Regardless of whether you begin your cannabis garden using clones or seedlings, you need to choose the right lighting system during the early stage of growth. Although various technologies can be effective at different stages of growth, some are better than others. When looking at the best lighting for an indoor garden, it is more than just the power consumption but rather how efficient the light is in promoting a seamless transition between the different stages of growth.
The lighting is the driving force behind an indoor garden. It is common for cannabis growers to designate three different grow rooms for the three different stages of growth, each with its lighting. It is very crucial that you pay close attention to the seedling stage as to how the light affects the young plants will determine the yields during harvest. Here are some of the lighting systems that you can employ during your marijuana seedling growing phase.
Grow Co. 315W Ceramic Metal Halide CMH System
The Grow Co. Metal Halide CMH System offers a light spectrum and CRI that closely resembles that of the sun. They have a high PAR efficiency leading to better quality while still using low power. The system features a low-frequency ballast together with a highly reflective aluminum reflector. It comes with a two-year warranty.
iPower 1000 Watt HPS MH Digital Dimmable Grow Light System
The iPower HPS Grow Light System supports 120V to 240V power input. It has three settings of dimmable options. The system has a high PAR level that supports the healthy growth of plants. It contains a 6-inch cool tube reflector with add-on wings that help provide up to 4 by 4 inches of light coverage.
Yield Lab 54w T5 Four Bulb Fluorescent Grow Light Panel
If you want an energy efficient solution, you should choose the Yield Lab Fluorescent Grow Light Panel. It contains four T5 bulbs made from quad bulb technology. The bulbs give off twice their power and cover one and a half times more coverage area than a dual bulb system. It is made with a multi-angle reflective design to help boost the area of coverage. It emits a low amount of heat and has a soft glow of light, allowing it to hang close to the plants.
Different Lights and How They Fair in the Seedling Stage
High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
They comprise of high-pressure sodium lights and metal halides. They are the standard lighting options that many indoor growers prefer to use. Although there are newer technologies that are working on increasing their PAR efficiency, HID lighting still dominates with its intensity. It is the high intensity that makes it unsuitable for use during the cannabis seedling stage. You should not provide your plants with a high-intensity light during their first week of growth. Young cannabis plants are tender. When you expose your plants to intense light, the light can hinder healthy development.
However, you can use HIDs on seedlings if they share the same grow area with plants in their vegetative state. Some cannabis growers combine the two since they have the same photoperiods. It is not ideal but practical. To ensure that they correlate and grow well together, you should place the seedlings on the outer edge of the footprint while the vegetative plants stay directly under the source.
Light emitting diodes are continuing to improve in popularity among the indoor cannabis growers. They contain a customized lighting spectrum that is beneficial to plants. When you consider the PAR levels, LEDs should come first. They can work in all the stages of plant growth. However, you should know that not all LEDs are the same. They are different due to either their wattage, spectrum, or sizes. During the seedling stage, you want to use an LED with low wattage. You should also consider the light spectrum. Red and blue light frequencies help the young plants grow efficiently and effectively. When looking for an LED light to use, check to find one that is specially made to work for the seedling stage.
Many professional cannabis growers rely on the fluorescent bulb during the seedling growth phase, specifically, the T5 fluorescent. They are incredibly efficient and distribute light better than any other technology. All the lamps in a T5 fluorescent system ensure that all the plants receive an equal amount of light. Induction fluorescent bulb is another option that is gaining popularity among many indoor growers since they have a closed tube design.
Although many growers may hesitate to acquire a fluorescent system due to the high initial costs, they are an excellent option for the seedling phase.
One crucial consideration to make when choosing a lighting system for the seedling phase is the amount of light that the plants will require. When planting in a grow tent, you need to provide your seedlings with a light intensity of about 20 to 30 watts per square feet. You should remember that a high light intensity at this stage can hinder growth in your plants. The seedling stage is the foundation of the entire cannabis plant life. When the plants become stressed or unhealthy during this stage, it will affect all the other growth stages. If you want your cannabis plants to have excellent growth potential, you need to provide them with a good start.