Indoor Grows with LEDs 101
Welcome to our online class about growing cannabis indoors with LEDs. If you are here it’s because you are looking for a simple guide that will walk you through the steps of a successful first grow. How exciting for you because everything you are going to need to know can be found in this article. The information on how to grow weed indoors provided will bring you from a newbie all the way to a successful grower.
You may have heard or might think that growing marijuana indoors is a difficult process but this online course will bring you up to speed one step at a time until you have the confidence to grow. Anyone can grow cannabis it only requires the will to learn, a few minutes a day to watch over and maintain your cannabis plants, and some space for your grow.
Cannabis, weed, pot, marijuana, bud, ganja, and many more names refer to the dried and cured buds of a female cannabis plant. Cannabis plants grow all over the world in many different climates. Female cannabis plants produce famous flowers that you think of when you think of weed.
The flowers of these female cannabis plants contain the potent ingredients that people are looking for; THC and CBD. It is these flowers that are harvested, dried, and cured to produce usable marijuana. The cured buds are used to smoke, vaporize and consume via edibles.
LED Grow Lights
LED’s are the new kids on the block. Technology has come very far in a short amount of time. Just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have even talked about LED grow lights but now it’s all that I use.
LED suppliers have claimed for a long time that their LED systems provided bigger better buds and yields while using half the electricity of HIP lighting. Until recently this was not true. People have been sold low quality LED lights and were told they would grow better plants and it was just not the case for several years. Now people are still selling junk LED grow light kits that are worthless but many companies have cracked the nut and developed LED grow light kits that do produce like any HIP system.
I would strongly encourage the new grower to invest in new LED technology as it is easy to work with and will cost much less to produce your plants over time. After reviewing 15 LED grow light systems I have compiled my findings are here.
Pros of LED lights
- Cutting Edge & Custom Spectrum – LED grow light technology has arrived! You can now grow plants from seedling to flower with one light; with the flip of a switch, your light bands can be altered to provide the best light for vegetative and flowering stages.
- Stealth – LEDs are the perfect lighting system for growing indoors and especially good for growing in tents. These lights require very little room above your plants leaving much more height in your grow space for your plant to stretch out. The low heat generated by LEDs generally won’t need to be vented out of your grow space like and HID would.
- Options for low heat, low electricity– A LED panel doesn’t produce much heat or use much electricity
- Wide Spectrum LEDs that provide more color spectrums that cannabis plants use
- 50,000 to 100,000 hours life
Cons of LED lights
- Expensive setup– LED grow lights are a more expensive upfront investment. The cost of purchasing a quality powerful LED will be 3 to 4X more expensive than a HIP system. Saving comes after you have a few grows under your belt when the energy cost savings start to add up.
- Selecting LEDs requires research– Every LED system is different, especially when compared to your basic HIP system. Each maker and model uses different LED chips, different wattage chips, different reflectors, and so on. If you don’t read my review on the best LED grow lights I wouldn’t purchase an LED system. You won’t know what you’re getting.
- Light Burn and Bleaching– Quality LEDs are so powerful that they can burn or scorch your plants. When first starting out with LED you’ll need to start your lights about 4 feet above your plants until they are used to the light. At that point, you can experiment and find out the best height for your particular LED system. Currently, I’m growing with two different LED grow lights. One of the lights requires about 28 inches of space above the plants, the second setup only requires about 10 inches.
- Lower Yields than HIDs– This is a tricky con as some LEDs do not perform as well as HID lights. Many LEDs I’ve tested and seen have produced lower yields than HIP systems. I’ve never found a difference in THC potency. But like I’ve said the newer LED grow light systems can yield as much or almost as much as HID systems. You just need to get the right LED system. There are higher-end LED lights that will grow bigger plants than HID available at the higher end of the cost scale.
Like I’ve mentioned I’ve switched to LED grow lights exclusively and am very happy with the results I see. I love the quality and smell of the bud I produce and it is a little different than when I grow with HIP setups.
There might be a slight reduction in yield but nothing to really complain about. I seem to grow the same amount of bud with LED as I did with a HIP. I wouldn’t switch back to HIP if you paid me. I just find LED once setup is a no-hassle system that lasts basically forever and doesn’t require light bulb switching when you change growth states from vegetative to flowering.
The last word on choosing Your grow lights
Each lighting type and lighting system have their pros and cons. You need to find a system that fits your budget and grow area best. Try to look to the future when you buy and go with LED.
Are You Ready to Start Growing? Here’s your checklist.
Here is a full list of requirements to make sure you have everything you need before you start. Please check the list closely before starting any grow. This summary will make sure you haven’t forgotten any of the important requirements.
- Grow Space– your tent, grow room or grow box, etc. Your cannabis plants need a place to grow! As I’ve already discussed I recommend getting a grow tent even if you have a space to grow in that doesn’t require a tent. Tents just keep things clean and controlled.
- Temperature Control– You might get lucky and your grow space could have the perfect temperature needed to grow cannabis, for the rest of us you’re going to need climate control. Make sure you have the required venting and fans so that you can keep the grow area temperature between 22C or 72Fand 28C or 82F with a relative humidity of around 35 to 40%. How do I know? Get a small weather station for your grow area.