Choosing the Best Lighting
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Have you ever witnessed the impact that natural light can have on a person? Beneath it, things blossom and grow. In fact, the right light can be the difference between a healthy harvest and a wasted weed crop.
Once you’ve ordered your marijuana seeds from Pacific Seed Bank, the next steps are to set up a grow space that fits your space and your gardening capabilities. Although in a few regions it’s legal to plant pot outdoors (so long as the area is on private property, out of sight, and locked down tight), it can actually be better to grow indoors, as it gives you all kinds of control over important environmental factors that affect the health and potency of your plant.
What’s the Deal with Photosynthesis?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, light is an extremely important factor in growing marijuana, and your plants near constant need for the right source of light is/was a huge tell to law enforcement monitoring the electric grid for excess usage.
You may vaguely remember learning about photosynthesis during high school biology; that’s information that comes into play here as it’s this process that is key to your success.
By way of a brief refresher: light is made up of different colors in a spectrum. Good old, natural sunlight, being as magnificent and all powerful as it is, is what you’d consider full spectrum light, and the ideal source for your marijuana garden. Because most people aren’t capable of growing in the great outdoors (or even planting in a greenhouse), it’s important to do some research in advance to guarantee you get the right light intensity for the job:
- Too low an intensity and you risk your plants growing long and leggy since they will have to stretch toward the light to catch those rays.
- Too high an intensity and you risk stunting the growth of your plant, and/or burning the delicate leaves.
Tip: Your light source should always be about two feet away from the crown of your marijuana plant.
Marijuana Stages & Light Changes
One of the more complicated issues with growing good marijuana is the need to change your light schedule in order to transition your plants from one stage to the next. Of course, this can be mitigated by buying auto-flowering marijuana seeds, a strain that adapted to the harsh conditions of its native regions (like Russia) to transition once the plant reaches a certain height as opposed to a change in photoperiod.
In the case of regular feminized marijuana seeds, during the vegetative stage your plants will require up to 18 hours of light, while during the flowering stage the ratio becomes 1:1 – 12 hours light, 12 hours darkness.
Four Types of Marijuana Grow Lamps
With the phases and stages of marijuana plant life, you can see why plugging in an average 100-watt bulb isn’t going to cut the cheese when it comes to growing cannabis. You may be able to scrimp and save in other areas, but we encourage you to invest in a proper light setup if you want to grow high quality cannabis, especially for medical use.
The four main types of grow lamps most often used for growing cannabis are:
- Fluorescent (T5 and CFL)
- Metal Halide
- High Pressure Sodium (HPS)
As you would expect, each light type has its distinct advantages and drawbacks; it will ultimately come down to a matter of personal preference.
LEDs: the least fussy of the bunch and best suited for small gardens, with these lights you simply plug them in and suspend them over your crop. Go for a brand that includes green and white light, the closest you can get to full spectrum.
Fluorescent: many gardens choose fluorescent bulbs for the first stages of growth. They are energy efficient, easy to get your hands on, and even easier on the wallet. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) are good for small spaces and small plots. For a larger operation, choose a T5 (long, tube-like bulbs).
Tip: Cloning your marijuana plants is an easy way to double your output, and we find a lot of gardeners recommend fluorescents for cloning, seeding, and younger plants since they don’t produce a lot of heat.
We’re going to take a moment here to point out that, although cost effective and simple to set up, fluorescents aren’t the ideal solution for the entire grow period, as they tend to lead to a smaller yield. You’ll want to switch to a higher-powered light for your flowering stage.
Metal Halide: a high-intensity grow light, metal halide (MH) grow lights are extremely efficient and come set up for the job but require proper ventilation as they can produce a lot of heat. Expect the highest yield when using MH bulbs, the professional go-to for late stage development.
Tip: the blue spectrum of an MH grow lamp is perfect for getting your plant through the vegetative stage.
HPS: these are super high intensity lights produce a yellow/full spectrum light that is great for the flowering stage. Ventilation is key, since they produce a lot of light, and they also require reflector hoods like MH lights.
Tip: If you’re using MH lights for your vegetative stage, you can switch the bulbs out of the fixture since they can be purchased in the same size.
A Few More Light-Sensitive Grow Tips
We want you to get the most out of your Pacific Seed Bank marijuana seeds, so we’ve tapped our friends and experts to compile a list of their top tips so that even the most beginner grower can grow a bumper crop every time.
- Running lights up to 18 hours a day can be expensive; consider sectioning off a small space in a larger room to keep from wasting light.
- Cover the inner walls, ceiling, and floor of your grow room with reflective material to redirect light to all parts of your marijuana plant. Make sure the fabric lays smooth and flat, as wrinkles can cause hot spots that can burn your plant.
- Grow lights should be adjustable as the top of your plant should always remain about two feet from the lamp.
- Your grow room should be pitch black, with your plants only receiving light from the grow lamps. Outside sources of light can cause your plants to become confused and stressed.
- Safety first: make sure to secure electrical cords and cables to keep them away from water.
The Pacific Seed Bank Germination Guarantee
Pacific Seed Bank offers one of the most comprehensive Germination Guarantees on the market. Although we’re confident that we are offering our valued customers some of the highest quality seeds available, all of which have been tried and tested to give you a germination rate of at least 90% (two-seed minimum*), we understand that sometimes external factors can affect your seeds and influence their viability. As long as you follow the method outlined in our detailed germination guide, your purchase is eligible for our 90% Gemination Guarantee*.
*While our ultimate goal is to leave our customers feeling happy and satisfied with their Pacific Seed Bank purchase, we cannot replace single failed seeds. Our Germination Guarantee pertains to two (2) or more non-viable marijuana seeds that still meet the less than 90% germination requirement (i.e. if only 8/10 of your seeds germinate, this equates to an 80% success rate and is eligible for our guarantee, where if 23/25 germinate, this is a 92% success rate and technically not eligible for our guarantee.)
**Seeds that have been germinated using one of the two alternative methods outlined above will not be eligible for our Germination Guarantee.