Get Your LED Light
You’ll need an LED grow light to hang in your grow tent. There’s 100’s of options and it can be quite confusing for new growers. So I’ll recommend a couple high quality LED lights for grow tents. There are many different looks to LED lights, and their designs keep evolving year after year. One thing to keep in mind with LED lighting technology is its always changing. Check back here in a few years for updated light models I may recommend.
Any good quality full spectrum LED light will last you a few to several + years. Some home growers buy a new model light every year or so, the same way softball players buy new bats each season. People love their hobbies and love to upgrade. Get it! But don’t forget, you don’t have to “keep up with the Joneses.” Many home growers only upgrade when significant LED technology improvements hit the market. And some will upgrade simply when their LED light stops working.
What are LED Lighting Footprints?
LED lights come with footprint specifications like “4 x 4 ft Veg footprint” and “3 x 3 ft Flower footprint.” The footprint refers to how much space the light will penetrate a space effectively. If you put a LED light into a 5 x 5 grow tent, but the light was only good for a 3 x 3 FLOWER footprint, then your plants outside of the 3 x 3 ft area won’t get quality light penetration. Therefore, you’d get weaker plant growth there, plus diminished flower growth too. It’s do-able, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not ideal if you’re goal is to maximize the square footage of your grow tent as much as possible.
With LED lights, price is usually relative to performance, but not always. There are many cheap LED lights on Amazon that don’t work well, or stop working after limited use. Some LED lights are expensive and don’t work great. If you don’t care about getting the biggest yields possible, you aren’t worried about the size of your flowers, you don’t need to purchase an expensive LED light. As a plus, with a less powerful LED light, you’ll have a much easier time reaching your temperature goals inside your grow tent.
If you are trying to grow the biggest flowers possible in a 4 x 4 or 5 x 5 grow tent, choose the HLG 600 rspec which is dimmable and one of the most popular LED lights on the market. It is a powerful commercial-quality LED light, assembled in the USA, and comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty. However, it is recommend that you have accessible air conditioning (AC) if you have the HLG 600 rspec because it does generate quite a bit of heat.
If you don’t have air conditioning (AC), I recommend the equally impressive MarsHydro FC4800, which won’t run as hot. The MarsHydro FC4800 is suited for a 4 x 4 grow tent.
Mars Hydro FC 4800 LED Grow Light
HLG 600 LED Grow Light
A good light for a 3 x 3 (or even 4 x 4) grow tent is the Mars Hydro FC300.
HLG also has an LED Light for a 3 x 3 to consider, the HLG 300 rspec.
For even less money, there is a budget LED light called Spider Farmer SF 1000. Spider Farmer SF 1000 is less than $200 and suitable for a 3 x 3 grow tent.
About LED Lights For Grow Tents
- Your electric bill won’t skyrocket with one LED light, so that’s good news!
- LED Lights usually include light hanging accessories, but not always, so now you know.
- LED lights will emit varying degrees of heat depending on the model.
- Many LED lights are dimmable.
- Some LED lights have separate switches for VEG and FLOWER phase.
Get A Light Timer
You also need a light timer for your LED light. Light timers are sold separately from the LED lights. There are analog light timers and electronic light timers. I prefer the analog timers, and find them to be more fool-proof and user friendly. Plus they are less expensive.
Hang Your LED Light
Once you get your LED light, hang it, and plug it into a light timer. Most lights come with light hanging accessories and carabiners for you to hang your light. Be safe and careful. You don’t want to drop it — the warranty doesn’t cover that. LED lights are heavy. These lights are not light. You may need a helping hand and a foot stool depending on how strong and tall you are.
Pay Attention To The Distance Of Your Light To The Plants
With your LED light, pay attention to the recommended distance it should be hung from your plants. All lights will come with a user manual that will tell you the light’s recommended distance. The above mentioned HLG rspec 600 can hang 28-36 inches above the tops of your plants (“the canopy”). You’ll notice in your home grow that some varieties of cannabis tolerate light being closer than others. When your plant’s leaves are wilting and pointing downward away from the light, it can be a sign your light is to close. However, wilting is a common symptom from overwatering and underwatering too.
Different strains can respond differetnlyto light intensity. This is one reason it’s smart to grow the same variety at a time in your grow tent.
Keep Learning About LED
Some growers want to keep learning more about LED lighting. You can learn about light spectrums, watts/wattage, micromole ratings, PAR, PPF, and light components like diodes. There are even DIY LED kits for you to build your own light at home. I’ve noticed that mechanics, engineers, and very technologically savvy people are usually more interested in DIY lights and light science more than anyone else. To learn the in’s and out’s of LED lighting science, check out Bruce Bugbee educating about cannabis lighting myths.
Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92103
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