Choosing a grow light for indoor plants is important, so which one is best between LED and HPS?HPS Grow Lights
HPS, or High Pressure Sodium lights are capable of producing a huge quantity of light. In fact, a lot of farmers preferred HPS lights for years because of this. Light is crucial during the flowering stage and has been known to increase yield at harvest. The high intensity of HPS grow lights can create an ideal environment for cannabis flowering. HPS grow light are also comparatively cheap to set up. However, on the flipside, the high intensity output of High Pressure Sodium lights generates a lot of heat. In many cases, using HPS grow lights requires additional ventilation for sufficient airflow. This can increase costs significantly. In addition, the high intensity light consumes a huge amount of energy, driving up costs while also causing more environmental damage.
Advantages of HPS Grow Lights
- HPS grow lights are capable of producing an intense amount of light, which can increase cannabis flowering.
- There are a wide variety of HPS grow lights available, so options have become more standardized.
- The initial start-up costs are lower with HPS grow lights than LED lights.
Drawbacks of HPS Grow Lights
- HPS grow lights require more power and are less energy efficient than LED lights.
- HPS grow lights have a shorter shelf life in comparison to LED lights.
- The intense lighting of HPS makes adequate airflow and ventilation essential.
- Setting the optimal temperature can be challenging, particularly in confined spaces.
- HPS grow lights increase costs substantially in the long-term
LED Grow Lights
LED, or Light-Emitting Diode, grow lights have increased in popularity over the years. Advancements in technology have changed the grow game. In the past, HPS lights were essentially the only option. But today you will find LED lights at some of the largest commercial cannabis grows. In comparison to HPS lights, LED grow lights are incredibly energy efficient. High quality LED grow lights can produce equivalent yields to HPS grow lights using significantly less energy. Therefore, many cannabis growers consider LED lights to be an environmentally friendlier option for indoor cultivation. They also happen to be cost-efficient. Although LED grow lights tend to have higher upfront costs than HPS lights, they offer long-term savings. The extended life span of LED lights means you will not be constantly shoveling your money into replacements.
Advantages of LED Grow Lights
- LED grow lights are more energy efficient. They produce the same amount of light as HPS lights but consume substantially less energy.
- LED grow lights do not produce as much heat as HPS lights, avoiding the need for additional ventilation or airflow systems.
- LED grow lights are smaller than HPS lights, maximizing grow space.
- LED grow lights feature an impressive shelf life.
Drawbacks of LED Grow Lights
- LED grow lights require a higher upfront investment. However, they can reduce costs in the long run due to their extensive shelf life.
- LED grow lights may not produce enough heat as HPS lights for colder climates
- LED lights lack standardization, which makes comparing options more challenging. However, we’ve compiled a list of the top quality and best priced LED grow lights for you!
Advantages of LEDs over HPS
- Efficiency – LED diodes are very electrically efficient, which could save you money over time (though the jury is still out when it comes to whether LEDs get better yields than HPS watt-for-watt). Additionally, where an HPS bulb needs to be replaced every few grows to maintain its brightness, individual LED diodes keep their brightness practically forever. With an LED grow light, it’s almost certain something else will break on the lamp before any diodes start losing their brightness.
- Plug-And-Play – LED grow lights are plug-and-play which means you can simply hang up the lamp over your plants and plug it directly into any standard electrical socket. HPS lighting requires the use of a ballast; for smaller models it can be built-in, but larger HPS lights generally need a brick-sized external ballast.
- LED Grow Lights Come With Built-In Cooling – Along the lines of being totally plug-and-play, most LED lamps have heatsinks and small built-in fans to help disperse heat up and away from the lamp, which lets them run cooler. On the flip side, even a small HPS bulb needs extra help for cooling, usually by venting out hot air using a fan and ducting.
- Customized Color Spectrum – It is known that the color spectrum of light affects how plants grow. Unlike other grow lights which are pretty set in their color spectrum, each LED diode can be configured to emit light of a very specific color spectrum chosen by the user. This means that full spectrum LED grow light color spectrums can be adjusted and customized in a modular way that’s impossible to achieve with any other grow light.
LED grow lights yield more than HPS grow lights
HPS lights have been associated with high yields for a long time. But, there’s a reason why some of the largest commercial grow operations have made the switch to LED.
A 600w HPS light can produce up to 150 to 300 grams in optimal grow environments, which is 0.5 grams per watt or less. LEDs, however, can produce as high as 1 to 1.5 grams per watt.
All the while, LEDs use less energy to produce the equivalent HPS wattage.For example, Kind’s K3L600 lights have an actual wattage of 320. Yet, they produce an equal light quality to that of a 600-watt HPS.
In the past decade, technological advancements have led to massive improvements in LED lighting systems. Kind LED products showcase some of these advancements perfectly.
Kind utilizes high-quality lenses that hyper-focus lights from all spectrums onto your canopy. This means that photons are beamed directly to the plants.
Low-quality LED lights, however, don’t have this same focused effect. This is one reason to opt for improved design and trusted materials prior to investing in expensive lighting systems.
Some products, like Kind’s, will provide light that is more focused and usable to the plants. This gives growers the ability to get the greatest possible crop yield.
LED grow lights save more than HPS grow lights
The primary advantage of LED grow lights are the lower operating expenses. Good LEDs cost up to 80% less to operate than equivalent HID bulbs.
Whether you use them as your main light source or just as supplemental lighting, they can begin to pay for themselves within 6 months of frequent usage, although most cost so much more initially, that is takes 2-3 years to break even.
And remember, the lifespan of an LED grow light generally ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 hours, which is 10-20 times longer than common HPS/MH grow light bulbs.
Because LED fixtures provide a spectrum of light perfectly tuned for plants, they end up producing better yields. This is especially true of fixtures with added UV light and IR light, like these top flowering LEDs.
Plants get exactly the light they need, and with programmable and customizable fixtures they get it exactly when they need it, so they reward you with much higher quality fruits and buds.