LED Grow Lights South Africa

LED lights are commonly used for growing marijuana indoors. Why is that? If you’re running an indoor grow operation at home, you could definitely benefit from using LED grow lights. Using LED grow lights will deliver high-quality plants and produce the best yields. We want to explain why you should use LED lights for growing cannabis and where you can find LED lights in South Africa.

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Image by @innocv44

The Popularity of Grow Lights in South Africa

Now that it’s legal to grow weed in South Africa, many people want to start growing their own bud to the best of their ability. If you want to grow high quality marijuana, you need to make sure that you understand how LED lights work when growing weed.

We’ve heard that LED lights are the future of growing cannabis indoors. So let’s get started and cover the A-Z of growing marijuana with LED lights.

6 Benefits of using LED Grow Lights to grow Cannabis

Using a LED grow light can be beneficial to the growth cycle of your plants. There are many benefits to using these lights for growing your buds, and we will explain why.

LED grow lights allow you to:

  • Switch up the colour spectrum which is beneficial for your plants
  • LED lights are energy efficient
  • Lower exposure to heat
  • LED lights have a better longevity
  • Save on water usage
  • Digital timers for growing weed
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Image by @kevin_craft_honor

How to manipulate the Colour Spectrum of my LED lights for the best growth

Plants benefit from different colours in the spectrum at different stages in their growing cycle. During the initial growth stage, blue grow lights are the best to use. Red lights are used when the time has come for your marijuana to begin flowering or budding.

To avoid using two different types of lights for different stages in the growing cycle (metal halide bulbs and high-pressure sodium bulbs), you should consider switching over to LED grow lights. This means that you’ll have the best of both worlds in one product – blue and red spectrum lights!

The use of LED grow lights will give your marijuana plant the right colour spectrum at each stage of the growth cycle. Normally, you can switch different bulbs on or off at different times in the growth cycle.

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Image by @growhort

LED Grow Lights are Energy Efficient

Using LED grow lights to grow your bud are much more economical than using traditional lights. LED lights can produce the same wattage as traditional lights, but the energy output of LED grow lights are half that of traditional bulbs. The use of LED grow lights will have the same effect on your sweet Mary-Jane’s growth, but your electricity bill won’t go through the roof.

Lower Exposure to Intense Heat

Marijuana is known to produce a lot of heat during its growth time. Metal Halide’s or high-pressure sodium bulbs also produce a lot of heat. The heat coming from the traditional bulbs and the the cannabis created a high-exposure heat environment, which quite frankly, can ruin the yield of your cannabis crops.

LED grow lights produce a very low amount of heat. So, the combination of very little heat from the LED lights and a lot of heat from the growing marijuana balances each other out. LED lights are a growing revolution and will protect your weed from potential overwhelming heat exposure.

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Image by @crecerlighting

The Longevity of LED Grow lights

LED lights will last you for years. Traditional lights are known to not last longer than 20 000 hours, whereas LED grow lights can last between 50 000 and 100 000 hours. You can do the calculations. LED lights will be the best cost-effective option. A good investment goes a long way.

Save the Water, Save the Plant

Since South Africa has recently had a lot of water restrictions, we still want to use as little water as we possibly can. Growing marijuana can take up a lot of water, especially in a grow space with CFL or HID grow lights. With LED lights, which gives off less heat, there isn’t a huge effect on the moisture in your growth room or on the soil of your plant.

Using LED lights will reduce the amount of water you use. All the moisture you will add to your growth operation will actually be used by your plants – reducing your water usage and ultimately saving you money.

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Image by @schrute_pharms

Digital Timers for each Grow Stage

You need the best tools possible if you want your growing operation to be successful. Digital timers are great for indoor growing. A digital timer is essential if you’re not at home all the time, because it will allow you to monitor your lights.

One of the best benefits of using a digital timer is that it’s convenient. Using a digital timer means that you don’t have to frequently monitor your lights and turn them off and on your own.

It is also the most accurate way of setting a specific time schedule for your plants. You can set the timer to follow the program you prefer, and it will automatically turn off the lights when necessary. During the vegetative stage, it is recommended that you turn on the lights for 18-24 hours. During the flowering stage, you should have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

 

South Africa: LED Indoor Grow Lights – Which factors should I consider when setting up my grow lights?

Now that you know why LED lights are the better choice for your indoor cannabis-growing operation, we can consider the important factors for setting up your lights. We will be looking at the following factors:

  • LED grow light wattage determines the distance from the top of the plant
  • Your light schedule during the different growth stages
  • Watts per plant for growing with LEDs

Distance of LED grow light from plant:

While LED lights don’t produce as much heat as normal lights, you still have to determine the right height of your light to not burn your plants. Different power ratings (watts) will perform best at different distances.

When you have a lower-powered light, like a 250 watt LED grow light you should keep it between 30 – 60 cm above the top of the canopy. Medium-range lights -between 600 and 900 watt- should be kept 35 – 75 cm from the top of your plants. Last, but not least, high-powered lights, such as 1500, 2000 or 3000 watt LED grow lights, should be raised 60 – 90 cm from the top of your canopy. When in doubt, further away would be the best rule to follow.

Guideline: LED Wattage vs Distance from the top of the canopy

  • 250 W | 30 – 60 centimetres
  • 450 W | 35 – 75 centimetres
  • 600 W | 35 – 90 centimetres
  • 900 W | 40 – 90 centimetres
  • 1500W + | 60 – 90 centimetres

Light Schedule for Cannabis Growth Stages

What do you need to know about the light schedule when using your LED lights in the vegetative and flowering stages of the growing process?

These light patterns mimic seasons which means that you can control when the flowering stage should start. Your cannabis plants won’t start flowering until they receive 12 hours of darkness each day.

This means they will continue staying in the vegetative stage until you add darkness to the grow space. You can keep your plants in the vegetative stage forever, as long as they will get more than 13 hours of light every day.

In the vegetative stage:

  • 18 hours of light (some growers do 24 hours)
  • 6 hours of dark

These are more commonly referred to as 18/6 schedule. Some growers decide to give their plants 24 hours of light a day, because a lot of light means they will reach their maximum potential quite fast.

During the flowering stage:

  • 12 hours of light
  • 12 hours of dark

The flowering stage are referred to as 12/12 light schedule.

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Image by @jurassicgenetix

LED Grow Lights, Watts and Grow Space

You want to make an informed decision before buying an indoor LED light. They can be quite expensive, so it is important to determine the size of your grow space. 400-600W per square meter is more than enough light for when you’re growing at home.

For a home scale operation, you could even use LED lights with a wattage of between 250 – 300 watts. This will definitely affect your yield, but we all know how expensive LED lights can be. This will still work in a small space, so it will still be worth it to get a light with lower wattage.

Commercial growers might use 1000W+ to get a maximum yield. Just take note that the more lamps you add, the more heat will be produced. This is not great for the quality and growth progress of your cannabis crops.

Another important factor to consider, is actual wattage versus advertised wattage. Advertised wattage (LED Watts) is determined by multiplying the number of diodes by theoretical wattage. Let’s use an example: 192 X 5 Watt diodes = 960 LED Watts.

The actual wattage (actual power, power consumption or power output) you will get from your LED light will be listed under the product’s power output specification. In this example, the actual wattage for this product is listed as 450 Watts.

Why you should invest in Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights in South Africa

You might see people advertising grow lights referred to as full spectrum LED grow lights. Why are these specific LED lights important to use when growing weed?

A lot of people grow their plants (and their cannabis) outside with exposure to natural sunlight. Sunlight includes all the various spectrums of light needed for the process of photorespiration to take place – like ultraviolet and infrared.

Full spectrum lights are specifically designed to imitate natural outdoor sunlight so that you can grow happy, healthy plants that will help yield better harvests. They are made to include most wavelengths needed for plants to develop to their full capacity.

The best full spectrum grow light would replicate the light spectrum of the sun and allow you to adjust the light intensity to your needs. A full spectrum grow light would be the best to buy, because you can use it through the whole plant life cycle instead of switching between different grow lights for each stage.

The best Full Spectrum grow lights available in South Africa

We have reviewed some of the best grow lights available in South Africa to help you make an informed choice.

Mars Hydro Reflector 48 – LED Grow Light Review

If you’re buying in South Africa, Mars Hydro would be one of the brands you want to take a look at. If you’re looking for a small and affordable option for a small indoor growing space, this might be a good option to consider. The Mars Hydro Reflector 48 is a favourite among first time growers, since it’s relatively cheap and offers a decent yield for the price.

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Each individual diode is surrounded by a reflector that collects and fuses 99% of the light to mix and spread as efficiently as possible. This grow light would be perfect for grow tents or other small, enclosed spaces.

It’s driven by 5W diodes that are highly energy efficient and comes with a switchable mode so you can change the intensity of the light.

Useful Specs of Mars Hydro Reflector 48

  • Actual Watts: 150W
  • Coverage Area: 60cm x 60cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Mars Hydro Reflector 192 LED

Another affordable product from Mars Hydro – this full spectrum LED grow light incorporates 192 5-watt LED chips. These chips emit white light – a new important feature of full spectrum lights that should be included when growing cannabis indoors.

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All Mars Hydro lights includes switches for the different growing stages. These are called “Grow and Bloom” switches. In the vegetative phase, this grow light will work on 250 watts. During the flowering phase, it’s recommended that both switch modes are kept on to get to a total power usage of around 390 watts. We suggest that you use this light in a 1.2m x 1.2m space.

Useful Specs of Mars Hydro Reflector 192 LED

  • Actual Watts: 450W
  • Coverage Area: 122cm x 122cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Mars II 400W LED Full Spectrum grow light

 This competitively priced light is perfect for a 0.7m x 0.7 m space. That is the core coverage for this specific product, but the maximum coverage is 1.3m x 1.3m. It includes full spectrum coverage for all the growing stages.

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Although this product doesn’t include reflector cups or CREE chips, it is still a great quality product. Because it doesn’t have UV in the spectrum, it would be helpful to add a bit of UV light yourself to optimize the yields of your harvest.

The light is very bright, and it offers separate bloom and grow switches. For the price, this is an excellent full spectrum grow light for beginner indoor growers.

Useful Specs of Mars II 400 LED

  • Actual Watts: 190-206 watts
  • Coverage Area: 76cm x 76cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Mars II 1600W LED grow light

If you want to reduce the cost of growing, while still getting the best harvest from your cannabis plants, this grow light can become your new favourite. It uses one third of the power traditional grow lights would normally use, making this an energy-efficient product that will be beneficial to your expenses when growing marijuana.

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The remarkable yield you’ll get from using this light will make it worth the initial expense. Mars 1600W LED grow light have 6 different LED wavelengths, making this product ideal for both growth and bloom mode.

This grow light will easily cover a 1.28m x 1.28m grow space. It’s very easy to set up with its plug and play features, meaning that you can easily switch the lights between growth and bloom mode. All in all, this powerful indoor light is one of our favourites.

Useful Specs of Mars II 1600W LED

  • Actual Watts: 735-755 watts
  • Coverage Area: 128cm x 128 cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Spectrum King Closet Case 140W Indoor Grow Light

If you only have a small space like a closet or a tent to grow your cannabis, its best to save on your electricity bill as well. Spectrum King has designed the closet case indoor grow light to work for both growth and flowering stages of your growing process.

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This 140W LED grow light is specifically designed to reduce the cost of growing marijuana. There’s no need to switch out the lights, this indoor grow light will support your plants growth from seed to harvest period.

This grow light is suitable for wet and humid environments and has 90-degree reflectors specifically designed to distribute the light as evenly as possible. So if you’re aiming for a small grow space and shorter plants, this would be a good indoor light to consider.

Useful Specs of SK Closet Case 140W

  • Actual Watts: 140 watts
  • Coverage Area: 60cm x 60cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Spectrum King Mother’s Little Helper (MLH) 140W

In need of a very small space to grow your weed? The Spectrum King Closet Case and MLH are specifically designed for small closet spaces and tents. This is a great light if you’re aiming for strong growth.

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This light can be used for the vegetative and mother plants -seedlings and clones. It’s very similar to the Spectrum King Closet Case product, but it can’t be used from seed to harvest period. We’d advise you to use the light in a 1.2m x 1.2m space.

Useful Specs of SK MLH 140W

  • Actual Watts: 140 watts
  • Coverage Area: 121cm x 121cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Spectrum King 402 grow light 460W

Spectrum King’s 402 model growing light is covered by a white coating that will offer better intensity on the outer edge of your canopy. The white light spectrum is powered by Cree LEDs and it can be used in both stages of the growing process.

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It uses half the wattage of previously used HPS lights, but produces a very similar light intensity. What’s good to know about this grow light is that it great for greenhouse lighting. This product uses less energy and less heat, which saves you money while growing your favourite strain.

Useful Specs of SK 402 460W

  • Actual Watts: 460 watts
  • Coverage Area: 123cm x 123cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

SK 602 Full Spectrum Light 640W

Spectrum King are one of our favourites, since it is waterproof and has a dimming switch to control the light intensity. It only uses 640W power and can light up your plants in an area of 2.4 x 2.4 m during the vegetative stage and 1.5 x 1.5m during the flower stage.

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With the low power consumption taken into consideration, it compares quite well when comparing the yields and quality of plants produced under these lights. The full spectrum light stimulates higher nutrient uptake, meaning that you’ll have happy, healthy plants and an increased yield.

Useful Specs of SK 602 640W

  • Actual Watts: 610W – 640W
  • Coverage Area: 243cm x 243cm (growth) and 152cm x 152cm (bloom)
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Grow Light G4 720W COB light

These G-series grow lights or COB lights from GrowGuru uses new LED light technology for plant lighting. COB LEDs are perfect for every stage of growth and is a great replacement for traditional HID lights.

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COB lights are designed to achieve optimal light proportion using an improved colour uniformity and luminous efficiency. These grow lights can produce an exceptional amount of light without using too much power. It is on the expensive side, making this an option for growers who know exactly what they need to grow good weed.

Although this is a 720W light, it only draws around 300W. The minimum coverage for this LED light is for an area of 0.8 x 0.8m and maximum coverage reaches 1.6 x 1.6m. If your plants are in the flowering stage, this product would work the best in a 1x1m area.

Useful Specs of SK 602 640W

  • Actual Watts: 300 watt
  • Coverage Area: 90cm x 90cm
  • Hanging distance: 60cm-75cm (seedling) | 45cm-60cm (growth) | 30cm-45cm (bloom)

Major Tech 8 Setting Digital Timer

Digital timers will help keep your lights on the correct on/off schedule in your grow environment. It can be used on many other appliances, but for convenience and accuracy, we would recommend buying a digital timer for your grow operation.

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  • This digital timer is user-friendly and easy to operate
  • It has a built-in rechargeable battery – this means you won’t lose your real time clock or programmed settings in the case of a power failure
  • Back-up battery lasts 100 hours

LED Grow Lights Suppliers South Africa

The type of LED grow lights we’ll need for growing cannabis are quite hard to find at walk-in stores. We have compiled a list of South African online stores where you can find the best grow lights to fit your needs:

  • Hydroponic
  • Growguru
  • Hydro Herb Africa
  • Vapestore
  • Aeradix
  • Weed Culture

Final Thoughts

We hope that you are a little bit more clued up on the benefits of using LED grow lights when growing your sweet Mary-Jane. They are energy-efficient, offer low heat-exposure and they’re a great long term investment. So, if you know how much space you have available, you can easily determine which LED light would be the best for your set-up.

For greater cannabis yields and high quality buds, LED grow lights are the way to go. With LEDs you’ll be winning all the way – happy growing!

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