The war in Ukraine is prompting energy companies to raise their prices by staggering percentages. Not only gas but also electricity is getting significantly more expensive, and will also push up the price tag of your small indoor grow for your own use. So we give you 8 tips to save energy on your indoor grow.
You cannot escape rising energy prices, but fortunately there are several ways to reduce the power consumption of your indoor grow. Growing your own is the only way to be sure that your weed is clean and free of pesticides and other contaminants. In addition, weed in the coffeeshop is likely to become more expensive due to high energy prices. So in order to save money, we give you 8 tips in no particular order.
Tip #1: Choose a lucrative cannabis strain
The specific strain of cannabis and the quality of the cannabis seed you grow have a big influence on the final yield. Therefore, in times of scarcity, choose a weed variety that is known for its high yields, because they deliver the most weed per watt. Pay attention not only to the predicted yield per square meter but also to the flowering phase. After all, the sooner your growing round is finished, the less power it consumes. In this regard, the Fat Banana strain is a good option. Most cannabis strains take up to 9 weeks to fully grow into a plant with good yield, whereas the Fat Banana strain can take as little as 7 weeks for the same result.
Tip #2: Consider a more efficient grow light
Your grow light is by far the biggest energy guzzler of your growing efforst that you can’t do without. At the same time, light is also the biggest determinant of the potential yield of your grow. Growers who want to compare yields fairly do so in the number of grams per watt of grow light. In other words, the more efficient the grow light, the more weed you can harvest for your electricity.
The most efficient grow lights today are the so-called full spectrum LED grow lights. This is because HPS bulbs produce a lot of heat in addition to light, and CFL (energy-saving lamps) are not powerful enough for an average grow tent. However, there are also big differences between LED grow lights, but most manufacturers do state the efficiency in µmol/J. This is the value in micromoles per Joule of energy. A modern and efficient LED has a value between 2.5 to 3 µmol/J. Don’t stare blindly at it because there are more differences, but use it as a guideline when choosing a more energy-efficient grow light.
Tip #3: Sea Of Green
The shorter your grow cycle, the less power you end up using. So short flowering cannabis strains save power, but you can also shorten the growing phase by growing what is known as a Sea Of Green. This is a growing method where you grow many small cannabis plants, rather than a few large ones. The downside is that you need more cannabis plants (and thus exceed the tolerated 5) but they do finish much faster.
Tip #4: Consider solar panels
It’s incredibly unfair and contradictory but while energy prices are going up, the compensation you get when you feed energy back to the grid is going down. So it’s better to use your self-generated power for your cannabis plants because, after all, you’ll “save” the new high price per kilowatt hour.
Tip #5: Go hydro!
One way to not only save on power but that also gets you more weed is by switching to a hydrological grow. This is because in a hydro system, cannabis plants grow much faster and also yield significantly more weed. So your grow takes less time (it can save about two weeks per round) but also yields more. There are plenty of hydro systems for small growers, and it also requires less maintenance. And oh yeah, mineral plant food for hydro growers is also cheaper (usually) than organic plant food.
Tip #6: Recycle your heat
Even the most efficient LED grow lights produce heat in addition to light. This is especially necessary in the winter to keep your plants up to temperature, but it is a waste to throw that heat away after use. In other words, save on your gas bill by removing the warm used air from your grow tent indoors. Make sure you have a good working carbon filter of course, otherwise your warm house will smell like weed too.
Tip #7: Put your lamp in the sweet spot
A saving tip that costs you nothing at all, but instantly produces more weed, is to hang your grow light at the right height. At this height (which varies per lamp) your buds will grow in the sweet spot, where the light is most intense. So find out at what height your lamp gives the best performance, and make sure all your buds grow at that distance from your grow lamp. This does require even foliage, but you can manage that with some training (or a Sea Of Green).
Tip #8: Reflect!
Any beam of light that doesn’t fall on your plants is a missed opportunity. In a small grow room for your own use, however, you always have to deal with light shining on the walls. To get the most out of this light you would do well to apply a reflective coating to the walls of your grow space. A matt white wall reflects reasonably well but it is much better to use a special reflective foil or reflective panels.