Learning the difference between grow lights is half the battle. The other half of the battle comes when you must decide which lights to grow with! Other factors play into your light choice like how many plants you are going to grow and how many lights you will need to cover that area. The space itself that you are working in also plays a big role in what lights you should start out with.
Chip Baker, owner of Cultivate and master gardener has some recommendations for getting the right lights for your first indoor garden set up.
When it comes to ceiling height and room size, temperature control is very important especially in an indoor grow. If you have high ceilings and are confident that you can control your environment with excess heat, double ended lamps are the only way to go. Popular DE lamps include 1000W Phantom and Gavita brand lights.
If you have shorter ceilings and can’t control your temperature as well, a 600/750W flex lamp from Gavita can work very well. These lights can get pricey, but they are the best option for somebody with short ceilings in an indoor grow. For smaller grow rooms, whether its short ceilings or a tight space altogether, Chip recommends a 315. With a 4200 Kelvin bulb during the flower stages, your plants will still get all the light and heat they need without overheating your space.
Starting out your indoor grow
Start with a 3200 Kelvin bulb in your 315 during the vegetative stages, then switch to a 4200 Kelvin bulb for the flower stages. This way, your plants get the cooler light they need to grow strong while vegetating and the higher heat and light to push them into flower. All while keeping heat output to a minimum, which is essential for an indoor grow.
Set up timers. This is easy peasy. Depending on what type of timer you get, you can usually just plug it right into your lamp and set the timer to control the lights. During your vegetative stage you want to give your plants 18-24 hours of lights, then switch to 12-on-12-off when you flip into flower.
Some lights have an electronic controller that allows you to manage the timer for all of your lights, or you can individually time each one.
Remember you have options
There is no one right way to light your plants. You can stuff 10 plants under one light, or three plants under three lights. It all depends on space, budget, and how much effort you want to put into your set up. The biggest factor though, is controlling your environment. These are just a few tips to get you started should you decide to set up your garden indoors.
Check out our light recommendations and come in to talk to the Cultivate staff about what lights will work best for your grow.