LED and HPS plant growth lights-how do you choose?

  litescience          2021-10-04

The debate about which is better between LED and HPS plant growth lamps has been fierce. For decades, indoor planting has been using traditional high-pressure sodium lamps. After the emergence of new technologies, growers are not enthusiastic about new technologies, especially considering When it comes to the price between HPS and LED grow lights.

On the other hand, growers who have already used LEDs said that their electricity costs have been greatly saved, especially now that the new crown virus has caused a rapid increase in electricity prices and the reduction of heat production in the planting room.

Which technology is right for you? Should you use LED technology?

In this article, we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each technology to help you understand which technology is more suitable for your crop. Although LEDs are the future development trend, they may not be suitable for you at this time.

Let's start to compare the parameters of HPS and LED grow lights.

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1. LED and HPS grow lights-compare the standards of the two

2. Compare LED plant lights and HPS technology

2.1 The upfront cost of light

2.2 Spectrum and quality

2.3 Light intensity, penetration and uniformity

2.4 Heat generated by lamps

2.5 Service life and maintenance cost

2.6 Comparison between LED plant light and HPS plant light

3. LED and HPS-which lighting technology would you choose?

1. LED and HPS grow lights-compare their standards

Although all factors are important, for most growers, they are more concerned about cost-effectiveness. You may not need to know the latest technology, you may just want something that will let you through the first few gains, let’s start with the initial investment cost!

Upfront investment cost

energy efficiency


Light intensity, penetration, uniformity

Heat generated

Life and maintenance costs

2. Compare LED plant lights and HPS technology

2.1 Upfront investment cost

HPS technology has a price advantage in all lighting because of its lower price. As we all know, HPS is much cheaper than LED plant growth lights. The price of 1000 watt HPS plant growth lights can even be less than $300, and the price of LED plant growth lights with the same power is almost twice that. After replacing HPS with LEDs, you may not need such a high power. Even so, the price is higher, but it is reasonable. When we analyze the other factors, you will understand why this is the case.

2.2 Energy efficiency and electricity cost

Although you can buy HPS plant lights to start and run with less money, the higher power consumption and the savings will eventually be paid to the power company. All plant growth lights have to consider the cost of electricity, because they run for a long time every day, which means you must make a reasonable budget for the cost of electricity.

The operating efficiency of LED grow lights is 40% higher than that of HPS grow lights. This gap is huge. Not only that, the lower heat generation of LEDs allows you to save more on the cooling system. At the end of the day, you can expect to save enough money on your energy bill to cover the cost of investing in this more efficient technology. Commercial growers will save even more when using utility rebates!

 2.3 spectrum

The sun is the best source of light, which is why many growers like outdoor planting, but indoor planting also has its advantages, such as concealment and safety, which can reduce some unnecessary troubles. Artificial light sources should replicate the sunlight as much as possible, which means that the closer your spectrum is to sunlight, the better.

HPS grow lights can get you from seed to harvest, but its spectrum is more suitable for the flowering stage because their red wavelength light dominates.

LED plant growth lights can not only be used as full-spectrum light, but you can also adjust the spectrum to suit the growth stage of plants. Most of them can achieve this effect by adding infrared light and ultraviolet light.

Light intensity, penetration, uniformity

For growers, one of the most important factors is the intensity and effectiveness of their growth light-how much of it reaches the plant, and how deep can your light penetrate the canopy?

HPS grow lights emit strong light, but the distribution is very limited. The strong light is concentrated in the center, which will cause the plants to get uneven light.

The LED growth light can distribute the light more evenly, the plants on the edge can also get enough sunlight, and the growth of the plants will be more balanced.

2.4 Heat generated

A lot of heat in the planting room is generated by the grow lights, which is inevitable, but the heat generated by LEDs will be much less because they have a higher conversion rate and can efficiently convert electrical energy into light energy. HPS is notorious for generating a lot of heat, partly because of the ballast, but the bulb itself also generates a lot of heat.

If your budget is sufficient and you want to save more heat dissipation costs, then LED grow lights will be the ideal choice.

2.5 Life and maintenance costs

Since lamps are not consumables, we have to consider maintenance costs and service life. The main difference between LED grow lights and HPS is that LEDs use light-emitting diodes with a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. HPS bulbs need to be replaced several times a year at most. For commercial growers, using LED technology can save a lot of labor and replace bulbs. cost of.

2.6 Comparison of LED plant light and HPS plant light

According to the research of Specgrade Lighting personnel, for commercial growers, using LED grow lights in 10,000 square feet of space can save more than 1.25 million U.S. dollars, and the return on investment can reach 1.6 years. It also points out the advantages of LED technology, such as

Longer service life

No need to replace the bulb

Reduce water evaporation (save water resources)

Can be used for vertical farms

Lower maintenance costs

3. LED VS HPS- Which lighting technology would you choose?

LED plant growth lights are the trend of future development. This trend is not based on human will. Even if you do not replace it now, it will only artificially extend the replacement time. Of course, the decision to replace is in your hands, anyway, happy gardening!