Cultivators around the world understand that you need grow lights for indoor plants, especially cannabis. Some plant species prefer shady environments and can be considered “indoor plants”—marijuana isn’t one of them. By nature, weed needs a lot of sunlight for proper flower production.

Outdoor growers generally stick to summer months to maximize the amount of light their plants receive. However, if you have a greenhouse or grow tent, you require grow lamps for indoor plants. Greenhouses have the advantage of using sunlight and artificial lighting to boost production.

Not sure which lights to choose for your indoor setup? Fear not! Sit back and relax as we guide you through the best lights for indoor plant growth.

 

Why should you use grow lights for indoor plants

The lack of natural sunlight inside a house is the main reason you need lights for your indoor weed. Most plants, except for fungi and some others, have chlorophyll that converts light into energy. If they don’t receive enough light, they don’t grow or produce as much bud as when you use grow light bulbs for indoor plants.

There are various types of grow lights for indoor plants, each having its own pros and cons. Fortunately, you can choose lamps that fit your unique circumstances. 

You can create a growing area in a small space with minimal effort and costs involved. Unlike greenhouses, a cheap indoor grow setup requires less work and often has a lower price. With the constant improvements and innovations, you can even find some of the best LED grow lights for indoor plants at a fraction of what they were only a few years ago.

 

Grow lights for indoor plants

 

Choosing the best grow lights for indoor plants

Knowing the different types of grow lights for indoor plants is one thing. You also need to understand what your plants need and what you can afford. 

Lights are an investment, and sometimes they can break or be the wrong choice for your crop. So let’s look at the most critical considerations:

 

Light intensity

The light intensity of your home plant grow lights affects how deep the light penetrates the leaves. Low-intensity bulbs are less effective than high-intensity lamps, and therefore many people don’t consider them with the same level of enthusiasm. 

LEDs operate on a different spectrum and don’t have a standardized measurement. Here’s a table on the intensity of HID grow lights for indoor plants::

 

 

Wattage (W)

Growing Area (Ft.)

Distance from Plants

Light intensity (Lumens)

175

2x2

Less than 1 ft.

1200–2000

250

3x3

12–18 inches

1500–3000

400

4x4

12–24 inches

1400–3000

600

4x4

18–24 inches

3300–4800

1000

6x6

24–60 inches

5500 +

 

Color spectrum

Beyond the light intensity, the color spectrum is another vital aspect of grow lights for indoor plants. Blue light is fantastic for the vegetative stage but detrimental to the flowering phase in excess. Having the optimal lamp that provides a balanced blue and red combination allows you to grow your plants without changing bulbs depending on the growth stage.

Many bulbs generate UV that’s acceptable to plants but not humans. While you may not like UV rays, the lamps you choose need UV light to penetrate the leaves. If the light doesn’t enter the leaves, they can’t photosynthesize correctly. 

The best grow lights for indoor plants should have some level of UV radiation, so your plants can utilize their full potential.

 

Heat emission

People who live in cold areas often need grow lamps for indoor plants that generate heat to cut back costs. Some individuals enjoy cultivating weed in the dead of winter and require the extra warmth. You’ll need bulbs that offer heat emissions to balance the cold.

Living in sunny California or experiencing the height of summer might lead you in the opposite direction. If it’s already 75℉, you probably don’t want to warm your plants up more. When you get lights that don’t generate much heat, you might also reduce the need for additional cooling.

Whatever your reasons for using home plant grow lights, looking at their heat emission properties is essential. Simply grabbing the light that becomes the hottest or the one that stays the coolest might not be the best decision. Whether you grow during summer or winter, your lights will need to be reliable and complement your climate.

 

Grow lights for indoor plants

 

Energy consumption

Negligible to some, critical to others, energy consumption is something you need to consider. When you learn how to use grow lights for indoor plants, you quickly realize the electricity bills increasing. 

Growing weed, or any other fruitful plant, requires a lot of sunshine. Marijuana needs at least 8 hours of light a day, which can quickly add up if you’re using bulbs instead of the sun.

If you’re not concerned about energy consumption, then the world is your oyster. On the other hand, people who need to keep an eye on the meter might prefer LEDs for their setup. The downside is that if you live somewhere cold, you may need a heater.

You can always change the bulbs to fit your needs if they don’t work for your situation. No rule book says that you have to use a particular lamp, or else. A lot of learning how to use grow lights for indoor plants includes trial-and-error. Everyone has a unique environment, and it’ll take some time to get the perfect match.

 

What are the types of grow lights for indoor plants?

Having plant lights for indoor plants not only ensures your crops receive much-needed light, but they can also provide additional heat. Depending on which bulbs you use, you might not need to buy a heater or cooler to compensate. Here are the most common home plant grow lights for growing weed indoors:

 

High-pressure sodium (HPS)

HPS used to be the most common grow lights for indoor plants. They create an electric current that heats up mercury vapor and sodium to make a yellow light. HPS lamps burn at about 80–140 lumens per watt and become quite warm after a while, which is excellent for cultivators who want to save on heating costs.

 

The Advantages:

  • They’re smaller than many other lamp types.
  • The added warmth can be beneficial for cultivators in cold climates.

 

The Disadvantages:

  • Their color rendering isn’t as good as that of Metal Halide or Halogen bulbs.
  • It contains poisonous mercury vapor.
  • If lamps break, the sodium in the bulb can cause a fire.

HPS lamps aren’t the best grow lights for house plants and are therefore more common in street lamps.

 

Grow lights for indoor plants

 

Metal halide (MH)

Metal halide lamps are high-intensity discharge lamps containing mercury, xenon, or argon, and various metal halides. MH lights run cooler than their HPS cousins, making them a fantastic choice for people that need grow lights for indoor plants in warm areas. 

Their color spectrum ranges from 350 nm to 750 nm, meaning they offer visible and invisible light. Most manufacturers coat the bulbs with phosphor to reduce the UV light they emit.

 

The Advantages: 

  • They have an average lifespan of 15,000–20,000 hours, which is over 10x longer than standard bulbs.
  • You receive the complete color spectrum.
  • They’re more efficient than HPS bulbs.

 

The Disadvantages: 

  • They have long warming-up and cooling-down periods, which can be problematic for growers that need to change a bulb.
  • As they age, they start to discolor or become warmer and may burst as a result.
  • UV radiation can damage other things that are in the same room.

As a whole, most cultivators don’t use MH grow lamps for indoor plants as often anymore because there are better alternatives available.

 

Compact fluorescent light (CFL)

CFL lamps are the most common and often considered best grow light bulbs for indoor plants. Although they have slightly higher initial costs than incandescent lights, they use less energy, saving you on electric bills in the long term. 

In addition, they generate very little heat, offer great luminosity, and boast various color spectrums. CFLs are much more energy-efficient than HPS or MH lamps.

 

The Advantages: 

  • The energy costs are less expensive than other types of grow lights for indoor plants.
  • They generate more heat than LEDs, but less than other lamp types, making them a good option when your plants are close to the bulbs.
  • Their light emission can spread over a large area.

 

The Disadvantages: 

  • Their light doesn’t offer as much usability as many other lamps. Therefore, your plants don’t create colas that would be as big as when you use MH or HPS lights.

CFLs are the most popular, besides LEDs, when it comes to grow lights for indoor plants. That’s because CFLs are affordable, energy-efficient, and generally very user-friendly. These are just some of the many reasons that growers consider CFLs to be the best grow lights for house plants.

 

Grow lights for indoor plants

Light-emitting diodes (LED)

If you have a flat-screen TV, you probably know about LEDs. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are tiny little bulbs that create next to no heat, have incredibly long lifespans, and offer a massive range of colors. Many growers insist that LEDs are the best grow light bulbs for indoor plants.

 

The Advantages: 

  • Low energy consumption compared to other lights.
  • They’re small, and you can use LED strips instead of single lamp fixtures.
  • They last longer than other lights.
  • LEDs are very cool and don’t run the risk of rupture.

 

The Disadvantages:

  • They’re weaker than MH and CFL light, meaning you need more lights to provide the same power.
  • LEDs are much more expensive than other lights and require a larger initial investment.

As you can see, LEDs are still a new technology and are constantly under development. Generally, they’re pretty popular as grow lights for indoor plants where the climate is hot. However, increased demand will eventually lead to innovation in ways to reduce costs.

 

In a nutshell

By using grow lights for indoor plants, you provide your cultivars what they need to stay alive. If they were animals, sunlight would be their mothers’ milk, and indoor lighting more like formula. Though it’s not ideal, it’s as close as you can get. 

Adding grow lamps for indoor plants to a greenhouse gives you the added benefit of both worlds. You can utilize the power of the sun and extend the days with artificial lighting. The combined effects offer some of the most potent, highest-yielding colas you can produce. So grab your thinking hat, head on over to Seed Supreme, and start planning your next harvest.

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