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What Light Is The Best Lighting for Growing Legal Medical Marijuana in a Hydroponic System

Updated on March 26, 2012

Medical Marijuana Lighting for Fat Buds

Marijuana is a phenomenal plant that grows naturally throughout the planet. Unfortunately it's still illegal to develop marijuana in several countries. Please look at your local laws and regulations before growing weed.

With that stated, let’s get growing!

It’s a standard consensus that growing cannabis is better done with a hydroponic system indoors. Hydroponics is the process of raising a plant without soil. There are quite a few different ways to grow using hydroponics, but regardless, you're going to need some supplies. First and foremost you need a light source to cultivate your herb. There are numerous technologies out there and I will break down the benefits and drawbacks of each available for you.

The cheapest and most inefficient light supply is compact fluorescent lights (CFL). There are two different methods of CFL lighting. Many people grow marijuana with CFL lighting. It’s a wise course of action to get at the very least the 100 watt lamps because anything less is not really giving off sufficient light unless you got mad growing skills. Keep in mind that most are not especially efficient so you might need more lights to grow and flower 3 or more crops. The other form of CFL lighting could be the shop light design. These have a metal bracket used as a reflector and the bulbs themselves will be long and cylindrical. This style of lighting is a tad bit more efficient than the actual CFL bulb however still not perfect for growing marijuana. Whichever type of CFL bulb you want, strive for the actual bluest temperature with regard to vegetative growth as well as the warmest color for flowering.

Your next lighting type is definitely Metal Halide (MH). You can see metal halide lamps anytime you leave your place during night, because that’s what the majority of street lights work with. Metal halide lights works by converting power from a ballast and delivering it to an HIDlight. This lighting type is very good for vegetative growth but less for flowering. These systems use lots of electricity and produce substantial heat so it is wise to use MH jointly with good ventilation.


High Pressure Sodium(HPS) lighting style is arguably the top lighting for the amount of money. Just like that metal halide method, HPS also uses a ballast and also an HID light bulb. The advantage may be a fuller spectrum which plants will recognize the value of and use both for vegetative and flowering. While it is far from the best for vegging its ideal for flowering. This system in addition runs pretty hot therefore it should be used with proper ventilation.

Light-Emitting Diode Technological innovation (LED) is about to become one of the best lighting technology to grow medical marijuana with. It is very efficient and any 90 watt LED can provide as much usable light as a 600 watt hps or metal halide light. A good LED system may be a bit pricey but nevertheless it's worth every dime because it gives off no heat and uses less electricity as compared with your television. Most systems that use blue and reddish colored light should maximize and have a flourishing grow.


Once you choose your light source, purchase some fans to aid with circulation and also heat. Remember, a good light source will be the key to a prosperous hydroponicgrow process. As long as you follow the instructions and use the various tools and information that is out there then you'll be well on your way to growing glorious medical marijuana.

Please make sure that you take all the precautions as far as the legality of your growing situation. Here in California and with my legit history of chronic back pains the medical marijuana license process was a breeze so good luck to all the legal medical marijuana growers out there and future growers also.

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    • profile image

      Weed Widow 

      6 years ago

      We're currently doing a trial grow where we pit new LED grow lights against traditional HID lights. We're only on stage 1 at the moment, cos we have to admit to being new to the technique of LED grow lighting for cannabis, but you can follow the test here: http://www.growersguidetocannabis.com/blog/2011/11...

    • Phil The Gain profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil The Gain 

      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      That may be true but there are still some great advantages for LED of HID lighting. That being said... I love HID lights.

    • profile image

      jb5355 

      6 years ago

      led's don't penetrate a canopy any were near as good as HID lights.

    • Phil The Gain profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil The Gain 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      100% True my friend

    • Growlightguy profile image

      Growlightguy 

      7 years ago

      Great article! And dont forget, even though LED's are a larger initial investment you don't have to purchase the accessories (like ballasts) AND they last much longer than other types of bulbs.

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