Young and mature plants, or vegetative and flowering plants, respectively, like different types of light, and you can buy grow lights that target each spectrum. Commonly, growers using HIDs will use MH bulbs for vegetative plants and HPS bulbs for flowering. Some LEDs are also designed to target different light spectra.
HID (high-intensity discharge) is an umbrella term under which MH and HPS bulbs fall, which we’ll discuss more below. These types of lamps have a hood that reflects light and bulbs that are enclosed capsules containing a gas, as opposed to bulbs you’d find in your house, which have a filament that heats up.
You can find lights for under $100, but they may be low quality and not produce the right spectrum of light, and you can also easily spend as much as $2,000 for a large, state-of-the-art LED.
However, because of their low price, if you’re new to indoor growing and not sure how often you’ll do it, you may want to invest in an inexpensive HID light at first to test the water.
Types of marijuana grow lights
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are relatively new to the cannabis growing world, compared to HPSs, MHs, and CFLs, but they are quickly proving to be the way of the future. LEDs may be more expensive to buy initially, but they are far more efficient and kinder to the environment and your electricity bill. Some cities even give tax breaks to commercial growers who install or switch to LEDs because they’re better for the environment.
“LEC” and “CMH” both refer to Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights, which is a type of HID light that is a bit more efficient than a regular Metal Halide light
Compare the Pros and Cons of Each Grow Light
Pros of Fluorescents
Now that you are familiar with all the most common cannabis grow lights I hope your choice is a little easier. I wish I’d had this information when I first started growing indoors Happy growing.
Note 2: Incandescent light bulbs (old fashioned light bulbs) are NOT suitable for growing marijuana!
High Pressure Sodium grow lights are often used during the flowering stage because they are very efficient and their yellow light stimulates bud production. HPS grow lights in the flowering stage get better yields per watt of electricity than any other type of grow light available today, which is a big part of why they are so popular.
Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights
T5s are much bigger/wider than CFLs and usually come as part of a panel, but they can still be kept mere inches away from your plants without worrying about burning them.
That being said, when it comes to the flowering/budding stage, if you can fit a bigger light you will get significantly better yields/watt by using an HID or LED grow light!