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6 Common Lighting Mistakes

For many people, as cannabis becomes legalized nationwide, the idea of growing your cannabis is tempting. There are many benefits to growing in your home, and they are pretty obvious. The cost savings alone is enough to make some people put that first seed in the soil. Growing cannabis at home is not new because of legalization; people have been growing it medicinally and recreationally for years.

Many home cannabis growers do well and produce a decent product, but it's not that easy; their plants sometimes wither away fast or produce little yields. But, of course, no one said farming is easy; otherwise, way more people would be farming their land.

The issues cannabis growers face, more often than not, can be related to mistakes with their lighting. As we all know, plants need light and water; light is a plant's lifeline. Remember, mistakes will happen if the lighting isn't used currently; in the end, it will be harmful to your plants.

The Science Part

Let's get the tricky part over early, aka the science. We all learned early on in science class that light is crucial to aiding in photosynthesis, which all plants require to grow, and cannabis is no exception.

One of the trickier cannabis plants to grow is photoperiod cannabis. This non-autoflowering plant requires as much as 16 hours or more when they are in the vegetative stage of growth.

As the seasons change, the plant's light requirements once it hits the flowering stage require about 12 hours a day.

The female cannabis plants that haven't been pollinated naturally know to shift their energy towards the light-producing exceptional cannabis buds. If the plants don't receive that signal, they won't know how to distribute the energy from the sun, and your buds will end up smaller than they usually would.

If you have started your home growing, be sure the lights not only replicate the sun's rays, but they also should shine on the same natural schedule.

Continue to learn six lighting mistakes you don't want to make as you continue your cannabis grow journey.

1. Maintain Your Bulbs

Failing to swap your bulbs often enough is a major no-no. However, we all know that we aren't going anywhere when our gas tank is empty and a plant's gas is light. So to maintain optimal lighting, change your bulbs at least every third yield. As with anything that gets old, bulbs are no different; eventually, the quality will worsen and aid in photosynthesis.

Pro tip: Be sure to avoid touching the bulbs. The oils on your fingertips can stain the bulbs' surface and could shorten your lights' lifespan; frequent contact with the bulbs could lead to them exploding, so watch your fingers.

2. Relying Solely On The Lights For Success

Putting all your eggs in one basket typically is a gamble. Many growers focus so much on the lights, bulbs, and power. They forget that humidity, CO2, watering, lighting, temperature and watering cycles are part of the entire package. Remembering to follow through on all aspects is necessary to produce a successful yield.

3. Enough Power

Many new growers won't get in contact with an electrician before buying their equipment. Or, they might purchase products based on their own assumptions, not actual research. So whether you are growing at home in your closet, your basement, or a separate building, be sure to know what your voltage and amperage are when you install your pumps, fans, lamps and other equipment — it’ll ultimately affect power requirements. Also, be sure to read info about the manufacturer's electrical consumption to avoid wasting an entire grow season and your seeds!

4. Ignoring The Manuals

Whether you find your grow lights online at a specialized site, on Amazon, or decide to use a lighting supplier, you must read the user manuals and read all the reviews regarding your lighting options to learn how to best adapt them. For example, some lights work best when close to the grow tent while others need to be further away; manuals will provide the recommended distance to ensure your lighting is efficient and produces a full yield. Not to mention, if you aren't following what is recommended, the result is wasted money, electricity, and minimal crop.

5. Overwatering

Remember that if you choose to use LED lights to enhance your yield, your plants will not need as much water because the LED provides less heat and won't dry out your soil like plants placed in HID light. Overwatering the plant can cause errors in the plant grow cycle; you might be left with rotting soil.

Keep in mind that overwatering can be the catalyst in the development of pests and disease and if you are growing in your home, be sure to avoid overwatering the plant.

6. Stay Up To Date With Tech

Last but not least, help yourself by staying up to date with the technology. So many distributors and even websites will try to get you to buy the newest item and accessories. Having so much information at our hands is a blessing and curse; educate yourself and don't purchase anything that doesn't have a track record or reviews as a resource.

If you decide to take a risk on a new product, hoping you might have found a solution for your biggest yield yet, test it on a smaller batch before you roll it out on all your plants.

In The End

Whether you are a beginner or have been growing for some time, it doesn't take long to realize that you will find a contradiction to every cannabis lighting point that you see. However, every supplier and grower is an expert, so it is suggested that you keep a notebook and track what works. As you continue to try and find out what works, you will stop spending money blindly on products that you aren't sure will produce a better crop.

Most growers agree that when you are just starting, research, reading, and trial and error are the best ways to find what will work for the cannabis plant(s) that you are growing.

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