Future Proof Your Grow

If you want to choose a light you won’t have to replace in a few years, there are two main components to look at: spectrum and LM90.

The first step is finding a light you won’t want to replace. Over the past decade, the popular spectrum for cannabis has changed dramatically and is still hotly debated. Every year, new research about the most effective color recipe emerges, and some of the long standing practices evolve.

Cultivators have been using the bluer CMH bulbs and redder HPS to give each stage of cannabis exactly the spectrum recipe it needs, and now with LEDs those spectrum are available in lights that target specific stages. Cultivators now have specialty spectrum for clone, veg, flower, and a high-blue finish that increases terpene retention and cannabinoid production. With all these new developments, it is important to have a light that can keep up with the latest research. A fixed spectrum light is bound to become obsolete, while a programmable spectrum can adapt and keep the competitive edge.

Now that you’ve ensured you won’t want to replace your light, next make sure you won’t have to.

The easiest measurement of a light’s longevity is the LM90, which is the number of hours until a light has dropped to 90% of original brightness. Losing 10% of brightness in a cultivation room is a significant loss in profits, and at this time lights should be replaced. A good LM90 is at least 100,000 hours, but higher is preferable. Some companies will try to report a LM80 to make the number look higher, so make sure to look carefully. 

Checking these two measurements will keep you from tearing your new lights down in just a few years, and ensure you get the highest profit for your investment.