tabular shape with a color temperature in the range of 4100K to 6500K. They're handy, affordable, and suitable for new weed growers with confined spaces. These systems work well for the seedling and early vegetation stage of cannabis as they don't produce much heat and are a lower light wattage, making it easy for a young plant to grow under.

 

Since fluorescent lights are cool, they can be placed close to the tops of the cannabis, drawing energy efficiency and less wastage. Most CFLs produce blue wavelengths, which imitate the spring or early summer conditions, making them ideal for the earlier cannabis stages.

 

- Pros And Cons Of These Traditional Methods In Cannabis Cultivation.

Traditional lighting sources such as fluorescent lamps or High-pressure sodium lamps have long been in use since cannabis growers utilize indoor cultivation methods to accelerate their breeding projects. However, these growing chambers are often inefficient due to high operation temperatures, low efficiencies of light fluence, and inadequate spectral distributions for optimal growth.

 

HPS

When taking HPS into account, undoubtedly, they're the easiest to set up, very cost-effective, pretty powerful, producing over 140 lumens per watt, and the most favorable for marijuana flowering. They tend to penetrate within the lower parts of the plants, thus a favorable one for plants.

 

However, the flip side is that this high-intensity light consumes a huge amount of energy, driving up costs and causing more environmental damage. These bulbs generate a lot of heat, have a limited life, and their efficiency can take off quite dramatically. Many growers have reported a loss of their lumen output after just a few grows.

 

Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent lamps are well-suited for commercial growing as they run for a longer time and take less energy than their incandescent counterparts. They don't discharge too much heat, so ideally, they are the most preferred light source for sensitive plant species.

 

However, these light sources have been reported to fall victim to failures if not consistently used. They contain a toxic mercury content that makes their disposal very difficult to process. They possess low light intensity, so a straight no for plants with high light requirements.

 

 

 

The traditional light inefficiencies gave birth to the Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology that has improved the productivity of indoor plant cultivation. The suitability of these devices for plant cultivation has turned the technology into a main component in controlled or closed plant-growing environments, experiencing an extremely fast crop development.

 

At the same time, LEDs have low energy consumption, long lifetimes, and stable spectral distributions. The benefits of LED light sources over fluorescent lighting manifested in crops' yield and quality.

 

 

Introduction to LED Lighting for Cannabis

 

LED is the most used acronym in the lighting field that refers to “Light Emitting Diode." The reason why this technology is so widely used can be attributed to many factors. From the cannabis grower's perspective, producing high-quality flowers with just the right amounts of terpenes, cannabinoids, and other phytochemicals is a task on its own.

 

With strict harvest cycles, tight budgets, and physical limitations, cannabis growers often need to manipulate light quality in order to amplify the phytochemical content of cannabis flowers.

 

By manipulating the light spectrum, farmers can promote specific plant characteristics such as increased leaf size, faster growth rates, or improved fruit quality.

 

LED grow light technology, such as the PH-B10-D, is a good option as it allows growers to optimize the light conditions for enhanced cannabis cultivation, from vegetative growth to flowering, ultimately maximizing yield and quality.

 

The FD6000 Full Spectrum LED fixture is one way to take cannabis production to the next level while reducing operating costs. They come with a dimmable switch that allows the cultivators to achieve different threshold levels of red, blue, and green so that you can accelerate the production of terpene and cannabinoid content.

 

The Evolution Of LED Lights In Agricultural Practices.

Agriculture is a crucial sector that is feeding the world's population. With increased food consumption every year, farmers are constantly struggling to find better ways to accelerate plant production independently of seasonal outdoor climatic conditions.

 

Greenhouse lights and indoor growing facilities, combined with LED technology, have contributed tremendously in bringing the agricultural sector to new heights. In fact, in the past few decades, LED lighting has been increasingly used in agriculture for commercial-scale breeding of many plants of economic interest.

 

These LEDs are known to be the most suitable choice for increasing the nutritional values of various crops.

 

Since they made a revolutionary move, growers got a more advanced lighting fixture such as Full spectrum and broad spectrum lights that serve exactly as sunlight. Now, they're at liberty to alter the light spectrum in regard to the growing need of plants at each stage without needing to invest in multiple light sources.

 

In View of all these remarkable benefits of LEDs and their potential to save electricity consumption, together with being eco-friendly devices, make the agricultural sector flourish like never before.

 

The Advantages of LED Lights in Growing Cannabis

 

LEDs are everywhere; whether you buy them from a Phlizon store or find them at eBay or Amazon, you'll find many suitable varieties of LEDs purposely built for your cannabis plants.

 

Obviously, the fact that they're popping up so rapidly is due to their improved performance per watt (the energy used to generate specific amounts of light) being better than with HPS (High-Pressure Sodium).

 

LED light systems are mainly used commercially for leafy plants, vegetables, fruits, and horticultural plants to optimize plant productivity and quality year-round.

 

Also,  their price point is another hit factor that gave them this fame. Although they initially appear pricier,  the running efficiency, durability, and extended lifespan would actually calm your nerves.

 

Even though high-end LED lights sometimes take a good chunk of your money outright, the investment is almost always worth it as your savings over time will compensate for the higher initial cost.

 

On top of it, the reduced electricity consumption and less heat emission add to the merits list of LEDs. You'll be amazed to know that LEDs convert more than 80% of the electricity into light and consume 60% less energy for the same lighting intensity. Isn't that wonderful?

 

These Horticultural LED luminaires represent environmentally friendly solutions and are more economically favorable than conventional lighting while having safer management and disposal practices.

 

Compared with traditional HPS lamps, which convert only 30% of the energy into usable light, with significant radiation losses in the form of heat, LED lighting sources are far better economically and energetically.

 

So, when you integrate the FD-7500 LED grow light over your cannabis, you reduce the risk of heat stress on plants under high illumination levels.

 

Plus, with LEDs in your grow room, you can fine-tune the color temperature and acquire the exact spectrum that is needed at each stage of the growing cycle, which clearly means optimal cannabis growth, yield, and well-being.

 

Combinations of different types of LEDs provide high fluence and customized wavelengths for plant cultivation.

 

 

Comparative Analysis: LED vs. Traditional Lighting

 

In recent years, the number of LED light sources being used in residential and commercial settings has been insane and has also been verified by research.

 

Some years ago, when LEDs were first adopted as an alternative to traditional lighting systems in gardening, they were sold as if they were the energy-saving panacea.

 

Besides the power subject, LEDs stand for their durability and practicality, with up to 50,000 hours of life expectancy.

 

The best part about LEDs is they give you the opportunity to control the growing climate, especially in hot areas, and because of the minimal stress to which the plant is subjected both in terms of climatic stress and excess direct radiation.

 

Indeed, the heat radiation emitted by LED panels compared to traditional lamps is minimal, greatly facilitating climate control during the crop. In addition, since they don't emit much heat, they allow crops to be carried out in hot periods or areas where you shouldn't use HPS lamps unless an air conditioner is also installed.

 

 

LED

Traditional Light Sources (HPS, fluorescent)

Energy Efficiency

Highly energy efficient. It produces more lumen per watt, meaning a high proportion of usable light and little wastage.

Most electricity is wasted as infrared radiation and heat, resulting in lower energy efficiency.

Lifespan

Higher lifespan up to 50,000 to 100,000 hours or more.

A lifespan of 10,000 to 20,000 hours is expected, with frequent maintenance and servicing.

Heat Generation

Generates Less Heat, reducing the need for cooling equipment.

Produce Much Heat, enhancing the need for ventilation and airflow, potentially raising energy and operational costs.

Upfront Costs

Higher upfront costs but running efficiency can encourage long-term savings and reduced maintenance expenses.

It tends to have a lower upfront cost, but the overall cost of ownership is high with increased maintenance and energy costs.

Spectrum Control

Emits a customizable light spectrum tailoring the needs of plants at each growth stage.

Emit a fixed, non-adjustable spectral distribution. A combination of different light sources is required to achieve optimal conditions.

 

 

Tips for Implementing LED Lighting in Cannabis Cultivation

- How To Select The Right LED Lights (Spectrum, Intensity, Coverage Area).

It’s evident that LEDs are better than others, and their efficiency depends on parameters such as Coverage area, intensity, and light spectrum.

 

According to cannabis experts, these factors serve as paramount for selecting the right LED fixture for your crops. So let them understand one by one.

 

Light Intensity

The amount of power emitted by LED is what we call the light intensity. It is all different than what many associate with Watt. A watt is simply a measurement of electric power that tells you the amount of energy your lights require to operate.

 

A high-quality 300-watt LED luminaire produces greater light intensity than a cheap LED grow light of the same wattage.

 

Understanding light intensity and cannabis growth requirements work hand in hand in bringing the optimal environment for growth.

 

A higher light intensity enables plants to take up moisture faster and absorb higher concentrations of nutrients. Similarly, a low light intensity would result in no or few flowers and spindly, lanky growth.

 

The best way to look at it is to Consider the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) for each product. The PPF reading will define the total PAR light output of the lamp measured in micromoles each second. The PPF reading is a unit measurement of how powerful the light is.

 

Generally, for a 4-by-4-foot growing area, you need a PPF value of about 1,000 to 1,500 micromoles per second (μmol/s).

 

Coverage Area

Definitely, it's all good to have a high PPF value, but wondering about how the light actually strikes plants and is distributed across the canopy is another crucial subject. Before you get your hands on LED fixtures, gather information about the lamp footprint- the square footage of the canopy that will fall under the luminaire beam.

 

At this point, knowing the correlation between light intensity and coverage area is essential. It makes sense that the farther the plants are from the light source, the less intense the light is, and light intensity drops off fast.

 

Let's assume you have a lamp installed at a 1-foot distance from your canopy. Then, you increase this height with a distance of 2 feet. You will now have a light intensity of ¼ of what it was before. Right?

 

So here, you have the main idea. Not only are the lens and size of the LED crucial but so does the coverage area and hanging height.

 

Ideally, the larger the coverage area, the more LED fixtures are required to cover the entire plant.

 

Light Spectrum

The spectral distribution of light, you may have heard this as the light wavelength,  is one very crucial for plants. This dictates how the plant will respond at each growth cycle.

 

Know that the Different spectrums within the color band play distinct roles in the progression and maturation of cannabis plants.

 

Alterations in any of the color radiations have been proven to manipulate terpene, cannabinoid, and THC levels. At this point, Knowing and controlling the light source's spectrum is of utmost importance to growers because it significantly affects Cannabis cultivation.

 

Luckily, Phlizon Full Spectrum LED light constitute a significant lifesaver that provides optimal results in each growth stage and offers adaptive application of intensity and light recipe spectrum.

 

So, while you're at the Cannabis seed sprouting stage, make sure to use a blue 450 nm light band to promote more compact plants and stomata opening while going for far-red 730 nm colors is a good idea as they trigger flowering.

- Best Practices For Installation And Maintenance.

Now that you've chosen an LED fixture for your cannabis grow room, congratulations on that; the next part is to know how to safely install them so that you won't fail to enjoy the heavy cannabis harvest. Here are a few pointers.

 

  • Always always assess the lighting needs of the growing space. This seems like a wise thing to do because the number of grow light requirements majorly depends upon the cultivation area. A lighting audit at this point would greatly help ensure you won't end up with a wrong purchase. Generally, a small 4 x 4 grow room would need fewer LEDs than a 10 x 10 grow room to arrive at the optimal calculations.

 

  • Grab a grow light fixture that fits well with the plant's specific growing needs. Light rich in blue color, for instance, would go well with plants striving in the vegetative phase. Similarly, a red light source works wonders to let plants produce buds. Simply for all this, you must acquire enough knowledge about specific metrics, such as Color rendering index, Light distribution pattern, and color temperatures, to make an optimal choice.

 

  • Don’t expose your plants too near to the LED lights; otherwise, you’ll end up having a terrible result. It's always recommended to have a light schedule of 18/6 (18 hours on and 6 hours off) during the vegetative phase and 12/12' during the blooming cycle.

 

  • Although LEDs don't exude much heat into the surroundings, still make sure you’ve a proper working system, such as extracting fans and ventilation, installed as a preventive measure.

 

  • During the course of cannabis cultivation, one practical tip is to monitor the LEDs to have uniform light distribution over the entire canopy. This would greatly reduce the chances of shadows and hotspots. You can also use reflective materials on surfaces to let the light spread evenly.

 

 

  • The best way to make your LEDs last for an extended time is by frequently checking them for any malfunctioning or faulty components. Make a habit of Cleaning them often and replacing the broken ones to ensure reliable and consistent results.

 

  • Monitoring plant responses is another important strategy to make the most of your LED lighting system. By this, we mean checking for any deficiency in leaf formation, changes in color pigments, or weaker growth could be a potential signal that something is wrong. You can change light intensity, duration, or spectrum settings to see if this works out.

 

 

Conclusion

LED grow light technology has transformed the way cannabis is cultivated, making it possible to produce high-quality buds that are potent and flavorful.

 

The popularity of LED lighting systems for cannabis-growing applications is based on their potential features, such as compact size, durability, longer lifespan, and cool emitting temperature, in combination with the advantages provided by the flexibility in wavelength selection and light output and the elevated energy conversion efficiency.

 

When getting your hands on LED grow lights for indoor cannabis cultivation, you should have enough knowledge of factors like light intensity, coverage area, spectral distribution, heat output, and cost to ensure you select the best light fixtures for your planting operation.

 

Full Spectrum LEDs by Phlizon, is by far, the most reliable piece of light chamber you won’t regret, we promise, It comes along with a programmable feature that allows growers to alter the spectrum and intensity based on what plants require as they travel through certain phases.

 

This would minimize the hassle of putting up separate individual light chambers as plants transit from each growth stage, calling off the demand for traditional sources.

 

 

 

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