How the Right (or Wrong) Lights Affect Cannabis Growth

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Growing your own cannabis indoors can seem intimidating to amateurs, partly because of the hot, glaring lights required to keep the plants in peak condition. But those blinding bulbs can pump out some serious heat in more ways than one, with indoor flower routinely looking, tasting and smoking better than anything grown outdoors.

Now that growing pot isn’t as taboo as it once was, lights intended for cannabis are starting to receive the attention they deserve, from both a performance and a sustainability perspective. As more growers look to scale their output more efficiently, LED lights have emerged as a long-term option. To learn more about the evolution of growing lights and their effect on the cannabis we smoke, we caught up with Kevin Frender, chief science officer of Black Dog LED lights. A horticulturist since he was a toddler, Frender has grown everything from water lilies and orchids to mangoes, cacti and cannabis, and much of that bounty was cultivated indoors.

Westword: What can growing lights do that the sun can’t?

Kevin Frender: All plants evolved to be nourished by the sun, but they have different requirements for the intensity of light and the number of hours of light they receive, depending on where on the globe they evolved. Different plants have different total…

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I Support

  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Growing your own cannabis indoors can seem intimidating to amateurs, partly because of the hot, glaring lights required to keep the plants in peak condition. But those blinding bulbs can pump out some serious heat in more ways than one, with indoor flower routinely looking, tasting and smoking better than anything grown outdoors.

Now that growing pot isn’t as taboo as it once was, lights intended for cannabis are starting to receive the attention they deserve, from both a performance and a sustainability perspective. As more growers look to scale their output more efficiently, LED lights have emerged as a long-term option. To learn more about the evolution of growing lights and their effect on the cannabis we smoke, we caught up with Kevin Frender, chief science officer of Black Dog LED lights. A horticulturist since he was a toddler, Frender has grown everything from water lilies and orchids to mangoes, cacti and cannabis, and much of that bounty was cultivated indoors.

Westword: What can growing lights do that the sun can’t?

Kevin Frender: All plants evolved to be nourished by the sun, but they have different requirements for the intensity of light and the number of hours of light they receive, depending on where on the globe they evolved. Different plants have different total…

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