Jack's Grow Lights Tips
You have to decide on the right marijuana grow lights fixture to get.
Metal Halide (mh) or High Pressure Sodium (hps) are the light fixtures to get for growing marijuana.
Metal halide light is close to regular room light or cool fluorescent
light (blue spectrum) and is best for vegetative (beginning) growth.
While high pressure sodium is in the red end of the spectrum and is best for flowering (later) growth.
You can run:
- Either mh or hps light through both stages of growth (good).
- Run a mh light through the veg phase of growth followed by hps light through flowering (very good).
- Run both mh and hps light through all phases of growth (best).
You can't use a standard high pressure sodium bulb in a metal halide fixture, but you can use a metal halide bulb in a high pressure sodium fixture of the same wattage. I didn't think this was possible till several years ago when someone I trust told me it would work.
So I decided to try using a 400 watt metal halide bulb in my 400 watt high pressure sodium fixture during the vegetative growing stage. It is now several years later and the plants are growing better than they did under just the high pressure sodium bulb.
I use the mh bulb during vegetative growth and hps during flowering. When I want to use the high pressure sodium bulb, I simply remove the metal halide bulb and replace it with a high pressure sodium bulb and vise versa.
If you can only afford or only want a single fixture, I strongly recommend getting a high pressure sodium fixture and a standard metal halide bulb and a standard high pressure sodium bulb rated for the same wattage as your light fixture. Use the metal halide bulb for vegetative growth and the high pressure sodium for flowering.
There are hps bulbs that can be used in a mh fixture and vice-versa. But these are special bulbs and cost about double the price of a standard bulb. Whatever your light source, replace bulbs after 6 to 12 months of use.
400 watts is about the best size of light for growing marijuana in a personal garden. You should be able to grow 4 to 12 plants at a time. If your growing system has space for more than 12 plants, I suggest limiting the number of plants to 12 if you only have a single 400 watt light fixture.
If you plan on growing more than 12 plants at a time, get two lighting fixtures rated at 400 watts each rather than a single 1000 watt light. This will allow you to spread light more evenly over the plants. It also enables you to use both metal halide and high pressure sodium light at the same time, a very good idea.
If you decide on buying a light expect to pay $200.00 to $400.00 for a 400 watt lighting system designed for growing plants. See the examples below for a better idea.
There are 250 watt mh or hps light system available, these should be good enough for about 2 to 4 plants. Any light less than 250 watt will limit the size of your garden to one or two plants, unless you can supplement it with strong sunlight.
Happy growing! :)
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