Indoor Cannabis Lighting: PPF, PPFD, PAR, Lumens, Foot Candles, LUX

Growing plants yourself is a kind of task, and without knowing everything about it, things might get difficult at some point in time. If you are thinking of growing cannabis indoors, then it becomes more difficult as you must understand the proper lighting conditions, soil to use, nutrients you need to give to the plant and many more.

PPFD, PAR, Lumens and Foot-Candle For Growing Cannabis

As we said above, PPFD is a measurement of light, and so does PAR. One can measure lighting conditions in various ways, and you must know about them too. Below we have shared some more ways to measure lights and how they can be used to grow cannabis plants in the best possible way.

PPF – Photosynthetic Photon Flux is the most important light to measure as it directly affects the growth and lifespan of plants. The higher the PPF level, the more light is transmitted to the plants. Various guides on the internet teach you the calculation of PPF based on the area, shape and size of your plants.

PPFD – The PPFD measurement shows us the total PAR that is being delivered to a specific area per second. By using this measurement, you can take the necessary steps to control the lighting condition of your plant. Distance between the light and the plant will affect the PPFD levels, so always have a look at this reading while growing your plants.

PAR – PAR means Photosynthetic Active Radiation, and as the name says, this measurement describes the wavelengths of light. There are meters available specially to measure PAR, but you can also use a spectroradiometer to measure it.

Lumens – This measurement lets us know how much light is being transmitted by the source. It is crucial to understand this factor of measurement because you will have to control the transmitted light if it is above the recommended range for the plant. You can calculate the lumens by using the Lux x Area formula.

Foot Candle – It measures the brightness illuminated by the bulbs, not the levels. To find out the density of light a plant must get at different points in time, you can refer to this measuring method. For instance, 1 lumen of brightness per square foot is equal to 1 foot-candle, and you can use an electric light meter to measure that.

LUX – Lux is a measurement of how much light the surface receives. 1 foot-candle is equal to 10.76 Lux and measured in square meters. It can also be measured by using an electric meter, but both Lux and Foot Candle must not be the only measurement you must do to check the lighting levels of your plants.

Don’t worry because we have mentioned everything about the lighting in this post, and you can read it till the end if you want to know more about cannabis PPFD. From the meaning of PPFD to its uses, levels, and best practices, this post can guide you from zero to hero about the lights you need to grow your cannabis plant at different stages.

What Does Cannabis PPFD Refer To?

PPFD means Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, and this refers to the amount of light that is delivered to the plant at a certain point in time. It is typically measured in units of micromoles per square meter per second (µmol/m²/s), and you must know about it if you are thinking of growing cannabis plants indoors without the touch of sunlight.

Just like sunlight, the LED lights used in the cultivation of indoor plants emit certain energy for the photosynthesis process. By controlling this energy and even the color of light, you can change how your cannabis strain turns out. You can read more about certain LED lights on their manufacturer’s website and the PPFD output they produce.

Cannabis PPFD Requirements

Depending on the type of plant and strain you are growing, you can adjust the PPFD levels manually. If you are growing flowering or fruiting plants, then the PPFD levels must be higher, while for leafy plants, they must be low. According to some reports, if you only give PPFD lights to the plants, then their growth might be limited, so it is suggested to give CO2 supplements to the plants.

If you give an optimal amount of both CO2 and PPFD light, then your cannabis plants can withstand up to 2,100 µMol/m2/S PPFD and 36° C temperature easily. This will increase the overall yield of your plants by 20-30%, and they will grow much faster than before.

Different Cannabis PPFD Stages and Levels Chart

You can use the PPFD measurements to optimise the lighting conditions of the facilities where you are growing the cannabis plant. By measuring PPFD levels at different points in the grow room, you can ensure that your plants are receiving the right amount of light for optimal growth. Not only proper lighting conditions and the amount will help you in growing the plants faster, but it will also improve the quality and yield of the plants.

Cannabis PPFD Seedling

During the seedling stage, you must give BLUE light to the plant as it is a very crucial and important time that decides the fate of your seeds. It is proven that giving 400-550nm blue light to the seedlings increases chlorophyll production and healthy root development. Blue light inhibits internode elongation, which is very beneficial for plants.

Cannabis PPFD Vegetative

Once your plant has started growing, you can turn the light from blue to GREEN. This light helps the growing plants overcome difficulties like nutritional problems, diseases and pests. Also, plants do not absorb much of these lights, so it won’t really affect your plant’s growth and flowering process.

Cannabis PPFD Flowering

At this stage, you can start giving RED light to the plants with 600-800nm levels to ensure it produces high-quality flowers in good quantity too. Red colour light affects the photosynthesis process the most, so keeping an eye on your plant’s growth and CO2 levels is necessary to ensure they get proper nutrients.

FAQs Related To PPFD For Cannabis Seedlings

How Much PPFD For Flowering?

The optimal PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) for flowering cannabis plants will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific strain of cannabis being grown, the stage of flowering, and the overall growing conditions. In general, flowering cannabis plants require less light than they do during the vegetative stage of growth.

During the early flowering stage, cannabis plants may benefit from a PPFD of around 300-400 µmol/m²/s. As the plants progress through the flowering stage, the PPFD can be gradually reduced to around 200-300 µmol/m²/s.

What Is Good Par For Cannabis?

PAR ranges from 400-700 nanometers (nm), but that does not mean you can emit such light levels to the plant from the beginning. The 400-700 µmol/m²/s level is beneficial only when your plant is in the vegetative stage, but if the plant is still in the seedling condition, then you must keep this level between 200-400 µmol/m²/s.

Best PPFD For Cannabis Seedlings?

Every lighting condition has its own levels considering the growth, strain, weather conditions, and many other things. However, the vastly accepted PPFD level for the seedling stage of a cannabis plant is somewhere around 100-200 µmol/m²/s. When your plant goes into the vegetative stage, you can increase this level to 300-400 µmol/m²/s. We recommend you to do some experiments with different PPFD levels and light placements to find the optimal lighting conditions for your plants.

How Much PPFD Can Cannabis Handle?

At any given point in time, the PPFD level must not go above 700 µmol/m²/s as it will negatively impact the plant and affect its growth. You can refer to various guides on the internet and seek help from professional cannabis growers in your area to understand more about the amount of PPFD level for your plants.

What EC Is Too High For Cannabis?

EC stands for Electrical Conductivity and refers to the amount of electricity the water can transport. Distilled water (H20) won’t conduct anything; it is because of several minerals that it does that. The average or suggested EC level for cannabis plants should be between 1.2 and 1.5 until the fattening period. After that, you can increase the EC level to 1.8-2.1, and the level must not go above this as it can be harmful to the plant.

Final Words

Cannabis plants require a certain amount of light to grow and thrive. Different strains of cannabis may have different light requirements, and the optimal PPFD will depend on the plant’s specific needs. In general, cannabis plants require a higher PPFD during the vegetative stage of growth and a lower PPFD during the flowering stage.

We have tried to cover everything related to cannabis PPFD levels and the different types of lights you can give to your plants for optimal growth. If you know something more about growing cannabis and how one can use the PPFD levels to ensure their plants grow organically, then do share your views with us.

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