Lights often represent the lifeblood of plants grown indoors. Because any sunlight that they might receive is sparse, artificial light is valuable and necessary. Plants need the light to perform photosynthesis, which is vital for sugar and tissue production. Many people who grow for personal use will use a closet space for their garden. Some can get away with using a guest bedroom that can’t be seen from the outside and is rarely used otherwise.
Regardless, any grower must assess the viability, both in terms of space and electrical capacity, of bringing in a large amount of lights. Most growers limit their choices to one of the following three: fluorescents, incandescents, and HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps. To save yourself some time and money, it’s in your best interest to just opt for HID lamps during vegetative and flowering stage. These are sold as Metal Halide (MH) or High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps and they are, without question, the best for your marijuana garden. Although they have a higher up-front cost than fluorescent or incandescent lights, their overall value is much greater in the long run. That’s because they don’t require as much electricity as the other options, they are brighter, and they also last much longer. Even if you’re on a budget and you don’t want to throw away money up-front, you must factor in the cost of the electricity bill and bulb replacements.
|Flourescent Light||Lots of Light||HPS Light|
So, when it comes down to it, MH and HPS lamps represent a much better value and a better product overall. The plants will also need an even distribution of light so that growth is congruent. It is possible to hook up a track system that allows the light(s) to be moved, a lot of professional growers use this technique. The plants will receive an optimal amount of light without the need for extra lights here and there. For seedlings a HPS light bulb can be too much so many growers use fluorescent lights during germination. They don’t produce a lot of heat and can be lowered to four inches from the top leaves. Reflective material also helps enhance the amount of light that the plants receive. This can be as simple as lining the walls with aluminum foil or just painting the walls of the room a bright white. While mirrors are certainly interesting decorations, they don’t reflect as much light as other material. Large indoor gardens (and the light they require) place some heavy burdens on the electrical capacity in certain locations. Personal growers really won’t have any problems, because they might only use a few hundred volts per hour which would add, at the most, about $10 to the electric bill. Extensive growers, on the other hand, might be limited by the size of their circuit. For instance, older homes might only have a 15-amp circuit that can’t maintain all the excess light that a large garden needs.