Grow Lights... LED vs. HID or CMH ?

 LED ( Light Emitting Diode ) Grow Lights 

LED Grow Lights save on cost of power consumption and grow room cooling.  LED's produce very low heat output compared to HID Grow Lights. LED Grow Light fixtures produce less radiant heat over HID Grow Lights.  LED Grow Lights height placement can be set 40% closer to the plant canopy over HID's, allowing more light to penetrate below the upper canopy of a dense sea of green without risk of light burn. LED's produce very high quality amounts of low and high end spectrum waves, which generally range between 420nm to 770nm to fulfill any plant's requirements for optimum growth and bloom stages. LED Grow Lights produce only the useable light spectrums required for optimum plant growth, thus producing more yield per watt and better flavor/oil production than typical HID’s (high intensity discharge). With downed heat and electricity factors, LED’s fixtures last on average up to 50,000 hours, which eliminates the need to replace costly HID Lamps which degrade up to 30% light output within 90 days of operation. Generally you will save about 60% on your energy consumption costs by switching over to LED Grow Light over traditional HID Lamps. LED’s have a slightly higher up front cost, but that cost will offset in no time with lower energy consumption, cooling requirements, and cost of replacement lamps.  Leading LED Manufacturers CREE & BRIDGELUX have shown tests results showing only a 5% light output loss after 50,000 hours of operation.  LED’s are becoming the leading light source for commercial & industrial lighting.  The technologies are now being adapted to the horticultural industry and showing great growth results.  Popular Grow LED Light brands today are Illumitex LED, Kind LED and Black Dog LED to name a few.


HID ( High Intensity Discharge )  Grow Lights such as Metal Halide (MH), High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH or LEC) 

HID Grow Lights are right along side with LED's for have the best quality and output of light. To get the most out of plants you need to have a metal halide bulb to promote good vegetative growth. High pressure sodium lamps (HPS) produces the red spectrum which promotes buds and flowering.  HID Light have been the old faithful of the industry providing powerful performance and results.  The setbacks is the power consumption and heat output.  Power bills can climb when you begin operating many HID Lamps.....Your Grow Room temperature will climb as well.  To counter act the heat production generally an air conditioner is used to offset the HID Lamps heat output.  The rule of thumb here is for every 1000watt HID Lamp in operation you will require 12,000btu cooling power from an Air Conditioner pumping in that cool air to counter act the heat being released off the 1000watt HID Lamp.

Personally I prefer LED Grow Lights over HID Grow Lights.  I have grown for many years using HID Light Systems before LED's came along.  Moving Magnetic Ballasts around was like weight training day at the gym....Working on my garden with vertical hanging HID Lamps and standing up into one hearing the skin on my back scorch.....what can I say about it ?  It was the best way to have side lighting to hit that lower canopy when LED's did not exist.

Now we are seeing Ceramic Metal Halide Grow Light Fixtures & Lamps showing great promise to lower power consumption and heat output with great feedback from our customers.  Commonly designed in 315 watt and dual lamp 630 watt configurations using either a 3000K or 4000k CMH Lamps.  Ceramic Metal Halide Lamp produce a well rounded full spectrum plus  an enhanced UVB wave spectrum which optimizes a plants resin and oil production.  This occurs because of the UVB 290nm light wave being emitted by CMH Lamps. Enhanced UVB light waves cause plants to create an additional protective coat of resins and oils to ensure there plant tissue is not damaged.  If you think about this for a minute plants are alot like people.  We use sunscreen to protect ourselves from being sun burnt by over exposure to UVB rays and plants produce their own oils and resins for the same type of UVB ray protection.

HID's will always be my old friend giving 145,000 lumens when nothing else was an option.  I have a fondness for companies like EYE Hortilux, Sun System and many others that continue to make quality HID Solutions.


Whether your choice is HID or LED there are many great Grow Light Solutions to shop for at Garden Supply Guys offering Discount Hydroponics Equipment, Grow Lights, Plant Nutrients, Grow Tents, Horticulture Grow Tents and Garden Supplies by all the Top Brands in the industry.  Over 10,000 products to shop for and Growing every day !

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Justin Moschella - Sep 17, 2016

This comment is to thank everyone at “Garden Supply Guys”. Since discovering there site about 4 years ago, I don’t need to look elsewhere for everything that I need. Staff was exceptionally helpful and spent over 20+ minutes on the phone with me, helping me find everything that I needed for my summer garden. After placing my order I received an e-mail and a text message a few hours later that my order has already been shipped. I can’t say enough about how satisfied I am with their service. I will be growing upwards of 30+ “Red Fig Tomato Plants”, this season. Many thanks to all the staff at GSG !!!

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