Growing your plant indoors requires getting a lot of things done right. One of the biggest aspects of those things deals with the use of grow lights. Over the course of this article, we will take a closer look at what grow lights are and what is the importance of using grow lights when it comes to growing marijuana indoors, as well as the best tips on how to hang your grow lights in six easy steps.
We will also take a closer look at things that every grower needs to keep in mind while they use grow lights to grow marijuana. Before we conclude, we look at which type of grow lights are the best for cannabis/marijuana plants. By the end of this article, we hope that you will be able to make sure that your grow light has been properly set up and has been hung well as per your needs and as per your plant’s needs!
What are Grow Lights?
Before we head into grow lights, let us first understand the indoor growing setup. When you grow your marijuana outdoors, you are leaving it at the sheer mercy of nature. If the weather is good and the rain is good and the sunlight is good, your plants will grow well. However, if any one of these factors goes bad, or if insects or pests attack the growing area, you’re going to have quite a problem dealing with it. None of this matters when it comes to an indoor growing setup because it is a much more controlled environment. Grow lights are one of the most critical aspects of the indoor growing setup.
This is because the basic job of grow lights is to replace the earth’s yellow sun! Since you do not provide the natural sunlight in an indoor setup, grow lights have to replicate the job of the sun – i.e. providing heat and light to the plants. Let us now take a closer look as to why grow lights are important:
Importance of Grow Lights
Grow lights are important because (as stated above) they replace the sunlight in an indoors environment. Grow lights provide heat and light – and these are the two elements which are the most important for growth. Your plants grow towards the direction of the sunlight – and that is a natural phenomenon because sunlight helps the plants in multiple functions. The light helps them in photosynthesis, which is the process of converting sunlight into energy for the plants.
Furthermore, sunlight also helps the plants in producing essential pigments such as chlorophyll and the heat that comes from the sun helps the plants transpire by opening the stomata. Hence, there’s a lot that the plants have to depend on sunlight for – and using grow lights, you are basically facilitating your marjiuana plants in getting a proper, almost natural, growth environment.
How to Hang Grow Lights in Six Easy Steps
Knowing about grow lights and buying grow lights is a job half-done. It is critical for growers to understand how to hang grow lights to the best of their needs. A grow light that hasn’t been hung properly is counter-productive to the growth of your marijuana plants as it might even end up damaging the plants, or worse, it might actually fall on the plants and get damaged/damage the plants. Hence, you need to know how to hang your grow light really well!
Without further ado, let us now take a closer look at how to hang grow lights in 6 easy steps:
Step 1: Deciding on the Right Spot
This is one of the key things that needs to be done before you begin hanging your lights. Grow lights are usually hung from the ceiling and you need to know which is the exact place where you want to hang your grow lights from. Always know that you should make use of studs for hanging your grow lights and not random hooks because they offer a much safer and sturdier option. Making use of a stud finder, you need to ensure that you’ve found just the perfect place in your ceiling where you’ll be making use of studs to hang your grow lights. Mark the place once you’ve identified it.
Step 2: Drilling Holes in the Wall
Now that you have identified and marked the places where you are going to drill holes to get the grow lights hung from, you can begin to drill pilot holes into the ceiling. Basically, on these holes, you’re going to attach a joist, from which your grow lights will be hung. Make sure you know just the right size of the joist and drill the holes accordingly.
Step 3: Installing the Joist or Hooks on to the Ceiling
Now that you have identified where you want to hang your lights and drilled the holes to attach the joist on to the ceiling, you would now need to fix the joist on to the ceiling. Joists are useful only for those who want to use a light-reflector combo. This is because the light-reflector combo weighs between 10 to 20 pounds and needs a sturdy surface to hang it on. Others prefer using hooks to hang lights directly.
The wooden joists can be installed on to the ceiling using joist frames and hangers. After you have set up the joist frames and installed them on to your ceiling, you can now use hook screws on these joists so that you can now hang your light reflector using the combo of multiple hooks so that it can support the heavy weight.
However, this was for those who wanted to set up a light-reflector combo which is a rather heavy setup. If you intend on using single grow lights instead, then you do not require the joist setup at all and can simply hang the lights from your ceiling using hooks that can be directly drilled on. Just make sure that the hook screw that you will be using to hang the light is tightly screwed on to the ceiling by moving it clockwise and applying pressure to the movement.
Step 4: Setting up of Rope Ratchets/Yo Yo Hangers
Once you have finished installing your joists or screwing your hooks on the ceiling, the next step is that of setting up ratchets and hangers depending on your needs. Rope ratchets will help you adjust the height of your grow light as and when the need changes. Basically, you can elongate the size of your rope to bring the light closer to the plant to provide more light and heat, while you can move it up and shorten the rope so that it provides lesser heat to the plants.
Depending on what phase of the growth cycle the plants are, they require different amounts of light and heat (and even darkness). Hence, using a rope ratchet is the best way to ensure you can move the lights up or down as per the requirement of the plant. Alternatively, you can also make use of yo-yo hangers which can get the same job done of adjusting the height of the grow light with ease.
A pro-tip for those looking forward to buying a rope ratchet online, look at the size of the rope. Most options that you get online are either ⅛ inches or ¼ inches of nylon rope ratchet. For the mathematically challenged, ⅛ is actually thinner than ¼. The thinner variant of the rope ratchet is good for those who are planning to hang light-weight grow lights or single grow lights. However, in case you are looking forward to hanging something along with your grow light which is heavier in size, such as a reflector or a carbon filter, you should ideally look for the thicker rope ratchet (¼ nylon rope ratchet).
Step 5: Hanging the Light
Now that all the preparation work has been done and the setup is ready, here comes the actual thing – hanging the grow lights on to the setup that you have prepared. On the grow lights, there are spots which can be attached to the hooks. Find them and attach the hooks to the spots. If your grow light has spots for multiple hooks, just make sure that you have attached all of them correctly and all the ropes and the hooks are at the same level so that the light is evenly balanced. Ta Da! Your light is now hung.
Step 6: Adjusting the Height of the Light
Finally, you have done everything. The joists have been drilled, the hooks and ratchets have been attached and the light has been hooked on to the setup. Now, the one last thing that you need to do is to ensure that you are adjusting the height of the light properly. This is a very important step and if you happen to make a mistake here, it could prove rather problematic because the distance of your light from the plants is what is responsible for a good growth.
Hang your light too far, and the plant might grow slow or stunted. Hang your lights too close and you risk burning out the plant. Hence, depending on the type of light that you are using, the type of equipment that you are using along with your grow lights, as well as the growth phase that the plant is in, you need to keep the light at just the right height. Make sure you’ve done sufficient research on how far the light should be from your plant before you switch the setup on for growth!
We hope that this article helped you understand how to hang your grow light on to your ceiling. If you follow these six easy steps, you will be able to attach the lights on to your setup with great ease and you won’t face any problems while any phases of the growth. Do let us know if you have any pro-tips or if you think we’ve missed out on anything! Till then…