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Metal halide (MH) grow lights

Date 4th Aug 2013   Comments 2 Comments »

3 Metal Halide Bulbs

Metal Halide or MH light is a gas discharge lamp which produces light by creating an electric arc in a pressure chamber full with mercury and metal halides. This electrical arc excites the gas mixture inside the pressure chamber and it starts to glow. The light produced by the gas mixture is directly linked with the elements that are in that bulb but overall the metal halide lamp produces a white (full spectrum) light with a spike in the blue region of the visible light spectrum. Metal halide lamps have been long used for regular cannabis growing and growers use them also with autoflower strains. Basically you can grow cannabis fully from start to finish with this light but the buds will be fluffier than growing with HPS or LED lights as this light source does not produce sufficient RED light that plants need more in the flowering phases. Because of this phenomenon metal halide lamps are most widely used for seedling and clone growing and basically are good all the way to the start of the flowering cycle.

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Autoflower HPS growing

Date 8th May 2013   Comments 7 Comments »

HPS autoflowerwhat is HPS grow light?

A HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamps are the main choice for cannabis growers all over the world and it is because they produce very intense light that almost no other artificial light source can match. HPS lights work by exciting electrons in a high pressure sodium bulb. This electron excitement produces a glow that looks like a pink / orange SUN and it radiates quite large amounts of heat. These amazing grow lights have a very high luminous efficacy that means their light to energy ratio – Lumen/Watt (lm/W) is from 100 to 200 and that is quite high compared to some other light sources.

Incandescent ~16
CFL ~40-70
T5 ~ 50-100
Metal Halide ~70…150

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LED autoflower growing

Date 25th Apr 2013   Comments 22 Comments »

autoflower LED growIn Nature cannabis plants absorb natural sunlight and produce dense and really resinous colas. These big buds are usually tastier, stronger and more potent because inside growers can’t completely reproduce the SUN’s light Intensity and full spectrum. There are various light sources available to growers but not one of them can completely reproduce the full spectrum that the sunlight gives off! Because these grow lights can’t reproduce the full spectrum completely your cannabis plants are receiving less energy than they would under the sun so they are growing slower and can’t be as big as the ones grown outdoors or in greenhouses. This light absorption mostly happens at the ends of the color spectrum at the blue and red colors. Just the opposite happens in the middle of the visible light spectrum and ganja plants receive no energy at all from the green spectrum light as the plant is green and it reflects all of the green light! If you are growing autoflowers with regular light sources (like CFL, HPS, T5 or MH) then you are wasting a lot of energy because these lights produce light curve that is not evenly spaced and with some spectrum spikes that may not be in the right place where your plant needs them. The ends of the light spectrum (Blue, Red) are not in the middle of the curve or in any of the spikes so they get low amounts of light. Imagine if these light sources could give off only the light that cannabis plants need! If this was true then growers all over the world would not be spending money on light that illuminate the room in color spectrum that is not completely efficient to cannabis plants! Here comes in the LED lights as LED diodes can be made with different kind of additives that will illuminate in different light colors and spectrum.

What are LED lights?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and that means that this light source is just a semiconductor that can perform electroluminescence or in simpler words shine! This “shining” happens when electrons in the diode are pushed into gaps that let them get exited to a higher energy stage and when the electrons return to the starting stage the excess charge is given off as light in the form of photons! These LED light has no moving or fragile parts so there is no wearing out or burning , discharging of a filament as in HID or CFL lights!

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T5 grow lights for Autoflower growing

Date 19th Apr 2013   Comments No Comments »

T5 fluorescent tube autoflower growWhat are fluorescent tubes?

Fluorescent tubes are exactly the same as CFL (compact fluorescent lights) but they have been around way longer. All the fluorescent tubes are gas discharge lamps that use electricity to excite mercury vapor.This vapor creates excited mercury atoms and when they bump into the bulbs outer coating then the coating (usually Phosphor) starts to glow!

For a number of years the old T12 bulb fixtures was considered standard when lighting large areas with a decent efficiency, but as good as these T12 lights was, they were not good for growing plants and that includes cannabis. They had relatively low lumen per watt ratio and their only advantage was the low temperature.

After the T12 bulbs came the T8 light bulbs that has smaller diameter and they are more efficient and can be used in growing regular and autoflowering cannabis plants. These T8 fluorescent light bulbs have a luminous efficacy of about 70 to 80 (lumens per watt) and they are available in different light output colors so they can be used for growing marijuana plants. These T8 tubes are the second generation of fluorescent lighting and they are good for lighting purposes and their luminous efficacy is acceptable for growing. But there is an even better choice and that is the third generation fluorescent tubes or T5.

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Autoflower light cycles

Date 24th Mar 2013   Comments 11 Comments »

DSCN9432First of all we need to establish that autoflowers will flower under any light cycle and you most definitely can grow them under 24 hours of light and even 12/12 through all your plants life, but there are more aspects to look over than just if they will grow!

Light cycle can change autoflower plants growth, the end yield, bud density, branch formation and even plants height so growers should definitely know why plants in certain light cycles do best and in what stages of plants growth what cycles would be best!

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Autoflower CFL growing

Date 3rd Aug 2011   Comments 7 Comments »

The first thing everyone searching for autoflowering cannabis growing with CFL bulbs should know is that you CAN grow autoflowers  with CFL(compact fluorescent light). The end yield and plant size won’t be anywhere near what the HID(high intensity discharge) lamps can produce , but you will still be able to produce some fine auto flowers and do it all not spending hundreds of dollars on sophisticated light systems. Auto CFL growing is perfect for beginners or growers who have small growing space or heat problems as the CFL bulbs don’t produce much heat and can be put in close proximity of the cannabis leafs.

So what exactly are These CFL lights?

 

The compact fluorescent lamps are basically the same as the regular fluorescent light tubes but much smaller and compact. The way that this lamp works is similar to the regular fluorescent tube: The low pressure gas (typically argon) and a bit of mercury are sealed in a glass shell that has a coated layer of phosphor. When electricity is provided to the lamp it excites the mercury vapor that is in the glass shell. This Excited mercury then produces ultraviolet light that causes the inner coating (phosphor) of the bulb to fluoresce, producing the light that we can see. Typically the compact fluorescent lights are designed to fit into the regular household light fixtures and they are typically 5 times more economical than the incandescent bulbs and that means cheap grow operations! Another bonus for using these CLF lights bulbs growing autos is that they will last five times longer than the incandescent bulb and at so lengthy life span you will probably see many harvests before the bulb brakes..

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