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We take a closer look at PPFD and Wattage for cannabis growth.

Mar 13,2023 | MEIJIU-ZA

PPFD, or Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, is a term used to describe the amount of photons, or light energy, that falls on a given area per second. It is an important parameter for cannabis cultivation since it helps optimize plant growth and yield. 

PPFD is measured in units of micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m2/s), which represent the number of photons with wavelengths between 400 nm and 700 nm that fall on a square meter of surface per second. This range of wavelengths is often referred to as the PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) range, as it is the range of light energy that plants use for photosynthesis.

Cannabis plants require a certain minimum PPFD to photosynthesize efficiently. This minimum PPFD value varies according to the stage of growth for the plant, as well as the strain, but generally falls somewhere between 300-400 μmol/m2/s during the vegetative stage, and around 600-800 μmol/m2/s during the flowering stage. 

Since cannabis plants are light-hungry and require a large amount of light, growers need to take care of the intensity, color, and duration of light exposure. Each phase of development requires an ideal intensity, color, and duration of light that contributes to optimizing yield and potency. 

To measure PPFD, growers use specialized sensors and meters, which provide an accurate measurement of the intensity of light in the PAR range. By maintaining optimal PPFD levels throughout the growth cycle, cannabis growers can ensure that their plants receive the ideal amount of light required for maximum yield while minimizing the possibility of harmful signals that could result in stress, depigmentation, or underdevelopment.

PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) is more important than wattage when growing cannabis because it directly measures the amount of light that plants receive. PPFD is the unit of measurement that measures the density of photons that fall on a given surface area per second, and it is directly related to the intensity of the light plants receive.

Wattage, on the other hand, is a measure of the amount of energy consumed by your grow light, and it doesn't necessarily represent the amount of photosynthetically active light (PAR) that plants receive. Different light sources produce different amounts of PAR per watt, which means the same wattage of different light sources may produce different intensities of light.

Therefore, it is crucial to measure the PPFD to ensure that cannabis plants receive the correct amount of light they need for photosynthesis and growth, and not just the wattage. By measuring the PPFD, growers can ensure that their plants receive the right amount of light and avoid over or underexposure, leading to better yields and quality.