Rubio's Recommendations - Grow Lights Part Deux
When you’re growing indoors, you can provide your plants the opportunity to perform at their very best by using a first-rate lighting system. There are several ways to cut costs but I recommend buying the best that your budget allows. Using sub-par lighting can hinder and slow the plant growth, and we don't want that to happen.
The T5's are a type of fluorescent lights, and an optimal choice for many cannabis cultivators. Best during the propagation (seedling or clone) stage and early growth of a plant, T5 lighting systems offer growers much cooler conditions than HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights, reducing the chances of drying out those delicate seedlings, clones, and newly established plants. The T5’s are convenient and well-performing, energy-efficient fixtures that produce more light in a smaller space using substantially less energy than traditional HID grow lights like Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS).
I recommend using T5's until plants reach 12-16 inches tall, then the plant will require more intense lights for stronger stem development and foliage growth. Clones and new growth cuttings require less intense light than a HID lights offers and are plug in ready starting at about $60.00 depending on the size and manufacturer.
As mentioned in the last issue, heat is a problem for most indoor growers, and the type of reflector or hood used can significantly reduce the heat emitted from MH and HPS. I prefer the air-cooled reflectors because they will help keep your grow room cool, having an intake and exhaust port on each end for airflow. The use of an inline duct fan helps exhaust the heat from the bulb.
Using the right reflector and keeping it clean from dust build up can increase yield by redirecting light back down on the plants. Grow stores have numerous products and types of light reflectors with several different purposes to choose from, along with a wide selection of reflector hoods from air-cooled to double-ended. Lighting, cooling, grow room size & desired discretion will then play strongly into the type of strains you’ll want to grow - more on that next edition. In the meantime, do your research and remember: you get what you pay for.