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The Dos and Don’ts of Lighting a Cannabis Grow Facility

Once you have decided to build a cannabis grow facility, you may be overwhelmed with the complicated language and construction, particularly lighting.  However, lighting is an essential part of a cannabis grow facility. As you know, lighting determines if your plants will live or die.

Before structuring a cannabis grow facility, you must first understand how much electricity a grow facility requires. You will also need to understand the risks of poor lighting and how to achieve the perfect lighting system.

growing cannabisRead below to learn the dos and don’ts of lighting a cannabis grow facility and how a cannabis lighting professional from GCE National can help you build a successful grow facility!

How Much Grow Facility Electricity Costs

In advance of building a cannabis grow facility, you have to have a budget. How do you know how much this will cost you in electricity bills? This will be different for everyone.

It depends on multiple factors: amps, wattage, plants, and space. First, calculate how many amps you have available to use. You can do this by using a clamp multimeter or a plug-in clamp. After determining how much amperage you are using in your building as a whole, account for the amps needed for the grow facility. You will also need to account for wattage and equipment.

To understand how much wattage and equipment you will need, multiply the number of plants by four square feet. Each plant will approximately need four square feet for growing.

Now that you have your budget ready, it’s time to understand the dos and don’ts!

The Do’s

1 Do the Math

As previously mentioned, there is a lot of math required to assemble a cannabis grow facility. You need to determine how much electricity is needed and how much light and heat you will need. Too much light and heat are harmful, and so is not enough light and heat. Before doing the math, obtain the grow facility’s dimensions and the PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density). The PPFD may sound complicated, but you can find this through your fixture manufacturer. Determine the perfect amount of light and heat by the following equation:


2 Do Stay Organized

Staying organized can save you from a lot of heartache and pain later on. To stay organized, begin labeling everything. You can label containers, pots, seeds, cables, beds, and supplies. By labeling things in your cannabis grow facility, you could prevent fires, crossbreeding, mixups, and so many other problems. Another way to stay organized is to keep a log or record. Keep a log of what lights you are using, how much energy you are using, what light spectrum you are using, and all things about your lighting. By keeping a record of these things, you can fully understand what is working and not working.

3 Do Choose the Right Lights for You

There are three leading lights that many growers use. They are HID (High-Intensity Discharge), LED (Light Emitting Diode), and Fluorescent (T5 or CFL). HID lights are relatively cost-efficient. However, they emit more heat than other lights. Take the humidity into consideration first because HID lights can affect this. LED lights are more common than the others because they are extremely energy efficient. They are more expensive initially, but LED lights typically last longer. Fluorescent lights should be the last choice because they do not emit as much heat. Fluorescent lights serve better as a supplement than a primary source of energy.

4 Do Consider the Light Spectrum

The point of a grow facility is to create outdoor conditions indoors. While your plants are growing, you will want to imitate natural growing phases. For example, the light spectrum changes over the growing season. As a cannabis grow facility owner, you will need to consider these light spectrum changes as you grow your plants. Use the blue spectrum to grow shorter, stouter plants with large leaves. And use the red spectrum to stimulate reproduction. Adjusting the light spectrum can impact the way your plants behave.

5 Do Consult a Lighting Expert

For a cannabis grow facility to prosper, consult a lighting expert. GCE National has been in the lighting business for a century and have seen it all. Consulting a lighting expert like GCE National is a great resource. Consultants can give advice, handle the logistics, choose the proper lights, and provide you with the confidence you need.

The Don’ts

1 Don’t Ignore Safety

It is easy to focus on the logistical side of lighting a grow facility, but don’t ignore your safety. With lots of lights and energy in one place, fire hazards are always prevalent. Cannabis grow facilities may not be covered by insurance in your state.

2 Don’t Neglect Precautionary Measures

Another way to ensure your plant’s survival and your safety is to employ proper electrical management. Sometimes things are unavoidable, such as power outages. Consider buying a generator for backup to protect your hard work.

3 Don’t Forget About Scheduling

As mentioned above, a cannabis grow facility is meant to imitate the outside world. The sun comes up, providing excessive light during the day, and the moon supplies minimal light at night; this must be replicated in your grow facility. If your lights are on the highest output at all hours of the day, the plants will not grow properly. Likewise, if there is not enough energy output for extended periods, this could stunt the growth.

4 Don’t Misuse Your Lights

After calculating the wattage and the PPFD, use your lights accordingly. Those who own a cannabis grow facility will not want to waste their lights or use wasted energy. It is crucial to strategically place your lights throughout your grow facility to maximize their usage. By maximizing the usage, you are getting the biggest bang for your buck, and your plants are getting the light they need.

5 Don’t Forget About Positioning

Plants will grow in a cannabis grow facility; this is what you want! However, when your plants grow, they will always grow toward the light. If plants are too close to the lights, they will be burned, bleached, or die. Also, if they are in one spot for too long, they will grow toward the light and possibly cause an intertwining jungle of plants. It is best to rotate the plants so that they will not grow sideways or crookedly.

The most significant advice that cannabis growers can take away from this article is this: always consult an expert! The easiest way to succeed in what you do is to talk to someone who knows what they are doing.

Are you ready to optimize the lighting in your cannabis grow facility? Speak with a Cannabis Lighting Professional from GCE National!

Keep your projects on track, on time, and on budget!

Download our e-book 7 Things To Consider When Selecting a Lighting Supplier to help guide you in making sound decisions and avoid potential mishaps along the way.