Forums are full of posts about how UV is either great or useless, and generally full of well intentioned misinformation. I understand this, but wanted to clear up a few things. First, we aren't a start up or new to UV, we have 35 years of experience, since 1985. From tanning beds, to UV curing and over a decade working with growers. We know what we know, and what we don't know. We don't grow, but we work with the best growers in the US every day, who do extensive testing for us.
First know this: the right UV mixture will produce 20-35% higher THC in your plants. It isn't a sales pitch, it is established scientific fact based on actual lab results, and the science behind it is solid. It is also fairly straight forward and not difficult to understand if you take the time to read why this happens. This page is to explain that, why this happens and why it works, in plain english.Mamas protect their babies
The humble cannabis bud is a nursery, where the mama plant will host her children, her seeds. She assumes she will get fertilized and go to seed, even if you won't let her. The plant will do anything to protect this flowerbud because this is how she makes more plants just like her. Plants exist only to make seeds, to perpetuate their species. These things are true of all plants.
UV damages the DNA in seeds, making them less viable and less likely to grow a good, sturdy plant next year. Mama plant knows this, and over the years, she has evolved to secrete a chemical that absorbs ultraviolet, and she coats the flowers with it to protect her future children. This chemical is THC. Forget about the psychoactive properties of THC, to the plant it is simply sunblock, and for this task it works wonderfully. Many plants have a protective cover for their seeds (oranges, pecans, cucumbers, etc) but cannabis has fairly exposed seeds, making them more vulnerable.
Mama plant is hard wired to automatically produce a lot of THC. This is evolution; plants that produce lots of THC were more likely to have good seeds that would sprout come spring. Since cannabis traces it's roots to the mountains of Afghanistan where the UV is very high, it has evolved to withstand a staggering amount of ultraviolet.
Mama will adapt well to whatever environment you put her in. If you put her in a room with lots of sunshine, water, warmth but no UV, she will do fine. She won't spend extra time worrying about making additional THC because their is no need, she will only produce what she is hardwired to produce. This is still a fair amount, but it isn't what she is capable of, it is merely the default amount of THC in her genes. She adapts by producing lot of green matter, because she can.
If we expose mama plant to high levels of the right kind of ultraviolet, we can force her into protect mode. This means she will produce a little less plant material and a lot more THC. She will shift her resources to protecting her children, and higher THC is the reward. She adapts by choosing to spend more resources on THC than on growing more leaves. Changing the environment has caused her to mature in a way that is more beneficial to you.How
You start with UVB as soon as you go to flowering. The leaves will be greener, the plants will be more compact, the buds will be much more compact and dense. These are generally beneficial changes and this is actually the natural state of the plant, since they are used being in ultraviolet when outdoors.
It is worth noting that these have also proven to suppress mold and mildew and discourage insects. It isn't a 100% solution for everyone, but many report it took care of their mild to moderate problems.
Any UVB source will help, however, most of the people claiming it didn't help used reptile lights or similar. Our Flower Power is around 50x stronger (that isn't a typo, it is literally 50 times stronger in key frequencies). You can't expect award winning results using a weak little light. At a minimum, we are trying to recreate the UV profile of being on a mountain in Afghanistan, where the genes developed.
UVC will flash burn them, and they will die within a day, so don't try it. Tanning lamps are mainly UVA and aren't going to trigger a hard response. Lamps for animals like reptiles are simply too weak. UVB is a spectrum, a "color", you have to have the right shades of UV, the right frequencies, in the right amounts. It isn't rocket science, but it is physics and plant biology, and we have that part figured out. The Flower Power is the lamp you want. How much you give is determined by you by controlling your timer.
The how is simple: Use two Flower Power lamps (or four Universal UV lamps) for each 1000w hood, or the equivalent. Use two single bulb, F40T12 light fixtures (we will soon stock them), one on each side of the hood. Run the lamps even with your hood, 18" or more from the canopy, but put on a different timer, around 6 to 12 hours per day. Different strains have different tolerances, just work your way up and if you see a little sunburn, pull back on the UV. No biggie. Start as soon as you shift into flowering mode.Conclusion
You already manipulate the "sun" with your lights and timer. You manipulate the "rain" with watering. You set the room temperatures. Now you need to start manipulating the ultraviolet because it is the single most influential factor in THC production. If you are already doing a great job growing, adding a controlled UV system to your grow operation is the biggest improvement you can do. And it is actually fairly and one of the least expensive things you can add and doesn't require you do anything else differently. It works with metal halide, high pressure sodium, LEDs, greenhouses, any regular light source. It won't radically change your color temperature (they are around 10,000 degrees), you only add about 80 watts of UV per 1000 watt hood using these new generation lamps. You don't need shiney metal or special reflective material, we put a reflective coating in the lamp itself so it only shines down.Check current prices and specials.