The Newest addition to growing cannabis and indoor plants is the high-tech plasma grow light. If you are an advanced grower you have probably heard of what these lights can do. If you are new to growing then, heads up, the plasma grow light is the next big thing.
What Are Plasma Growing Lights?
Plasma grow lights are said to copy the natural light of the sun better than any other form of indoor grow light on the market. This is achieved by using light-emitting plasma or LEP that is comparable to an HPS bulb but with the added benefit of full-spectrum lighting. LEPs’ use solid-state lighting without the need for a filament or gas started ignition.
Also, efficient in its ability to grow plants through all stages and efficient when it comes to energy usage. Because plasma grow lights burn less energy in developing your crop and run through every stage of lighting, in the long run, you can save tons of money, but have an upfront cost that turns people off to the idea of this new technology.
Newer Plasma Light Technology
The tech involved is still new which means over the next year the price may dramatically drop as the competition begins to evolve in this growing medium. As with all grow lights, they are an investment into the quality and amount of buds you can grow. To date, we are seeing some wonderful results with the LEP grow lights. They are still fresh on the market and not a ton of data is out there, however seeing some very good results across the internet as we dug into our research for this article.
Plasma Grow Lights Use Electromagnetic Induction
Sounds very Star Wars, but the truth is, it is a simple technology that gives unique results when it comes to growing plants. What electromagnetic induction does is eliminates the need for electrodes or filaments to power bulbs. The bulb itself is the part of the plasma grow light that is referred to as the LEP we mentioned before.
As the electromagnetic field is powered up, it heats the bulb’s gas-filled chamber and creates a very sun-like spectrum of light that plants simply flourish with. For example, the gas is heated to around 6000K similar to that of the Sun’s 5777K. Pretty smart right? I am no engineer, but as a grower, I understand that the Sun is the end all and be all of the light spectra when it comes to fauna on this planet.
What Are The Benefits Of Plasma Grow Lights?
Are these lights right for you? It all depends, so first, let’s talk about the pros of the plasma grow light…
- Light Quality – As a grower, I know that light quality is huge in order to increase yields and potency of plants. I am also lazy and hate switching out lights, as this is all I do most the time. Plasma lights for me make sense because I would prefer a larger upfront price tag in order to save on energy bills. The light quality also incorporates a full “sun-like” spectrum that does not require me to purchase a separate light, again saving me money in the long run and cutting down on manual labor. So, if you grow all the time, 24/7 and hate steep energy bills, this style of light may be perfect for you. A full and broad spectrum of light says it all. If you are unsure a PAR meter is a good choice for growing big buds.
- Operating Hours – Plasma bulbs last a long time. In fact, they can operate for 30,000 to 40,000 hours. Compare this with an HPS grow light and you will understand that the replacement cost alone will double the amount you spend over a lifetime of indoor gardening versus just buying one plasma light. Something to also note is that light emissions from LEP bulbs are much stronger then HPS or metal halide lights. An efficient beast!
- Energy Efficiency
– With an HPS bulb, just running one can cost you an extra $100/month in energy bills depending on where you live. As with a single plasma grow light, I can barely notice an increase in my utility bill. In truth, you will spend about 50% to 70% less depending on your light on light off preferences for flowering your plants. And remember, you won’t have to switch out lights for every stage.
- Canopy Penetration – Compared to an LED in which their light drops off relatively quickly, plasma lamps provide solid penetration because of its electromagnetic induction method. How this translate is, less light loss and deeper light penetration. Pretty cool right? Now, even the soil is getting some light sent its way (Not that it needs it.)
- Full, Thick Plant Growth – What we are seeing with these lights is healthy and potent cannabis. I always love testing different strains that have grown under various methods. Afterall the final product of a perfect plant is what we strive for. I can tell you that these do a great job at helping plants manufacture beautiful trichomes, buds, and THC.
Cons Of Using Plasma Grow Lights
With every light, plasma lights also have their drawbacks, the biggest is the price barrier. Plasma lights are typically double in price as compared to quality LED grow lights. Keep in mind that the price has come down recently. When these lights were first introduced the cost was somewhere around $1k to $2k. No longer the case, but still on the pricey side.
They also run hotter than LED’s, so a fan and cooling system is a must with these. You will want a cooling system and don’t get to close to the plants as you will inevitably burn your leaves.
One last thing is that, yes, these lights are newer to the market. That means there is not much in the way of information on them. Be alert to price changes as well as plasma grow light reviews and don’t go on manufacturer claims alone. There is a lot to be discovered about how well these lights can perform. Luckily we added a few plasma light reviews to this article as we want you to make a good buying decision.
- Run hotter than LED grow lights
- New to the market
What to Know Before Buying A Plasma Grow Light For Cannabis?
You should already be aware of the pros and cons of this type of grow light. You will also want to get a feel for how you want to grow your indoor plants as well as growing space, time and some other factors.
Grow Space With LEP
These lights run hot. Remember that. You want to evaluate how much airflow you have for ventilation. The coverage of these lights is massive so no need to squash plants together for maximum coverage. I do recommend using these in at least a 4-foot by 4-foot tent. The bigger the better. Anything smaller and you risk burning your plants or exposing them to harmful heat outside the plant’s preferred temperature.
If you have a spare $500 to $2000 lying around and don’t mind the upfront cost, go for it. In the long run, the lights will pay for themselves if you are trading in an HPS or metal halide bulb which is currently around $300. The price keeps dropping, however, so if you have the patience to wait it out, that might be a good strategy. You will also need to buy a decent ventilation system such as multiple fans or even an AC unit if your grow area is small and constrained.
Plasma Grow Light Reviews
We did want to give you insight into some of our favorite plasma grow lights, so we took the time to do a couple of reviews of our favorites. One for the budget conscious and a few throwing budgets out the window.
Cheap Plasma Grow Light Review
One such plasma grow light that is also priced with a budget in mind is the AgroMax 300 Watt Plasma Grow Light. Suitable for a 3×3 growing area.
AgroMax 300 Grow Light Specs
Last update on 2020-01-27 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This grow light spreads an even 300watts across your plant canopy and can accommodate at least 2 plants at a time. Because it is a lower wattage it does not put out to much heat while growing. The price is also the lowest on our list.
Gavita Pro – 270e LEP Grow Light
Last update on 2020-01-27 at 18:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Another entry-level model is the Gravita Pro 270e Plasma Grow Light. This is one that works well, especially if you also have an HPS bulb in the mix. It is fitted with the ability to dim your HPS bulb during veg while keeping full plasma light output. Pretty cool feature if you like a variety of lighting.
This light is a bit more expensive than the Agromax but comes with more options while growing. Some bells and whistles might help make your decision easier. For instance, it has a compact design, and the ability to adjust the light levels with a combined HPS e-series fixture. It also has an auto-dim feature that adjusts when temperatures get too hot.
Conclusions About Plasma Grow Lights
I think time will ultimately tell if these lights are worth the money. Still pretty new and hard to find if you don’t know how to look. They offer a string full spectrum light at a fraction of the energy costs. It all depends on your needs as a grower if this light is currently the one you should buy and grow with. We love the coverage areas for these grow lights but hate the upfront cost.