(Last Updated On: November 13, 2020)

In the cannabis industry, many debates are surrounding LED lights and infrared (IR) lights and their effects on the plant’s health. Because we can’t see infrared light with naked eyes, it doesn’t mean it has no benefits. That is why some question whether it is valuable in cultivation. This guide will explain how and infrared lights affect your plants. You will also learn how these lights are essential tools for growing cannabis indoors. Let’s understand how it might help your cannabis seeds grow, sustain, and prosper with the high-quality herb. 

Why Infrared Lights Are an Essential Part of Growing Cannabis Indoors?

Somewhat less than a large portion of the sunlight reaches the earth’s surface is heat radiation, otherwise known as infrared light. Visible lights are a little portion of getting solar radiation. We cannot see all the wavelengths along with visible light that the sun emits. However, we can feel them through terrible sunburn. That is the infrared light you are experiencing. 

Infrared light is an element of the electromagnetic light spectrum, where the wavelengths are longer than the visible light spectrum. Moreover, most infrared wavelengths range between 700 nanometers to one millimeter. And we know that they are an essential source of heat transfer. The longer the infrared (IR) frequency is, the more heat it produces. 

Here’s a list of several types of infrared lights that you can use to install in your cannabis grow tents. 

Far-infrared Light

Far-infrared light is comprised of hot wavelengths. Such infrared rays help grow cannabis plants like Sour Diesel and Afghan Kush sprout and flourish faster. 

Mid-infrared Light

Mid-infrared light is hotter than near-infrared light. However, it’s not that much hot that can harm your plant. With particular tools, researchers use mid-infrared light to study a variety of objects. 

Near-infrared Light

These lights have the shortest wavelengths in the IR spectrum. They’re almost visible, and they’re generally used in household objects because they’re not much hot. 

As the sun gives infrared beams to gardens, grow lights offer indoor plants the same thing. Some growers are hesitant to use IR lighting, believing the heat might hurt the harvest, but that is not the case. Grow lights are designed to provide the correct wavelengths for attractive growth and more profitable photosynthesis. 

Effects of Using Infrared Light on Cannabis Plants

Although IR light isn’t visible, it does assist in the process of photosynthesis. Infrared light gives the plants a small measure of heat radiation that supports your plant’s growth in many ways. 

Growers have discovered that infrared lights help plants bloom faster. This marvel is because of the presence of phytochromes, which are special photoreceptors within plants. These receptors control basic processes such as stem growth, leaf expansion, and flowering. 

A cannabis plant’s phytochromes get light all day, and structural changes happen to depend on fair and square of light it gets. Growers use infrared light to make an artificial seasonal change for plants to grow. Besides, phytochromes react to infrared light strongly, which means that growers don’t need to sit tight for a suitable time of year to produce a good yield. 

The effects infrared lights have on the cannabis plant is another compelling reason to use it for your plant’s growth. Because sunlight is a significant portion of photosynthesis, plants have automatic defenses as they sometimes block the light. Breeders noticed that many hybrid marijuana plants tend to grow and stretch toward the source of light. Thus, invisible infrared light can aid in shape and overall growth.

How to grow cannabis with infrared light?

Mainly there are three types of grow lights: 

  • LED Grow Lights (Light Emitting Diode),
  • HID Grow Lights (High-Intensity Discharge),
  • T5 Grow Light Fixtures

All of it can provide infrared light in different ways. 

High-Intensity lights provide significant infrared light when they’re on. Your plants get IR through a reaction when power interacts with gas inside the bulb or ionized plasma. The color ignites from the light depends on the variety of gas inside it. Metal halide lights radiate white light, while HPS lights provide a warm yellow light. These wavelengths are infrared light, making up about 20% of an HID light’s total emissions. 

LED lights consist of various diodes, some of which produce IR light. Most LED grow lights have visible red and blue light wavelengths. To emanate IR light and increase resin creation, you’ll have to add IR diodes. 

Like HID lights, T5 grow lights produce light utilizing the power and a compound reaction. T5 lights radiate some infrared light, but not that much as others do. Growers can use infrared diodes with T5 grow fixtures, or they can purchase different infrared bulbs. 

How Do You Use Infrared Lights in a Grow Tent?

Along with LED lights and T5 lights, you can also install infrared light in your grow tent. Suffice to say that it’ll help thrive your plants quicker. Your plant needs infrared light for faster flowering as it interacts with phytochromes. All you need to take care of is the intensity of the light, as too much heat can damage your plants. 

As infrared light assists plants to grow and stretch, it might also make it less compact. That’s why you should always consider the size of the growing space before installing infrared light. 

Remember that intense infrared exposure may increase the risk of damage to cannabis plants. When using infrared grow lights, make sure to use protective gear to eliminate potential exposure.

Because infrared light isn’t necessary for plant growth and development, growers should consider the cost of use. For instance, those who use HPS lighting must use an HVAC system to manage the heat. However, these systems can be costly and laborious to maintain and install, so you should estimate the pros and cons before purchasing.

Closing Thoughts

Even though infrared grow lights may not be necessary, they offer advantages that improve the growth and health of cannabis plants. IR lighting stimulates photosynthesis, development, and flowering, among other vital processes. When growers use it correctly, they may see more benefits than they ever assumed would be possible.

Written by Kathy Cooley