Sunlight for cannabis cultivation
Sunshine is all you require when growing outside. Indoor growers use artificial light from either HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps, specifically HPC (high-pressure sodium) lamps that are suitable for vegetative growth and flowering, or LEDs (light emitting diodes). LEDs are expensive but do not consume much electricity. Smaller fluorescent and CF (compact fluorescent) lights are ideal for rooting cutting and starting young seedlings. Lights should be hung as close as possible to the plants without damaging the. Place your hands above your crop to test the heat. If it’s too hot for your hand, it is going to harm your crop.
Recommendations for LED lighting for growing cannabis
LED lighting recommendations: 1 x 600-watt draw LED lamp will cover a 4-foot x 4-foot area and should return one pound of dried buds, but the cost of these units is high and out of most medical growers’ budgets.
HPS lighting recommendations: HPS lamps are inexpensive, particularly low-bay industrial HPS lamps, which are fine to use. You require at least 50 watts of light per square foot of the garden and will get better results using a 600-watt HPS, as that is the most efficient. A simpler guide is:
1 x 250-watt HPS illuminates a 2 feet x 2 feet garden (4 plants/4 to 5 ounce yield)
1 x 400-watt HPS for a 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet garden (6 plants/9 to 12 ounce yield)
1 x 600-watt HPS for a 4 feet x 4 feet garden (9 plants/16 to 18-ounce yield)
Tips on the lighting schedule
From germination until the flowering stage, plants remain under a regime of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Flowering is induced by changing the light schedule to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Plants receive a minimum of two weeks of vegetative growth and eight weeks of flowering.
Schedule of operation of a gas lamp for growing cannabis
Otherwise known as the 12-1 lighting regime, this can save you on average 30 to 50% on your electricity costs, but it also reduces yield. Vegetative growth: 12 hours lights on, 5.5 lights off, 1-hour lights on, 5.5 lights off, and repeat schedule. Flowering: first two weeks 11 hours on, 13 off, the next two weeks 10.5 hours on, 13.5 off, following two weeks 10 hours on, 14 off, following two weeks 9.5 hours on, 14.5 off, and the last two weeks 9 hours on and 15 hours off. Plants receive a minimum of two weeks of vegetative growth and eight of flowering.
Schedule of automatic lighting of cannabis blossoms
There is no requirement to change the lighting cycle when using auto-flowers. The standard practice is to set your schedule to 18 hours on and 6 hours off. Better yields can be obtained at 20 hours on, and 4 hours off, but you have a corresponding rise in electricity consumption. The secret with auto-flowering strains is to achieve a balance between yield and energy cost. Plants will trigger flowering automatically after three weeks of vegetative growth with a further five to seven weeks of flowering. Yields will also be less using auto-flowering varieties.