CBD has become very much popular these days. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with refreshing therapeutic benefits. CBD is usually extracted from hemp plants.

Whether you’re planning to get CBD for personal use or make money by selling CBD, you have probably thought about setting up an indoor hemp plant grow facility.

With indoor hemp growing, you are in charge of numerous aspects, thus you have the best chances of achieving a great yield and quality hemp plants.

Plants in general require certain elements to be able to grow and produce. Some of these elements include soil, water, and light.

And so, if you start growing your hemp in an indoor setting, there is no soil, and the sunlight is shut out, and you have to simulate them.

Light is an essential factor in growing healthy hemp plants [1]. In this post, we focus on indoor grow lights that are ideal for hemp plants.

How Much Light Do Hemp Plants Need?

Hemp plants typically follow the growing phases of germination, seedling, vegetative, and flowering. These phases have varying lighting needs.

If the hemp plant receives insufficient light, the leaves typically grow yellow; but if the hemp plant receives excessive light, it can lead to nutrient burn.

In the vegetative stage i.e. when the plant is developing at a massive rate, indoor hemp plants require at least 18 hours of illumination each day.

At the flowering stage, the indoor hemp plants will need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, to become healthy plants and maximize yield.

You need to install quality lights in your grow room, and the light must not be inadequate or excessive so that you have the best outcome.

By quality lights, we mean full-spectrum bulbs [2]. Full-spectrum bulbs mimic natural solar energy and are made up of the complete visible light spectrum.

What’s the Perfect Distance of Lights from Hemp Plants?

When setting up an indoor growing facility for your hemp plants, you not only need grow lights, but they need to be installed at the right distance and position.

The distance is generally influenced by the bulb design, wattage, and the hemp strain. Ideally, the correct distance ranges within 12 to 30 inches.

With proper positioning of grow lights, you not only maximize yield but also preserve the light system and allow it to live out its lifespan (which makes the entire thing cost-effective).

At different phases of hemp plant growth, different spectrums of light will be ideal. For instance, at the sprouting and flowering level, blue light is ideal.

At the seedling and vegetative phases, red light is ideal; the red light enhances hemp plant growth and maximizes yield.

Having a clear understanding of the lighting needs of your hemp plant growing enables you to save money and ultimately extract quality CBD [3].

Lighting Systems for Indoor Hemp Growing

You have options as far as the lighting system for your indoor hemp growing. The lighting system that you choose has a direct influence on the yield and quality of hemp.

1. Fluorescent Grow Lights: as the name suggests, these are fluorescent lamps and tubes; they are reasonably priced and don’t require enormous electricity. Some common types of fluorescent grow lights include CFL grow lights and T5 grow lights.

CFL grow lights are one of the common types of fluorescent grow lights. These bulbs mainly have a twisted style and are ideal for tiny grow rooms.

T5 grow lights are also a form of fluorescent lighting and incorporate a panel. They are also ideal for lighting small to medium growing rooms.

Some people use fluorescent lighting systems to grow their hemp plants because they are low-cost, ideal for small spaces, and spend less energy.

However, on the downside, fluorescent lighting systems don’t make for the greatest yields.

2. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights: these are sophisticated lighting systems with greater output and quality above fluorescent lighting systems. Some of the forms of High Intensity Discharge Grow Lights include High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH), and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH).

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights are commonly used in the flowering phase of the hemp plant. They are designed to promote bud production and maximize yield.

Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights typically produce a bluish hue and are ideal for the vegetative phase of the hemp plant.

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights emit a yellowish hue and are perfect for stimulating bud production. HPS lighting systems are ideal in the flowering phase of hemp plants.

Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) Grow Lights are packing more utility than Metal Halide lighting systems and they consist of a ceramic build.

Many indoor hemp plant growers choose High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights because of their great efficiency and ease of use.

3. LED Grow Lights: these are incredibly popular for growing hemp plants, and are the main substitution for HPS grow lights. They are efficient, flexible, and incorporate cooling features. Small LEDs can be attached to the wall or hung over plants, and LEDs are considered perfect for growing resin-rich buds.

What are the best grow lights for your hemp plants?

Indoor hemp plant growers usually favor High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights and LED Grow Lights as they have the best light output, are the closest to natural solar and contain the full spectrum of light, and help with producing high yields of quality hemp plants.

Lighting System



LED Grow LightsPopular among growers


Minimal heat output

High energy efficiency

Highly durable


The initial cost can be high
HID Grow LightsPopular lighting system


Stable and highly efficient

Costs less compared to LED at the start

Not as flexible as LED


The costs can add up because of additions

Fluorescent Grow LightsSimple to install and use


Ideal for small growing spaces

Low energy costs

Minimal heat production

Not ideal for large growing spaces


Not highly efficient

Things to Consider When Purchasing Indoor Hemp Plants Grow Lights

Growing hemp plants in an indoor setting require many of your decisions to fall in line. One of the most important decisions to make is about the grow lights. You need to consider various factors.

Cost of the grow lights: if buying your favorite grow lights will mean foregoing other critical supplies, then you should go for a cheaper option of a lighting system. Ensure that you stay within your budget.

Size of the grow facility: for instance, if you have a small grow area, you don’t want to install grow lights that produce excessive heat, as the heat would get trapped and become a negative property.

Growth phase of the plants: indoor hemp plants have different lighting needs at different phases of their growth. Check to see their growth stage and get the grow lights that are ideal for that stage.

The Takeaway: Indoor Hemp Plants Grow Lights

Many people have gotten into indoor hemp plant growing for private use or a commercial goal. And one of the things they must consider carefully is the choice of grow lights. The common categories of grow lights for indoor hemp plants include fluorescents, HIDs, and LEDs. Each lighting system has its pros and cons, but the best grow lights for indoor hemp growing is influenced by factors like cost of lights, grow room size, safety, and plant stage.


  1. Hangarter, R. P. (1997). Gravity, light and plant form. Plant, cell & environment20(6), 796-800.
  2. Park, Y., & Runkle, E. S. (2018). Spectral effects of light-emitting diodes on plant growth, visual color quality, and photosynthetic photon efficacy: White versus blue plus red radiation. PLoS One13(8), e0202386.
  3. Pavlovic, R., Nenna, G., Calvi, L., Panseri, S., Borgonovo, G., Giupponi, L., … & Giorgi, A. (2018). Quality traits of “cannabidiol oils”: cannabinoids content, terpene fingerprint and oxidation stability of European commercially available preparations. Molecules23(5), 1230.