Make the Most of Your LEDs: 5 Tips for Cannabis LED Growing
The growing prominence of LED grow lights in the cannabis community is undeniable. So we have put together a few tips for anyone wanting to give them a go.
When it comes to selecting the right lighting for an indoor cannabis grow, more and more growers are turning to LEDs. Although they had a rocky start in the cannabis community, the ever-advancing technology behind them has seen them come on in leaps and bounds. Many are now much more efficient than HID lamps; they consume less energy, have a longer lifespan, are more physically robust, smaller, and have faster switching. If you have made the switch to LEDs, here are 5 tips that may come in handy:
1. LEDS RUN COOL
As LEDs will generate a lot less heat than HID lights, there is no need for cool tubes and stuff like that. The temperature in your grow room will be much more controllable, which comes in handy, especially in the summer time when your cannabis runs the risk of overheating. In colder climates, where you may have relied on the heat generated by HID lamps, you may need to get an additional heater. However, LEDs can save you a lot on lighting bills - which should offset the cost of any heating.
2. GET THEM CLOSE
This plays in really well with the first point; less heat allows you to get your LEDs much closer to your cannabis canopy. This will increase your light intensity allowing you to optimise what you get out of your lamps. But keep in mind that the grow light height has to be in a balance between light intensity and coverage area. Start with the manufacturer's recommendations and adjust from there.
3. REDUCE YOUR WATERING SCHEDULE
You don't have to water your cannabis as much when you are using LED grow lights. The temperatures in your grow room won't be that hot, which will lower the evaporation of water in the pots. This means you will need to reduce the irrigation and have to be careful to don't overwater the ladies - especially if you are switching from HID lamps to LEDs and are not used to watering less.
4. REDUCE THE NUTES
A side effect of watering your plants less is that you also lower the addition of nutrients. This is because, with less heat and less water movement, cannabis uses its food less quickly. Ergo you'll have to buy fewer nutrients – about 30% less. Furthermore, this reduces the risk of an unwanted build-up of nutrients in your medium and the danger of over-fertilising is minimised. This is a cost saver, too!
5. PICK LEDs WITH THE RIGHT SPECTRUM
Unlike HID lights, LEDs can be optimised to output more of a certain light spectrum. This is ideal, as cannabis requires more of certain spectrums at different times throughout the grow. With recent LED technology, you can have blue and white LEDs for the vegetative state and different red spectrums for flowering. These spectrums are often switchable to match any stage of the plants' lifecycle. Many of the recent LED lights even include infrared and UV to further penetrate your plants to produce as many cannabinoids as they possibly can!
Getting started with LEDs is easy, and their increase in efficiency really pays off in the long run. These five tips should have any budding LED grower on their way to greatness, achieving the best results they can.