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HPS vs. LED Grow Lights

Growing herb is one of the best ways to ensure that you are getting a healthy and fresh product. Some climates are great for growing outside. However, not everywhere has the right climate to grow outside and sometimes a grower just wants the ability to better control and protect a crop. If you are going to be growing indoors you will need to pick lights that will supply the plants with the light that they need. Two of the main types of growing lights are LED lights and high pressure sodium lights. Much debate is had over which of these lights are better. Both kinds of lights are excellent. However, each one will have advantages and disadvantages depending upon your situation.

High Pressure Sodium Lights:

Sun System AC/DE Fusion 8 in Air-Cooled Fixture 120-240 V

High pressure sodium lights are the classic indoor grow lights. They have been in use since the 70’s and still do an adequate job. Each light unit costs about $50 to $150. These lights get very hot. They use a large amount of electricity to run. They work by sending photons to plants that the plants need to grow.

LED lights:

AgroLED® Dio-Watt™ 720, 450W Full Spectrum Low Pro

In the past LED lights were not technologically advanced enough to use as grow lights. However, in recent years LED lights have been developed into lights that are perfect for growing. LED lights usually are in 1 of 3 categories. They either come as cheap and low quality, midrange or high quality LED lights. Ultimately the high quality LED lights are worth the extra money. Often they will save you money in the long run because they use less power and come with warranties. LED lights emit blue and red colors that allow the plants to absorb the energy they need to grow. The LED lights usually range from $300 to $2000 depending upon the quality.


High pressure sodium lights are much cheaper initially. If you are a large scale grower and have to buy lights for the whole room, you will be paying far less for the high pressure sodium lights in the first place. However, in the long run the LED lights are cheaper. LED lights cost 70% less energy to run than high pressure sodium lights. Also, if you are running up your electricity as high as a bunch of high pressure sodium lights would run, you will raise some red flags. LED lights also last longer. They also tend to come with warranties. Many times they even produce better plants. As far as the total costs of running the lights and quality of the resulting plants goes, LED lights are better.

So, you understand how they work and how much they cost but you need to know which ones to get. The answer is that it depends upon your budget and the scale of your operation. For someone who has a small operation, the savings in electricity may not be significant enough to justify spending so much. If you are just starting up a large scale growing project, the LED lights may be out of your budget. However, those who are growing a lot of plants should look into getting LED lights even if they can only replace the high intensity sodium lights slowly.