Growing cannabis is fun and not too difficult if you learn from the best (cough-GNU-cough), but you may be wondering about the countless variables you need to consider before you get started. Beyond grow tents and nutrients and media type, there’s also the questions surrounding lights: Are LEDs better than CMH or HPS? What size light do I need? Should I use a light with a tuneable spectrum? It’s a lot to sift through, but GN’s @chrisD is here to help with some info on LEDs and recommendations for a few of the best cannabis grow lights out there. Read the article here.
Better is subjective LED are more efficient and tunable for controlled environment agriculture. The technology passed the point of no return in 2018 and there is better market acceptance and absorption but lots of things to take into consideration before making the leap, light you said.
You need to determine your production targets and light levels and work back from there. Use metrics like DLI (Day Length Integral) and PPF/ PPFD. Lighting is a commodity now in agriculture, so instead of LED v CMH v HPS, determine your goals and barriers and work from there. I preach LED but have sold HID for jobs where lights are running in a greenhouse for 2 months a year. People, Planet, Profit. Prioritize and execute.
Can you manage tunable spectrum in a closet? All Day. Can you apply tunable spectrum with enough resolution to see benefit in a commercial application? Yes but it may not be where you want to start with LED.
Deploying my RnD lights in the next week or so on our IG @sagelightingsolutions
Great questions, @stevo47!
LED lights are certainly more energy efficient than HPS and older technologies, and the control you have over your color spectrum is much greater with LED.
We always recommend growers take a look at some key metrics when considering LED fixtures.
- How much PAR does the light produce (that being Photosynthetically Active Radiation, or the wavelengths of light that actively contribute to nourishment of the plants)
- How much of that PAR actually reaches the plants?
- How much energy is used to create that PAR?
We just wrote a post about these measurements and how to accurately assess an LED fixture on these grounds, you can read it here.
Basically, we’ve tooled our lights to produce more PAR for less energy, and we focus it directionally with advanced optics on the diodes to get more of that light on the plants (greater PPFD).
What are your thoughts on how most manufacturers stack up when it comes to accurate numbers for PAR, PPF, PPFD, photon efficacy, etc?