Indoor marijuana or cannabis horticulture, legal or otherwise has permeated North American cities and towns, while the legal and moral debate on medical use continues, Fire and Contamination, are the real risk these operations pose to our communities. Other “dangers “ are excessively overblown, most marijuana growers use and have on stock the same type of nutrients and pesticides that almost any house with a garden or greenhouse would have in the woodshed.
Potential hazards with traditional HID lighting
- High temperature bulbs, HID bulbs including high-pressure sodium and metal halide operate at extremely high temperatures and must be contained in a metal hood or reflector. Fire risk: high
- HID ballasts can operate at extremely high temperatures and must be kept away from flammable materials. Fire risk: moderate
- High voltage and amperage electrical use. Electrical connections from power source to ballast to bulb are all extremely high voltages and often or extremely hot to the touch. Fire risk: high
- Circuitry overload. Houses are only designed for moderate power consumption, installing 20 or 31,000 W metal halide can overtax the properties of electrical systems fire risk: high
- Toxic contamination in. All HID lamps including high-pressure sodium and metal halide contain mercury. Unscrupulous growers as well as law enforcement agencies often smash HID bulbs releasing unknown amounts of mercury into local environments. Mercury contamination is a serious issue, the World Health Organization, listed in the top five toxins of concern.
- Ultraviolet damage. HID lighting releases copious amounts of ultraviolet light, more than times the amount needed for healthy plant growth. UV, damages most surfaces it contacts
- Heat buildup. While excessive room temperature may not itself be a hazard, potentially could lead to crop failure or additional power use via air-conditioning.
Potential hazards of LED lighting ?
- using one third the power, LED grow lights eliminate most overload issues
- Low temperature operating LEDs, fixtures operate at fairly low temperatures. Fire risk zero
- 24 v DC (low-voltage). Contained in each fixture is a waterproof* power supply that is incapable of shock hazard to user
- Minimal or no ultraviolet emission, some plants need small amounts of ultraviolet light, or stimulate biological triggers. Avoid direct eye contact with LED or HID, high-intensity lights
- RHOS, LED grow lights contain no mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs or other contaminants and are almost completely recyclable.
- No excessive heat buildup. Lower room temperatures mean: lower humidity, reduces exhaust requirements, eliminates heat signature (used by criminals and law enforcement to locate illegal grow ops)
So it would seem that LEDs replacing HID in marijuana grow houses, potentially eliminates both the fire and contamination risk that are directly affecting our communities. It would also seem, there are potential benefits for indoor cultivation by switching to LED Grow Lights.