Can You Use a Regular Lamp to Grow Marijuana?
When I first started learning about how to grow weed in my home, I remember looking around at all of the lamps in my house and wondering, “can I use a regular lamp to grow marijuana?”
In short, the answer is no. Regular lamps like floor lamps or desk lamps that you might have in your house do not put out the right spectrum of light to grow marijuana plants. Regular lamps with incandescent lightbulbs also get very hot and could burn your marijuana plants.
Let’s look at what makes regular lights a bad option for growing cannabis and what types of lights you can use instead.
Why You Can’t Use Regular Lamps To Grow Marijuana: 3 Reasons
1. Regular lamps do not produce enough UV, blue and red light for marijuana plants
The basic reason that you can’t use regular lamps to grow cannabis is that they don’t always put out the right wavelengths of light that plants need. Plants need specifically blue, UV, and red light. Full-spectrum white light can also do the trick.
Most regular lightbulbs produce more yellow and orange light than red, blue, or UV light. Regular lamps that output mostly yellow and orange spectrums of light could starve the plants.
2. Regular lightbulbs are too hot for cannabis plants
Another reason why you can’t use regular house lamps or desk lamps to grow plants like marijuana is that they just get way too hot. Heat management is a big problem for indoor growers, and regular lightbulbs produce a lot more heat than LED grow lights. If a regular lightbulb gets too close to a plant, it could cause heat damage or even burn the plant.
3. Many smaller desk lamps and small lightbulbs do not produce enough light
Also, many light bulbs don’t put out enough light for cannabis plants to grow. After all, plants have evolved to require light from the sun. Cannabis especially loves sunlight and prefers to grow in full sunlight. Most regular house lamps simply cannot reproduce the brightness of the Sun.
For example, a typical LED grow light will produce at least 45 watts of light and often more than 100 watts. In contrast, regular light bulbs usually produce less than 25 watts, and sometimes under 10 watts. That is simply not enough light output for sunlight-loving plants to grow.
But wouldn’t the money you would save make it worth it?
No, unfortunately, using a regular lamp would just kill your plants.
But the thought process is understandable. Even though regular lamps are not good for growing cannabis, that hasn’t stopped many people from trying. Beginner growers will often try to use regular lamps to grow marijuana in order to cut costs and save money. After all good grow lamps can be expensive. Even the cheapest grow lamp that is good enough quality to grow marijuana can cost close to a Benjamin, or at least a few Hamiltons.
Unfortunately, anyone who makes the mistake of trying to grow cannabis with a regular lamp using normal light bulbs from the hardware store will quickly learn why a good grow light is important to have. In fact, you could say that a good grow light is the heart and soul of any indoor cannabis garden. By skimping on a grow light and swapping in a regular lamp, you will doom the plants before they even have a chance to reach the mature vegetative growth stage. Here’s what that might look like:
What would happen if you tried to grow marijuana with a regular light?
First, C annabis plants will try to stretch toward the light
If you did try to use a regular lamp to grow marijuana the first thing that might happen is that your plants would grow towards the light and stretch as much as they can to reach the light quickly. Because they are starving, they will try to grow as quickly as possible to maximize the amount of light they are getting. If your plants are still seedlings, they may grow very tall very quickly and have long, thin stems without producing any mature serrated leaves.
Second, they might shrivel up immediately
As the seedlings stretch toward the regular lamp, two things could happen. Right from the start, the roots might use up all of its small store of nutrients that it had from its seed to grow those long thin stems. Unless you have taken the risky move of feeding your seedlings in week one (not a good idea), they could begin to run out of nutrients before growing the first set of mature leaves. Because they would be deprived of sustenance, the seedlings’ leaves could begin to shrivel and turn yellow. And if they are already too hot from the light, they could begin to shrivel up almost immediately.
Third, the plants might topple over
Next, the seedlings could become top heavy and the long thin stem may eventually be unable to support the weight of the upper part of the plant. As a result, the plant could collapse under its own weight and tip over. If that happens, then not only will the plant be farther away from the light source, but it will also begin to grow in an unusual shape with a bent stem. While the plant can recover from this, it is not a good way to start if you are trying to grow cannabis.
Finally, the plants will probably die from heat burn
If the marijuana plants do successfully grow closer to the lamp without tipping over or shriveling up first, then they will eventually be close enough to the lamp to start experiencing heat damage. Incandescent light bulbs put out a significant amount of heat and many will burn anything that touches it. If the plants come to close to the lamp, they would get burned too.
But even if the plants do not get burned, they can still experience heat stress in a number of other ways. First, the heat coming from the light bulb will change the humidity levels around the plant and dry them out very quickly. Dry, hot air is not good and will damage the plants if not corrected immediately. The leaves could begin cupping around the edges if they are feeling stressed from hot, dry conditions.
So that’s what could happen if you use a regular light to grow cannabis. It’s not a pretty picture, and it definitely is not a good strategy for a successful grow setup. Next, let’s take a look at why grow lights are so much better than regular lamps for growing marijuana.
Grow Lights Designed For Growing Cannabis Have Many Benefits Over Regular Lamps
1. LED Grow lights are not too hot
Grow lights and specifically LED grow lights are not as hot as regular light bulbs that you might have in your house. Regular light bulbs are so hot that they will burn you if you touch them. That is definitely not something you want to have near your cannabis garden.
2. Grow lights put out the right spectrum of light
Unlike regular lamps and light bulbs, LED grow lights put out a huge amount of blue, red, and UV light. They can also put out full spectrum white light in many cases. Importantly, they do not put out as much yellow or green light, which means that you are only giving your plants the kind of light they want when you use a grow light.
3. Grow lights have great features to make growing weed easier
Regular floor and desk lamps tend to come with two settings: on or off. However, grow lamps that are designed for growing cannabis come with a wide range of other helpful features, like timers, various spectrum settings, and different modes so that you can control exactly what kind of light your plants are getting at each stage of the grow cycle.
They also tend to have attachments for hanging the lamp above your plants inside a grow tent and other features that make them ideal for using to grow marijuana.
Why you should invest in a good grow lamp
Even though it might sound like a good idea to save money on a good grow lamp for cannabis and get something cheaper or try a regular lamp, the long term results of poor lighting will be disappointing. It is better to buy a good grow lamp or grow light before you start growing marijuana so that your plants are happy.
If you don’t buy a good grow lamp, then you risk wasting a lot of time, money and energy when the plants end up not being able to grow to their full potential. If your plants do not grow well or even fail to grow at all because of a lighting issue, then you will have to buy a good grow light eventually.
The bottom line is this: in order to grow big buds and colas, weed plants need a lot of the right kind of light. So it is best to give them what they want upfront instead of learning the hard way that cannabis plants need more light than a regular lamp can provide to them. You don’t have to buy the best grow light or the most expensive grow light to get started. Just buy a decent, cheaper cannabis grow light and then upgrade later on if you need to.
Conclusion: Regular Lamps Cannot be Used to Grow Cannabis
Hopefully, it is clear now why regular lamps like desk lamps or floor lamps are not good for growing cannabis. They basically put out the wrong spectrum of light for growing plants or not enough of the right spectrum. Plants like marijuana like blue, red and UV light, but regular lights put out more yellow and orange light. Using a regular lamp is a quick way to ensure that your cannabis garden will fail or underperform.
If you are looking for a better light that is specifically built for growing cannabis, check out this grow light from Philzon. It is easy to use, more powerful than a regular lamp, and will probably last for at least half a dozen grow cycles, if not longer. Grow lights are specifically built for growing cannabis and have tons of settings and helpful features that other lights won’t have. Definitely pick up a good grow lamp if you are planning to create a cannabis grow setup.
Thank you for being so clear and succinct. Spent hours trying to find this exact information!
I am growing on my window but this last week has been mostly indirect lights due to clowns and rain… so at night I pull my plants in and put them under some regular 60 watt led house bulbs?? Will this be helpful or hurtful?? They seem to be doing pretty well they are about 5 weeks old and seem to be right on track with where they should be from everything I’ve read… I just want to know if this could be a helpful method to use during the veg stat when not getting enough daylight?
Hi Phil, It is really hard to give you good advice without details about your setup, but my guess is that the regular lights won’t put out the right wavelength of light for your plants to grow. Most plants need UV light, which regular house lights don’t always produce. Check the package to see if the bulbs put out any UV light. We can’t see the UV that the sun puts out, but that UV is what the plant takes in as nourishment, not the visible light that we see.
As long as your LED lights aren’t putting out a ton of heat, you’re unlikely to burn the plants. Probably, what you are doing is having very little positive or negative effects because your plants don’t really ‘know’ the lights are there (since visible light doesn’t really affect them), but again I can’t tell without more info.
My advice would be to leave the plants on your window where they were even when it is cloudy. UV light can travel through clouds and the sun can still provide nourishment to the plants even on cloudy days. Too much rain could be a problem if the roots get waterlogged, so make sure to keep them well-drained. I hope that helps!
Yall dont know what you’re talking about. You can easily grow bud with white led lights.
A shame to see a misleading article like this in 2020.
Agreed, check out the part above where it says, “Unlike regular lamps and light bulbs, LED grow lights put out a huge amount of blue, red, and UV light. They can also put out full-spectrum white light in many cases.”
I would like some advice I growing my plant about a month old. It’s about 4ft now not really beefy using house and sunlight only with regular water if u have sc I’ll show you. Bandoreckless
Grow lights are a waste of mony. Yes you can get the lights closer to the plant but marijuana plants need the radiation from the heat generated from a white light or you will have to keep your grow room at no less tha 75 degrees farenheit and no higher than 95degrees farenheit. Any colder and you take the plant will try to go int flower stage as seedling or quit growing altogether. Above 95 and you will basically steam cook your plant. That is why you need adequate ventilation and air flow. Humidity should be kept around 45 to 65 percent, airflow should be at a minimum of 5 mph to 15 mph. For you to understand tis better let me put it this way. Box fans on low for a 10’x12′ room. Table top or desk top fan on medium will cover the same area. BUT here is where a lot of people screw up.You need a thremometer, a way to measure humidity and barometer. All of which can be purchased rather cheaply. This a must for growing any plants indoors. I know all of you are confused as hell as to why I added the barometer. How many of you haver the stupid little bird with water in it that tips back and forth when the barometric pressure is up. It has a bulb on the bottom and top with a stem in between them connecting the two. When the barometric pressure is high it forces the water in the bottom up through the stem into the top bulb causing it to tip and drain. Now with that said. All plants and believe it or not so are humans.You know that sudden urge to go pee all the time on certain days and you can’t figure out why. Look at the barometer. Ok. Your plant works the same as the barometer. Water underground is being forced up through the plant not drawn up. Air circulation helps to draw the moisture up through the plant by way of siphon much like you drinking from a straw. Heat also causes moisture to evaporate from both the plant and soil. Besides I have learned firsthand that the fullspectrum lighting is not good for your eyes. Limit the amount of time you spend in the light. What I mean by bad is. Have you noticed how everything has green tint to it like you are looking though a pair of green sunglasses. You are doing damage to you eyes. Now here are two alternative ways to achieve the same or as close to the same light.1. Get yourself a droplight that has the reflective shield. The big ones like you see used in a hen house or for thawing pipes under the house or cabinets. Not the halogen droplight either. ( gets way too fricking hot for plants ) The one I’m talking about you might know it better as a heat lamp. For any growroom under 6’x6′ will need to be at least 5′ in hight.Oh yeah. Sorry for using construction terms for measurement’s. ( ‘ represents feet and ” represents inches ). Paint the inside of your growbox in shiny white ( flat white or eggshell absorbes the light making it easier for us to look at) place your droplight facing up to the top at least 2′ below the top or you will be smelling burnt paint. If using a fully inclosed unit? Make sure to paint the bottom also to maximize the light. A 6’x6’x6’ box will require a 150 wat bulb, 10″. 6″ vent hole in one of the uper corners ( not the top ) this will causes too much heat and moisture loss) , some form of way to get CO2 into your grow area or you will starve your plants and your thermometer, barometer and a way to measure the humidity. Usually you can buy them as a set. Most of them just have a thermometer and a barometer or the humidity. A liitle tricker to find one with all three but trust me they are out there. My Grandmother had one in her kitchen and plant out the ass in there. The droplight is the one with the big round aluminium shield on it. $12.00 bucks at WalMart. Oh and guess what? Marijuana loves sandy soil. I live in NW Oklahoma and 30 miles away from what used to be one of the biggest hemp farms in Oklahoma. Ranging from just South Corwin Kansas to just North of Kingfisher Oklahoma and from Cherokee Oklahoma East to Medford Oklahoma. All of which is a rich sandy loam. One of the best I have found on the market is a cactus potiing soil by Miracle Gro. Don’t be suckered into buying an expensive grow light. Another great way is to put in a tubular sky light into you grow room. Free light and it is all natural. Beat that greedy bastards.
Hi, Im new in weed growing and i need specific help from start to finish. can you tell me where can i get help with this or can you help me ? i really want to make this right and not just a waste of time. I want to grow outdoors, but its fall season, i would grow indoors, but i dont know any less expensive ways to do that.
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