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Growing Tips for Indoor LED Grow Lights
Use your G8LED grow lights properly for optimum growth and maximum yield. The biggest mistakes people make with LEDs are not having enough light and not placing the light at the proper distance. If you do not provide enough light, your plants will not grow to their full potential. Similarly, incorrect light placement will also not allow plants to grow to their full potential. Placing a light too close will stunt growth, too far will cause stretching. Follow the recommended coverage areas listed on the Details Page of each light for optimal light penetration and coverage. Keep in mind that there are many variables to indoor growing with lighting being one of the most critical.
Distance to hang G8LED Grow Lights from the top of the plant canopy:
As your plants grow and reach for the light, raise the light to keep the distance between the plants and light fairly constant. If you want the plants to stretch, continue raising the light as the plants grow. The plants will reach for the light source and grow taller. Stop raising the light when you do not want more length or when flowering. For shorter, bushier plants decrease the distance. If you keep the distance fixed, the plants will find an equilibrium height and grow wider and denser. If the light is too close it may be too intense and stunt growth and create discoloring. Follow the recommended distances and adjust as necessary. The distance can be kept constant during flowering. The 90 Watt Red Flower Booster is added at the same level as the Veg/Flower lights when the light cycle is changed to 12-12.
G8LED grow lights allow the plants to photosynthesize and grow more efficiently than other light sources. If you do give nutrients to your plants, reduce feeding by 30% when growing with LED grow lights.
G8LED grow lights give off only 10% of the heat that an HID bulb such as metal halide (MH) or high-pressure sodium (HPS). The lower heat output also means there will be less water evaporation and less need for watering. If growing in soil, water your plants on when the soil is dry (every 2-4 days) to avoid roots rotting.
G8LEDs have a lower heat output. It is easier to regulate grow room temperatures and the temperature immediately below the light. Ambient room temperature should be below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (ideally 82-85 degrees) and as low as 72 degrees when the lights are on. Temperatures will be lower during the off period when the lights are not in use.
Let the plants rest. Plants need dark time to rest so they can more effectively photosynthesize light energy to grow during the light hours. Minimize working on the plants during the off cycle and avoid light intrusion into your grow room.
During the vegetative stage is when you will start to reap the benefits of your LED grow lights. During this period you will save on your electricity bills and get superior growing results if you properly follow the general tips listed in this section. In the vegetative stage, plants need less intense lighting than in the flowering stage.
Vegetative growth is maintained with 16 or more hours of light. You can even keep the plants under 24 hours of light and they will continue to grow at this stage. However, the recommended growth cycle is 18 hours of light during the vegetative growth stage. This light cycle will create an environment that mimics the photoperiod in the summer with long days. It is during the vegetative growth stage that cloning, transplanting, pruning, and bending are all initiated.
Turn your LED grow light ON for 18 hours a day and then turn the light OFF and leave your plant in the dark for another 6 hours. Your plant will need four to six weeks of this cycle to be ready to start the flowering stage. Pre-flowers are the first indication that the plant is ready to move into the next stage of growth. The pre-flowers grow at branch internodes just behind the leaf spur in around the fourth week of vegetative growth, when the plant is six to eight weeks old. When you start seeing pre-flowers forming this means that the plants are ready to go into the flowering stage. You can continue to grow in the vegetative growth stage or switch to flowering at this point. The pre-flower looks like a regular female flower with white fuzzy pistils. The pre-flowering can take from one to two weeks. Wait to induce flowering until pre-flowers have appeared. Induce flowering by switching your light cycle to 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light.
With LED grow lights we mimic the seasons by changing the light cycle from 18 hours a day to 12 hours for flowering. Give your plants 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light to induce visible signs of flowering in two weeks or less. Adding more light to the plants also increases flowering size and yield. It is recommended to add an all red 90 watt led grow light at this stage for more robust flowering.
Once you have induced flowering for one to two weeks and flowering starts, it can last can last eight weeks or longer. During flowering, growth patterns and chemical changes in the plants are apparent (i.e. indoor growing flowering stages). Stems elongate, leaves grow progressively fewer blades and flower formation is rapid at first then slows. Phosphorus and potassium uptake increase to promote floral formation. Your nutrients should have less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus during flowering. Don’t give nutrients too often as this can cause your plant to get nutrient burned. You should use about 30% fewer nutrients with LED flowering grow lights as compared to MH/HPS systems. Do not overwater, over-feed, and do not harvest too early.
LED grow lights are great for cloning plants. Proper usage of LED grow lights will multiply the number of plants you have in a methodical and environmentally friendly way. Cloning requires only 2-3 weeks in the vegetative state. Use an 18-20 hour ON cycle for your clone and spray it with water intermittently. As with the vegetative state, when your plants are seedlings the light should be at the recommended hanging distance. As the plants start to grow, adjust the light upwards a few inches at a time.