In the wake of all the new technology in grow light kits, it’s easy to lose sight of traditional high-intensity discharge (HID) grow light kits and their benefits. HID kits (grow light kits that use MH and HPS bulbs) have gotten a bad reputation because of their heat discharge, yet HID’s are used more often than any other style of grow light kit for several reasons.
- Cost efficiency. HPS and MH grow light kits are some of the most popular kits out there because you get so much for so little! A ballast, 1-2 bulbs for flowering and vegging, a reflector, and other perks like light hangers and timers- all for a starting cost of around $150! Parts for HID kits, like bulbs or ballasts, can also be found at local indoor growing stores in a variety of makes and prices so you don’t have to waste time and money shipping parts to and from international stores. Overall, HID lights are inexpensive and replacement parts are easy to find.
- There is a wide range of reflectors on the market, which means there are more options for various growing situations. LED’s and T5 lights have very limited style reflectors for growing. HID’s, however, come in hoods, umbrellas, various styles of wings, and can cover plants beneath and in the peripherals of the reflector. Moreover, high powered HID’s typically weigh less than other high powered lights. For example, a 600w HID kit’s reflector typically weighs about 5-6 lbs. The heaviest part is the ballast, which can be wall-mounted to avoid stress on grow tent. Compare that to a 600w LED that would be at least 10-15lbs. HID’s offer a range of uses and are some of the lightest systems to work with, making them versatile and easy to fit any growing space.
- Because HID’s have a wide area of light coverage, HID’s are optimal for commercial growers. The minimum coverage area of a 1000w HID is 6×6’, whereas most other high powered lights’ coverage area is about 4.5×4.5’ during the vegging cycle and less during flowering. Commercial growers need a consistent amount of light in a given area and cannot afford to add and subtract lights during a garden’s life cycle because it can shock your plants if done incorrectly. The widest and strongest light coverage, for the most part, comes from MH and HPS grow light kits.
One of the greatest things about HID lights is that whether you’re an advanced grower or a beginner, HID lights offer a wider margin for error than with other systems. HID lights offer a full-color spectrum, and what you see is either an intense white light in MH bulbs and a warm orange in HPS bulbs. Each of those lights contains red, blue, orange, indigo, and all colors in between. Some grow lights, like certain LED’s, have very limited spectrums- either an all blue spectrum, all red spectrum, or a combination of the two with a few additional colors. While those lights give plants the specific wavelengths of light they need, HID’s offer more wavelengths than a plant can want. If a specific wavelength in an LED is effected, your plants will react quickly. That won’t happen with an HID light because you’re always giving your plants all the light they need and more!
This full spectrum gives HID’s the final edge over other grow lights. Wide spectrums like those found in HID lights have been proven to not only flower a lot quicker than other grow lights, but harvests tend to be more flavorful. Although vegging with other grow lights can be fast, plants that bare fruit will need as much light as possible when blooming. LED’s flowering diodes provide very limited wavelengths of light, as do T5’s. When flowering, you’ll want to give your plants more than enough wavelengths of color to ensure any and all fruit grow to their potential without stressing the plant out. Most LED and T5 yields are either stunted because they are grown with HID growing times, or are less flavorful because it takes too much
Whether you’re a beginning grower or a commercial gardener who’s been at it for a while, HID grow lights are some of the best light for growing flowers and fruiting plants. They cost less and offer more consistent quality over alternate grow lights. With HID’s your harvests will be delicious, aromatic and your lights will be affordable, bright, tried and true.