Table of Contents
Introduction – On average, LEDs yield 0.5g/watt of actual power draw.
- ViparSpectra – Editor’s Recommendation
- Kind LEDs
- Advanced Platinum
- Other Cannabis LED Grow Lights Brands
The use of LED grow lights is still relatively new among cannabis farmers. However, the use of the lights has increased in popularity over the past few years. Weed farmers are choosing these lights because they lead to great yields while staying cool. Apart from this, the lights use a reasonable amount of electricity.
When you are growing marijuana, you care so much about yields. You can expect yields of about 0.5g/watt when using an LED grow light and experience an average-to-good grow. The yield will mainly depend on the strain you are growing.
Pro marijuana growers can yield even more. For example, a 200W LED (200W true power draw, not an equivalent “wattage”) can yield about 3.5 ounces, which is about 100 grams on average. However, the 0.5g/watt yield is a good rule of thumb.
The LEDs for growing marijuana that are currently available on the market perform better than those made more than five years ago. These LEDs has wider light spectrums (instead of purely blue and red light), which leads to greener, healthier, and better-looking buds.
Moreover, LED manufacturers have come up with specialized lenses that can be used to point light directly to the plants, and increase penetration. As a result, farmers can get bigger yields for the same amount of light that is produced by older LEDs.
You can grow impressive weed plants using modern LED lights. The photo below shows cannabis plants that were grown under LED grow lights, from seed to harvest.
When searching for the best lights for growing weed, you will often find LEDs being compared to HPS grow lights. These two types of lights have their pros and cons when being used to grow cannabis.
Below is a quick summary of the lights that can help you decide which one to choose. You can also check an in-depth guide on the differences between LED and HPS here.
LED grow lights are recommended if:
- You do not want to deal with ducting or an exhaust system. You would rather hang your grow lights over your weed plant and let the lights cool themselves.
- You are looking to grow quality buds (smell, potency, trichome development) rather than simply looking at the yields/watt
- You are ready to spend some money for the initial setup (Like is expected, the best LED grow lights are quite expensive!)
- You are ready to research to determine the best LED grow light for your space (we’ve done a lot of research to guide you in this article)
- You wish to use advanced indoor cannabis grow lights whose spectrums you can customize
LEDs vs CFLs
- You need to keep LEDs much further away from plants than CFLs. Therefore, CFLs are a better option for short grow spaces without a lot of height. Generally, LEDs should be kept 12″ to 18″+ away from the top of plants. On the other hand, you can keep CFLs just a few inches away from the plants.
- LEDs produce less heat than CFLs while using the same amount of electricity. Moreover, LEDs have additional cooling options like built-in fans and heatsinks. These cooling options push the heat away from the plants, making it easy for you to maintain comfortable temperatures.
- LEDs do not need to be adjusted almost daily, unlike is the case with CFLs.
- You will get better yields with LEDs than CFLs for the same amount of electricity used. This is because LED grow lights are more efficient, i.e., they produce more light for the same amount of electricity used.
LEDs vs MH/HPS
Some growers choose to mix LEDs with their HPS bulbs. Combining MH/HPS with a quality LED panel can actually help to improve the quality of harvested buds.
Experienced weed growers usually point out that LEDs increase the density and potency, as well as bring out the natural smell and taste on your strain. On the other hand, other growers believe that HPS produces “prettier” buds.
Here is our take on using LEDs or HPS:
- LED lights are plug-and-play. You can plug them directly into a wall without a ballast.
- LED grow lights have built-in heat sinks and cooling systems that vent air up and away from the plants. The cooling systems allow you to hand the lights in your tent without needing an exhaust system to control the temperature.
- Some marijuana farmers believe that LEDs produce high-quality buds (high potency, more trichomes, and bring out the natural smell and taste of buds). The lights also tend to bring out colors.
- If you want to improve your yields/watt, get an HPS grow light for the flowering stage. A quick note though: LEDs are catching up and some of the new LEDs lead to comparable results. Still, HPS tends to provide bigger yields in terms of the amount of electricity used.
- Some LED grow lights are quite pricey. Therefore, you may want to do some research prior to buying them.
Differences in Buds Grown Under LED Grow Lights and HPS Grow Lights
Is there any difference in the smell, taste, and look of buds grown under LED grow lights and those grown under HPS grow lights?
Generally, buds grown under LED grow lights tend to have more color. For example, you can see the difference in color of this Eldorado plant that was bloomed under two light sources: an LED on one side and HPS on the other.
At harvest, the color difference was evident. Moreover, after curing pieces from each side of the plant, the aromas were also slightly different.
If you are dealing with hot HPS lights and want to change to a cooler light source, you should go for LED grow lights. LED lights produce less heat and the smaller models may even not increase the temperature of your grow space.
The more powerful LED grow lights that produce a lot of heat have built-in cooling systems that prevent the heat from beaming directly down onto the plants.
How to Grow Weed Using LED Lights
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