The vegetative stage is crucial for the growth of marijuana because it determines how healthy and robust it will be once it enters the flowering stage. This is the point when the structural integrity is built, which is why it is important to provide an external environment that will be conducive for its growth. While there are several requirements, one of the most important would be the best light for vegetative growth.
It is important to have the right lighting because it is considered as the driving force for the growth of cannabis. Without the right light, it won’t make it to the next stage. With the abundance of the options that are available, which one should you choose? Be a responsible buyer and read the rest of this guide and we will help you make the right decision.
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Table of Contents
- Best Light for Vegetative Stage – HID
- Best Veg Grow Light – LED
- Best CFL Grow Light
- Best Light to Use for Growing Weed – T5 Fluorescent
- What is the Vegetative Stage?
- Light Requirements of Marijuana During the Vegetative Stage
- Maintaining Marijuana During the Vegetative Stage
- Wrap Up
Best Light for Vegetative Stage – HID
#1 iPower 400 Watts HPS MH Digital Dimmable Grow Light System Review
With the introduction of newer technologies on the market, HID is not as preferred as it was before. Nonetheless, as it will be discussed later on, it is still a great choice when it comes to the vegetative stage. This product, to be specific, is great because it already comes as a complete kit. Aside from the light bulb, it is already inclusive of a reflector and ratchet clip hanger rope, among others.
As expected, the highlight would be the bulbs that are included in the package. There are two bulbs – 1 Super HPS 2100K bulb and 1 MH 6000K bulb. Both of the bulbs have 400 watts. They have optimized spectrum that can help improve the vegetative growth of the plant. One thing that is nice, however, is the fact that it is suitable even for the other stages of the growth of cannabis.
The 19-inch wing reflector that comes along with the package is also great. It is made of 95% German aluminum with exceptional reflectivity. This also makes it easy to direct the light to the plant, which is an important aspect of using HID during the vegetative stage.
Q&A: What is the ideal size of the grow room for this light?
The wattage of this light is only 400, which is quite minimal. With this, it is recommended that you use it only in a small grow room. In general, a 400-watt HID light will be more than enough for a room that measures 3 feet x 3 feet.
Q&A: Are the wires exposed?
The seamless design of the kit is one of its best assets. The wires are hidden. You cannot see them when you look at the hood. It does not only make the set-up neat, but it also helps in promoting safety.
Best Veg Grow Light – LED
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LED lights with blue spectrum can prove to be a promising option when it comes to enhancing the vegetative growth of marijuana. Such is exactly the reason why this is one product that should be on the top of your list. It has 225 pieces of blue LEDs in a thin panel that you can hang over your plants to encourage healthy vegetation. This is going to prepare the marijuana for the flowering stage.
This is also an energy-efficient grow light, which can be attributed to the fact that it is LED. To add, it produces low heat, which is why it is not going to put too much stress on the plant during the vegetative stage.
There is also a hanging kit that is included, which will make the installation a snap for you to accomplish.
More so, it has an exceptional circuit design. If one of the 225 LEDs become defective, this will not affect the others.
Based on the specifications from the manufacturer, the estimated functional life is more than 50,000 hours.
Q&A: What is the recommended setup of this light?
The right setup, including position, is important to maximize the benefits that can be reaped from the use of this light. Based on the specifications from the manufacturer, it is recommended that you place it about 3.28 feet or one meter from the top of the plant. One panel, on the other hand, is more than enough to cover a grow room with a size of 2×3 square meters.
Q&A: What is the frequency of the blue spectrum?
The light has 450nm of blue spectrum, which is more than enough for the needs of the plant during the vegetative stage.
Best CFL Grow Light
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This CFL grow light has a length of 9.25 inches and a diameter of three inches. As for the color temperature, it has 6500k cool white light, which is exactly the reason why this is a great choice for the vegetative stage of the marijuana.
It fits in the standard E26 socket, which means that there is no need for the installation of a new screw or base to use the light bulb.
The customer service that is offered by the company is also top-notch. For your peace of mind, you will have 30 days to try the product without any risk. Within such a period, if you are unhappy in any way, just let the manufacturer know and they will issue an unconditional refund.
Q&A: What color of light does it produce?
This is a bulb that produces cool white light, which is almost similar to natural light. For this reason, it is effective in promoting budding and in strengthening the plant to prepare it for the next stage of its growth after the vegetative phase.
Q&A: Does it need a ballast?
If you already have an E26 socket setup in your grow room, which is the standard in North America and Europe, there is no need for a ballast. This is going to significantly simplify the process of installation.
Best Light to Use for Growing Weed – T5 Fluorescent
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If you have a large grow room and if you prefer T5 fluorescents over those that have been mentioned above, this is one option that must be on your list. It consists of four T5 fluorescent tubes with 6400k, which is also the reason why this is a great choice for the vegetative phase of marijuana.
The four fluorescent tubes are housed in a steel housing that is powder-coated, providing it with the ability to resist external elements that could speed up wear and tear. It is also good in terms of versatility since there are three ways by which you can install it – hanging, vertically, and horizontally.
Based on the details from the manufacturer, the expected lifespan is 20,000 hours.
Q&A: What is included in the box?
The box is already inclusive of everything that you will need to install the grow light. There are already 4 T5 tubes. The housing is also already included, as well as an 8-foot grounded power cord.
Q&A: Does it come with warranty coverage?
Yes. As long as you purchase it from an authorized seller, it already comes with a five-year warranty from the manufacturer.
#5 ViparSpectra P1500 150W Infrared Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
This LED grow light from ViparSpectra is a full spectrum LED that provides the necessary light for the growing stages of the cannabis plant. These lights include 660nm of red led, 3000K and 5000K of white led and IR led, which simulates natural sunlight so it is great for indoor plants like cannabis.
This model uses the newest SMD LED technology along with 150W Sosen Driver so it has a very long life and durability. At the same time, the use of these new technologies will also help this LED operate with high efficiency but still save significant energy.
Q&A: What is included in the box?
The box is already inclusive of everything that you will need to install the grow light. There is a power cord, a hanger, and of course the LED light kit.
Q&A: What is the Coverage Area of the LEDs?
The coverage area of this LED will reach the largest area when you install it properly. It can cover 3’x3’ vegetative coverage at 20” and 2.5’x2.5’ flowering coverage at 16” height.
What is the Vegetative Stage?
It is critical to have an understanding of the vegetative stage of marijuana to know how important it is to have the right light for the correct external environment.
The vegetative stage is the point in the life of the plant after germination and before flowering. This is when the plant grows its foliage and its root structure. This is also when it becomes stronger, which is in preparation for the flowering phase.
The length of the vegetative stage can depend on the cannabis that you are growing. It could be one week. It could be six months. In most cases, however, especially if the marijuana is grown indoors, it will last for four to eight weeks. It is important that you stay patient throughout and make sure to provide tender loving care to ensure the healthy growth of the plant.
Light Requirements of Marijuana During the Vegetative Stage
More light is equal to more growth – this is perhaps the most important thing that you have to remember when it comes to the lighting needs of the marijuana when it is vegetating.
Take note that the plants should be slowly introduced to light. If it is too sudden, this could cause stress to the plant. During the seedling or clone phase of the plant, it receives minimal light, which makes it important to take things slowly so as not to cause shock.
To be safe, you should position the lighting system at a height of about three to four feet during the initial phase of vegetation. You can move the lights closer as days or weeks pass by. After each day, move the light about three inches lower.
High-Intensity Discharge Grow Lights
There are two types of lights that fall directly under this category – metal halide and high-pressure sodium. HID lights used to be the norm, but with the introduction of their more modern counterparts, it is losing its appeal to some marijuana cultivators.
It produces light with enough intensity to penetrate the plant and to encourage the development of a robust canopy. The light dispersion, however, can be a significant problem. The light is directed only to a single point. For some growers, they solve this problem by using a reflector wing or hood.
Light Emitting Diodes Grow Lights
A lot of the modern lights used for the vegetative growth of marijuana fall under this category. They are great because of their energy-efficiency. The latter is also the reason why it is considered by many to be an eco-friendly option. It also has an extended lifespan.
If you are going to use LED light, it is important that you choose one that comes with a higher blue spectrum compared to red spectrum. This is basically because the blue light is the one that influences the vegetation while the red light is the one that is responsible for flowering.
Compact Fluorescent Light Grow Lights
A CFL grow lamp is not as intense when compared to the other grow lamps. With this, it would be safe to have it positioned about one inch away from the top of the cannabis. The further the CFL is away from the plant, the more light it loses. Therefore, if you position it about five to six inches away, it will already be useless.
When using CFL, look for one that has 6500k, which means that it is giving off a light that is comparable to daylight. 2700k CFLs, or those that give off soft white light, on the other hand, are the ones that are recommended during the flowering stage of the plant.
This is considered one of the latest innovations when it comes to marijuana lighting during the vegetative phase. It is a replacement to the obsolete T8 and T12 fluorescent lights. It has high output and excellent dispersion, which are two of its best assets. They are usually two to four feet in length, which will be great for a big grow room.
The low heat output of T5s is also one thing that makes it great for the vegetative phase. This means that it won’t lead to plant stress.
Maintaining Marijuana During the Vegetative Stage
The use of the best light for vegetative growth is just one piece of the puzzle. Light is important, but this is not the sole factor that prepares the plant for the flowering stage. That being said, this section will provide you with a quick look at other important things that you need to do during this stage.
- It is important to feed the plant with the nutrients that are essential for growth. To be specific, they will need nitrogen and potassium. Go easy on the fertilizer as feeding the cannabis with too much can add stress to the plant.
- The right temperature is also a paramount concern. There are some marijuana strains that can grow in an indoor environment with a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. However, in the case of most strains, the ideal temperature range would be from 21 to 30 degrees Celsius.
- Meanwhile, for the humidity, you need to maintain it at 45 to 65%. There should also be fresh air moving. With proper ventilation, it becomes easier to maintain the right level of the humidity for the grow room.
- Water is also critical but give it to the plant when only when it is needed. One of the obvious indications would be when the medium appears dry or when the leaves start to wilt or droop. Too much water, however, can lead to the death of the plant.
- Training techniques should also be given attention during the vegetative phase. Pinching is necessary to trigger the growth of branches. Super cropping is also necessary to be able to dictate the shape of the plant as it grows larger.
Choosing the best light for vegetative growth is a task that requires careful thought. You can choose HID, LED, or CFL, but it does not mean that all of them are great picks. You need to consider a variety of factors, such as spectrum and wattage to be sure that it will not ruin the vegetative phase and that it will prepare the marijuana to be stronger as it enters the flowering stage.