Opinion: Cannabis; beach bum or vampire?
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10th April 2020

Opinion: Cannabis; beach bum or vampire?

Waylon Cameron
Ah, cannabis. It’s a beautifully kept secret in the mind of its user and a hefty price in the word of the law. So, with all the threat of a fine, jail time or in some cases capital punishment, it’s no surprise that many people choose to grow their cannabis indoors.Many growers spend hours thinking of how to provide their plants with the most natural environment. Most importantly, they worry on how much of artificial light they would have to use. How far should it be from the said light?

Of course, every grower has their opinion on the best grow lamps. Yet, we often find that HID or high-intensity discharge lamps have been a favourite since the nineties. Usually, hung at thirty to fifty centimeters above the plant canopy, growers have found 400W and 600W HID bulbs to be the suitable.

However, this light makes its entrance showcasing some of its finest flaws.

400W and 600W lights are usually

The 600W HID bulb has been shown to be too intense for seedlings and cuttings and has been negatively affecting their growth, sometimes even burning their foliage. Harsh, right?Yet, this does not mean that HID lamps are every seedling's mortal enemy. Weaker lamps, like a 250W lamp was found to be seedling-friendly. They even found a distance of above 60cm between light and the plant canopy ideal for growth.

Getting this sort of lighting may sound like a sure guarantee to growing a fine yield, but trust me, there is a lot more you should take into consideration.

400W and 600W lights are usually favoured by home growers and micro growers alike. Although, plants that are intended for commercial growing may often be subjected to more than 1000W lighting for a higher yield. Micro growers, or those who grow cannabis in smaller quantities, may benefit from using weaker HID lighting, like the 250W lamps.

Unfortunately, the cannabis plants require intense

Yet, as mentioned above, every grower has their opinion on the best type of light for their darlings. Some cultivators have vested their faith in the power and efficiency of the CFL bulb.

The CFL bulb or the compact fluorescent light is known to be a life saver to these plants if they come in the cool white spectrum. In fact, they are close to kicking HID bulbs in the ass. A 250W CFL bulb can deliver similar results to a 400W HID bulb and even cost less. Besides, they can be hung at an easy distance of 10 centimeters close to the plants without burning foliage or impacting the quality of the yield. It makes those HID bulbs cover in shame, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the cannabis plants require intense illumination during bloom, making the mild CFL bulbs nothing but inadequate.

Cannabis; beach bum or vampire?

What if, like most growers, you find yourself drawn in a ceaseless dilemma between the intense HID lighting the milder CFL lighting? Not to worry. Many growers have switched to the modern LED systems that have outshined the traditional HID lighting systems. High-performance LED kits of 350 to 400W have outperformed the 600W HID lamps by a wide margin. In fact, many buyers believe that the use of the LED lamps leads to a better quality yield.

However, hanging distance may vary depending on the strength of the lamp to the condition of the plants. Plus, most of these lamps aren’t as cheap as their older rivals. This makes it somewhat difficult for home growers.

If you are still confused on what kind of light in what quantities are essential for the best yield, then you need to multiply your grow room length by its width to obtain your growing surface. Then multiply it with your desired PPFD (Photosynthetic photon flux density)level. Making the decision doesn't get easier than that. However, despite all the speculation about the best amount of artificial light, many would agree that there is no better exposure than natural light. Countries such as South Africa and Canada have comparatively liberal legislative restrictions when it comes to the growing of cannabis. One could almost take full advantage of Mother Nature without any legal repercussions.

Determining the ideal amount of light cannabis should receive is like trying to determine who will win the next election. It is all a mix of opinions, bias and doses of expert advice. Yet, there is nothing like a good old-fashioned sun-grown plant? Why should cannabis, if legalized, be an exception to this rule?

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