Blooming Marijuana Buds With Fluorescent Lights

Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 41911 views
By Lee G. Leissett


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T5 fluorescents give off less heat than their HID counterparts and also distribute the light very evenly.

T5 fluorescents give off less heat than their HID counterparts and also distribute the light very evenly.
(Click to enlarge)

" Using fluorescents in the bloom room deserves a second look. "

Blooming medical marijuana with fluorescent lighting is frowned upon or laughed at in most hydroponic circles. Some of the old school hippies who have held onto their outdated ways may still be flowering under T12 fluorescent shop lights and argue that fluorescents produce the stickiest medical marijuana plants in town. Well, in some regards, they may be right.

I started experimenting with fluorescent lighting as a primary light source in a blooming room about ten years ago. There is no coincidence that this corresponded with my discovery of T5 fluorescent lights. As soon as I saw the efficiency ratings of the T5 bulb I knew that it was possible to not only bloom under them but also compete with gardens running HID (high intensity discharge) lighting. Now, I have to admit I didn’t go and replace all of my HID lights with fluorescents and I still haven’t. I did, however, discover that there is always the right tool for any particular job and, in some cases, fluorescent lighting is a more suitable choice than HID lighting. The other thing I discovered, thanks to the technological advances in cannabinoid testing, is that on average fluorescent lighting produced a higher quality medicinal product than HID.

The Right Tool for the Job

````So when would T5 fluorescents be a better choice over HID for a medical marijuana blooming room? Any time there is a space restriction, especially vertical space restriction, T5 fluorescents should be considered. T5 fluorescents give off less heat than their HID counterparts and also distribute the light very evenly. In other words, the wattage of a fluorescent fixture is evenly distributed throughout the entire light footprint. With a HID light source all the energy is emitted from a small, central location. This is a huge disadvantage when vertical space is an issue.

T5 fluorescents should also be considered in any medical marijuana blooming room that utilizes a sea of green method. This is especially true for growers who place clones or seedlings directly under 12 hour light cycles. These plants are always short in stature and would benefit greatly from the even light distribution of T5 fluorescent fixtures. Unfortunately, tall plants bloomed under T5 fluorescents tend to only produce usable medicine in the top 8-14 inches and would be better suited for an HID bloom room.

Higher Quality with Fluorescent Grow q1sLights

My friend who owns a medical marijuana testing facility thought I was joking when I told him the highest quality medicine I ever produced was grown under T5 fluorescents. I wasn’t joking. In fact, every strain that I grew under fluorescents vs HID, with all other parameters being equivalent, tested higher in their concentrations of cannabinoids. It should be noted that the difference was slight; we’re not talking about a huge variance but a consistent variance just the same.

I don’t know the exact reason for the difference in potency, all I can do is to make a guess as to why this is. My prediction is that the radiant heat produced by HID lighting degrades cannabinoids in the plant. This excess radiant heat is not present in fluorescent lighting so the cannabinoids are not affected. It could also be the difference in the color rendition index between fluorescents and HID lighting that is causing the discrepancy in potency. What ever the reason, using fluorescents in the bloom room deserves a second look and continued experimentation.

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