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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Lighting & Grow Bulbs, Part 1 Featured

Choosing the right bulb to light your indoor grow room is critical for big, healthy plants. Choosing the right bulb to light your indoor grow room is critical for big, healthy plants.

New growers often underestimate how important certain elements of their grow room are. They assume that with the right seeds or clones and the right nutrients that their plants will grow into moneymakers. How wrong they are. We’ve worked to dispel some of those misunderstandings here in Hydro 101, and today we’re going to continue that trend by talking about the importance of finding the right grow bulbs to light your crop all the way to harvest time.

The nuances of indoor growing are many and can be challenging to learn your way around, but they are also what makes this type of gardening so much fun. It also helps separate the phony growers from the ones who will become grandmasters and have a long career in this industry.

I can’t understate the importance of getting the right grow bulbs. Let’s start with the broad strokes. Basically, there are three different types of bulbs that are designed to be used for indoor gardening for each cycle of plant growth.

The first one is a fluorescent T5 bulb. These bulbs are ideal for sprouting seedlings, rooting clones and for vegetative growth. These bulbs only use 54w each, and come in two different color spectrums - cool for vegetative growth and warm for the bloom cycle.

It’s never as simple as just setting up your lights and walking away. Whatever wattage you decide to go with, I recommend that you do a test run.

T5 fixtures also come in many different sizes. You can get one as small as a two-foot, two-bulb fixture all the way up to a four-foot, 12-bulb fixture depending on how big of an area you need covered.

I like to use T5s for my clones and for my veg cycle too because they run cooler and use less electricity than a standard metal halide bulb, although it does take a little longer to veg with a T5.

It’s also possible to use these fixtures for your bloom cycle if you swap out the cool blue spectrum bulbs for the warm red spectrum bulbs, but I don’t recommend it. Using a T5 for your bloom cycle won't yield much, and big yields are the name of the game.

Another choice of bulb for the veg cycle is a metal halide bulb. My personal favorite is the Blue Diamond Baddass bulb, which has a very blue spectrum that is perfect for vegetating plants. The blue spectrum encourages root growth and green lush vegetation while keeping your internodes nice and tight – exactlt what you want.

I recommend using at least a 400w metal halide for the veg cycle, but if you want to veg your plants a little faster go with a 600w or even a 1000w metal halide. Beware if you’re using a 600 or 1000w bulb that these put out a lot of heat, which could be trouble for your grow room if you don’t manage it right. You may want to purchase an air coolable reflector to help manage the temperature of your grow room with the stronger bulbs.

That said, it’s never as simple as just setting up your lights and walking away. Whatever wattage you decide to go with, I recommend that you do a test run. Before planting, set up your light and turn it on for an hour or so. Then check the temperature in the room. It should be around 72 degrees. If it's in the 80 degree range, you may need to purchase an air cooled reflector and duct booster or even an A/C unit.

That’s going to do it for this week, but be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of my series on selecting the right lighting and bulbs for your indoor grow room. We’ve got a lot of important ground yet to cover, and you want to be sure that your next grow is a big one. After all, you know what I always say… Grow Big or Go Home!

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Grow bulbs will heat up your grow room almost as fast as this video of Deonna Marie at the beach!
Last modified on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 18:41

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