Closet grows are very popular for new and elite growers alike. They offer superior stealth factor, a nice compact footprint – so it doesn’t take over your living spaces, and will still make you all the weed you can smoke! What’s to lose? Well, you need to set it up very well. One of the most important things is finding the best lights for growing weed in closets.
At the same time though, if you don’t choose the right lighting solution for your environment, it’s going to cause you a lot of grief. The goal of this blog post is to help educate on how to choose the best lights for growing weed in your closet. There are many things to consider. Since the space is typically so small, there are many complications to closet grows.
Let’s go over some of them below, and then how to plan for these conditions with proper lighting solutions.
Problems With Using Grow Lights in a Closet
Generally speaking, as soon as you mention the closet, it removes a few immediate selections from the menu. For example, anything over a 400W HID – High Intensity Discharge – is probably not the best idea, as that will probably create such an insane amount of heat.
On the left, you can see a plant which has recieved too much light. The leaves curl, they brown up, get hard and brittle, and eventually die if the light persists to be so intense. It’s easy to confuse this for nutrient burn, so it’s important to dial in the lights real good.
Heat can be controlled by ventilation, so if you want to make sure that your ventilation keeps up, check out my comprehensive guide on ventilating a grow tent. With the right kind of setup, you can indeed have a very intense light source in a closet, and still evacuate the heat.
In addition to heat, you also have the problem of light burn. That’s right, plants can actually get heavily burned and “bleached out” if you have intense lights too close.
This is especially important in closet grows, or little grow boxes, where the height of the tent is generally a lot lower than usual. You will see light burn by the top of the kola being bleached albino style, and the leaves being burned up.
Therefore, we really need to look into what is the best lights for growing weed in closets. In my opinion, medium wattage LEDs, CFL bulbs, and T5 bulbs – if you can find the right length – might be the best options for growing in a closet.
Now, depending on what you’re going to do in there and how well you want to do it will also disqualify some of those options. If you’re just doing vegetation state, or propagation growing, then I would say any of those options might be a good candidate for the best lights for growing weed in closets.
However, if you are looking to take a plant from seed to harvest, CFLs will probably not be enough, and the T5s will have to be switched out at flower state.
LEDs - The #1 Best Lights for Growing Weed in Closet
LEDs are a really interesting choice – probably the best lights for growing weed in closets. This is because they can be outfitted with infrared and UV diodes, which vastly increase the wavelength spread of the light. They can be kept extremely cool, even under extreme wattages. Also, some come with a dial which will actually change from veg wavelengths to flower wavelengths.
LED panels can be kept close to the plants, so they are really suitable to low hanging spaces. In addition to that, the diodes are flat, and often the panel itself is quite slim, depending on the model. This further enhances it ability to fit into those low hanging grow boxes and such.
LED panels are very cost effective because they draw very little power, especially compared to the amount of light they output. This means a tent with maximal efficiency. Also, you will be able to get a much smaller inline blower fan if you are using LEDs. This is because you do not need to evacuate all the heat, at least not nearly as quickly.
There are some downsides to LEDs though, some of them straight up suck! The cheaper ones emit a very substandard array of frequencies – it’s fake, and very much unlike natural light, so it doesn’t nourish the plants.
With a better panel, you get the UV-A and infrared diodes which create a nice full-spectrum light. Check out my article on lighting in tents, it’s a comprehensive article covering wavelengths, light timing, light coverage per square feet, and a lot more.
For any closet enclosure which has at least 3-4 feet of height, this is a good option. It’s bright as all hell, but keeps very cool. It’s got some serious gear in it – full wavelength, Samsung diodes, and a great driver to keep the current steady. It’s a great package, and I swear by this panel here.
I’m a full supporter of the LED. It’s the only thing which can output a nice broad-spectrum light – and a lot of it – with little heat, and maximal efficiency. You can buy them in so many different profiles, like LED strips, or full enclosures. It’s important to know what you’re getting though, and to keep in mind what the plant needs.
Those LED panels which shine purple light, I generally stay away from. Those are entry level LEDs and they don’t shine a full spectrum on the plant. Some of them are also quite prone to breaking. It’s good for people who are looking for a cheap solution, but I don’t like it.
Your plant needs a lot of light, and so I get the Spider Farmer 1000W LED panel. It’s pretty potent, a great panel for the price, it’s lasted me a long time, I have two of them, so I trust in this brand and their materials.
Fluorescent (T5/CFL) - The #2 Best Lights for Growing Weed in Closet
I have had many friends using fluorescent lights to grow in closets. Some swear by them, saying that they are the best lights for growing weed in closets. When you hear talks about fluorescent, this category includes both T5s and CFLs, both of them are based on the same kind of technology.
This is basically getting flouride containing compounds “excited” using electricity, and so they start shining, the more energy you throw the brighter they shine. It’s a very energy efficient way of making light, and also keeps itself quite cool. They do not burn the plants like HIDs might.
This is cool because you can keep them close to the plants like you can with LED panels, so that’s pretty neat. The only thing is that the only way to add more wavelengths is to have bulbs with different coatings. It’s the coatings of the flourescent tubes which dictates the wavelength of light.
Some of them are suitable for veg, others for flowering. If you’re just propagating or cloning – keeping them in veg state – then CFLs will do you good. I’ve seeen many great propagation tents with just CFL bulbs, but as soon as you need to veg, T5s are the superior choice. You can combine multiple tubes, or just a bunch of good full-spectrum tubes. I wouldn’t flower with a CFL.
Check this out, this is a fantastic solution to carry out your CFL grow. This cord has 10 sockets on which you can fit any kind of household bulb – A19 size. It can accommodate bulbs rated for 150W each socket – quite powerful. You’re not going to need anything else but this, and a few CFLs to create an intense CFL grow. This will give you enough sockets to grow and expand. Quality product made for contractors.
Although fluorescent lighting solutions like CFLs and T5s can range in wavelength generation, they are not the most powerful solution. LEDs shoot light directly onto the plants rather than radiating the waves in a 360-degree circle like CFLs do. Therefore, LEDs can be much more powerful both because of directing all the photons right onto the plant, and also coming in much higher wattages.
T5s, on the other hand, can be made to shoot photons directly at the plants by covering them in a reflective hood, which is usually the case. Also, they can be changed out between veg and flower state to provide proper light wavelengths throughout the life cycle of the plant. However, like CFLs, they are also generally lower wattage than LEDs, even if you combine many of them. Also, they do generate more heat.
However, in terms of price, WOW, you can get a really inexpensive fluorescent solution which works well. Also, these lights are extremely energy efficient as well, so it’s not like you will be paying that much more for energy. If you chain up enough of them, then they can also output quite a tremendous amount of light as well.
Final Thoughts on Best Lights for Growing Weed in Closet
So, I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions on this. What do you think about this article? Do you prefer LED or fluorescent solutions? What is your pick for choosing the best lights for growing weed in closets? Do you know any people rocking HIDs in their little closet grows, and if so, how has that been treating them? There are so many interesting options, it’s great.