The best range of PPFD for the different stages of your plants
Between 200-400 PPFD: This is great for seedlings, clones, and mother plants.
Between 400-600 PPFD: This is great for early to late stage vegging cycles.
Between 600-900 PPFD: This is great for the flowering, fruiting, or budding stage of plants.
Between 200 PPFD and 400 PPFD, plants growth rate potential crawls around 30 – 55% which is recommended for mother plants or young, weaker plants that need a light that’s not super intense.
If you were to double your PPFD from 400 to 800, the growth rate potential reaches about 85%. You would think that doubling the intensity would push the growth rate potential pass 100% but the truth is, there’s a loss of power in return the more intense your lights become.
Once you surpass 1000 PPFD and go into Double Ended Grow Light territory, your plants stop becoming light-limited and start becoming carb limited. At that level of PPFD, increasing CO2 levels is highly recommended to take advantage of that intense light.
But for most growers, CO2 is not necessary.
So a common balance between performance and efficiency is in the 600-900 PPFD range.
Keep in mind that these benchmarks we mentioned represents the potential growth rate on the lighting side and doesn’t factor in other environmental conditions or genetics for optimal growth
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