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LED Grow Lights VS. Grow Light HPS: Guide For Indoor Growing

Choosing a grow light is one of the most important decisions an indoor grower can make. The question of whether LED grow lights or grow light HPS grow lights are better for indoor growing is always a hotly debated topic. 

This article will give you an in-depth analysis of the differences between these two types of lighting, with pros and cons to both, so that you can make an informed decision on which type is best suited to your needs.

Why the light important, and understand the concept of the LED and grow light HPS

A grower has a large number of plants to care for, whether they are being grown indoors or outdoors. Growers have to consider many different factors when caring for their plants. One factor that can dramatically affect the health of the plant is the light it is receiving.

Why should growers care about the light they use

Light is the most important element in plant growth. The quality of light affects how plants grow, flower, and fruit. Growers use artificial lights to simulate sunlight indoors by providing specific wavelengths of visible light energy that stimulate photosynthesis during all stages of growth.

Light is energy that can be separated into different wavelengths. Different wavelengths have different effects on lifeforms—and different types of light are needed at different stages of plant growth. 

For example, blue light promotes vegetative growth while red light encourages budding or flowering. White light contains all the necessary wavelengths of the visible spectrum so that it can be used throughout the entire growing cycle.

Horticultural lighting is anything but cheap, and in order to get high yields, you need plenty of light over a large area. If your setup isn't right, you could end up spending more on electricity than necessary or not getting enough coverage in some parts of your garden.

Some key features distinguish quality cannabis grow light from a mediocre one. For example, the amount of UV and full-spectrum light emitted is important because you want to mimic sunlight as closely as possible. You also don't want too much heat or high wattage pulling too many amps from your power socket, which will cause problems like under- or over-watering. [Or other issues.]

Most importantly, you'll want to make sure you're providing the right amount of light for your plant at any given stage to make sure it's healthy and growing as quickly as possible.

However, some types of lights are better than others when it comes to growing plants.

What are LED grow lights?

LED stands for "Light Emitting Diode." LED lights are more efficient than other forms of traditional horticultural lamps. As a result, they produce less heat, last up to 100,000 hours before they need replacement (up to 10 times longer than metal halide systems), and save growers a significant amount of money on energy bills over time. 

The biggest advantage of LEDs over traditional forms of lighting is how much energy it saves growers. A single watt-equivalent LED source produces roughly the same amount of photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) as 1 W of metal halide lighting while only consuming 0.1 W of electricity. 

LEDs produce specific types of light that are most beneficial to cannabis plants, but for all other crops, there are various LED lights available with different colors and wavelength combinations.

LED Growlight growing salad on the vertical farm

The impact of LED grow lights on plants

LEDs have a smaller footprint than grow light HPS, which means they can be placed closer to the canopy with less risk of burning leaves. They deliver better penetration into the plant's canopy because they emit more directional light with less falloff from the center of the beam. 

The intensity of an LED falls off at 30 degrees instead of 60 degrees like an HPS bulb does. Instead, it is best to build a lighting system that will allow you to place the LED or LEDs very close to the canopy.

What Are the Advantages of Using LED grow lights for growing plants?

LEDs can be used in either full spectrum or discrete spectrums, depending on plant requirements.The most notable advantage to using LED grow lights over traditional forms of lighting is how much energy it saves growers.

A single watt-equivalent LED source produces roughly the same amount of photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) as 1 W of metal halide lighting while only consuming 0.1 W of electricity. Thus, reducing your monthly bill by as much as 60%. LED lights also have a cycle lifespan that's about 20 times longer than grow light HPS, so you won't need to replace them nearly as often.

That means they're not only more economical but also easier on the environment. You'll save time and money by not having to order replacement bulbs every few months or scrambling to find a new light when yours goes out unexpectedly.

A fundamental benefit of LEDs is their lower heat output, which means ventilation can be quieter and more efficient, reducing energy costs. So LEDs don't pose the same risk of causing fires or damage to your plant. Finally, they can be placed closer to plants, so you won't have to worry about wasted space or growing the wrong types of crops in some parts of your garden.

What Are Some Drawbacks of LED grow lights?

One major downside to LED grow lights is that they are typically more expensive than other types of lighting systems, so it may take a while before they start paying for themselves in energy savings. 

The initial purchase price also wouldn't necessarily fit into every budget, which means you'll need to carefully consider your situation before deciding which type of light is right for you.

What are grow light HPS?

HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) Grow Light is an electrical device that uses special metal halide and high-pressure sodium lamps, which are known for their efficiency when it comes to growing cannabis indoors.

These grow light HPS can also be found in street lights due to their energy-efficient nature. Although the lamps produce more heat than other forms of grow lighting, they still remain popular with growers who want an effective way of raising vegetables, fruits, flowers, and even weed indoors.

The impact of HPS grow lights on plants

An grow light HPS can arguably be one of the most effective tools you can use to raise your marijuana plants indoors because it emits dense amounts of visible light having long wavelengths (peak at 620 nanometers), which helps in stimulating photosynthesis reaction throughout the life cycle of the cannabis plant. This reaction helps in increasing weight production to improve energy efficiency levels and ensures faster yield levels (compared to other variants).

What are the advantages of using HPS grow lights?

HPS lamps emit much more light in the orange-red end of the spectrum (620 nm) when compared with white LEDs (450nm). Also, when grown under high-pressure sodium lamps, a plant can easily absorb a larger number of photons per second. As a result, they work very well but carry a number of drawbacks as well.

What Are Some Drawbacks of HPS grow lights?

High power usage requires growers to spend more on electricity bills each month; Heat output from HID lamps is significant and requires additional cooling equipment; Compared with LEDs, HPS systems cost significantly more to purchase and install.

Another drawback is that grow light HPS produce a large amount of heat compared with other types of grow lights. This can cause certain parts of the garden to dry out quickly because they're closer to the lamp than others. So you'll need to make sure you have adequate humidity levels. If you don't, your plants can experience growth and production issues and die prematurely.

Why LED grow light is a better choice:

  • LED grow lights emit a more natural light that looks better in the grow room and is less harsh on marijuana plants, resulting in higher yields and better growth rates.
  • LED grow lights generate far less heat than an HPS lamp, which means they can be kept closer to the plant without drying them out or causing stress from excess heat. This results in faster growth rates with a reduced risk of fire hazards caused by dry conditions around the plants.
  • LEDs last longer than HPS lamps, with a lifespan of 10 years or more compared to roughly 2 years for most HPS lamps. While this might not make a difference when growing one crop each year, it can help reduce your electricity bills and replacement costs over the long run.
  • LEDs also use less than half the energy of HPS lamps, which means they can cut down on your monthly power bill and result in more efficient growth overall.
  • Growers report that LED lighting for weed is brighter than light from an HPS lamp, which results in increased cannabis yields.
  • LEDs are built with specific wavelengths to encourage plant growth, meaning you don't need to purchase a separate bulb as you do with HPS lights. This makes setup easier and reduces the cost of LED grow lights because you don't have to purchase a separate bulb every year or two when your HPS bulbs stop working properly or break after a short time span.

Big Farm led growlight indoor

Ultimately, use them if you want healthier, faster-growing marijuana plants with a bigger yield per harvest! Not to mention higher quality buds since they emit the right kind of light for better photosynthesis during the flowering stage. This also contributes to a cleaner, smoother finished product as opposed to plants cultivated under HPS lamps.

LED grow lights

HPS grow lights

LED grow lights produce light directly from diodes as opposed to using bulbs. This allows for customizable spectrum combinations to suit particular stages of plant growth. 

In addition, there are individual diodes that emit specific wavelengths tailored specifically for growing stages, which can be used together to provide a full-spectrum effect.

HPS grow lighting uses a metal halide bulb that emits light at a yellow wavelength (peak at 5800 K) and a high-pressure sodium lamp that emits light at a red wavelength (peak at 2100 K). 

The metal halide bulb produces more PAR in the blue and green range, while the HPS bulb produces more PAR in the yellow to red range. 

LED grow lights are able to produce about the same intensity of light as HPS grow lights, but they do it with less energy consumption.

HPS lights produce extremely bright light and they also use much more energy than an equivalent wattage of LEDs would in order to achieve this brightness level.

LED grow lights produce less heat than HIDs, and they do not emit any harmful UV rays which can burn your plants. 

The low amount of waste heat produced by LED grow lights is great for you and the environment, helping to reduce cooling costs and maintain a better growing atmosphere for your cannabis plant.

HPS grow lights, on the other hand, cause more stress on the plant with their high intensity penetrating light. 

They also require a ballast to work, so they can be more expensive to set up in comparison to an equivalent-sized LED lighting system.

The addition of reflective material such as Mylar or stapled plastic can help control some of this additional heat. Still, it may end up costing you money in electricity bills down the road due to your AC unit having to work harder.

Best valuable LED grow lights on the market:

Growealth LED grow light

Their new line of surface-mounted diodes offers three products: G1500 (low power), G3000 (300W), and G4800 (480W). Each comes with a full smart spectrum Samsung diode that is adjustable for energy savings as well as flexible PPFDs, making them perfect to use indoors or out under any light conditions without the need for fans which makes these units silent in operation.
Additionally, each product has an input voltage setting between 110V - 277V making this new high output model compatible across different countries and types of power cables.

Smart 300w LED Grow Light for growing plant

Advanced Platinum Series P900 Led Grow Light

With its 9-band spectrum (including UV and IR), this 900 watt light is able to cover an area of roughly 4 by 4 feet when hung at a height of 24 inches. In addition, the Advanced Platinum Series P900 Led Grow Light has multiple switches, allowing it to be used in veg or flower mode, with either switch being easily accessible.

Apollo Horticulture GL60LED grow light system

At 60 watts, this system emits full spectrum 400nm to 780nm wavelengths while covering an area of 3'x3'. It also stars a built-in timer so you can program it to automatically go on and off, making this a convenient option for optimal growing. On top of that, Apollo Horticulture Grow Lights are dimmable from 100% to 10%.


Growers everywhere are turning to LED grow lights for their indoor growing projects because they offer several advantages over other types of lighting. They're not well-suited for all applications, however, so it's important to understand when an LED is best for your needs and when to go with another type of light.

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