CBD Root Source

HPS (HID) vs. LED Lights for Growing Marijuana

What is an HID/HPS Light?

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are a type of electrical discharge arc lamp that produces light by sending an electrical discharge between two electrodes of plasma or ionized gas. Noble gas is present in this arc tube and often encompasses appropriate metal or metal salts.

What is an LED Light?

A light emitting diode is an electrical light source that possesses the properties of a semiconductor which in turn emits visible light when a certain amount of electric current passes through it.

Why would I use an LED grow light over an HID grow light?

The first notable reason is that LED grow lights require very low power to work unlike HID grow lights which requires a high amount of power, LEDs provides much more focused luminous ray with a sharper and crisper vision and also have great penetration, therefore they need not to be moved. They are durable and also have longer life span compared to HIDs and are very easy to setup – they can be plugged into a socket and hung over plants which is much easier than setting up an HID light.

LED grow lights may be the best for growers who are looking to harvest half to one ounce of cannabis a month. They run at cooler temperatures, get better yields than their counterparts, they are tremendously low on electricity and require little to no setup.

LEDs that contain some amount of green or white light are the best for growing plants with no nutrient deficiencies, while their prices ranges by power and design; 300 watt lights cost around $595, 450 watts $745, 600 watts costs $895, 750 watts costs $1,245, while 1000 watts costs $1,499.99.  These are approximate price averages for LED lights on the market.*

Why would I use an HID grow light over an LED grow light?

HID grow lights efficiently produces more light than LEDs and are powered by large oddly-shaped bulbs where the temperature can also rise quickly which makes it a great option for indoor plants needing a very highly regulated temperature for propagation. HIDs also have a long lifespan, which is estimated at around 2,000 hours (again dependent on the light and manufacturer), coupled with higher visibility and are great for growing marijuana. HID grow lights are significantly cheaper than LED grow lights, however, they may not perform as well. That being said, HIDs still represents an established option for many indoor growers.

HID grow lights fall under two category types: the Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). Either brand can be used for a full propagation from seed to harvest or the lights can be interchanged at different junctures of plant maturity.

HPS grow lights emits light in orange to red spectrum, which makes them efficient and the best for use during the flowering stage of plants like marijuana, while their lack of emitting light in the blue spectrum makes them the best for the vegetative juncture of indoor plants where a natural source of light is unavailable.

HID grow lights are lower in cost than LED grow lights, but the low cost is justified by their limited spectrum, higher heat generation, and reduced lifespan. HID light prices also vary by their wattage – 250watts has a price range of $150-$250, 400watts ranges from $200-$400, 600watts ranges from $300-$500 while 1000watts has a price range of $400-$600.

Companies that create the best HID and LED Grow Lights

Before choosing the best grow light, there are a couple of things you actually need to consider including spacing, spectrum, brand, electrical usage, light control and budget. Below is a list of some companies that manufacture LED grow lights:

Gogrow, Apollo Horticulture, Galaxyhydro, California lightworks, Kind, Viparspectra and many more. While those of HID grow lights are iPower, Apollo Horticulture, Sun system, Vivosun, Yield Lab, Eye Hortilux, Digilux, Ushio and many more.


HID and LED grow lights are leading the way in the grow light technology as users watchfully move away from halogen bulbs in the automotive market.  Whether you’re a budget grower or a indoor plant enthusiast, there are plenty of options available.  Do you prefer HID or LED lights? Share your experience!


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