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The Battle between LED Vs HPS Grow Lights (You must Read)

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It is an inevitable fact that once you get keen on the growing business, you will immerse yourself into the focus of which is the best grow lights. It gets even more confusing since factions for either Led or HPS claim that the light works best for their cannabis plants.

Before making the conclusion which is better LED vs HPS grow lights, it is important to explore deeper into factors like growth stages, room to grow, efficiency and ease of use before making a verdict.

If you checked this debate five years ago, HPS grow lights would have emerged as clear winners of the discussion. However, the technology of LED lights has grown tremendously over the years, especially when it comes to its cost per unit efficiency.

This element then makes determining a clear winner between the two less obvious. As technology continues to improve, more and more growers are gradually adopting the LED lights. But the question is have LED lights finally outperformed their dominant competitors the HPS lights?

Here, we are going to delve into the conversation to determine the ultimate winner between the two dominant players in the grow lights market.

Few Factors Should Know Before Understand LED Vs HPS

1.Your Grow Room

The old saying that there is no definitive setup but only suitable lighting further illuminates the matter on which is the better option between the two lights. The type of space you are using is a great determinant on the type of illumination to make use of.

For instance, growers with an eight by eight tent will find that despite wanting to go for an economical and efficient option, the light footprint emitted by an LED may not be adequate to cover every section of the room. Hence for big tent growers, the HPS grow light serves them better due to the enormous obtainable light impression.

2.Variety of Plant

The type of plant you are going for is a determinant on the choice between LED and HPS lights. For instance, if your plant is the Cannabis Sativa plant 6’, then you are better off with a horizontal lying light option like the LED lights.

On the other hand, if your plant is a bushy Cannabis strain, then you have to use a light bulb with a very strong lumen. In this case, an HPS light system will do the trick for you.

3.The Temperature of your Grow chamber

Depending on the temperature, a poor lighting choice can determine the success or failure of your operations. For example, in an already hot environment, going for a choice like 1000 watts HPS light is not a very good idea.

What you need is a light source that emits low heat like an LED bulb. This system will ensure that lumens are being effectively discharged at the same time, ensuring that there is no corresponding increase in room temperature to the extent of destroying your plants.

On the contrary, in a chilly environment, using an LED will not serve you any good. This fact is due to its low heat. What you want in this case is an HPS light which will warrant that not only are critical lumens being delivered to your plants, but also some heat which will raise the room temperature ensuring a conducive environment for plant life.

4.Sprouting Growth Stage

For cannabis growers, the choice of a light source has an impact depending on the growth stage of the plant. At this initial stage, the cannabis plants are quite vulnerable on their journey to becoming infantile floras.

If you make the mistake of introducing intense light sources, you will end up damaging the plant since it doesn’t have a strong enough footing to put up with such a powerful light.

The dimming selections and full range abilities of an LED are ideal at this growth stage. Similarly, their low heat emission is ideal and can be placed above the delicate seedling without risking the possibility of harming the plant.

Using an HPS is not recommended at this stage. If you have to use, then, place it way above the canopy in order to protect your seedlings from damaging heat.

5.Vegetative Stage

This stage is very integral in cannabis plants life cycle. It determines the root system and growth process. Obtaining photosynthesis efficiency from a proper light source at this phase cannot be over-emphasized enough. The HPS system is the ideal light source at this stage.

This element is due to added wattage hence fostering an increased growth rate among plants. On the other hand, having the HPS lights will mean a high electricity bill since it requires more than 18 hours of light for the plants to perform optimally. Similarly, other growers may argue due to the efficiency of LED lights and low heat emission they are ideal for this stage of growth.

6.Flowering Phase

In order to enable a bountiful harvest, an appropriate light source is key. This stage is also what every grower longs for. Studies show that due to better response by the plants to the red and orange wavelength, HPS lights are ideal for this period.

The reason is the wavelength mimics the shift of the sun, which occurs during fall. On the contrary, the enormous amounts of Heat the HPS lights produce impedes the survival of the buds produced by the cannabis plants during the flowering stage. This element can hinder the harvesting of optimum yields.

The trade off of using LED lights in this phase is the risk of having medium to low yields. The use of these lights is mainly done by growers who are on a budget and do not want to frequently change the bulbs to acquire the proper wavelength.

The reason is many LEDs have the benefit of being digitally viable. Hence a person can choose an all-red spectrum which can be used as a substitute. In contrast, cases are seen where experienced growers are able to produce relatively high harvests while using LED growth lights.

7.Simplicity of Use

Despite the HPS apparent straight forward nature in its use, it requires external ballasts, which have the inconvenience of noise making as well as weighing a lot. For this reason, it’s not recommended for a do it yourself initial setup.

The HPS systems also require hoods and installing this increases setup time as well as cost. Amateur setups of HPS can lead to disastrous perils like the likelihood of a fire outbreak occurring in your growth room.

Quite the opposite, LEDs are exceptionally easy to use, and a considered plug and play option. The other great features include being lightweight, having a digital menu, hence making them particularly simple to use. They take the title as the most user-friendly and ideal for beginners.

Here are the Pros and Cons of each type of light.

Pros and Cons Of Each Type

Pros of LED Grow Lights

  • Efficiency-The LED bulbs are more efficient and will save you money in the long run. Also, the brightness of LEDs shines for the longest time while HPS bulbs have to be changed in every grow to maintain their brightness.
  • Ease of use- you can easily hang the lights over your plants and plug in any standard power source to kick off.
  • Inbuilt cooling- Some LEDs come with the capability to dispense extra heat away from the plants hence preventing damage.
  • Color spectrum can be customized- LED lights can be adjusted by the user to the desired color effect. This fact means that a grower can direct preferred LED color to suit a particular growth stage, an aspect not seen in any other light source.
  • Due to their small size, LED lights helps the grower to maximize growth space.
  • LED lights have a great shelf life as compared to HPS lights.

Cons of LED Growth Lights

  • The relatively high price of obtaining a superior model- In comparison, LED lights are more expensive than HPS ones. Looking at cost per unit produced, a premium LED can cost you up to 5 times more.
  • Lack of consistency- This issue arises when you think that since one model of an LED light performed well, the other will do well too. This assumption is not correct. For LEDs, performance varies from company to company. Diverse tactics are required to be employed to get the best results from an LED.
  • Lack of easy repair for modular parts- most parts are not easily repairable, and you have to replace the whole LED entirely.
  • Lack of proper standardization from manufacturers, hence making comparisons a challenging affair.

Pros of HPS Grow Lights

  • Manufacturers have properly standardized the lights hence easy to compare between brands.
  • The initial cost is relatively lower for HPS lights, although the price for LEDs has reduced over the years.
  • Produces immense light intensity hence enhancing higher yields.

Cons of HPS Grow Lights

  • Guzzles lots of power and are therefore very inefficient.
  • Due to loads of heat the HPS light generates, it can inhibit growing conditions of plants, especially in hot and humid areas.
  • HPS light bulbs constantly require a change of bulbs at least every after every grow due to their fading intensity. This element leads to an increased operational cost.

The Verdict

The choice between LED vs HPS growth lights rests on you. To make this informed decision, you need to understand every facet of your environment, since every grow is different. Otherwise, from a technological standpoint, LED grow lights are superior and present a strong lead to the planters in terms of ease of use, efficiency and better results.

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