If you’re one of the many Canadians who have started an at-home grow op, you might know a thing or two about LED lights. But even if you’ve already taken it upon yourself to implement an LED light system into your grow room, there’s always room for improvement.
This is especially true for ACMPR medical growers in Canada who are legally allowed to grow dozens, sometimes even hundreds of plants for personal medical use. So many Canadians receive their ACMPR license to grow and jump right into the process without putting enough thought and research into it.
Before jumping headfirst into a brand new grow operation, it’s essential to study up on how to most effectively use your LEDs.
What Are LEDs?
According to Energy Star, LED stands for “light-emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light approximately 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs.” They work when an electrical current passes through a microchip, which then illuminates the tiny diode we call LEDs and gives off light.
Many people have made the switch from incandescent or compact fluorescent to LEDs within their homes, and cannabis growers are following suit. When compared to other bulb types, LEDs give off directional light, which means that they emit light and heat in a specific direction rather than all directions.
LEDs have gained a lot of popularity due to their energy-saving qualities, but there are plenty more reasons to make the switch.
Reasons to Use LED Lights for Your Next Grow Op
Since we’ve already mentioned the energy efficiency of LEDs, let’s focus on that benefit first. LED grow lights in Canada are much more efficient than traditional light systems, consuming as much as 60% less energy while giving off the same amount of light.
Not only do they consume less energy, but they also emit less heat. Aside from the energy savings, this is the biggest benefit of using LEDs in your grow room. The enhanced heat efficiency means that you can worry less about things like overheating in your grow room.
Yet another major benefit of choosing LED light for your next grow op is the long bulb lifespan. Since LEDs don’t use vacuum or gas components (they are a form of solid-state lighting) they can last anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 hours depending on the manufacturing quality.
Many growers claim that LEDs are capable of producing healthier plants. Although this is up for debate and there are a lot of factors involved, the lower heat output definitely plays a role in plant health. Another thing that helps is that LEDs emit the full-color spectrum of light, and many light models allow a grower to set specific light wavelengths depending on the grow op phase.
Why Not Use LEDs?
All of these pros are met by a few cons. The main disadvantage of implementing an LED light system is the high price tag that comes along with it. Quality LEDs don’t come cheap, and even a low wattage light can make a dent in your overall budget. The good news, though, is that the average price is continuing to drop since LEDs are in much higher demand than they were in the past.
Remember what we said about directional light before? This is not only a perk to LEDs since it minimizes energy consumption and heat output, but it’s also a disadvantage. Directional light is much more concentrated and covers much less area than traditional lighting systems, but LED manufacturers are working tirelessly to fix this issue.
The last major drawback of installing LEDs into your ACMPR grow room has to do with the end results and the potential for high yields. Some growers claim lackluster results from using LEDs, and although this certainly isn’t always the case, the potential for massive yields just isn’t there when compared to other types of grow lights.
LEDs vs Other Grow Light Types
The other popular type of bulb for growers is the High-Intensity Discharge (HID), which can be broken down into two main categories. The first is HPS, which is short for high-pressure sodium, and the second is MH, short for metal halide.
Both HPS and MH bulbs give off high-intensity light, which cannabis plants crave, but they also give off a lot of heat (especially compared to LEDs). This means that HID lights are only suitable for properly-ventilated grow rooms, not for small operations with limited ceiling space.
All types of grow lights come with their own set of pros and cons, so the ultimate way to find the best results with your ACMPR medical plants is to utilize both LEDs and HIDs. Plants thrive differently throughout the different growth stages, but no matter what, you can count on the fact that LEDs are a great (although pricy) addition to any operation.