All the plants need light to grow, as it’s required by photosynthesis. The plant we talk about is no exception; though it has many magical properties, it doesn’t include built-in lights. In the wild, plants adjust for natural sunlight cycles; for growing indoors, you need to take matters in your hands and provide artificial light.
Usually, it’s a special LED panel that provides even light distribution all over the area (though some prefer HID lights). Given that you use standard grow room parameters, it makes sense to choose among grow lights for 4×4 tent covered areas. This solution is good for smaller rooms and well scalable if you want to expand.
What to Look for in Lights for Growing
While many LED solutions exist for this small area, not all are created equal. They have different parameters, some of which are crucial for lights to do their job. So, while you’re choosing your LED lighting for the grow area, look at this:
- Power. The wattage matters because it defines the amount of light received by the plants. The light you select should be capable of providing the right amount of it.
- In the flowering phase, your plants will need at least 1,000 µmols, but in the cloning phase, 200 µmols will be enough. This means that you’ll benefit from using a dimmer, better a built-in one.
- Noise level. The plants may care little about it, but you do a lot. The quieter the light, the better.
- Plant stage compatibility. LED lights are usually versatile and suitable for growing and flowering phases, but you need to ensure this particular model is.
- Spectrum. The fuller it is, the better the light for growing.
- Light temperature. If the light appears purely white, it may look artificial, but it gives you a better view; so if you can detect plant diseases visually, it’s better to do it under white light.
- Water resistance. There is always moisture in grow rooms; your lights should be well protected.
- Built-in controls. These are more than just lights to regularly turn on and off: these require more elaborate graphic that emulates nature.
- The price. When it comes to LED, they are usually more expensive than HID lights, but in the long run, you’ll use less power, so it pays. Still, different LED panels for growing come at different prices, so check how much power and extra features you need.
Tips on Installing and Using
Though you may want to accelerate the growth, that isn’t always possible that straightforwardly. As we learn from nature, here are some things to consider that make you want to take lights more seriously.
- Don’t deprive your plants of darkness in the flowering phase. It works while the plants grow, but to start flowering, they need to react to shrinking days. You won’t get better results if you make their day incessant.
So What: Turn it on and off when necessary. Or automate it with smart home systems or built-in controllers.
- Imitate the natural day length. In the spring, the days only start getting longer while the plant germinates. In the summertime, they are the longest. And in the early fall, the days just get shorter when the flowering phase starts. This is the cycle you may want to emulate.
So What: LED lights to require more attention as the phases change.
- LED lights should be far enough above the plants. Yet they won’t burn the leaves if they touch the diodes. The reason is to provide equal lighting to all the plants.
So What: Hand the light rather high, but make sure the plants don’t put each other in shade.
Let It Grow!
The best choice for a beginner is still a LED panel. Though it’s not as precisely emulating nature as a set of other lights would, it keeps the job simple and safe. Still, you may need to find the right amount of light and set up the automation. Finding the right panel will save you more trouble than it’s worth.