The Supplemental Lighting Solution..

First of all, I know many of you are still brand new to this and likely have no idea what supplemental lighting even is.

No worries... Let me explain.

In the simplest terms, Supplemental lighting means mixing together different types of lights, Or in some cases different bulbs, To give the plants a fuller spectrum of light, And improve growth and vigor.

Organic Habanero plant
peaceful valley farm and garden supply habanero

(Photo courtesy of Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply)

(Although the photo is not mine, They look remarkably similar to the ones I grew)

Before I started growing cannabis, I was growing totally organic habanero peppers which I started indoor under my sun systems 150w HPS grow lamp. And within just a few weeks, I was excited to notice the plant growing quite tall!

Little did I know at the time, It was stretching. Almost 4 feet tall, and barely able to stand up on its own.

Eventually this lead me to Dr. Google, and I started uncovering more information about the light I was using. What I found out was interesting to say the least. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lighting can cause the plants which are in the early stages of life to stretch out because they aren't getting the right spectrum of light to thrive.

Using this knowledge, When I started growing cannabis, There was no other choice but to use supplemental lighting, At least for the plants in their earlier stages. This gives you the best of both worlds with a wider spectrum. The plants get what they need to keep them happy, And they also stretch a bit more while still remaining strong and vigorous, leading to quicker growth, and faster recovery from any stress.

Just a couple months ago, i took a step and went with supplemental in the flower booth too, by adding a 1000w LED panel to improve the overall range of light available, and improve canopy light penetration. this light tends to stay in the "full spectrum" mode until very late in flower, as its an addition to my 600w HPS light. (And to be clear, this is not a true full spectrum light, but has an intermediate setting)

My personal flowering setup consisting of a 600w HPS and a 1000w LED panel
True Supplemental lighting

(LED+HID True Supplemental. Notice the many colors on the LED panel)

Supplemental lighting can be categorized in to 2 main parts:

1.Dual HID is when you use both Metal Halide & High pressure Sodium (Both types of High Intensity Discharge Lighting (HID), Or the old school type of lights that most would recognize as grow lights.) Providing you a wider light spectrum, but increasing heat, and power usage.

I personally use this method currently for my vegetative plants. I plan to upgrade to a LED panel in the near future to reduce power consumption.

150w Sunsystems HPS + a 100w Sunbeam Metal Halide (MH). my vegging setup
Dual HID Supplemental lighting

(You will notice the completely different color of the lights. Clearly they are both a different spectrum.)


2.LED + HID. True Supplemental Lighting

One of the HID Lights (depending upon the stage of growth, Either Metal Halide for vegetative/growing plants, Or High Pressure Sodium for flowering more mature plants), and an LED panel. This helps keep heat to a minimum, and provides the widest spectrum , including UV/IR, for your plants.

Personally, I use this system in my flowering booth.

OR in a less direct way,

Specific LED panels which provide Full Spectrum lighting such ass the MARS ts 3000.

These types of True Full Spectrum lighting, do not require a second light source, and do not require being switched from one setting to another. They provide true full spectrum, light for any stage of plant growth, while generating very little heat. The downside here is price. These are not cheap systems.

A true Full Spectrum LED grow light
Mars TS3000 Full spectrum

Each way of supplementing light has its benefits and downsides, But as LED tech improves, Its becoming more affordable, and more attractive to growers due to the heat reduction, and lower power requirements, While still producing fantastic results.

True Equivalent (to HID) power, quality led panels are still much more expensive than their oldschool HID counterparts, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future, But I believe in the next decade or less we will start to see proper LED panels for around the $200 mark, ushering in a new era of growing cannabis.


To give one lucky follower a shot at Supplemental lighting, The next Giveaway will be a 1000w LED panel similar to what I am using in my flower booth!

Viparspectra LED panel

(Light Pictured May not be Exact prize)

Stay tuned this Friday, when I go LIVE on INSTAGRAM to do the draw for the $100 giveaway! Winner will be contacted by email, and will have 24 hours to respond before I pick a second winner. then the light giveaway will be announced!

What type of lighting do YOU use?

Do you think your grow could benefit from supplemental or full spectrum lighting?

Sound off in the comments!

Want To learn more?

Want to learn about my new hydro system? Check out this other blog post here:

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& Check out my YouTube for the new series 60 second grow tips!

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