If you’re new to cannabis and are considering indoor growing, stick around. The topic of marijuana grow lights is somewhat complex, and there’s a lot to cover.

Illuminate yourself on this complicated topic and learn how to determine the best lights for your situation. Let’s jump in and get started.

 

A few words about the cannabis light cycle

The light cycle is a crucial element in cultivating marijuana indoors. The three cannabis growing stages are seedling, vegetative, and flowering. The amount of light plants receive during vegging and flowering must be carefully regulated to get the best results.

In nature, cannabis grows under the sun. Over millennia, it adapted to its environment to survive. The species adopted several traits, such as the production of cold-resistant resin and photoperiod-dependent growth, amongst many others.

Long summer days provide the best opportunity for vegetative growth, so cannabis gradually adjusted to this seasonal variance. The best lights for indoor growing try to simulate these long sunlit days.

Shortening fall days tell the plants that winter’s on its way, bringing with it devastating frosts. In response, the marijuana’s survival instincts engage, kickstarting flowering in an attempt to reproduce before their life cycle ends.

Indoor gardeners raising cannabis seeds recreate these conditions by managing their illumination periods. Most run their lights for at least 18 hours a day during the vegetative stage. Flowering begins once the plants experience 12 or more hours of darkness daily.

This dark period is critical for a healthy, productive harvest. Failure to provide an uninterrupted night may result in various issues, from regressing to vegetative growth, malformed buds, or hermaphroditism.

Invest in high-quality digital timers to ensure your photoperiod runs to schedule. If you raise a non-photoperiod strain, your autoflower light schedule becomes irrelevant. These plants begin flowering after a short vegetative period, regardless of the light received.

 

Do I need a grow light for weed?

Growing weed inside without lights is impossible. If you plan to cultivate in a controlled environment, the simple answer is yes—you need a grow light for weed.

All plants require energy in the form of photons to perform photosynthesis. Your cannabis could survive inside using ambient light from household sources and windows, but its productivity would be nil. 

While it’s technically possible to use standard bulbs to cultivate cannabis, it’s not recommended. The light they produce is limited in range, spectrum, and intensity.

They also produce a lot of heat, consume more electricity, and have a shorter lifespan than marijuana grow lights.

Household bulbs aren’t designed for marijuana plants. If you want any hope of harvesting a productive yield, you must provide your crops with an adequate lighting solution. 

Read on for an overview of the different lights and find a solution that fits your needs.

 

Which types of cannabis grow lights exist?

The most suitable lights for growing weed fall into three categories.With this knowledge, you can choose the best grow lights for marijuana to suit your budget and cultivation space.

Note! Undoubtedly, there are a huge number of grow light types apart from these three. For example, CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide) also known as LECs are premium grow light solutions which is used mostly by experience growers. These lamps are great when it comes to increasing terpenes and smell of the final product, making rosin or producing a large amount of trichomes on weed. However, in general, most growers are happy with these three types of grow lights. Over the following sections, we explore and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each.

 

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL)