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LED Grow Lighting: Craze or Crazy

SmokeeeJ said let there be light… and there was light. As a former caregiver, I have used many different lights to grow cannabis. My favorite light to use is HPS or high pressure sodium because the spectrum allows for maximum growth of the cannabis buds. On more than one occasion, I have tried various LED lights. Some were bright white and some were multi-colored with a purple hue. None of them, however, produced marijuana buds like the double-ended HPS like I had used in my bigger grows.

My last full-size grow was in 2019 and I had not grown again until November when Proposition 207 was passed to allow all adults 21 and older to grow up to 6 plants. As I stated before, I love and swear by HPS lighting, however, there is one huge drawback: the heat. HPS lamps create an amazing amount of heat. When growing with HPS or MH (Metal Halide), you have to exhaust the heat so that you do not burn your plants. Cannabis plants in full flower hate the heat.

When I began this growing adventure, I was adamant about not using any kind of heated lamp. Since it is fully legal and I was just going to run a small 5×5 tent, it will be inside my house so I wanted minimal heat coming from the lamps. I began to search for LED lighting. Now that it’s 2021, the LED light choices are incredible and while they are still not as effective in recreating a spectrum similar to HPS, the LED lights of today will rival some of the 650w HPS lamps.

Volt Lighting is a big name in the outdoor lighting game and when I was approached by Volt Grow to demo out these new grow lights, I was excited to try them out. I was given a 440w VL-1 to try out on this first grow. Since I was only doing 2 larger plants, my canopy would not completely fill that 5×5 tent so this VL-1 is perfect. The light is relatively light in weight and when plugged in, it is very bright. Amidst the super bright white lights are red diodes to boost that red, flowering spectrum. You can angle the LED strips to direct the light exactly where it needs to go.

The cost per month to run this 440w Lamp in my grow is about $35. Because of the low heat output, I also do not have to run an additional A/C unit to cool down the tent. Switching to LED from HPS was a hard choice, but so far, the results are incredibly close to my old HPS grows. Both of these plants just started Week 7 and have some bulking up to do this week and next. I will start flushing these at the start of week 9.

See the whole cultivation series to keep reading and learning.


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