Cannabis plants need sunlight to grow and develop a lot of buds. But if you are growing cannabis indoors you are facing a lot of challenge. Outdoors, plants get a lot of sunlight and all the nutrients that they need from soil. Indoors, you need to create a suitable environment where cannabis can get lots of light, enough nutrients from soil and additional nutrients needed for optimum growth from the organic plant food. You can purchase the best soil medium and the best organic food but most of the time, optimum lighting is tough to replicate.
Grow lights have been available over the years and these are in the form of HID light, fluorescent light and LED diode lights. However, you need to find ways to focus light and reflect it back to your plants to create an optimum environment for growth. No you don’t want your light to be absorbed by your walls or growing tent which could only turn into inefficient heat. You want every inch of your cannabis plant to benefit from precious artificial light and the best way to reflect light is to use reflective materials. Here are a few of the best reflective materials for your indoor marijuana grow.
Mylar sheets or simply Mylar is one of the most popular reflective materials which come in 1 mm or 2 mm thick. It can come in a roll or precut sheets that can be easily place on your walls. As Mylar sheets are very popular, these are also very fragile bends or breaks on the sheet can incorrectly concentrate light on one area of your plant and damage it. There are many upgraded versions of Mylar sheets.
Foylon is a new and stronger version of Mylar that won’t easily tear however is more expensive. But unlike Mylar that is very fragile to clean; you can wipe Foylon clean and it won’t tear apart. C3 anti-detection film is another variety and is designed not to let any light penetrate. This is an ideal reflective material in colder climates however; you may need additional ventilation to prevent this reflective sheet from over drying your plants.
Panda plastic (black and white polymer)
Panda plastic or black and white polymer is another popular but rather expensive reflective material. It’s called panda plastic because one side is white while the other side is completely black. It comes in rolls and can be glued or taped on walls to reflect light. Aside from being expensive, another downside would be its ability to melt when it gets close to a light source. Therefore panda plastic would be best for large growing rooms.
Emergency sheets or blankets
Emergency blankets or sheets are common in emergency rooms and emergency vehicles. These blankets are used to cover patients who have been out in the cold for a long time or who have been in cold water to trap heat in the body. These are made from Mylar and therefore are very good in trapping light and heat. It can be used in permanent grow rooms or it can be used in a temporary setting however you must change these as soon as they start ripping or crumbling.
Aluminum foil is very inexpensive and available almost everywhere. You can easily glue or tape aluminum foil on the wall of your grow room. It can reflect about 60% of the light on its dull side. While this seems to be an easy option, aluminum foil can easily bend and tear and once this happens, it could create irregular light distribution that could damage plants. Experienced growers do not recommend aluminum foil unless there are no other reflective materials available.
White paint is inexpensive and can be a permanent reflective material. You can clean a white wall easily plus it won’t damage, wrinkle and tear. If you decide to use white paint, you must consider paint that has mold resistance features to protect your plants from mold and mildew attacks. Using an elastomeric paint is another good idea instead of just applying flat paint. This type of paint can seep into small cracks and holes to heal these imperfections. Apply this on your wall just before you move your plants in because it may take time for the paint to dry. You may use white paint along with other reflective materials to improve indoor lighting inside your grow room.
Styrofoam sheets are available and are very cheap. These can reflect almost 70% of light to your plants. Styrofoam is light, can be attached on walls or hung near plants to reflect light however these could melt if placed very near a light source and its surface is rough so dust and dirt could attach and disrupt the reflection of light. Just like aluminum foil, Styrofoam should only be a temporary solution in case there are no other reflective materials available.
White sheets are another temporary solution and it works because it reflects most light back to plants without getting wrinkled or folded when these are hung around the room. But not all white bedsheets are thick and may still allow light to pass through. Sheets also collect dust and soon could become dirty and lose their reflective capabilities. Thick sheets could also affect ventilation inside your growing room and therefore could become too hot for your plants. As said, you must only use this method if there are no other reflective materials available.
Blackout canvas is possibly the most suitable reflective material because these can reflect all the light back to your plants. It does not bend, tear easily and are easy to attach inside your growing room. You can completely block out any light and help your plants grow. It does not contain any hazardous chemicals which can surface which can surface when this material comes in contact with your indoor lights. Blackout canvas is not easily available in any hardware store; you might have to order rolls of the material online.