First of all, we must start with the basics and point out what the acronym LED means because it is used a lot but few know its real meaning. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and a diode is a semiconductor that emits light and does not lose energy when producing said light, thus making the most of its power. Some important advantages of LEDs are the fact that they light up very quickly in relation to other high-power lamps such as sodium vapor, metal halide, LEC, and other systems with incandescent technology.
Another advantage of LED lamps for growing marijuana over others is that you can choose the range of spectra. There are LEDs with a fixed spectrum which are only used for one stage of the life cycle of marijuana. There are also LEDs that cover the wide spectrum of lights that cannabis needs. Being able to create the ideal light spectrum where lights can be selected both for the vegetative stage and for flowering is one of the premises of many expert and consistent growers and has encouraged many professional growers to switch to LEDs to make a responsible use of the electricity they consume.
Distance Between light and cannabis plants
At this time, we must point out that the distance will depend on the power of each LED and also on the phase in which the weed plant is in. However, in a generic way, here is some of the most relevant data.
Growing: In this period of cultivation, the lights should be at a distance of 45-60 cm from the tip of the plant. This distance is essential as the plant, despite needing light to grow, requires enough space to prevent it from being burned or stressed. Both of these symptoms would affect the growth of the weed plant.
Pre-flowering: At this time in cultivation, the plant requires extra energy as it begins to flower and produce the long-awaited buds. So, we are going to lower the light to a distance of 45cm. The objective is for the light spectrum to penetrate better so that the plant can produce pistils explosively, starting flowering in a perfect way.
Flowering: It is already flowering, so now we lower the light again and bring it a little closer to the plant at a distance of 30-40 cm. This is because at this point more than ever, the cannabis plant needs light to penetrate the buds that are taking shape, so the light spectrum cannot be wasted in the growing area.
Use Led Full Spectrum
These are white LEDs and they are the ones that allow us to better visualize the plants. This type of LED was developed to obtain the greatest light potential. They are called Full Spectrum lights because they cover the full spectrum of light and they usually have a much higher CRI.
This type of LED differs from fixed spectrum LEDs because this LED equipment is intended for one of the phases, whether it is growth or flowering. There are also teams where you can change the spectrum depending on the stage you are in. Blue LEDs are suitable for the vegetative development of plants. Although, there are teams that perform a combination of red and blue for the entire cycle. Those yellow and red colors stimulate the phases of pre-flowering and flowering and help the development and fattening of the marijuana flowers.
Basic configuration of a good LED
Before buying any LED panel, it is very necessary to be informed so as not to waste money. Pay attention that the temperature of the colors are between 3500k and 6500k. Another very important factor is the light efficiency (lm/w) as well as the color rendering index (ICR/CRI).
Use cultivation techniques for HIGH yield
Due to the fact that one of the main weaknesses of the LEDs is the light depth (penetration capacity of the light), the cultivation techniques of vertical development such as supercropping or SCROG favor better development of the plants. If we carry out these techniques, it is necessary to prune low to favor the maturation of the tips of the plants and increase the harvest.
Perform a SOG on your crop
Another very suitable practice for LED cultivation is SOG. By placing many plants in a small space and carrying out a lower pruning, the LED light is capable of deepening to the lower area of the plant and is able to harvest large, hard, and compact buds.
Reduces watering of plants
There is a relationship between temperature and plant development. The hotter it is, the faster they grow. So, we can say that temperature acts as a metabolic regulator. As the temperature increases, the metabolic processes in plants also increase. This means that the plant will have greater water, food, carbon dioxide (CO2), and oxygen needs. For this reason, in crops with LEDs, the frequencies of irrigation and fertilization decrease considerably as they have lower temperatures. If we grow in winter with LEDs, the use of a thermal blanket would help to give the roots an adequate temperature.
Calcium and Magnesium
Depending on the type of LED we use, it is likely that we will need to add extra Calcium and Magnesium to the plants in the nutrient solutions or directly to the substrate in solid form. This is due to previous crops lacking these elements when grown with certain LED lighting systems. So, to avoid having sick plants, it is better to prevent by adding that dose of extra nutrition.
Temperature and Humidity
There must be a balance between the ambient temperature in the grow room and also in the area of the plant’s leaves because as we have said, if there is a very high temperature, the plants become stressed and the crop is completely damaged. However, with LEDs, there is no such risk. On the contrary, the temperatures in the environment of the crop are usually lower and even in the area of the leaves of the plant because the lighting systems do not produce as much heat as with other types of lighting. If the temperature at the level of the leaves of the plant drops too much, it can cause condensation, an issue that can cause the appearance of pathogenic fungi that damage the crop.
Integrated control system
For professional growers, many times you will try to maintain control over the crop by lowering the costs of inputs such as humidity and temperature meters or tools for CO2 production. Despite that, experts recommend that the best thing for professional or commercial growers and especially when growing with LED lighting, is to use an integrated system that controls everything at once.
Extraction of air
You also have to take into account that by not generating as much heat, less extraction is necessary. We can reduce it (we only need to renew the air) and a good option is to install a CO2 supply system (with the advantages provided by the extra CO2) to reduce the extraction to the maximum (you only need a minimal renewal every so often) and thus keep the room a little warmer.
watts per number of plants
It is always good to take into account the relationship of the power of the lights with respect to the number of plants that you want to grow. This way, you can maximize the yields and optimize the performance of the LED lights. For this reason, we are going to leave you a reference for the ideal power that your LED lighting system should have for the number of plants you want to grow in order to obtain the maximum performance of the plants in the garden.
For example, for a crop of 10 plants, it is ideal to use LED lighting with 461w of power which is equivalent 1000w in HPS bulbs. Now, if you want to grow a smaller crop of 6 plants, you are going to need LED lighting of about 276w, that is, about 600w for HPS bulbs. If you only have a micro crop with 2 weed plants, you will need about 92w from your LED lighting system which is equivalent to about 200w of power from the HPS bulbs.
Best Strains To Grow Under LED Lights
Here, we are going to share with you a selection of the best varieties to grow with LED lights which we have put together according to the references of gardeners and experts who are part of our team. Remember that if you apply the cultivation techniques we recommend and follow our advice, you will have more possibilities of achieving success in your cultivation. Let’s go!
Girl Scout Cookies x Jack Herer
This cross is a jewel for the world of cannabis because Girl Scout Cookies x Jack Herer comes from a cross between two legendary varieties that generate powerful buds with energizing, super social effects that activate your creativity and promote happiness, ending with a good relaxation. The buds have THC levels ranging from 22%-26% and are ready to be harvested after 8-10 weeks of flowering.
If you grow Girl Scout Cookies x Jack Herer outdoors or in a greenhouse, you will get great yields of 600-700 gr/plant, while indoors, you will get 400-500 gr/m2 of buds with citrus flavors and earthy and herbal notes. We recommend growing this variety with LST-type techniques and indoors in SOG format because it helps the light from the LED lighting to penetrate the plants and develop the buds better.
Lyly Sour x Blue OG
This sativa variety which is a cross between Lyly Sour x Blue OG, responds very well in crops with LED lighting because it has Blue OG as its parent, a highly recommended strain for indoor cultivation with LED lighting systems. Now, if we talk about Lyly Sour x Blue OG, we can say that it produces buds with 15%-17% THC and delicious flavors that mix fruity and sweet flavors with notes of diesel, gas and soft, earthy touches.
When we refer to flowering, we must say that it is large because you can collect between 400-500 gr/m2 of buds if you grow indoors and the same amount for outdoor or greenhouse gardeners. The flowering is ready after 8-10 weeks, allowing you to taste those incredible buds that cause euphoric effects at the beginning of the head and then finish with a bearable relaxation that is full of incredible lazy laughs.
New York Diesel Auto
New York Diesel Auto is perfect to be cultivated with LED lights as it is has mostly sativa, hybrid genetics and has a cultivation cycle of 8-9 weeks or 60 to 70 days. During these cultivation periods, you can apply cultivation techniques such as LST and SOG in 6-7 liter pots to produce compact and fast plants.
Indoor growers can harvest between 450-500 gr/m2 if they grow with LED lighting. You will be able to get those grams of weed when you do it at its maximum capacity. From the other side, outdoor growers can harvest 55-160 gr/plant with buds that exude fruity and citrus flavors and a potency of 12%-14% THC.
Watermelon zkittlez Fast Version
Watermelon Zkittlez Fast Version is an exquisite sativa variety that has THC levels that are between 21%-26%. This strain, without a doubt, should not be missing from the recommendations because its buds are delicious with sweet melon flavors and fruity notes. In addition, it is easy to grow, maintaining a large size outdoors. For the same reason, for indoor cultivation with LED lighting, we recommend using SCROG to obtain uniform colas that will explode full of buds if you make the light penetrate completely.
Also, it can use cultivation techniques such as SOG indoors with which you will harvest about 500 gr/m2 of buds. Outdoors, you can harvest 600-700 gr/plant after about 60 days of flowering. Although, it is always good to give it 1 o 2 extra weeks of flowering to ensure we have mature and resin-rich buds. The high is powerful and euphoric before becoming social and fun with a smooth, relaxing descent.
Remember that Blimburnseeds.com has an extensive catalog of high-THC strains that exceed 30% and seeds that are perfect for indoor and outdoor growing. Many of our strains have been grown in large greenhouses under artificial light to obtain the best selection of feminized, regular, fast version, autoflowering, cbd, and cbg seeds of high quality. In addition, our germination rate exceeds 90%. When our customers, breeders, and growers have any doubts with their crop, we help them at all times so that their beautiful marijuana plants provide them with resinous buds that are full of happiness.