The science of lighting for indoor farms has made a lot of progress in the past few years. Botanists and other scientists have now been able to figure out how to operate growing lights. This applies to specific plants on an individual basis.
They also know the overall impact of the light spectrum on the plant’s growth and heaps more. In spite of all of the important information, there are still so many options on the market today, that it is not easy to pick one over all the others, out there.
However, you can find the ideal grow light for your cannabis crop by following these important tips:
Ø The Intensity of the Light
All plants need light to thrive. But the question is how? This is the part where modern science comes into the picture. If understand the key points, you are good to go.
Cannabis (for instance), is a very light-hungry plant once it starts to bloom. At the initial stages of its growth; it will need 200 µmols. (The industry standard for all kinds of grow lights.)
However, as it continues to grow and thrive, its requirements start to climb. Until they reach 700-800 µmols in flowering. Such intense light might effectively torch most plants, but cannabis thrives on it. This light-hungry crop will need all the light it can get if you want a bumper crop for your efforts.
Ø The Growing Space for the Crop
Many indoor cannabis plant growers opt for an average grow room of around 1.2m x 1.2m. (Which comes to around 4 feet x 4 feet). And you can also use a purpose-built grow tent for this purpose. If you are really serious and see your crop as a long-term investment: You might want to dedicate a 3m x 3m room for your crop. It might seem a trifle excessive, but that is not the case due to the high demand for cannabis today.
You have now created a space that lets you grow your cannabis at home. Your growing space should have space enough for a healthy exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and heat.
This is why it is important that you make sure that you have at least a couple of extra feet both horizontally and vertically. That is, both over and above your crop. LED growers might consider a set of LED lights drawing 400-600W power.
When you create a dedicated growing space, you should keep in mind that aisle space is also wasted space. You can make better use of it by utilizing movable trays or rows. This will also enable a much higher canopy density in your cannabis-growing rooms.
The Optimal Number of Plants in Your Growing Space
This depends on the average size of your growing room or space. If you want your crop to produce enough yields to last from one harvest to the next one, you will need at least a 1m² space. This space will be able to handle multiple small plants. Alternatively, you can grow a couple of large or even scragged, plants as well.
Ultimately, it is up to you which one you like since both of them have similar results. It depends on whether you want heaps of variety but the yields are not that big. Or alternately, you might like larger yields per plant but with less variety. It is all up to the individual grower.
The Height of the Cannabis Plants
Your average cannabis auto-flower hovers around 50 to 100cm range in height. Your final auto-flower crop size will largely depend on the growth conditions and the genetics that you provide. Always remember that the largest auto-flowers can easily reach heights of 1.25m – 1.75m tall.
Ø The Real Data of the LED Lamps
You cannot just randomly pick LED grow lights and insert them in your indoor cannabis growing area. You should consider all the information available before you find out which LED lamp will best suit your needs. This is necessary before you will be in a position to make an informed decision.
Some of the more important factors include installation height and total tray area. The grouping of the lights is also included here. For example, the input power will help you to figure out power consumption, not bulb wattage, or LED power.
The good people at UPL® have a range of LED grow lamps that offer 36% less energy consumption, than their other counterparts. Apart from that, they help to increase productivity by over 18% or so.
Ø The Average Cost of the LED
Cost is a top priority with commercial and recreational growers alike. You will have to look at both the short-term and the long-term costs. If you opt for less expensive sodium lights you might save up on the short-term costs. However, the maintenance and operating cost will be a whole lot higher than other options. For instance, LED lights are more expensive initially, but not in the long run.
The most important expenses to consider here including the following:
Ø Initial Cost
- Electrical wiring
- Grow lights
- Air conditioning
- Automation accessories
Ø Operating Cost
- Energy consumption: Depending on the grow lights you use and air conditioning
- The maintenance cost (bulbs and other consumables including any labor that you employ)
To sum it up, there is any number of variables in an average cannabis crop operation.
The above examples are just a few of the pointers you have to keep in mind once you decide to grow your cannabis crop.
You have to take care of all of the above variables and many others. And you have to do this before you decide to pick the perfect cannabis growing lights for your operation. If you do it right, your investment will pay off in spades.