Horticultural LED Grow Lights for Cannabis

Feb 21, 2024

Horticulture products for home use are getting a lot of buzz right now, thanks to the recent change in Ohio cannabis laws. The passage of Issue 2 in November opened the door for our neighbors to take their home growing efforts out of the closet – and we’re excited to share our horticulture lighting expertise with you!

Whether you’re looking to invest in commercial grow lights for large-scale crops that supply dispensaries or you simply want a couple of plants for your own supply, our LED horticulture products can level up your harvest while keeping ambient heat and your utility bills in check.

Let’s dig into how horticulture LED grow lights can help you cultivate the fattest, tastiest buds!

How to Set Up Horticulture Lighting for Growing Cannabis

The ideal horticultural lighting setup depends on several factors, including:

  • The size of your space
  • The light intensity required for a particular cannabis strain
  • The stage of growth your plants are experiencing
  • Your budget and energy usage concerns

Considering all those factors, a basic setup should include a minimum of two light sources: a top light and a supplemental light source. Let’s look at each more closely.

The Horticulture Top Light

In general, start with an overhead light – aka the top light – that showers your plants with the full spectrum of light. Its sun-like intensity feeds your plants, promoting speedy growth and, eventually, hefty bud production.

Our HTM Series Horticulture Top Light is an excellent choice for small-scale growing because it features:

  • A generous 4-foot width and easy daisy-chain connections for expansion
  • Durable and lightweight design
  • Powerful photosynthetic photon flux – PPF – for max growth
  • Industry-leading energy efficiency, aka PPE
  • Zero warmup time
  • A 50,000-hour rated lifespan
  • Wet location rating
  • A balanced blend of blue, green and red light wavelengths
  • A red light peak for robust photosynthesis
  • A blue light peak for healthier, more compact plants
  • A stable amount of green light to facilitate plant checkups without supplemental lights

The TCP Horticulture LED Starlight is another solid top light choice, especially if you’ve got a very small grow space. It delivers the same full spectrum light with peaks of red and blue wavelengths for maximum photosynthetic photon efficiency as our larger Horticulture Top Light. This LED grow light also brings you:

  • A compact size
  • Broad 110° beam angle
  • Clamp-mounted fixture option for maximum positioning flexibility

Supplemental Horticulture Lighting

Adding a supplemental (secondary) light source at the side of your plants (or between them) helps ensure thick, bushy growth while avoiding long, spindly branches. Thicker plants equal higher yields of juicier buds, so these lights are important!

The best supplemental horticulture lighting delivers a spike of red or far-red light wavelengths because they’re heavy-hitting growth stimulators. TCP’s Horticulture LED Vapor Tight Series gives you options for great supplemental grow lights – or top lights.

Why choose Vapor Tight for your horticulture lighting? It’s available with the TCP SmartStuff SmartBox installed from the factory – which allows you to:

  • Schedule day and night cycles from your digital device
  • Save multiple PPF lighting scenarios to your account, eliminating the need to manually adjust light mounting heights for different growth cycles
  • Control lights via Bluetooth, regardless of Wi-Fi availability
  • Maintain security with your programmed lighting locked into your account

Other benefits these lights deliver include:

  • 2 light spectrum choices: Full spectrum for all-purpose horticulture applications and a strong red light peak for supplemental LED grow lights
  • Durable, lightweight plastic housing
  • High efficiency and powerful PPF
  • Zero warmup time
  • Long 50,000-hour rated lifespan

All-In-One Horticulture Products for Fast Setup

If you want to get your cannabis horticulture lighting up and running quickly, consider TCP LED Grow Light Kits that include everything you need:

  • 2-foot (50-watt) and 4-foot (100-watt) options
  • Full spectrum grow light with distinct red and blue light peaks
  • 120° beam angle and stellar PPE
  • Chain hanging kit
  • 6-foot cord
  • Fabric grow bag
  • 24-hour mechanical timer

How Much Light Does Cannabis Need to Grow Indoors?

Marijuana plants do best under actual daylight. They need the full spectrum of light for overall growth, but a boost in certain wavelengths of light helps them achieve thicker density and higher bud production.

Adding far-red horticulture lights to your full-spectrum setup taps into the plant’s natural shade-avoidance response. When a plant senses the presence of far-red photons, it perceives it as shade. This sparks a search for more light, which results in a growth spurt of longer stems and broader leaves. The far red wavelengths also boost photosynthesis efficiency – which means you get bigger crop yields and shorter production times.

How Many Hours a Day Should You Use Grow Lights?

To germinate, cannabis seeds need only moisture, heat and alone time. Once the taproot emerges, make sure the overhead light source is about 24 inches above the soil surface and keep the lights on for 10 to 12 hours a day. To get the best start for seedlings, LED grow lights that include the far red spectrum offer tender, loving horticulture care.

In the vegetative stage – aka the fast-growing phase of leaf and stem development – your plants need long stretches of daylight and very short dark periods. A minimum of 13 hours of full-spectrum light is a must, but many home growers prefer the 18/6 schedule, meaning 18-hour days and 6-hour nights.

The budding stage tends to be the most important for cannabis growers, for obvious reasons. Marijuana plants begin to bud when they are deprived of all light for at least 12 hours every day. Keep on the 12/12 schedule – 12 hours of full LED grow light illumination followed by 12 hours of total darkness – until the buds are ready to harvest. This could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 5 months, depending on the strain you’re growing.

How Close Do Grow Lights Need to Be to House Plants?

The answer here is similar to determining how much light your plants need – it depends on which stage they’re in. One quick definition: Plant canopy refers to the tallest leaves on your pot plants.

Seedlings need room to stretch their tender tendrils, so keep the lights a solid 24 to 36 inches above those babies.

The fast-growing vegetative stage requires more intense light to set your plants up for more robust buds. You’ll only need 12 to 24 inches between the canopy and your horticultural LED grow lights during this period. Pro tip: Growth happens quickly in this stage, so keep an eye out for discoloration, bleached-out leaves and irregular growth – which are signs that you need to adjust your horticulture lighting a bit higher.

As you transition into the budding or flowering stage, gradually raise the lights to a height of 16 to 36 inches above the canopy. If you’re taking cuttings from your mature cannabis plants for cloning, treat the clones like vegetative plants. Gradually move your LED grow light source closer – to a distance of 12 to 24 inches above the canopy – to help establish a strong root base.

Why LEDs Are the Best Horticultural Grow Lights at Home

All this talk of the horticulture products that go into a top-notch home grow setup might seem like a lot. But choosing the right LED grow lights for your situation really boils down to two elements we touched on earlier: the size of your space and your concerns about budget and energy use.

LED horticulture lighting from TCP has your back here. Want 5 good reasons to choose TCP’s horticulture products to light up your best crop yet? Here you go:

  1. Efficient full-spectrum coverage – LED horticulture lights surpass most other options in delivering strong, full-spectrum light at optimal efficiency for plant growth.
  2. Far-red wavelengths – Recent research reveals that a boost of far red wavelengths amp up photosynthesis and overall plant mass, and LEDs are one of few light sources that deliver them.
  3. Fast and easy installation – TCP horticulture lighting arrives ready to quickly hang and plug in or easily wire into your household electricity. Plus, the HTM Series features a quick-connect daisy-chain system for speedy expansion.
  4. Low maintenance and replacement costs – All TCP horticulture LED grow lights are designed to deliver superior light with zero maintenance concerns for up to 50,000 hours.
  5. Low heat output and energy use – LEDs stay much cooler than incandescents and metal halide bulbs, eliminating the need for a cooling system. Nor will LEDs heat up your utility bills, as they use up to 75% less energy than other grow light options.

Horticulture Lighting by TCP

Ready to watch your seedlings morph into the sickest buds under our top-quality LED grow lights? Let’s do it! Check out all the TCP horticulture lighting options – then go for it! You’ve got one of the coolest residential lighting manufacturers helping you get started growing fat, bushy pot plants today.

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