High intensity discharge lights are very popular all over the world due to their benefits and ease of use. Mainly HIDs are of 4 types including High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide light bulbs. Both of them are widely used in greenhouses and indoor gardens. High Pressure Sodium grow lights are more popular then Metal halide growing lights.
HID or HPS grow lights required the ballast to operate. HID lights are electrically efficient and emit light spectrum which is favorable for plants. we can compare the spectrum HID grow lights with the sun although it is not identical but it is somewhat similar to it.
Every single HID light works on the same principle they differ is in the shapes, operating requirements (power and voltage supply). Always use matching ballast with the bulb otherwise it will not work properly even if it screwed in.
Coming back to our topic HPS grow lights
What is High Pressure Sodium Grow Light?
In 1964 people demand for high efficient grow lights to grow food at home. Scientists make a high-class light by using mercury and xenon. High pressure sodium grow lights are consist of arc tube hold by the supporting frame. To make it suitable for plant growth they use the two different chemicals called mercury and xenon. This mixture improves the spectrum of light which makes it best for indoor growing.
(Arc tube is filled with half mercury and half xenon)
NOTE: Separate ballast is required to turn it on.
When we supply the electric current to the light xenon gas turn sky blue and light also. Then in the second phase, it heats ups the mercury which gives the yellow and bluish color of light.
Sodium starts to vaporize when the bulb heats up this add white color spectrum in light wave length. Then sodium gets mixed with the other gases and give yellow color light which have red, blue and white spectrum in it.
What is ballast and why do we need it?
A ballast is a device which gives current to your light in the form of pulses. Your HPS grow light will not work without the attaching ballast to it. If you try to light up your light without using ballast then results will be explosion or breakage of the bulb.
You supply direct current to the ballast and then ballast convert it into the pulses and supply it to the light. This also gives protection from the sudden light fluctuations.
Your HID bulbs run without any hazard if you are using high-quality ballast.
Why HPS Grow lights are still very popular?
The secret behind the popularity of HPS grow lights is their efficiency and ease of use. These sodium lights are all rounder light you can use them for multipurpose. It provides high-quality light to plants which they like to absorb.
HPS lighting technology increases the chances of better photosynthesis in all types of plants and herbs. This is also called evergreen lighting technology for growing purpose.
Below are the things you need to be considered while buying an HID, HPS grow light.
After doing research on HID grow light we create a list of important factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting HPS grow light. Pay close attention to following written points and choose the best HPS grow light for your garden.
Total there are 5 sizes of HPS grow lights are available in the market which is commonly sold in the market. Check the below chart and select the appropriate size of light for your indoor garden.
THE REFLECTOR OF LIGHT: As the name suggests it reflects the lights back in the direction in which it is installed. Do not use hps grow light without a reflector, this will reduce the efficiency of light and increases the wastage of light.
Two types of reflectors are used
- OPEN: This reflector is used to increase the emitted light. It gives as much light as possible. This also reduces the loss of light. hence your plant gets more light which ultimately increases the absorption of light.
- AIR COOLED REFLECTOR: This reflector has tiny air holes in it. Use it to throw out the excess of heat and save your plant from burning. This type of reflector is best to use in Grow Tents.
Single-ended Vs. Double-ended HPS Grow Light Bulbs
Single-Ended: SE HPS bulbs look like an ordinary incandescent light bulb. It is attached to the large socket. Only a single-ended of the light is attached to the socket. These lights are less efficient then DE HPS lights by 30 to 40 %. Single-ended lights are cheaper and you need an ordinary ballast to make them work.
Double-Ended: DE HPS lights are attached to the sockets from both the ends. They are more efficient then SE lights. According to research conducted by the universities of USA, DE HPS lights has 90% of light intensity after being used for 10,000 hours.
DE lights emit uniform light for growing plants.
They are also known for high durability.
It is a device which supplies uniform and controlled current to the arc tube otherwise the current will rise to the destructive level and destroy the system. Variety of ballasts are available in the market from digital ballast to simple ordinary ballast.
- Digital ballast
- Magnetic ballast
- Dimmable electric ballast. Etc
Budget: Decide your budget first and then search for the HPS lights. you can buy a good HPS light form $100 and onwards. HPS kits are also famous which include ballast, reflector, bulb, hooks, timer, power cable, and other essential tools. Our advice is to buy a complete HPS grow kit if you do not have a ballast or your buying it for the first time. High-quality High Pressure Sodium grow lights are costly than LED Grow Lights.
Stay inside your budget and choose the best HPS light kit for your garden. We know it is hard to find light if your budget is low but you do not have to worry we have listed few of quality grow kits in our review to make it easy for you to low budget light.
Light Spectrum of HPS Grow Lamp
Every grow lighting technology has its own color spectrum. Different Grow lamps emit a different spectrum of light. Growth of a Plant is directly depending upon the quality of light that it receives. Those who grow under an appropriate spectrum of light shows proper growth with a higher yield.
HPS Grow Lamps emit yellow, red and green light and the combination of all these give the yellowish or golden color of light.
Below is the light spectrum of HPS GROW LAMP
Hps lamps emit light between 400 to 700 nanometres which are good for different growth stages of plants and herbs. If you are planning to grow big plants those grow high then 4 feet then HPS grow lamps are the best option. Do not use LED grow lights to grow plants which are normally bigger in size.
Steps to choose the right wattage of Light
Choosing the right wattage of grow bulb for an indoor garden is not an easy task. Many new growers ask us which size will be best for their growing space. To make it simple we have covered this topic in this review. Below are some recommendations of wattage according to the size of growing space.
150 Watt HPS Grow Lamps
150 Watt of HPS grow lamp is the least powerful light in the market. This light is suitable for small plants and salad items like tomato, lettuce, etc. if you buy a 150 watt grow kit it comes with complete tools like power cord, ballast, etc. As it is not a powerful light it will not release much of the heat. This is the reason you can use this light even in your lobby or kitchen.
Hang it at least 15 to 18 cm meter above your plant.
Coverage: 1.5 feet X 1.5 feet (recommended)
250 Wattage Bulb
This is the little more powerful bulb then 150 Watt. It releases some heat energy which you have to throughout of the place otherwise your growing area gets too hot for plant growth. Moreover, it is quite easy to find 250-watt HPS bulb in the market (on both retail stores and online stores).
Do not forget about the cooling system you will need it for 250 and higher wattage grow lights.
Hang it 10 to 15 inches away from your plant.
Coverage: 2.5 Feet X 2.5 Feet (Maximum recommended coverage limit)
400 Watt HPS Bulbs
Now, this is real HPS grow light because it is a high-power grow light. which emit high intensity grow light. It also releases a good amount of heat energy into the environment so you have to set a heat management system with this light bulb.
If you talk about the most commonly sold HPS lamp in the market then 400-Watt HPS Bulb is the name you hear from everyone. It is capable to grow anything from fruits to vegetable and herbs. But we do not recommend it for growing herbs because they are delicate plants and do not need high PAR light to grow. You can use it to grow other crops.
400 wattage is a category where you can find many options you can buy all parts (ballast, bulb, reflector, etc) separately if you do not find a good deal. Most growers choose all equipment of a single brand to avoid any issue regarding compatibility.
Install it 14 inches to 20 inches away from the plant.
Coverage: It can easily cover the area of 3.5 Feet by 3.5 Feet
600 Watts High Pressure Sodium Bulbs
As you choose higher watts bulb will emit more Lumen per watt, More watts means more light and heat. If you grow crops in a large grow room and want to cover the entire space choose 600-watt HPS light. It covers the total area of 4.5 Feet X 4.5 Feet if you hang it 45 cm away from the plant.
You can adjust the height if you feel your plant is not tolerating the high PAR light.
1000 W HPS Plant Grow Bulb
Selecting a 1000-watt HPS Grow bulb is good if you have the plan to grow crops form commercial use. For home, growers do not use 1000 watt of light instead use two 600 or 400 watts grow lights.
A single 1000-watt light can cover the 6 Feet X 6 Feet grow area. Do not use 1000-Watt HPS light in grow tent if you do not have a powerful heat management system installed.
Coverage: Hang it at the height of 25 inches to cover the 6’ X 6’ area.
Advantages and Disadvantages of High Pressure Sodium Grow Lights
The lights are mainly used for the indoor growing purpose as they emit the spectrum of light similar to the sun. They are still popular in all over Canada and many people use them in their greenhouses to speed up the production. Like other lighting technologies, it has some Benefits and drawbacks which are listed below.
Advantages of High pressure sodium Bulbs
- They come in a complete kit which includes a ballast, bulb, reflector, sockets, power cord, hanging ropes, and hooks, etc. You do not need to buy different equipment form different stores. The package includes everything that you need.
- They are energy efficient lights then MH lights. In the long run, they produce more and consume less energy. This is the reason they are still famous on the commercial level of growth.
- Single HPS light is enough for the complete growth cycle of a plant form veg stage to harvest. People use it for flowering and fruiting stage. They prefer to use small or least powerful lights at the time of cloning or rooting.
- Emit light spectrum which is similar to the sun.
- Plants like to grow under the HPs lights they show a higher rate of light absorption when place under HPS bulbs.
Disadvantages of this lighting technology
- It is costly than other lighting technologies for example LEDs
- You have to install a separate cooling system to keep the grow room temperature under the safe limit
- As they contain little amount of mercury in them it is not safe to throw them in a trash. This action can pollute the air.
iPower 1000 Watt HPS MH Grow light system with digital electronic ballast
iPower is the leading manufacturer of all types of indoor grow lights. They supply growing tools all over the world. This 1000 watt ipower HPS/MH grow light is their masterpiece.
Let’s know more about it
This particular HPS grow kit includes two HPS/MH light bulbs, reflector with hood, power cord, hanging hooks, hanging rope, ballast. Use it to cover a large growing area where you grow a number of plants. It has all the qualities of the best HPS grow light.
BALLAST: The digital electronic dimmable ballast takes an input voltage of 120v to 240 volts which are a good thing. An interesting feature of this ballast is it is dimmable means you can increase or decrease the power of ballast which further increase or decrease the intensity of light.
Set it to 50 %, 75%, and 100% to get maximum out of the HPS/MH grow light. this is an electronic ballast which means you will get 30 % more light than the magnet ballast. Always remember electronic ballasts are better than magnetic ballasts.
Your light will start emitting its light spectrum in just 1 to 2 minutes.
It advanced programming feature auto detects the types of bulb and change the settings accordingly. When you change the HPS bulb with MH bulb it will adjust the settings automatically. Single ballasts will work for HPs and MH both.
iPower ballasts come with the safety protection mechanism which protects your equipment from short circuit, power surge, overheat, start-up failure. Gives a stable voltage which ensures flicker-free light.
CE certified and UL listed device with an inbuilt cooling fan which protects its internal circuits in hot and humid weather conditions. excellent warranty of 24 hours.
MH/HPS 1000 WATT LIGHT: Both the HPS and MH grow light lamp bulbs have initial lumen intensity of 140,000 lumens which is more than enough for a home grower. 2,100K color temperature with the total life span of more than 24,000 hours if you use them carefully. It will take roughly 3 minutes to get fully bright. Both the lights are compatible with the magnetic and electronic ballast.
HPS light lamp bulb enhances flower growth whereas MH grow lamp emit blue and violet spectrum of light which increases the growth rate of the plant.
NOTE: One-year manufacturer’s warranty
REFLECTOR: The HPS grow kit includes an air-cooled reflector hood, 15 lbs weight, 6 inches air duct, 23 x 17 x 9 inch. As we all know the reflector hood increases the coverage area of light, in this case, the reflector helps to cover 4’x 4’ area. It has E39 ceramic Mogul Socket which is fit for 250W, 400W, 600 and 1000W HPS/MH grow light lamp bulbs.
Inner coating od the reflector is made with the German aluminum which increases the reflection to the 95%. Steel mounted brackets make it easy to install it anywhere you want.
ROPE: 8-feet long, made with braided polypropylene, heavy duty rope which can easily hold 150 pounds weight.
TIMER: Ipower timer with 24 hours settings, voltage- 125V, use it with any lighting system (even with some kitchen appliances). 12-months of warranty.
Verdict: excellent light to cover the large area. The kit includes all important and essential tools. If this light comes in your budget go for it (only if you are growing many plants at once and have a strong cooling system).
Vivosun Hydroponic 400 W HPS MH Growing Kit
VIVOSUN is the no.1 choice of indoor growers. Millions of the growers are using Vivosun grow lighting systems over the globe. They use high-quality material to make Vivosun grow equipment, this is the secret of their popularity.
REFLECTOR: The air-cooled reflector having dimension 20”x16”x7” has E39 socket which you can use to fit any grow light in it when required. The inner reflective layer is made with highly reflective aluminum which maximizes the light reflected on the plants. internal wiring is hidden under the plastic to reduces the risk of current. The outer glass is made with reflective crystals which make it cleaner than other brands.
400W MH Light: High PAR light to promote plant growth, 36000lumen, color temp 4200K, T46 glass size. Use it to maximize the growth rate of the plant. if your plants do not show appropriate grow then remove the HPS light bulb and install it into the socket. Once MH light bulb start emitting light on your plant you will see the sudden growth in your plant but you have to use it at least for one week to get the visible results.
400W HPS Bulb: Best for the vegetative and fruiting stage. With 55,000 lumens of light, it gives extremely bright light. Do not look directly into the bulb while it is in operating mode this can cause permanent damage to the retina of your eyes.
400 W HPS light do not produce high heat energy like 1000 W HPS light so you just need a simple cooling system.
TIMER: You can set it easily up to 8 different settings. UL listed timer form Vivosun. The LCD display has a backlight which makes it easy for you to read the readings even at night time. It has backed up feature which means once the power comes back after the failure it will resume your setting (you do not have to set it again).
ROPE HANGER: Standard 8 feet long extra strong rope which can hold more than 150 pounds of weight. The kit also includes safety hooks which are there to adjust the height of the light.
BALLAST: The best part of the ballast id it has wattage settings which allow you to increase or decrease the power output of the ballast. When you are using 250-watt light set it to the 250W output. It has 4 settings 150W, 250W, 400W, and super Lumen mode (full power).
Single ballast is enough for running different watts of HPS and MH grow light lamps. Operate it risk free on 120 to 240 volts, 50/60Hz frequency.
It is made to work with high power fluctuations form 98V to 268V. This means if the voltage drops to the 98V or goes high up to 268V still it is able to provide stable voltage to the light. it has internal transformer which increase or decrease the voltage according to the fluctuation in power supply. If power goes below 98V or higher then 268V it will shut off automatically.
Soft start technology allows multiple ballasts to start at once. At the time of initial start, they do not consume high power current.
NOTE: Vivosun ballasts are famous for providing constant power to the light which allow light to emit ultra-bright high intensity grow light.
SunStream 600 Watt HPS MH Grow Light
SunStream is another big name in the market of indoor grow lights. It is another trusted brand which you can use to grow your plants. we are using SunStream HPS grow lights in our indoor garden from last 2 years and get amazing results. Quality is the main motive of the manufacturer. Below are the main features of the SunStream 600 Watt HPS MH grow light.
REFLECTOR: Made with high-quality aluminum reflective material. All wires are hidden behind the plastic material which ensures your safety form an electric shock. 4’x4’ light coverage area, use any light from 250W to 400W, 600W, and 1000W HPS grow light.
Wing reflector gives you the maximum coverage with the low power light and you do not need a cooling system with it.
BALLAST: 600W dimmable electronic ballast which gives smooth power supply to the grow light. operate it on 120 to 240 volts. It has three dimmable options 50%, 75 %, and 100%. Once you select the 50 % option it will dim the brightness to half of the full power.
The heavy duty power cord is included in the kit which ensures your safety. Do not use it in a wet or moist place. No need to set up a cooling system for ballast itself because it has an in-built cooling fan which keeps the internal components of ballast cool.
Ul listed CE certified, 30 % more lumen then magnetic ballasts. It has an internal safety circuit which protects it from sudden power failure or short circuit.
HPS/MH GROW LIGHTS: HPS bulb produces 85000 lumens and CT 2100K whereas MH has 55,000 initial lumens and CT 6400K.
HPS has a total life span of 32,000 hours which is more than the 12,000 hours of MH. Sunstream claims that both the bulbs are made with high-tech material which makes them energy efficient. They also said their HPS and MH grow bulbs consume less electric current and produce more light.
TIMER AND ROPE: 8 feet long heavy-duty rope which hold upto 150 pounds of weight. Normal types of timer with 24 hours of settings which takes 125v AC.
WARRANTY: Sunstream give maximum warranty on their all products. 3-years of warranty on ballast, 1-year warranty on both bulbs, 1-year warranty on Timer, reflector also has 12 months of manufacturer’s warranty. Rope hanger comes under lifetime warranty you can change them for free if you detect any defect in them.