Will Weed Grow Under Normal Lights?
One of the pillars of at-home cannabis growth, your lighting, often determines the health and potency of your yield when it is time to harvest. Whether you are providing constant lighting with autoflower strains, or you are using a more traditional cyclical lighting method for traditional strains, choosing the optimal lighting methods will be an essential aspect during the vegetation and flowering stages.
While there are plenty of options between high-intensity discharge lighting systems (HID), LED lighting systems, or even more natural outdoor solar lighting, the most convenient option may already be in your home. Fluorescent bulbs, the twisting light bulbs that are often used for indoor lamps or fixtures, can be an easy and cheap option when looking to start your own indoor grow rooms.
We’ll cover the pros and cons of using fluorescent bulbs to grow your own weed, and the differences you will notice when it comes time to harvest.
Fluorescent (CFL) Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent lights, or CFL, are the most common forms of light bulbs found within your home. These bulbs are cheap, long-lasting, and will fit the most common light sockets within most fixtures.
While these may seem like a great option considering they can be found at your local market or supply store, there are some downsides when using this type of bulb.
Pros of Using Fluorescent Lighting Systems
As stated above, the most obvious benefit of using CFL lighting systems is the ease of access when it comes to the bulbs. With packs of four bulbs usually costing less than $10, these are great options for those who are growing their own cannabis for the first time.
CFL bulbs can be utilized in smaller systems such as spacebuckets, giving you the ability to piece together your own homemade bucket for individual plants. They can also be used in a more elaborate grow room, with multiple lights providing output for multiple plants.
Found in wattage ranges between 40w and 100w, they are relatively less intensive than the aforementioned HID or LED lighting systems. With the ability to choose bulbs with different color temperatures, these can be utilized throughout different stages of your grow.
Measured in Degrees Kelvin, “cooler” temperatures will be the ideal color temperature for the vegetative state, coming in at a range of 5600k-6500k. These will have a blue hue and come with the moniker of “daylight”.
Warmer colored bulbs, coming in at the range of 2700k-3600k, will have a distinctly yellow or orange color. These bulbs will be best implemented during the flowering stage of your plants.
In addition, CFL bulbs can be a great option when growing clones or seedlings, as the required light output will be significantly lower and within range of fluorescents.
Cons of Using Fluorescent Lighting Systems
Because fluorescent bulbs are generally lower powered, as you would expect with normal in-home lighting, the output of these bulbs will adversely affect the potential growth of your plants. While you can try to counteract this by placing your bulbs closer to your plants, this may prove slightly unrealistic if you are growing multiple plants.
It is recommended to only use CFL bulbs when growing one or two plants, as your yield will be compromised with more expansive grow rooms. For grow rooms with multiple plants or strains, using HID or LED options will provide an easier path for larger yields.
Fluorescent bulbs can be a great beginner option for those who are growing their own weed for the first time. With a low barrier of entry in terms of pricing, they can be easily experimented with for your first plants in a small indoor grow tent or spacebucket.
However, if you are looking to expand your collection of plants, or have a much larger grow room in general, HID or LED bulbs will be a more efficient choice. While these are significantly more expensive, they will give you the proper light output for larger and more potent yields.