cfl vs led for growing weed

LEDs get better yields for the same amount of electricity than CFLs. This is because LEDs are more electrically efficient (produce more light for the same amount of electricity)

CFL grow lights are best suited to small or short spaces. Fluorescent lights like CFLs and T5 grow lights have the unique ability of being able to get up close to cannabis plants without burning them. In fact, for the best results, you should keep CFLs only a few inches away from the tops of your plants. Basically, if you are comfortable putting your hand where your plant is for 30 seconds, it means the CFL is far enough away. This makes CFLs ideal for grow spaces where room is extremely limited, for example when you only have a few feet of height.

LEDs vs CFLs

If you do have the height and space to support them, LED grow lights beat CFLs in many objective ways. They typically produce 2-4 times as much bud for the same amount of electricity used, and unlike CFLs which need to be adjusted constantly to keep lights the right distance away, with LEDs you mostly set it and forget it. You typically only have to raise the light every once in a while because an inch here or there isn’t going to make a big difference.

Unlike CFLs, LEDs don’t need to be adjusted almost daily

LEDs give off less heat than a CFL setup with the same amount of electricity, and LEDs also come with additional cooling options like heatsinks and sometimes even built-in fans, which pushes all the heat up and away from the plants, making it easier for growers to maintain comfortable temperatures.

Cfl vs led for growing weed

The only real risk CFL bulbs pose is if you smash them. When that happens, the mercury vapor escapes and it could pose a risk to you, other humans, and pets. If you break a CFL bulb, be sure to keep kids and pets away, open the windows, and don’t vacuum. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a very helpful guide to cleaning up broken fluorescent bulbs.

CFLs were originally developed to replace incandescent bulbs, which are not all that energy efficient. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs last 10 times longer and generate much less heat (which is actually a good thing for indoor cannabis grows). Thanks to LED lights, they’re no longer the most energy-efficient option, but they do require less wattage to deliver the same amount of lumen output as incandescent bulbs.

There are lots of lighting options available to the home grower, but for now, let’s dig into one specifically: compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Widely available and simple to use, CFL bulbs are often employed by home growers of all skill and interest levels. So let’s unpack them for you.

If you think about your lighting game as trying to mimic the natural cycle of sunlight, then it would make sense for plants to need a stronger and more intense light early in their life when they’d be happily growing out in the summer sunshine. That’s the daylight CFLs. Then, during the flowering stage, your plants will benefit from the gentler soft white CFLs since out in nature, summer would be turning to fall when sunlight becomes weaker.

Are CFL bulbs dangerous?

Whether you’re a minimalist just looking to grow some cannabis in your window or an enthusiast looking to invest in a more fleshed-out system, chances are you already know how important light is for your plants. (And if you don’t, the answer is very!)

In an ideal setup, you should be using both types of bulbs to meet the needs of your plants at different stages of their life cycle: daylight for the vegetative stage and warm white for the flowering stage.

While cheaper for initial setup, CFL bulbs have a shorter lifespan and are less efficient than LEDs, meaning they will cost more in the long-term. As mentioned, CFLs also contain a small amount of mercury, which can pose some risk to you and other living creatures in the vicinity should you break one. (Read on to learn more about that.) Because of this, they also require special disposal to avoid sending mercury into landfills.

What is better, LED or CFL bulbs?

The answer depends on where you live. As of this writing, the fate of CFLs is unclear due to some backtracking by the Department of Energy around efficiency requirements for light bulbs that were supposed to come into effect back in 2019. The matter is currently being litigated and, much like cannabis laws, there is a patchwork of regulation that varies by state.

Speaking of LEDs, which is better? LED lights have quickly become quite popular with indoor cannabis growers, and with indoor gardeners in general. Aside from being useful in growing devil’s lettuce, LED lights can be useful in growing regular lettuce, along with kale, herbs, and other consumable plants.

The first thing to consider before buying a grow light is how much money you want to spend. With more states coming online with adult-use legalization, homegrowing is becoming more popular and growing technology is getting better and more efficient all the time.

How much does a grow light cost?

Ventilation is also a concern. If you’re growing in a tight space with a light that runs hot, you’ll need to have fans in there, which also take up space. If there’s not enough room for a light and a fan, you may need to invest in a light that doesn’t run as hot, such as an LED. For example, grow tents are usually built tall to allow room for equipment up top, not to grow plants all the way to the ceiling.

Plant stage

These fluorescent lights are cheap and efficient and great for vegetative growth. They’re especially great for helping along germinating seeds and small seedlings because they don’t put off much heat and won’t scorch the delicate seeds. They won’t run up your electricity bill too much.