Lighting Solutions

One of the key factors of a successful bucket grow is the amount of light used. In this section we review popular and trusted lighting solutions that can help you get better yields and healthier plants. Always aim for high wattage Space Buckets, but be careful with heat issues, installing plenty of ventilation. Below you will find great alternatives and products to optimize your lighting setup.

UFO LED lights

This is the ideal solution for lighting in a Space bucket: UFO LED lights‎ have a round form factor that fits in the 30cm diameter of the 5gal buckets, and can be used with any supersized container. UFOs come with a plug for easy installation, and they have fans on the back. Here is a great discussion. LED lights are the future of indoor growing. There are many UFOs available, but most are rebrands of generic products from China. You will find them in 90w, 135w and 180w, all of which can be used in a Space Bucket. The 135w model is usually the most recommended, but you can choose any version.

4-way socket (CFL or LED)

This product is perfect for any grower that doesn't want to wire his own light-top. No electrical knowledge is needed to install this part. The 4-way socket can be attached to a bucket lid, and comes already wired with a standard plug. It even has a fuse for extra protection! Talk about convenience. This model by Limostudio also has two ON/OFF switches, and that means you can control your bulbs separately (can be handy in high heat situations). Each socket can manage up to 45 true watts of CFL, you can use this for a mighty 180w light-top. LED light bulbs (the E27 kind) can be used too.

LED strips

LED strips have gained a lot of popularity among Bucketeers, and for a good reason: they're cheap, easy to install, and work great for side-lighting. This can be benefitial for the plant, as photosynthesis is increased. The trick is to illuminate the lower parts of the plant, areas where the light-top can't reach. These 5050SMD strips come in 5 meter rolls with 300 LEDs, and can be cut easily to fit any space. As a general rule, use 1A per meter with a 12v power supply. A 12v 6A is best for powering the whole roll of LEDs. Installation in the bucket is easy, the strips have an autoadhesive back. This connector can be useful.

High-power LEDs

This option is for growers who like to tinker a lot with their DIY projects. High-power LEDs are cheap and can be used to build custom lighting solutions with many possibilities. You will definitely need some electrical knowdlege, and soldering will be required. SuperAngryGuy's subreddit is full of information on this topic. There you will find extensive guides and research aboud LEDs, and even some specific Space Bucket articles. The fifth part of his lighting guide is specially useful for bucket growing, as it shows how you can work with high-power 100w LEDs.

Correlated Color Temperature

Higher CCT (correlated color temperature) bulbs have a higher blue content and this blue light will help suppress a type of growth called acid growth. Lots of acid growth is what causes excess stem elongation which we want to avoid (low lighting levels also cause this). We also generally avoid lots of blue light in flowering for the opposite reason- we want more of the plant hormone that regulates acid growth and a lot of other plant processes, auxins, since it can help promote other hormones that play a strong role of flowering time, for example.