There are several lighting methods for growing marijuana, but MH  and Hps lights are the only way to go

Notice the orangeish-yellow tint to the light? That is the light from the HPS bulb

Notice the orangeish-yellow tint to the light? That is the light from the HPS bulb

With weed, just like with everything else in life there is always more than one way to do it. Lots of people will do stealth grows using CFL’s (compact fluorescent light), they are great for that, almost no heat and can be crammed into a tight space, but they just don’t put out enough power to really bud out the plants in the flowering stage to produce those massive buds. They do have a good purpose, those or T5 lights are perfect for the mother and clone room once you get more advanced. They will also work okay while vegging

There are lots of different lighting solutions, CFL, T5 lights, and the extremely expensive plasma lights, but none of these compare to the efficiency of the metal halide and HPS grow lights.

The Difference Between High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide Bulbs.

600 Watt Metal Halide Spectrum

600 Watt Metal Halide Spectrum

600 Watt HPS Spectrum

600 Watt HPS Spectrum

Your plants go through 2 stages after they sprout, the vegetative, and flowering. In the vegetative stage plants uses more of the blue spectrum in the light stream and red in the flowering. The MH bulb puts out blue, the high pressure sodium or HPS puts out more red. When growing weed indoors our main goal is to fully create an artificial setting for our plants, the long days of summer with a 18/6 cycle (the lamp will stay on for 18hrs followed by 6 hrs of complete darkness) with the MH, and we imitate the shorter days of fall with a 12/12 cycle and the HPS bulb. 

HPS grow lights and you

Hps bulbs put out very intense light, and generate a lot of heat. I recommend if you are growing in an enclosed area to use a vented hood, or a cool tube opposed to just a “wing” style hood. Both the vented hood, and cool tube will allow you to move air through the hood, around the bulb to (preferably suck rather than blow) the air out of the area. The air drawn into the hood is from outside the tent so there is no need to filter it for smell. The only time you should ever use a wing hood  is in a room that has some sort of temperature control and not a confined space.

A vented hood is a must in a closed-in space

A vented hood is a must in a closed-in space

The Metal Halide

My Friend's 400 Watt Metal Halide DWC hydro grow: Sour Diesal

My Friend’s 400 Watt Metal Halide DWC hydro grow: Sour Diesal

The MH bulb doesn’t put out light that is as intense and an high pressure sodium, in fact it’s 20% less. But they are amazing for the seedling through vegging stage. The blue spectrum will make the leaf, stem and root production of your plants increase. It’s always best to use a hps grow light in the flowering section.

Do I need to us a mh bulb in my grow?

No not at all, in fact you can use a high pressure sodium straight through, but if you are going to buy a ballast, a lot of the new ones accept both types of bulbs, if so, use a metal halide.