While HIDs have long since been the preferred choice for cannabis growers, LEDs are quickly starting to take over. Undoubtedly this is due to the fact that they are more efficient, smaller, and have a longer life span. Many of those factors translate to lower utility costs for growers, as these lights simply do not have the light and heat output of other grow lights. However, it’s these features that growers need to take into consideration when it’s time to set up their grow room. So, what things should growers be thinking about when they introduce these new lights to their plants?
One of the biggest things growers have to understand about LEDs is that they are much cooler than every other type of grow light. In most situations, this will be beneficial to growers as they won’t have to worry as much about things like installing cooling tubes. Cooler lights also means that it will be much easier to have full control over the temperature in the grow room.
Cooler lights can be placed much closer to the plants, allowing the lights to provide the intensity growers want without worrying about burning the cannabis. But, that also mean that the plants will not have the heat they often need to thrive.
Some growers, especially those growing in colder climates, may have to bring in an additional heat source such as a space heater to ensure their plants have the climate they need. Even when additional heating measures are taken however, these cooler lights will still be much more efficient than other types of grow lights.
Multiple lights will be needed
Another reason growers love this type of light so much is because they can directly target certain plants, due to their small coverage area. Just one light can produce a spotlight on one cluster of plants, while another light can provide what’s needed for another cluster.
But with this benefit comes another consideration. Because the light is so targeted, one LED will not be able to provide light for an entire grow room, particularly one that contains many plants. Growers will likely find that they have to install multiple lights and allow the canopy of one to overlap with another. Many manufacturers place calculations in their packaging that allow growers to determine how many lights in total they will need.
Because LEDs are not going to be as hot as other types of light, less water will evaporate from their containers and cannabis plants won’t need to drink as much. This doesn’t just mean that growers need to water less, it means they have to be very careful to monitor their watering habits and ensure that they’re not watering too much. When plants are watered too much or too often, it can cause root rot, mold, and a host of other problems. Overwatering can in fact, actually kill an entire crop, making it a big deal for growers. This could be a particular concern for those that have used different types of lights in the past, particularly high heat-producing lights such as HIDs.
This tip goes hand in hand with the above tip. With less watering also comes fewer nutrients being given to the plants. Nutrients are typically given during the watering cycle and so with fewer waterings, the plants will also receive a lower amount of nutrients. Some growers try to make up for this fact by doubling up on nutrients when they do water, but that is not only unnecessary, it can actually hurt the plants. Just like overwatered plants can suffer, so too can those that have been overfed. Plants set under LEDs need about 30% fewer nutrients, which means that this is just another way these efficient lights will save you money!
Choose the right spectrum
Unlike other types of grow lights, LEDs allow growers to choose a spectrum for their cannabis. This can greatly aid with the growth of the plants as marijuana plants can truly thrive when they have more blue and white light during the vegetative stage and more red light during the flowering stage. Switching over to a different spectrum is fairly easy, and some lights even have infrared and UV light that can penetrate the plants even more. And that means more cannabinoids are created within the plants.
LEDs are quickly becoming a top choice for growers everywhere, and the reasons are obvious. Being much more efficient, they can keep those high utility bills at bay and can also provide a light that’s much more targeted, and much safer, for the plant. But when these types of lights have been installed in a grow room, it’s crucial that growers understand what they’re dealing with and the types of provisions that may need to be made. If they don’t, they may find that these lights hurt their plants more than they help them; at least at first during the adjustment period.