What grow light would you like to use?



  • Energy Cost
  • Initial Cost
  • Life Expectancy
  • Yield Per Sq. Ft.
  • Overview
  • Who is it for?

HID

HPS / MH [Learn More]
  • Energy Cost
  • Initial Cost
  • Life Expectancy
  • Yield Per Sq. Ft.
    • Overview
    • Who is it for?
    • $$$$$
    • HID (high intensity discharge) lights include both HPS (high pressure sodium) and MH (metal halide) lights. These lights are great for putting a large amount of light over your grow with an inexpensive upfront cost.


    • + Best option growing on a budget

      + Lower upfront costs

      + Higher yield weight per upfront dollar spent

      - Light spectrum is not as “dialed in” as LEDs or CMH

      - Higher Energy bill than LED or CMH

    • Energy Cost
    • Initial Cost
    • Life Expectancy
    • Yield Per Sq. Ft.
    • Overview
      • Who is it for?
    • $$$$$
    • LED’s (light emitting diode) are cutting edge technology when it comes to plant lighting. LEDs spectrum can be engineered to give plants the exact wavelengths they need. LEDs are a more cost effective solution over their lifetime when you consider the lower monthly energy bills, less cooling, and no required lamp replacement every year.


    • + Less wattage can perform equivalent to a HPS or MH

      + Many growers claim to have healthier, higher quality plants

      + Lasts 50,000 hours which is usually about 5-7 years of growing

      - LEDs don’t penetrate as far down as HPS or MH

      - LEDs will be more expensive than HPS, MH, or CMH

    • Energy Cost
    • Initial Cost
    • Life Expectancy
    • Yield Per Sq. Ft.
    • Overview
    • Who is it for?
    • $$$$$
    • CMH (ceramic metal halide) grow lights are popular due to their efficiency over traditional HPS/MH in light output per watt and their fuller spectrum of light that increases the growth, overall health, and yield. CMH lamps have a higher color rendering index (CRI) that more closely mimics the spectrum of the sun.


    • + Higher UV output means plants produce more essential oils

      + Lasts 18 months compared to 9 month HPS/MH lamps

      + The best light for plant growing competitions

      - Light spectrum isn’t as precise as LED however penetration is better

      - CMH fixtures do not come with air cooling flanges on them, so you cannot directly cool the fixture

    HID (HPS/MH)

    [ Return to lighting options ]

    What it’s good for?

    HID (high intensity discharge) lights are the category of grow lights that include both HPS (high pressure sodium) and MH (metal halide) lights. These lights are great for putting a large amount of light over your grow with an inexpensive upfront cost. Although the spectrum is not always as “dialed in” as LEDs or CMH, you often end up yielding more weight from your plants with HPS/MH lights per upfront dollar spent.

    What it’s not as good at

    Because HPS/MH lights aren’t as “dialed in” with their spectra as LED or CMH, you often need more kilowatt hours (wattage) to derive the same weight as LED or CMH i.e., a 600w LED or CMH with all variables held equal will yield more than HPS/MH. That said, it will cost you much more up front to get 600w of LED or CMH than it would for HPS/MH. This ends up meaning you will often pay a higher monthly energy bill using HPS/MH than equivalent LED or CMH for the same square footage of grow space.

    Synopsis

    If you’re looking to get started growing on a budget, this is your best option when it comes to upfront costs. It will cost you slightly more per month to operate this system in terms of electrical monthly payments than LED or CMH. On average it will take about 1.5 to 2 years before the initial system cost + monthly electrical costs added together will be more expensive than running a LED or CMH system. HPS/MH systems tend to be slightly larger than LED or CMH in terms of physical fixture size. They usually come in three components: reflector, lamp, and ballast.

    Quick Tips

    It’s usually best to hang HPS/MH lights about 36” from the canopy during the vegetative state, and 24” from the canopy during the flowering stage. Choose the “air cooled” option if you expect the room your grow tent is in to be over 78 degrees Farenheit (or else you will most likely need a small air conditioner to cool the tent).

    LED

    [ Return to lighting options ]

    What it’s good for

    LED (light emitting diode) grow lights are the most cutting edge technology when it comes to plant lighting. LEDs spectrum can be engineered to give plants the exact wavelengths that plants most efficiently convert into usable energy for growth. This efficient engineering allows LED lights to perform equivalent to a HPS or MH light source at a fraction of the wattage.

    There are different qualities of LED diodes, but you can expect an LED to be able to equal the light output of a HPS/MH light with 60-80% of the wattage. The lower wattage of LED grow lights coupled with a lower need to cool your lights source means lower electricity bills. Due to the dialed in spectrums of LED grow lights, many growers claim to have healthier, higher quality plants. Also, LED lights often last 50,000 hours before they fail, which is usually about 5-7 years of growing without having to replace lamps or components.

    What it’s not as good at

    LED grow lights are usually made of many (sometimes hundreds!) of small 1, 3, or 5 watt diodes. These diodes don’t quite have the vertical penetration that HPS, MH, or CMH do. Because they don’t penetrate as far down into the plant canopy as the other light sources, it’s recommended you grow shorter plants under LEDs than if you were growing with HPS, MH, or CMH. Being the most cutting edge technology available also comes with a higher cost. LEDs will be more expensive than HPS, MH, or CMH, although their prices have gone down over the last decade.

    Synopsis

    LEDs are the best option for the grower that would like to have the most state-of-the-art technology and focus on growing the highest quality plants. Keep in mind, LED growers often see slightly smaller yields overall given the same square footage area when compared to HPS, MH, or CMH. Although LEDs will be the most expensive of the packages upfront, if you’re budget isn’t limited at the time of purchase, LEDs are often a more cost-effective solution over their lifetime when you take into account the lower monthly energy bills, less cooling, and no required lamp replacement every year.

    Quick Tips

    It’s usually best to hang LED grow lights about 24” from the canopy during the vegetative state, and 12” from the canopy during the flowering stage. We recommend growing plants to about 12” to 16” in the vegetative stage, then flipping them into the flowering stage i.e. 12 hours on and 12 hours off of light a day. This smaller height works well with the LEDs since they don’t penetrate as far down as HPS, MH, or CMH lights.

    CMH

    [ Return to lighting options ]

    What it’s good for

    CMH (ceramic metal halide) grow lights have been gaining popularity due to their efficiency over traditional HPS/MH in light output per watt and their fuller spectrum of light that increases the growth, overall health and yield. In particular, the CMH lamps have a higher color rendering index (CRI) that more closely mimics the spectrum of the sun, and they emit more UV than HPS/MH and LED. UV is known to help plants produce more essential oils. Another great benefit of CMH lamps is that they degrade about ½ as fast as traditional HPS/MH lamps, so you only have to replace them about every 18 months instead of every 9 months. The CMH grow light fixtures are only slightly more expensive than traditional HPS/MH grow lights, so they make a great ‘level-up’ without breaking the bank. You may also see these fixtures referred to as CDM (ceramic discharge metal halide) or LEC (light emitting ceramic).

    What it’s not as good at

    CMH grow lights still don’t have quite as dialed in of a spectrum as LED, although they are close. That said, they do penetrate the canopy better than LEDs. CMH fixtures often do not come with air cooling flanges on them, so you cannot directly cool the fixture. Instead you have to cool the environment they’re in (the same goes for LEDs and some HPS/MH’s).

    Synopsis

    If you’re looking to grow a plant to its max potential, trying to best replicate the light plants grew under as they evolved (the Sun), then the CMH light is for you. It may not be quite as cool or efficient as an LED, but your plant will probably produce more essential oils due to the increased UV. If you’re looking to enter into a plant growing competition, this is the light we’d recommend. On average it will end up costing you about 20-30% more than HPS/MH.

    Quick Tips

    It’s usually best to hang CMH grow lights about 24” from the canopy during the vegetative state, and 12” from the canopy during the flowering stage. Get the 4200k lamp for vegetative stage and the 3100k lamp for flowering stage. If you are on a budget and can’t afford both lamps, get the 3100k and use that the entire way through. Your plants will still grow beautifully.