Deciding which type of light to use is based on your own personal preference. There are benefits and drawbacks to both which I will outline here to hopefully help you make up your mind. If you have any questions, thought or anything to add; please leave a comment below.
LED Grow Lights
LED’s have come a long way the past couple of years when it comes to growing quality, dense and high yield bud. The light spectrum is a variety of colors, which consists of red, blue, green and white. The blues, green and white lights are used for veg and the red lights are the main light when budding. The best LED grow lights that we believe to be on the market are: California Light Works and Kind. The cost for one Kind LED 1000 watt light is about $1,695.00.
- Less Energy Cost. – A 1000 watt LED equals a 650 watts of power.
- Gives off less heat – Less need for air conditioners, intakes and exhaust fans, as well as ducting leaving more space for growing.
- No bulb switch out – No need to switch out light bulbs when going from veg to bud and no need to change bulbs every couple of cycles.
- Absolute control of light intensity – Has the ability to increase or decrease light intensity as well as light spectrum
- Has a remote control – can be used to turn on and off power, program the timer, set the light intensity and spectrum.
- Lasts longer than HID, HPS lights – no ballast that can be blown and no worries about it blowing from just by turning it on and off.
- Expensive – One thousand watt light can cost about $1,695.00, but if you figure the saving on energy, bulb and replacement fixtures it may end up saving you money.
- Heaters – in colder temperatures you will need to use more heaters since these light do not give off a lot of heat like HID’s.
HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. There are two different types of HID’s: HPS, which stands for High Pressure Sodium and MH, which stand for Metal Halide. HPS light bulbs are best for the budding cycle because of the orange and red light spectrum given off. The Metal Halide bulbs are for the veg cycle because it gives off a blue spectrum. The actual fixture for costs around $250.00 each, so the initial start up costs is reasonable. The cost of HPS light bulb range from $30.00 to $60.00 each and the MH bulbs can run from $20.00 to $50.00 each. The bulbs should be replace at least every couple of cycles. The bulbs loose intensity after time. Though these types of lights seem to be old school compared to the LED’s, they have been used for years and time tested to guarantee you a successful harvest.
- Inexpensive initial investment – Cost with bulbs for one 1000 watt fixture will be about $330.00
- Time tested – these lights have been used for years, so you know that you will get a really great crop.
- Give off heat – This is only really helpful in cold regions.
- Give of a lot of heat – You will need AC’s, more ducting, intake and exhaust fans to help keep the room cool. There is always a danger of overheating the plants, temperatures must be watched carefully until you get them dialed in.
- Costs way more in electrical costs – Your energy bill will sky rocket with these lights. You need to calculate your costs to prepare yourself for when the bill arrives. These lights each use 1 kW/h per hour, so figure your cost per kW/h off your electric bill and during the veg cycle you will have the lights going for 24 hours and 12 hours for the bud cycle. Figure to use 1 light for every two plants.
- Bulbs have to be switched from MH for veg to HPS for bud – so you will have to manually change the bulbs for each cycle, unless you have a specific veg room and another room for bud. Then you will only need to change the bulbs every couple of cycles or when one burns out.
- You have to wait 10 minutes before turning the lights on after turning them off – if the power goes out, you will want to run and make sure that the lights are turned completely off before the power kicks back on. The ballast can blow if you do no wait at least 10 minutes before turning the light back on, they take time to reset.
Now despite the obvious fact that there are more cons than pros for the HID lights, you cannot beat the start up price and you are guaranteed to get a high yielding, quality dense product. LED’s are the wave of the future, which is good for the industry. Using HID’s cost more in electricity, maintenance and even water, because of the heat they give off, water evaporates rather than being used by the plant. So start with the HID’s until you are able to afford LED lights,if you cannot afford them initially.
Please leave a comment with any questions or thoughts.