What are LED grow lights? Do indoor marijuana plants need them?

What are LED grow lights? Do indoor marijuana plants need them?

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Cannabis questions are budding in Michigan ever since the passage of Proposition 1 this past Tuesday during the midterm election, the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. The biggest question maybe how to grow a cannabis plant in your own home.

To do that, you need a couple of basic things: seeds, water and light.

There are a couple of ways to distribute light when growing cannabis indoors, but LED seems to be among the up-and-coming for home growers.

Whatever kind of light you decide to use, whether its an LED, HID or fluorescent, is important: it is the main source of environmental energy that will affect the quality and quantity of your cannabis yield.

Light emitting diode (LED) is not a new type of technology: they last a long time, give a full-spectrum of light and create less heat.

Just know that indoor growing takes up a lot of energy, and it is likely that your electricity bill will skyrocket. LED lights, however, use less than half of the energy used by HID, high-intensity discharge, lights. You’ll also need air conditioning and a humidifier.

“With 1,000 watts each usually you keep the lights 12 hours on, 12 hours off,” said Anqunette Sarfoh, co-founder of Detroit-based cannabis business BotaniQ. “It can get expensive.”

So what is an LED grow light?

LED grow light is an LED light that the spectrum has been devised to be beneficial for the growth of plants that mimics the sun, according to Raphael Blake, another co-founder of BotaniQ.

“For some of them you can change the spectrum they put off — red blue white,” he said.

When used in a canopy of lights, LEDs have the ability to spread an even amount of light to each plant. And you usually want one LED light per plant. The yield of your plant depends on the power of your light, according to Blake. The more powerful the light, the bigger the bud.

Many professional growers use multiple sources of light. But it is more common for home growers to only use one, Blake said.

LED grow lights have their own set of pros and cons. According to Blake, they work well in small, confined spaces, like an indoor closet, and use less power. But it the start-up cost can be expensive. A 1,000 watt LED grow light on Amazon can cost up to $100.

But like any consumer product, it is important to do your own research.

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