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Supplemental Lighting or Side Lighting for Indoor Cannabis Grow

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When you are operating an indoor cannabis grow room, it is important to understand the differences between supplemental lighting and side lighting. Both types of lighting are used to offset certain grow room limitations and increase cannabis plant yields, cannabinoid content, and terpene levels.

So which is better, supplemental lighting or side lighting for indoor cannabis grow?

Our cannabis grow guide on side and supplemental lighting covers the benefits of these lighting techniques and when to use these types of lighting for greater yields with better flavor, aroma, and potency.

Side Lighting vs Supplemental Lighting

In the world of cannabis growing, side lighting is a form of supplemental lighting, but not all supplemental lighting is considered side lighting.

What is side lighting? Well, this is used when you want to target the sides and lower branches of your marijuana plant with enough light to increase the sizes of the marijuana buds on each side.

Since cannabis plants grow denser and larger buds on top, adding lighting on the sides can increase yield on lower branches.

Supplemental lighting, on the other hand, is when the levels of lighting have to be increased for better results or the light spectrum needs to be changed depending on the stage of growth.

Generally, supplemental light is not given to the marijuana plant from the sides, but from above the plant to get larger yields from the top, where cannabis plants focus on their flower bud growth.

Is Side Lighting Necessary?

In indoor cannabis grow rooms, the lighting hangs from above, far enough to avoid burning the plants, but close enough to provide enough light to stimulate photosynthesis.

In outdoor grow spaces, the sun’s rise and fall provide cannabis plants with natural light from above (especially during its peak at noon) and from the sides during its rise at dawn and drop-off at dusk.

Because of the sun’s natural progression, cannabis plants tend to grow in a Christmas tree shape. Its triangle shape allows the plants to receive the most amount of light from the sun possible throughout the entire daylight hours.

In addition, the plant’s sloped shape has another major benefit when growing outdoors. Its Christmas tree shape increases the chance that its buds become pollinated. Its lower branch buds extend out becoming more exposed to the wind and, hopefully, pollen from male cannabis plants.

For this reason, some indoor cannabis growers choose to add supplemental lighting on the sides to mimic the plant’s natural growth pattern.

The Light Supplement                                                                                     

It is usually in greenhouses that you would use supplemental lighting. If there is a specific spot that gets direct light in your yard for a few hours each day, you would need supplemental lighting for the hours that direct light is not available in the same spot.

If you live in unreliable weather and you have many cloudy days, then you would possibly have to supplement for extra lighting. You would use a grow light while still benefiting from the natural sunlight.

Importance and Reason for Lighting

Another reason that cannabis growers need to supplement the light in the indoor cannabis grow room is to change or increase the color or spectrum of the light. The light spectrum is instrumental in affecting the way that the plant grows.

LED grow lights are also an option used in many cannabis grow rooms. When you use LED grow lights, you get to select the precise spectrum that you need to supplement outdoor lighting or other lighting such as HPS.

HPS and LED Grow Lights

Today, it is usually very common for cannabis growers to utilize light-emitting diode (LED) grow lights and also common to combine high-pressure sodium (HPS) grow lights with LED panels.

This is for the specific reason of yielding better returns and increasing marijuana flower production. Some cannabis growers use both HPS grow lights and LED grow lights to receive more benefits that good lighting provides.

The Side Lighting

In so many situations, supplemental lighting is an excellent choice. However, it is sure not similar to side lighting, which is not as useful to a cannabis grow room much of the time.

When do you use side lighting?

It is generally used with fluorescent grow lights, an example being T5 grow lights and compact fluorescent lights (CFL). These are used on younger marijuana plants that are not yet trained. Why use these lights in conjunction with the side lighting?

It is because they aren’t powerful enough to get far down into the marijuana plant, which is not ideal, if you want the best bud growth.

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Fluorescent lighting is weak enough to only cover a few inches of the plant’s canopy. So, by the time that the marijuana plant is about one foot from this lighting, it is not as useful, but with side lighting, it increases the potential to reach the marijuana buds within a few inches.

Side lighting may also be used by cannabis growers that grow plants in very cramped growing spaces. In these small spaces, the light from above isn’t able to effectively bounce from reflective walls to reach the lower branches of the canopy.

In this case, side lighting may be beneficial to stimulate photosynthesis in the lower part of the plants.

On the flip side, very large grow rooms can have certain areas that don’t receive the right amount of lighting. In these large-scale facilities, plants that don’t receive enough light aren’t able to metabolize the correct amount of nutrients from its heavy feeding schedule.

Side lighting can help plants stimulate growth, absorb nutrients, and prevent nutrient disorders.

If the cannabis plants are trained to grow shorter and flatter, you will be able to increase the yields using the same amount of lighting since all the main marijuana buds can be shifted to the top while receiving full levels of light.

In other words, although, you may have a weak grow light using fluorescent lighting, you will be able to get more yields by growing the marijuana plants that are flatter and wider in comparison to using side lighting.

When the marijuana buds are close to the top, even a T5 grow light can result in better yields since each bud at the top is closer to the light and because the plant has been trained to lay flat along with the screen.

Are There Better Yield-Boosting Techniques?

Side lighting your cannabis plants can certainly improve your crops yields, but is it the best way to get the highest amount of cannabis buds? Ultimately, it depends on your budget, garden set-up, and growing experience.

Investing in high-quality side lighting can add an additional cost to your existing indoor grow room operation. Adding side lighting may only increase the size of your lower branch popcorn buds by about one-fifth. Consider if this return-on-investment is worth it to you.

If you have the budget and have used all other yield-boosting grow techniques, then side lighting can be an additional and efficient way to improve your crop’s yield. It may not be the most important aspect of your plant’s growth, but it can make a difference.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are many additional growing techniques that require no extra costs or very minimal costs to get higher yields. Growing techniques range from low-stress training to Screen of Green to topping and many more!

In short, side lighting can be an exceptional way to optimize your indoor garden when you’ve done everything else to get higher cannabis yields.

Maximizing Cannabis Yields

Before you run out and invest in grow lights for your side lighting, it is important to start by doing a complete audit of your grow room environment. Often, addressing other grow room limits can provide much more benefits than setting up supplemental side lighting.

Consider the following aspects of your grow room  to maximize your yields:

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Carbon dioxide levels
  • Watering practices
  • Nutrient uptake

One of the best ways to improve your yield is to employ a variety of cannabis plant training techniques. Techniques vary in sophistication, but they all work on the same concept of increasing horizontal growth and splitting the plant’s apical dominance growth.

Common plant training techniques include:

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  • Low-stress training (LST)
  • Sea of green (SOG)
  • Screen of green (SCROG)
  • Lollipopping
  • Topping
  • Fimming
  • Mainlining
  • Supercropping
  • Defoliation

Supplemental Lighting or Side Lighting for Indoor Cannabis Grow Recap

Side lighting is a kind of supplemental lighting but supplemental lighting is not a kind of side lighting. Depending on which lighting you chose for your grow room depends on your specific needs and room set up.

Use side lighting if you want to target the sides and lower parts of the plant. Think of supplemental lighting as needing to supplement your exsiting lighting with extra lighting. It may not always be needed but is there when/if you need it.

Become a Cannabis Growing Expert 

If you want to know more about the use of supplemental lighting and side lighting in your indoor cannabis grow, visit the Cannabis Training University today.

Cannabis Training University is the world’s most renowned and affordable online industry training programs for students of all skill levels.

Whether it’s your first time growing a plant or you’re a seasoned grower looking for new techniques to take your garden to the next level, CTU provides you with the most up-to-date information at an affordable cost.

Become a marijuana growing expert by enrolling in CTU’s marijuana courses online today!

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The world’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow in 2023

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There’s never been a better time to grow the weed you want to see in the world.

Historic levels of cannabis liberation continue to democratize not only growing, but breeding. Strain creation has gone critical: Leafly’s 6,000-strain database could easily grow by 1,000 more this year. Breeders can’t invent names fast enough.

Leafly’s annual ‘World’s best cannabis seeds and clones to grow’ returns with a fresh mix of best-sellers, hype, playfulness, and diversity. Since more players have entered the game, we aim to highlight reputable breeders with high-performance beans.

We spent two days reporting at the world’s biggest seed scene—The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball in December. Afterward, we queried more than 30 esteemed breeders, growers, and experts for picks. And yup, we smoked hundreds of varieties in 2022 in pursuit of perfection, power, and pizzazz.

Here’s our searing core sample from the magma chamber of modern marijuana.

Runtz, Gelato, Sherbert, and Cookies cultivars

Permanent Marker. (Courtesy Doja Pak)
Seed Junky Genetics Permanent Marker. Indica hybrid. (Courtesy Doja Pak)

We lead off with the GSC strain family includes Sunset Sherbert and Gelato, the dominant weed dynasty into 2023. 

Over the Christmas break, leading international cannabis brand Cookies cannon-balled into the seed pool with the Cookies Seed Bank. We expect ‘sold out’ tags on Cookies’ Hollywood (Lemon Cherry Gelato x Runtz), White Sherb (White Runtz x Sherb), or Tie Die (Jealousy x Sherb). Tap in today.

Sunset Sherbert creator Mario ‘Mr. Sherbinski’ Guzman says the creamy, berry, gassy strain has a baked-in complexity that keeps kicking out new facets. “It will continue to give for years to come,” he said.

Next up—prep your debit card for Washington breeder Exotic Genetix and his Falcon 9 crosses on sale Jan. 27. Mike crossed the icy, black, kerosine-smelling Falcon 9 (Sherb x Tina) to all the 2023 exotics: RS-11, Zkittlez, Gary Payton, Lemon Cherry Gelato, Oreoz, and Red Pop. All scorching hot right from the light off.

You can’t talk about Sherbert and Gelato without checking in with Seed Junky Genetics in LA, which sells in the adult-use market. In December, Seed Junky Genetics released clones of advanced Gelato work with Permanent Marker. 

Sherbert and Headbanger go so well together that Atlas Seeds sells Sherbanger #22 clones at $1,000 each.

Lastly, on the Gelato front, leave room in the garden for Compound Genetics x Mr. Sherbinski. Gelato #41 x Apples and Bananas packs sold fast at The Emerald Cup and will ignite even the most bored, experienced palates. 

“Smoking it is amazing, and all the growers that get their hands on it love it,” said Sherbinski.

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Receipts don’t lie: Runtz growers stay paid in 2023. The best out there has to include Humboldt Seed Co’s Jelly Donutz. Humboldt Seed Co. works over multiple generations of plants to create stable, consistent, and vigorous seeds that help guarantee results. For more Runtz in 2023, check out Clearwater’s Creamsizzle (Runtz x Creamsicle #4). You can also take a fun chance on Wizard Trees x Runtz new Rainbow Runtz, or White Rainbows

Purple gas seeds

GastroPop grown at Sonoma Hills Farm, bred by Compound Genetics. (Courtesy Sonoma Hills Farm)
Outdoor-grown GastroPop. Indica hybrid. (Courtesy Sonoma Hills Farm)

2022 saw pot with a purple color and gasoline/fuel aromas take over even more shelf space. “It’s gotta be purple and gas or it’s not selling,” one California shop buyer said. The next 12 months will see waves of Compound Genetics’ GastroPop crosses as well as waves for each parent—Grape Gas, and Apples and Bananas. 

Growers and breeders want to replicate Compound’s success. Cannarado Genetics and Compound collaborated on Grape Gas (Grape Pie x Jet Fuel Gelato). It’s on track to become bedrock genes of the 2020s.

For example, small-batch, outdoor Mendocino County cannabis farmer and operator of Seed 707, Mary Paulson, said she’ll run the Jokerz Candy (Gummiez x Grape Gas) in ’23. 

“They were highly recommended,” said Paulson. “People want flavor with their gas. I am looking so forward to tasting the terps.”

Compound sells its latest seeds, clones, and flower buds Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Jan. 26-28 in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Los Angeles.

Wedding Cake seeds

Next up, America’s favorites—Wedding Cake and Ice Cream Cake. Everyone’s got a tasty Cake or hybrid of it.

The freshest in Cake for ‘23 includes Bloom Seed Co.’s Grape Cream Cake F1 and F2, plus grandkid Black Maple (Dulce de Uva x Sherbanger).

Vince Merchant, Symbiotic Genetics co-founder and strain hitmaker, recommends their Orange Malt (Ice Cream Cake x Mimosa V6).

Scoop up some of Colorado breeder Cannarado’s Cake Fruit (Wedding Cake x Papaya), or Clearwater Genetics Neopolitan’s Swirl (Wedding Cake x Creamsicle #4).

Mint strain seeds and clones

Compound Genetics Pave x Apples and Bananas. (Photo by Dankford, courtesy Compound Genetics)
Compound Genetics Pave x Apples and Bananas. Indica hybrid. (Photo by Dankford, Courtesy Compound Genetics)

The mint wave created by Seed Junky Genetics Kush Mints enters a new era as both newcomers and legacy mint flavors sell through. This year’s Pave crosses, which come from The Mentho strain, look like jewelry and smell like mint and vanilla. Clones of rebooted Thin Mint cookies sold out in hours at Purple City Genetics’ Emerald Cup booth. 

Zkittlez seeds and clones

RS54 weed strain
Wizard Trees-grown RS54 bred by Deo Farms. Hybrid indica. (David Downs/Leafly)

Competition keeps improving the Zkittlez line in 2023.

Compound Genetics’ former breeder Chris Lynch launched his new Cipher Genetics line on Cookies Seed Bank, starting with flavors based onZkittlez x Gelato #41. Gas Burzt should raise the bar for super-trendy candy-gas weed.

Nine-year-old Dying Breed Seeds’ OZ Kush stays a best-seller. Their 10-packs run $500 each. Based on OZ Kush and hot in 2023—Wizard Trees clones of RS#11 and RS#54, also go for $500 per cutting in California.

More refined OG x Zkittlez work comes from Cannarado, with an army of Zawtz clones sold by Phinest. Save some money for Zawtz Bx1 seeds this year, Cannarado founder Kevin told Leafly. 

Zawtz. (Courtesy Phinest Cannabis)
Greenhouse-grown Zawtz, developed by Cannarado. Hybrid. (Courtesy Phinest Cannabis)

“Zawtz is a great smoke and needs to be released in seed. I’ll be working her into further backcrosses this year,” the breeder explained.

Even newer, Cannarado wants you to try Rainbow Crushers. The mix ofZqueezit (Zkittlez x Gushers) and Zawtz (Gelatti x Louie13 x Zkittlez) offers “candy gas terps on a great frame.” Sign us up. 

Also look out for Phinest to carry Cannarado’s newest, Rainbow Drizzle (Snowman x Rainbow Crushers), which has “unreal bag appeal and a great terp profile. Great for flower or hash.”

There’s more to the Z wave. Terphogz co-founder Fields recommends his Emerald Cup Harvest Ball best-seller Gelonoidz (Gelonade x Z). That should crush it this season. Symbiotic Genetics also recommends Candied Oranges (Z x MimosaV6). 

Chem, Sour, Glue, and OG seeds  and clones

The influential grower/breeder Chemdog tends to his Chem 91. (Courtesy Smash Hits)
The influential grower/breeder Chemdog tends to his Chem 91. (Courtesy Smash Hits)

Chemdog, OG Kushes, Sour Diesels, and Glues own the hearts of the veteran consumers and growers who have a high tolerance. Few varietals can match their bite and power.

This week, buy legal clones from the Massachusetts grower/breeder Chemdog himself. The debut includes authentic Chem 4, Lemon OG Haze, and Biscotti Mintz. Chemdog’s brand Smash Hits sells through Canna Provisions stores. Chemdog has kept his authentic genetics close for decades, but fans have opened his heart and vault. 

“I love knowing now that if someone has a clone from Smash Hits and Canna Provisions, they got the best available on the market anywhere,” he tells Leafly.

Rebel Grown Genetics’ Cup-sweeping Double OG Chem feels like a no-brainer to grow outdoors for guaranteed blockbusting taste and effect.

Mass Medical Seeds Vx1000. Sativa hybrid. (Courtesy Mass Medical Seeds.
Mass Medical Seeds Vx1000. Sativa hybrid. (Courtesy Mass Medical Seeds)

Another Massachusetts brand Mass Medical Seeds recommends buying and growing its new Chem, Vx1000.

“Vx1000 is an absolute must for the lovers of old-school, powerful Chemdog and classic green weed like Sours and OG’s,” Mass Medical tells Leafly. “This one brings the best of the best back, with spiritually intense herb that will make you feel the nostalgia of the ’90s again.”

Need more gas? See also: Humboldt Seed Co’s top-selling All Gas OG, Wizard Trees’ new Heel Hook (Chem3 x RS11); or Oni Seed Co’s Yama (Hellfire OG x Sour Diesel backcrossed twice).

Tangie and orange-flavored weed seeds

BapaRaja. Sativa hybrid. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)
BapaRaja. Sativa hybrid. (Photo by Joseph Ullman, Courtesy Atlas Seeds)

The masses continue to love the versatile, approachable aroma and the effects brought by the Tangie Family.

Go directly to Tangie’s creator Crockett Family Farms to get the new Orange Triangle (Triangle Kush x Tangie) for an epic outdoor run.

For more great tangies, see also: Ethos Genetics Mandarin Cookies R3; Atlas Seeds Baparaja (AS1x Super Boof); Biovortex Curious Orange; and Capulator Orange Cookies x MAC.

Hash plant seeds and clones

PCG x Atlas Seeds GMO Bomb (Papaya Bomb x GMO). (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)
Fire in the hole: PCG x Atlas Seeds GMO Bomb (Papaya Bomb x GMO). Indica hybrid. (Courtesy Atlas Seeds)

An explosion of hash plant cultivars radiates outward in 2023 as superb new cultivars yield tasty full-melt and rosin.

Two known hash dumpers—Papaya and THC Bomb—fuse in Purple City Genetics’ 2023 best-seller Papaya Bomb. Stocks sold out hours after their debut. Take the Cup-winning terps further with PCG and Atlas Seeds’ new GMO Bomb (GMO x Papaya Bomb) collaboration—an 80% indica, tropical, papaya fuel, hash dumper that finishes by early September.

Weed expert Shannon McInerney at Seed 2 Soul Distribution in California said 2023 means more GMO and Papaya for heady, heavy dankness, and funk. 

“I’m craving more of the potent, full-body diesel, gassy terpene profiles and structures,” she said.

Related

Leafly Buzz: 13 top cannabis strains of ’23

The Masonic Seed Co strain Banana God just won the invite-only Ego Clash. Get the Banana God 2.0 Fems and try Masonic’s Papaya Moonbow for tropical, interstellar flavor and potency.

For even more GMO winners, Symbiotic Genetics recommends Cara Cara (GMO x Mimosa). From the maker of MAC, also check out Capulator’s Chem Chillz (GMO x Chillz).

Also, scoop up Humboldt Seed Co’s Blueberry Pancakes—named for its sickeningly sweet syrup-smelling and tasting full-melt and hash rosin. This Slurricane x Purple Panty Dropper hybrid boasts some of the highest terpene results the company has ever seen, 5.6%.

As the White Truffle wave builds in US stores, paddle further out. Fresh Coast Genetics’ Truffle Icing takes Gorilla Butter F2 (White Truffle cut) to Garlic Icing. It sounds rancid, and we mean that as a compliment.

Cannarado also recommends Euroz (Zkittlez x London Pound Cake #75) which finishes in just 45 days, “and is a hash-makers dream,” he said.

Sativa seeds

Help keep cannabis weird: Make your own unique gardening choices this year. Spend the time, energy, and space commercial growers can’t. Grow strange sativas.

Mass Medical Seeds wants you to trippin’ on psychedelic sativa Laos, collected by the highly regarded Bodhi Seeds near the Yunnan Border. Laos is “woody, spicy, and meaty—with wild, foxtailing buds, and a surprising amount of frost for a pure landrace.”

Equilibrium Genetics’ fresh menu of landrace sativa crosses helps shatter the Gelato genetic bottleneck. Equilibrium’s Jason Matthys suggests running Banana Mist—a cross of Banana OG x Kali Mist x Heirloom Malawi. Why? “Tropical sativa terps for 2023,” he said.

Ethos Genetics’ Zweet Insanity RBX doubles up on Glue, Skunk, and Durban genes for sugar, citrus, and gas smells coming from a lot of terpinolene, myrcene, and ocimene.

Legacy and old-school seeds

Bring an old-school strain back to life like your own little Jurassic Park.

Todd McCormick’s Ag Seed Co Purest Indica gives you a chance to boot up an original indica with fat leaves, nostalgic smells, and body stone. 

“It has a sour, dank, skunk-like smell that is not easy to cover up and permeates any room it’s in,” said the legend McCormick. “It certainly tastes like cannabis and not candy.” 

Need to sleep or fight pain? Purest Indica has a “heavy body effect, more relaxing and mellowing than energetic.”

Related

How to grow marijuana outdoors

For more: Mr. Nice Guy Seedbank said they’re moving a lot of vintage Black Widow, Nordle, and Super Silver Haze. 

And we’re taking it back to our first grow using Equilibrium Genetics’ new Blue Dream Bx. That’s Blue Dream backcrossed with Freeborn Selections Rootbeer. Blue Dream’s back, baby!


OK—that’s the road map to fantastic cannabis genetics for 2023. North America starts germinating indoors for the full-term outdoor season as early as March 15. Let’s get growing.

David Downs's Bio Image

David Downs

Leafly Senior Editor David Downs received a Literary Excellence Award from Oaksterdam University in 2022. On the cannabis beat since 2009, he’s published three books, including the best-selling cannabis crop science book ‘Marijuana Harvest.’ Downs guest lectured at the Loyola Marymount University Law School’s Journalism Law School, UC Berkeley Extension, and contributed to Continuing Education of the Bar’s Marijuana Law Hub, sponsored by University of California and the State Bar of California. Downs’ work has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, Rolling Stone, The Onion, Columbia Journalism Review, High Times, Billboard, and many more. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara, and was a Fellow at the Medill School of Journalism’s Academy of Alternative Journalism in Chicago.

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10 Great Marijuana Grow Lights on Amazon

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If you want to get the best yields from your indoor cannabis garden, check out our list of 10 great marijuana grow lights on Amazon.

Cannabis grow lights are a critical factor in any indoor garden. Lights stimulate photosynthesis for healthy plant development and growth. Choosing one that fits your budget and indoor needs can be difficult.

That’s why we’ve assembled a handy list of fluorescent, LED, and HID grow lights that are affordable, easy to install and use, and all found on Amazon! Even if you don’t buy from Amazon, you’ll appreciate the reviews when you make your decision at your local shop.

HID Marijuana Grow Lights

1. Sun System HPS 150 Grow Light

Sun System 150W HPS Light

Sun System brings you this compact HID light fixture, perfect for small spaces. Its 150-watt HPS bulb can produce an incredible 16000 lumens. Reflective aluminum inserts provide exceptional lighting while vented housing reduces the heat produced by the bulbs.

The kit comes with two v-hangers and a complete ballast assembly built into the reflector for easy setup. It’s ideal for a 2’ x 2’ growing area. This kit comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty on the fixture and a 1-year warranty on the lamp.

2. Yield Lab Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light

Yield Lab Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light

If you’re a complete beginner, Yield Lab’s 400-watt grow light kit is the best way to get your garden started. Not only are they powerful but they’re also easy to install and use.

The kit comes with a Slim Line ballast standard featuring a slim design and larger heat sinks for better cooling compared to its competitors.

Its Super Lumens feature delivers a lighting boost when needed. Bulbs can be dimmed from 50 to 100% of the power.

These cannabis grow kits come with either one HPS bulb or an HPS and MH bulb. The air cool hood reflector features 6” duct ports on each side for ultimate cooling with a small fan (not included).

3. Gavita Pro 6/750E Marijuana Grow Lights

Gavita Pro E-Series 6/750e DE Flex Grow Light, 120/240 Volt

Gavita brings you a complete and compact fixture featuring a ballast and replaceable reflector for easy setup. The double-ended HPS lamps are some of the most efficient in the market. Gavita gives you the power to dim down to 375 watts in a gradual manner to protect the lamp.

These fixtures are perfect for a 15 square foot garden. All E-Series models can be remote-controlled by the Gavita Master Controllers, eliminating the use of timers and contactors. Now, that’s convenience! Plus, you get a 1-year warranty on the lamp.

Fluorescent Marijuana Grow Lights

4. Durolux T5 HO Grow Lights

T5 HO Grow Light - 4 FT 8 Lamps - DL8048

For high light output at an affordable cost, check out Durolux’s T5 grow light. It offers 30% more light output than its competitors. This 4-foot 8-lamp fluorescent grow light is easy to set up. Just plug in and start growing. It’s that easy.

This kit comes with 8 6500K bulbs, hanging hooks and chains, and an 8-foot power cord. 2 switches on the body enable you to dim 4 inner or outer bulbs based on your needs. Best of all, it comes with a 5-year warranty.

5. VIVOSUN T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Lights

VIVOSUN 22IN 24W 6500K T5 HO Fluorescent Tubes

Get 5000 lumens per bulb of intense lighting with VIVOSUN’s T5 high-output grow light system. VIVOSUN’s fixtures come with 2 on and off switches to control the color spectrum. A highly reflective surface offers superior lighting while using less energy.

The cannabis grow kit comes with 2 hanging cables for each corner and an 8-foot grounded power cord. Each bulb is rated for 20,000 hours of use under optimal conditions. Plus, it comes with a 1-year warranty for lamps and a 2-year warranty for the fixture.

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6. Hydrofarm Agrobrite T5 Grow Lights

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Fluorescent

Hydrofarm’s Agrobrite T5 fixture gives you the option to hang the fixture horizontally, vertically, or overhead depending on your needs. Its high output bulbs provide great light intensity at an affordable price. Its 6400K spectrum is rated for 20,000 hours of use.

Hydrofarm’s grow light kit comes with everything you need to get started. It includes a 10-foot grounded power cord and eight T5 tubes capable of producing up to 40,000 Lumens. Its low-profile, powder-coated steel housing provides incredible light distribution.

LED Marijuana Grow Lights

7. Roleadro Galaxyhydro LED Grow Lights

Roleadro’s Galaxyhydro grow lights emit a full spectrum of light to stimulate photosynthesis and bud production when needed. Two high-speed cooling fans, a built-in aluminum heat-sink, and a temperature controller give you the power to precisely cool your system.

The system’s signature LED bead and zener design ensures your plants get the proper amount of light, even if one bulb is not working. The Galaxyhydro offers higher PAR value and Lumen outputs than similar grow lights. Enjoy a 30-month warranty for peace of mind.

8. VIPARSPECTRA LED Marijuana Grow Lights

Viparspectra 600W Dimmable Series VA1200 LED Grow Light

For some of the best LED grow lights around, turn to VIPARSPECTRA. These grow lights offer full-spectrum lighting for all stages of the cannabis plant cycle. The system features VEG and BLOOM switches to accommodate lighting needs for each stage.

Aluminum cooling heat sinks and a high-speed quiet fan is the perfect way to keep heat levels down. These lights are perfect for a 2.5’ x 2.5’ grow area. Every purchase comes with a 3-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

9. Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED Grow Light

Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED lights

If you’re looking for grow lights for a large garden, the Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED lights are right for you. Highly efficient SMD LEDs offer greater light intensity, more Lumens and PAR values, and less light decay than the rest.

Its dimmable full-spectrum design allows you to grow cannabis during all stages of growth. Its waterproof power supply is perfect for growing in humid environments. It comes with a three-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

10. Advanced Platinum Series 12-Band LED

Advanced Platinum Series P150 150w 12-band LED Grow Light - DUAL VEG:FLOWER FULL SPECTRUM

Advanced Platinum’s Series 12-band LED grow light has an outstanding PAR and Lumen output, up to 2 to 3 times more than any other similar LED grow light. Its 12-band full-spectrum lighting is versatile enough to handle the vegetative and flowering stages.

Its VEG and FLOWER switches come with a high-speed fan and aluminum heat sinks for better cooling. It’s the ideal LED light for 4.5’ x 4’ gardens. Enjoy a 5-year warranty and 90-day satisfaction or return guarantee.

Become a Master of Marijuana

Do you want to know more about the lighting needs of cannabis plants? Do you want to learn more ways to optimize your indoor garden?

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Optimize your indoor marijuana garden for better yields, flavor, and aroma with cannabis education from CTU!

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Techniques for Growing Cannabis in Peat Moss

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Learn the top techniques for growing cannabis in peat moss.

Most cannabis cultivators have their favorite methods of growing, as well as their favorite grow media and nutrients. The two main schools of cultivation are hydroponics and soil (biological) growing.

Both methods of growing can benefit from grow amendments such as peat moss. This type of media can significantly improve the root structure that can be the foundation for a healthy cannabis plant.

Our guide on techniques for growing cannabis with peat moss breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of using peat moss, as well as techniques on how to properly use this media as your soil amendment.

Hydroponic Growing

Hydroponics is a method of growing without traditional soil that uses nutrient-rich water and an inert growing medium, like peat moss mixed with other media such as perlite to improve its aeration. The plants are suspended in gravel, water, sand, rock wool, clay pellets, or other material, and the root systems are fed directly with a nutrient-rich water solution.

Although it sounds fairly hi-tech, hydroponic growing is nothing new, and it has a fairly long history with cannabis-growing. The practice goes back centuries, with some botany historians identifying hydroponic practices with ancient cultures in many different regions of the world.

Hydroponic growers swear by this method—just like soil growers are incredibly devoted to their traditional cultivation method. Even within the schools of hydroponic and soil grows, there are a variety of methods, media, and nutrient recipes.

Soil Growing

In this article, we’ll focus on one of the lesser-utilized soil mediums: peat moss. A good cannabis soil mixture can contain any number of substances that, when combined, create a good soil mixture to help with water retention and nutrient absorption.

Because there is such a wide variety of potentially good ingredients to put into a soil mixture, the possibilities and various ratios of ingredients depend on your unique garden needs. Among the various suitable soil ingredients are potting soil, compost, perlite, coarse sand, coco coir, fine gravel, and peat moss.

What Is Peat Moss?

Peat moss, in particular, is a beneficial element to any indoor or outdoor cannabis garden. Also known as sphagnum moss, peat moss belongs to a family of hundreds of moss species that grow in wetland areas, known as peat bogs. For horticultural uses, peat moss is made up of the decomposed matter of different types of moss.

When cultivating with cannabis, peat moss can help provide two important things to any garden: aeration and moisture.

The root systems of plants are just as important as what grows above the soil surface, yet some growers tend to neglect it more, in a variety of ways. Inappropriately designed pots, pots of the wrong size, and water and nutrient inadequacies (too much or too little) being just a few of them.

Roots are the foundation for this time and foliage that grow from it. A strong root system is critical to withstand the environmental challenges above the soil such as rain and wind. Roots also help absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

Root systems must stay moist to remain healthy, and plants do not grow nearly as well when their roots are cramped in a confined space. Well-aerated soil helps them spread out and grow, which is why a relatively loose soil mixture that allows easy root growth and nutrient intake is superior to dense soils that contain too much clay.

If you’ve ever purchased a bag of soil mixture, it is likely to have contained peat moss as an ingredient. In cannabis, peat moss can be a valuable addition as a soil amendment but requires careful preparation and maintenance to yield positive results.

Why Is Peat Moss Soil Good?

Water Retention

Peat moss is a great soil component for its ability to retain water (up to 20 times its weight) and hydrate plants over an extended period of time. If you live in a dry climate, peat moss can do wonders to save you water, and the frequency of watering, as well as preventing plants from becoming too dry.

Perlite can provide aeration in any growing set-up to prevent damp moss which can lead to mold.

Nutrient-Rich

Peat moss also provides some valuable micronutrients to the soil. When used alongside fertilizers and other nutrient-rich substances, peat moss can hold on to a large number of nutrients and make them available for absorption by the plant’s roots. It also contains a range of elements, such as sulfur, which helps plants express their terpenes for better smelling buds.

Contaminant-Free

As a relatively sterile type of media, peat moss is free of weed seeds, pests, and pathogens. This is ideal for young plants that may be vulnerable to contaminants. More importantly, this soil amendment can produce a growing environment with beneficial fungi and bacteria that lead to a healthy crop.

Acidic pH

Peat moss pH is slightly acidic, so it allows for the use of alkaline soil amendments. In soils that are too alkaline, peat moss is often added to balance the pH. The management of pH is critical in the absorption of nutrients in plants. A pH level that is outside the recommended range can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Despite these advantages, peat moss often gets overlooked in favor of other popular soil amendment ingredients, which is unfortunate.

Drawbacks of Using Peat Moss

On the other hand, peat moss has a few disadvantages when growing in soil-based or hydroponic set-ups that must be considered. From its preparation time to its unsustainable sourcing, it is important to consider these factors when deciding what ingredients to use in your cannabis grow media.

Structural Issues

When used alone, peat moss mixtures can literally cave in on themselves under pressure when wet. In large and heavy containers, peat moss can compress, which can lead to anaerobic conditions in the mixture. This means your soil will have very little oxygen for its roots and can develop a pungent ammonia smell.

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Preparation Time

In addition, using peat moss is not as easy as mixing it into your growing container and forgetting about it. Growers must undergo a weeks-long preparation process to get the moss ready to provide the right structure and nutrients for your plant’s roots.

pH Levels

Peat moss can be high maintenance in terms of managing its pH levels. By itself, it has a low ph. Many growers choose to regulate the pH with lime, but the pH levels can still slowly get lower, so you will need to regularly check your mixture.

Sustainability

If you’re an eco-conscious grower, peat moss may not be the best soil amendment to use. Peat moss can come from a variety of materials, but much of the peat moss sold for gardening comes from Canadian sphagnum moss.

Peat refers to the decomposed matter of the sphagnum moss and is mined from peat bogs, also known as peatland. It is believed that peat mining companies are doing a huge part in destroying these vulnerable ecosystems. Harvesting this moss can threaten wildlife and native plants found along the peat bogland, which can lead to other negative environmental impacts.

Techniques for Growing Cannabis in Peat Moss

Preparing peat moss for use in your cannabis garden is pretty straightforward but can take many weeks of preparation. Make sure to take into account this prep time when planning your cannabis planting.

Because peat moss is initially resistant to absorbing water and repels it, also known as being hydrophobic, the first step is to prepare it for soil use. This is best done during the spring months when the days are growing warmer and longer.

Prepare the peat moss for later use by placing a substantial amount of peat moss in a large pan or deep containerand thoroughly moistening it with water. Spread the peat moss out to cover the bottom of the pan to increase the surface area, and leave it outside for a few weeks. This will allow the peat moss to soften and become more absorbent, as well as allow it to grow important micronutrients.

You want it to get exposed to rain and morning dew as much as possible, but if water collects in the pan, pour it out so it doesn’t get stagnant. If you live in an arid region, be sure to periodically spray the peat moss with water.

Coarse, clumpy chunks of peat moss work better for soil mixtures than thin, wispy peat moss. Remember that peat moss must be kept evenly moist in order for plants to grow their best. Avoid letting it dry out because it will once again be resistant to absorbing water and will require attention and treatment.

After a few weeks, assemble the peat moss with equal parts of a good-quality potting soil or garden soil that does not contain any fertilizers. Some commercial soil mixes have synthetic fertilizers added, but to grow good-tasting cannabis, you want to grow organically and avoid synthetic additives.

Also purchase an equal part of perlite, which will help increase the soil aeration and aid root development. If you do not have access to perlite, you can substitute it with thick, coarse sand. Avoid any sand with tiny grains.

To mix the soil, combine equal parts of the peat moss, soil, and perlite into a large garden bucket and thoroughly mix the ingredients together with your hands and a hand spade. You want the three ingredients to be evenly distributed throughout the mixture. To do this, you will want to add a nutrient-rich ingredient like compost (you can easily make your own at home) or a commercially available product like Big Bloom.

Compost is a valuable ingredient when growing organic cannabis because it feeds the soil. Big Bloom, used in combination with Grow Big and Tiger Bloom, is an almost purely organic mixture that feeds the plants rather than the soil. So, while compost will feed the peat moss soil mixture, compost will feed the soil. In the correct ratios, they work well together.

Your cannabis plants will grow very well in a peat moss soil mixture right from the start. After the first couple of weeks, supplementing it with the Big Bloom and Grow Big nutrient (follow the feeding schedule provided for the trio) will ensure your cannabis thrives throughout all stages of its life cycle (vegetative, flowering, and pre-harvest).

Peat Moss vs. Coco Coir

Since they have a similar consistency, many soil mixes contain either peat moss or coco coir. Both can work well and have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Most cannabis cultivators have a preference for one or the other.

Coco Coir Benefits

Although similar to peat moss in its consistency, coco coir has its own unique sets of benefits that differentiateone from the other. One of the unique benefits of coco coir is that its pH typically runs between 6 to 6.7, which is perfect for cannabis.

Since coco coir is harvested from coconuts, it is a renewable resource—unlike peat moss. It also absorbs water much easier and is much easier to rehydrate if it gets overly dry. It has excellent water retention properties, retaining 8to 30 times its own weight.

Like peat moss, coco coir is an outstanding habitat for microorganisms.It is also free of pests, pathogens, and weed seeds. Coco coir is durable and due to its lignin content, it breaks down slower than peat moss. Finally, coco coir is typically less expensive than peat moss—and this lower cost is something that everyone can appreciate.

Coco Coir Drawbacks

Coco coir also has some drawbacks. It has a high salinity unless thoroughly washed, and its quality and consistency can vary more than peat moss, depending on the source. It also doesn’t contain many microorganisms and few trace elements.

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Also, because some coco coir is sprayed with pesticides in its country of origin, combined with its tendency to be high in sodium and magnesium, means that it must be thoroughly washed and treated (follow the same instructions for treating coco coir as the peat moss method detailed above).

Which One Should You Use?

Because peat moss and coco coir have several similarities as well as differences, it is easy to see why both have their legions of devotees. There are really no right or wrong answers when it comes to using one or the other; it is just a matter of personal preference.

Since it is used less often than coco coir for cannabis cultivation and has many benefits, do not overlook peat moss the next time you plan a cannabis soil mixture. Most likely, you will be happy with the results and use it as a regular soil ingredient.

Become a Cannabis Growing Expert with CTU

Now that you know the basics of using peat moss to create beneficial soil for your plants, you can learn how to use other grow media to find out which works best for you.

Learn about all the latest cultivation methods from industry professionals when enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana classes.

Whether it is your first time growing or you are a seasoned grower, CTU has a complete curriculum that takes you through every step of the cultivation process.

Learn about the fundamentals of growing cannabis and advanced growing techniques to maximize the quality of your harvest. Start your journey toward becoming a master grower today!



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