All Lights Are Not Created Equal

All Lights are not Created Equal

Marijuana Grow Lights

If you’ve had a chance to review our article on quality of light and lumen output, then you already know that there is a wide range of difference between lights. Since light is one of the most important things for your plants, being responsible for providing the energy your plants need to grow and form buds, you’ll want to choose you lights carefully.

As is outlined in our article about lumen output, some of the best lights available are called high intensity discharge (HID) lights. These are lights like the high pressure sodium and the metal halide, lights that require a lot of energy, produce a lot of heat, and do an astoundingly good job of emulating the light produced by the sun.

Unfortunately, not all lights are created equal. Not only are there a wide range of lights, including everything from incandescent light bulbs and mercury vapor lights to compact fluorescent tubes and HID lights, but there are many manufacturers of those lights too. And, as many a seasoned grower has learned, not all manufacturers produce the best light bulbs.

That means you could be operating a HPS lighting setup that is actually only performing about 60 – 70% as well as another manufacturer’s lighting. In other instances, you can find yourself operating HID lights that routinely burn out long before they should, causing you to buy expensive replacements far more often.

To help you navigate the realm of HID lights that are available, here are some of the most popular HID lights / setups available for indoor growing:

Sylvania Grolux Grow Lights

Sylvania Grolux Grow Lights

  • Hortilux Eye HPS lights are available in wattages up to 1000 watts and have received many stellar reviews from seasoned growers over the years. These light bulbs can be a bit more expensive than others, usually around $100 a piece, but you’ll only need to replace them about once a year, and the value you get is well worth the extra cost.
  • Lumatek HID lights are available in a wattages ranging from 400 – 1000 with MH and HPS options available. These lights are cheaper, making them a more affordable alternative for the grower on a budget who wants the benefits of an HID light, but can’t afford the nicer bulbs. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for: Lumatek bulbs are renowned for having premature failures and generally being, well, cheap.
  • Sylvania Grolux HPS lights are also available in a variety of wattages, and are generally a reasonably affordable bulb to consider if you’re on a budget. With better reviews than the Lumatek lights, you can rely on Sylvania HID lights to last for a while and yield decent results, but they aren’t the most spectacular lights available for growing your cannabis.

When you’re looking for a good light, in addition to pure lumen output, you’ll also want to pay attention to what is called the Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) output. The PAR output of your light is the amount of light that is puts out that your plant can actually make use of. It’s important to look at the PAR output because some lights have high lumen output, but relatively low PAR output comparatively.

Don’t be fooled when you’re choosing your lights, pay attention and get the best that you can afford. A proper lighting system is money well-spent, and you’ll literally reap the rewards.

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One Response to “All Lights Are Not Created Equal”

  1. GreenAngel7October 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    How about LED panels what’s your opinion in those?

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