Sunlight or Artificial Lighting – Which Is Better?

Is it better to grow cannabis in sunlight or artificial light- that is the question? At CannaSGV located in sunny St Vincent, we only use natural sunlight cultivation methods because it not only delivers a better quality of cannabis plant, it’s also better for the environment. But let’s shine a closer light on the arguments for both methods of cultivation.

The right type of lighting will improve the marijuana yield and potency. In particular, the light intensity, light quality, and photoperiod affects how well the plants thrive in their environment. Cannabis plants need chlorophyll, which is a compound that helps convert light into energy that stimulates plant growth. The energy it creates helps plants absorb water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide from the environment for proper root, foliage, and bud growth. Sunlight contains the full spectrum of light wavelengths for every type of chlorophyll. During the plant’s vegetative stage, blue wavelengths help stimulate foliage growth and later, red wavelengths promote the production of buds. Cannabis plants do not do well in too much shade and plants that do not get enough light can become stressed and will start to show negative physical signs and start to turn yellow. In addition, its leaves may begin to droop, or its foliage or bud growth can slow down.

A cannabis plant’s growth is at an optimum with 10 to 12 hours of direct sunlight per day, during its flowering period when it will soak up a tremendous amount of solar energy. Access to full, unfiltered sunlight is achievable for CannaSVG because most months we experience at least twelve hours of sunshine. Sunlight also has the advantage over artificial lighting on operational costs since it’s free, which helps to make our product highly competitive from a pricing perspective. The equatorial sun always stays directly overhead, and its shadows never grow longer, which is why these areas are well-suited for cannabis. Thus, adding in the fact that sun uses less energy than artificial lights, so using sunlight reduces the carbon footprint of our production facility.

Cannabis plants rely on ultra-violet (UV) illumination, a combination of UVA and UVB rays for growth. Plants use and benefit the most from the longer UVA rays. Artificial lighting does quite a good job replicating the full-spectrum lighting of the sun for indoor grows and is easier to control artificial lighting conditions than natural sunlight, which is why we have installed the latest technology in our operation. However, with artificial lighting there is the ongoing cost of buying and replacing equipment, as well as paying for the energy use. While there are more energy efficient ways to use grow lights, this method is still more costly than growing naturally outdoors.

Some competitors using artificial lighting use the argument that an outdoor growing environment that relies on the sun can also experience periods of heavy wind and rain, all of which can damage the plants. Pests can be another problem outdoors, rodents, and other animals can have a devastating effect on your crop, insects can be an even greater problem. We counter that argument with the fact that we have invested in state-of-the-art greenhouses for our cannabis cultivation. At CannaSVG we benefit from the best of both indoor and outdoor cultivation environments when using our greenhouses. The greenhouses allow our plants to benefit from the sun’s natural (and free) light and thrive in a protected environment that isn’t as vulnerable to the forces of nature including temperature fluctuations, humidity, and pests. In our greenhouses humidity is easy to control and supplement if necessary.

For more information and opportunities at CannaSGV please email

Please feel free to share...

More from our blog...