Over several years there has been a strong debate between LED grow lights vs HPS grow lights. However, with new advancements made in grow light technology, LED grow lights are becoming more powerful. They're still extremely more efficient than standard HPS or MH grow lights, and believe it or not, they're producing massive yields than ever before. Continue as we discuss the basics of indoor grow lights and how you can utilize both grow light systems towards your benefit.
Indoor Grow Lights 101:
A grow light is an artificial light source used to stimulate plant growth by emitting an electromagnetic ray of light (or spectrum) that helps the process of photosynthesis in plants.
Photosynthesis is a process by which the plants convert light energy, usually from the sun, into chemical energy that can be used to fuel the organism. So basically, a grow light is an artificial light used to give your plants the light they need to grow.
Some growers use both LED and HPS grow lights together to combine the added benefits from both light sources.
What's an HPS Grow Light?
High-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps contain additional elements such as mercury and produce a dark pink glow when first struck. As it intensifies, that pinkish-orange light warms into an orange glow. HPS Lamps are favored by indoor gardeners for traditional growing because of the wide color-temperature spectrum produced. Not only that, but it has been the standard grow light with impressive years for decades for their ability to grow flowers and flowering plants effectively.
HPS lights produce red visible light as well as small portions of all other visible light. They are used for the reproductive or flowering phase of growth. If high-pressure sodium lights are used for the vegetative phase, plants will usually grow taller more quickly which doesn't benefit smaller growing areas. High-pressure sodium lights enhance the fruiting and flowering process in plants. We have a more in-depth article on the HPS light that explains more on the topic of this popular grow light setup.
So Why Use LED Grow Lights?
We mentioned the future of LED Grow Lights before and feel that there still isn't enough credit due to the technology behind it. Many experienced growers mumble and grumble about the prospects of LEDs used for indoor gardening because they believe the product is not as powerful as HID grow lights. That may have been the case 5 years ago, but many growers and manufacturers have stepped up since then and have utilized LED grow lights to their benefit, enhancing diode and chip technology to get a stronger, more powerful light out of each diode.
In the indoor gardening area, LED grow light systems have become popular and are becoming the preferred choice by more hobbyist and commercial gardeners. We listed 4 main reasons why LEDs are making a big impact:
1. Saving energy is one of the most important things for anyone who is using grow light. LED Grow lights are preferred because they consume less electricity than HPS lights. According to market research, LED lights consume 90 percent less power than HPS grow lights. You have less load on your amperage and electric breakers at home because LED grow lights enhance the energy efficiency of your indoor garden.
2. In comparison to HPS lights, LED lights have a longer bulb life. With time, HPS bulbs may become dimmer and lose efficiency. Even the actual operating cost over the lifetime of an HPS bulb increases with usage. On the other hand, LED bulbs offer a bit more power at the end of their lives.
3. When it comes to HPS lights they emanate more heat than LED lights, which often give you integrated heat sinks. Heat emanated from HPS lights requires ventilation which may cause additional costs. Whereas in the case of LED lights, the heat released is less than half than that of its counterpart, HPS.
LED lights need less electricity to operate than HPS lights. This helps you reduce a major part of your indoor gardening expenses.
Comparisons between LED and HPS lights clearly show that the LED bulb is the winner in a lot of factors. It saves you a lot of operating expenses due to built-in heat sinks. It also promises more energy efficiency than an HPS bulb. As they don’t lose efficiency quickly, they will only help you increase your savings over time.