by Nebula Haze
Are you growing weed indoors? I love indoor growing because you can produce epic bud quality in the privacy of your home. But it’s easy to forget something really important…
Your eyes need protection!
Here are 3 simple steps to keep your precious eyeballs safe:
You can expose your eyes for hours at a time when taking pictures, plant training, or gazing at plants and loving them.
Main Idea: Turn off grow light and possibly hang a smaller light when working for extended periods. The bonus is you get to see plants in full color! This makes it much easier to notice problems and monitor plant health.
When you spend more than a few minutes at a time with your plants (for example training or watering), I recommend turning off the grow light until you’re finished. You may be lucky enough that natural light shines on your plants, but if not, you can add your own.
This small battery-powered light has a strong magnet that attaches to metal objects like grow tent bars or a reflector (keep magnets away from electronics). As you can see from the picture below, this one does a pretty good job of spreading light over a 2’x4′ (0.6mx1.2m) area.
Turn off the grow light and use a smaller light to see your plants clearly without straining your eyes.
Any light will do as long it won’t easily fall onto your plants.
Pet Owners: I love when my cat sits next to me and watches me work in the grow room, but grow lights can damage pet’s eyes so this helps them, too.
If your pet hangs out in the grow room, watch out because some dogs and cats nibble on leaves if you’re not paying attention 🙂
3 Tips & Tricks
Don’t Unplug the Timer: If growing photoperiod plants, you don’t want to accidentally alter your light schedule by unplugging your timer. Only unplug the grow light cord.
HIDs Need 5 Minutes: With big-bulb HID grow lights like MH, HPS, CMH/LECs, you should wait at least 5 minutes before plugging the light back in. Otherwise, the bulb may not spark properly and turn on but stay dim.
Dimmable LEDs: Nearly all LEDs can turn on and off in an instant, but some have the ability to dim. For example, the Electric Sky 300 has a dial that can turn the light down enough to see plants without eye strain (at least for me).
Some LEDs can be dimmed before working with plants
Main Idea: Get glasses that protect your eyes from bright light and UV rays. Some glasses are specially made for cannabis growers.
If you spend time under grow lights while they’re running, protective glasses are your most important safeguard. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of using protective glasses even when peaking on plants.
Don’t strain your eyes, protect them!
You can use sunglasses that block UV light but they aren’t as good as the grower-specific options below
If you’re growing plants under a grow light, consider glasses that protect and correct color. Color-corrective glasses protect your eyes, but also let you see plants in natural color (even under unnatural colored light from HPS or LEDs).
Some glasses protect your eyes and let you see plants in full color
Use protective glasses for…
MH or CMH / LEC grow lights
Metal Halide and Ceramic Metal Halide / Light Emitting Ceramic lights produce a beautiful, relatively natural colored light that lets you see your plants, but they make dangerous UV rays and often strain eyes. The extra UV light can increase a plant’s THC, smell, and trichome production, but it’s really bad for your eyes. Don’t skip protective eyewear if you’re using any of these grow lights.
For MH or CMH/LEC: Get iPower Horticulture Grow Room Glasses (super cheap generic version, works great) or Method 7 Metal Halide Plus glasses (much more expensive but higher durability and build quality).
I own glasses from both companies. The Method 7 pair is a bit sturdier and seems higher quality overall, but the iPower ones work great and you can’t beat the price. I recommend the iPower pair unless you need glasses that stand up to wear and tear.
HPS Grow Lights
HPS grow lights produce a LOT of harsh yellow light that promotes bud production, but makes it difficult to see your plant’s actual color. This makes it easy to miss problems like leaf discoloration or yellowing. The great thing about HPS protective eyeglasses is they let you see the plants in full glory.
For HPS: Get Apollo HPS Grow Room Glasses (super cheap generic version that protects but isn’t quite as good at correcting yellow light) or Method 7 HPS Plus glasses (way too expensive, but very high quality and plants appear in full color).
LED Grow Lights
LED grow light is often pink or purple enough to hide the symptoms of yellow or discolored sick plants. They also cause eye strain for some people. The brighter and more unnatural the light color, the harder it is to see your plant, and the more eyes tend to be bothered. Luckily there are glasses that prevent eye strain, protect your eyes, and let you see your plants even under the most blurple of LEDs.
Get Apollo Horticulture LED Grow Room Glasses (super cheap generic version, works pretty well) or Method 7 LED Operator glasses (way too expensive, but high quality). My take: the cheaper Apollo LED glasses get the job done and the price is right!
If you’re really worried about your eyes, go crazy with some snowboarding goggles!
That’s what I did when I was growing under ultra-high-UV CMH grow lights 🙂
Main Idea: A bit of extra protection.
Even when you’re wearing protective glasses, the grow lights can still beam down on your forehead and face while you’re tending your plants. This can get hot, isn’t good for your skin, and some light still gets to your eyes.
I usually wear a hat in the grow room when the grow lights are on, especially if working directly under the lights. It provides shade and makes you feel more cool and comfortable. Even a baseball cap helps a lot.
Spending time in the grow room is rewarding, and your plants love the attention, but when it comes to growing cannabis indoors, make sure you also consider your eyes!