Natural sunlight is the basis for identifying the various spectrums of lighting that plants require and includes both visible and invisible light spectrum. This is at the core of understanding grow light spectrum basics. When manufacturers develop artificial LED lighting they are able to use different kinds of Light Emitting Diodes that provide the specific colors your plants require. When discussing the lighting needs of indoor cannabis plants and therefor the best grow lights to use, we want to look at four different color bands, including a discussion of what the best combination is for your grow operation.
- Blue – LED lights, in the 420-480nm range, or Blue spectrum, are ideal for vegetative growth and create tall, leafy plants. Strong Blue light is not very helpful during the flowering phase and can cause bushy plants without many buds.
- Red – LEDs in the 600-6800 nm range are important during the flowering phase and will encourage budding anering. Much like the way that blue light doesn’t help with flowering, too much red light will not help with vegetative phase.
- White. White LEDs are a source of disagreement among growers as to their benifit during each phase, but if nothing else they help you see inside the grow room and identify any problems that are not visible under red and blue..
- Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet light spectrum is not available in many LED lights, but it may be worth adding as many growers believe it assists in bud development and potency . Research has found that it could beneficial to use ultraviolet light in short bursts when you are looking to increase THC production.
The Best Ratio
Proper growth and plant health results from making sure your plants get the right blend of light spectrum during the right phase of their growth. Natural outdoor plants have the benefit of living in a world where all of the wavelengths are provided to them during all growth phases and the natural alignment of the earth and seasonal changes provide the right changes for each of their growth phases. Indoor plants need the light provided in a similar manner so they can sprout, grow and flower the right amount at the right time
For the optimum ratio of spectrum colors, you should have the approximately the following ratio of LEDs in the panel that you are using:
- *50% Red LEDs rated at 660 nm
- *20% Red LEDs rated at 630 nm
- *20% Blue LEDs rated at 470 nm
- *10% Blue LEDs rated at 425 nm