Need some lighting advice

Looking for some advice on lighting distance in my grow tent. I have a Spider Farmer SF 1000 LED lighting unit for a 3x3 grow tent. I was wondering what distance you keep your lighting above your plants? And does it vary from seedling stage, vegetative stage and flowering stage? And how many plants would that cover? Thank you everyone :+1::smiley:

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All hail our light and savior @dbrn32

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does the user manual specify recommended heights at various growth stages?

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@beardless yes it does which I can follow, I was just wondering what people’s best known methods were when making these decisions. Sometimes they are not always a text book method. Just looking for what people found works best for them. I normally germinate and start off inside but transition the plant to grow outside. But now I’m thinking and planning on fall and winter growing which will be growing 100% indoors and know this is forum has some awesome people with years of experience and advice with a hell of a lot more knowledge than myself. :smiley:

The SF1000 is a 100 watt light, so it is good for 1 plant.

Yes. Lighting must be progressively increased at each stage. You probably don’t have a PPFD (PAR) meter, but the relative differences deliver the message:

Seedlings: 300 PPFD
Veg: 600 PPFD
Flowering: 800 PPFD

As close as you can with a 100w light. If you can feel the heat on the back of your hand placed at the canopy level, then it is too close. Two to 3 feet is reasonable for a seedling.

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@MidwestGuy ok awesome. I guess I should add another light to bump up to 2 plants and invest in a meter to measure the light. Hey I really appreciate your advice. This gives me a good starting point

A meter isn’t necessary (and can be very expensive,) but it helps a bit. You will eventually learn to get it right just based on judgement. I have a meter, but I no longer use it. Keep the relative requirements in mind you’ll have dense, sugary nugs.

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@MidwestGuy So it sounds like for lighting it averages 100 watts per plant would you say?

The general rule of thumb is ~35 - 50 watts of quality lighting per square foot of canopy. A 100w light is a little underpowered for 1 plant, but it will still get the job done. It’s okay for seedlings and veg, but flowering really demands a little more than a 100w light can put out. I always run at least 200w per plant.

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@MidwestGuy i do have a second 100 watt LED to add I just didn’t know if that would be too much but I know now. I will add that as well!

i use that same light 24 in away for seedllings. so far its ok. if my plants dont like it i can move it

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100w is sufficient for seedling and early veg stages. If you can, I would add more light when later in veg, and certainly by flowering time.

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As an aside, Spider Farmer lights used to be terrible. They have really come around with their SF series, which are built with very good diodes. You made a decent choice for your lighting.

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@pptrsha1 @MidwestGuy yes I will definitely do that. I have plenty of additional lighting to add. Awesome. I appreciate your advice :+1: I have heard Spider Farms is a pretty good brand for LED.

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They used to make burple lights, but have changed their strategy to higher quality components to compete with the higher-end LED makers.

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@MidwestGuy hey that’s good to know. I guess nothing competes with the actual sun but they try and come close. I grow outside now , but know growing inside can be a little more challenging.

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This is the PPFD map from SF site for reference to what @MidwestGuy was providing about growth stage PPFD. I understand what you are saying about experience and how things work in actual use. The curve ball is how the actual plants react.

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@beardless @MidwestGuy i really appreciate you pulling that up. Very true what you say. Use this as a standard but pay attention to how your plants react and adjust accordingly. The one thing I have noticed, even growing outside, how each plant definitely reacts differently in the sun. I have had to move plants to get more sun and shade some which was receiving too much. I’m looking forward to my first indoor grow.

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