Let me ask you this – would you buy something that is not efficient for a particular use such as growing plants inside your house?
Yeah, I know you are with me because any sane person would stick to the efficiency of a particular object rather than its looks. That is if you seek the best out of something such as indoor growing.
That’s why in this article I will teach you on how to pick the best HID grow lights for your indoor growing.
In this article, we’ll talk about topics such as:
- Choosing the best HID lights for growing indoors
- Picking up the best HID grow light kit
- What’s to keep in mind before purchasing
- And of course, I will include some of my very own HID Lights Reviews that will serve as a reference for your purchasing.
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- What Actually are HID Grow Lights?
- Things to Keep in Mind When Buying HID Lights
- Top 5 Best Hid Grow Lights of 2020
What Actually are HID Grow Lights?
First things first, we must consider that there are some beginners that want to engage in using HID grow lights because of their passion to grow their plants into splendid crops.
So, what should you first know if you just heard of this crazy acronym HID? First things first – what actually are HID Grow Lights?
Putting in the most general description; HID or High Intensity Discharge lamps are electrical gas-discharge lamps that yield high-intensity light with the use of electric arc. To put it simply, they produce efficient lights for our lovely plants.
Ultimately, they make the best grow lights because they are able to produce high-intensity UV rays and enhance natural light to help with photosynthesis (think of it as a process of digestion for plants) so that plants can grow efficiently indoors.
Now that you know how they are very useful in indoor planting then let’s proceed with the buying process.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying HID Lights
Of course before buying anything crucial we must consider something. In the case of HID Lights, there are three things that we must consider.
- Type of HID Light
- Type of Bulbs
HPS or MH
HPS stands for High-Pressure Sodium bulbs, on the other hand, MH stands for Metal Halide bulbs. Well, if you are choosing the right kind of HID lights, you must narrow down your list with just these two since the market has a high competency rate and lots of bogus types of products are being sold.
Yup, I said that you could choose between these two. But remember I said “could” and not “must”, to put it simply go and purchase both lights if possible.
What? Both? Why?
First let’s, try to know what HPS really are. This type of HID emits a yellow-orange-red luminescence on which it is very good for optimizing results during the flowering cycle of a plant.
Though keep in mind that you must not use it during fruiting since it might weaken the quality of your plants.
Another type of HID. This particular grow bulb emits a bluer light that is good for fruiting contrary to the latter type of HID. Basically, it is not very good during the flowering of plants.
To put it simply, since plants need “yellow-orange-red” and “blue” light for their growth stages then you must consider buying these two if you want the most efficient output for your plants.
Though there is some process that you must know before using HPS and MH at the same time.
HPS + MH
With that said, what you wanna do is put HPS bulbs overhead as the primary luminescence source and must serve as the support for MH bulbs.
We do this since HPS bulbs weaken the plant if we implement it throughout the growth process of the plant completely.
Though if we make it be quite distant from the plants then the lights spread more and thereby decrease its concentration.
Using MH during ONLY FRUITING and HPS during ONLY FLOWERING
Some say that this approach is the most popular style of utilizing the two. It is because modern digital ballasts permit you to utilize the same reflector and ballast to run the kind of HID bulbs.
Just switch out the bulb and maintain growth and the work is done.
Using Only HPS
Well, if no other choice and you can’t purchase the MH bulbs, it is still fine though not in the fruiting process. As I’ve said HPS is the best use during the flowering season of plants.
Using Only MH
Since it would not really help with the flowering process of the plant, then obviously it is not really the best option since fruiting mostly depends on how well the flowering process of the plant is.
We’ll try to limit this subchapter to 250 watts and 1000 watts since outside of that range is certainly inefficient to be used in indoor growing.
For average growers, you must use 400-600 watt bulbs because 1000 watts is quite hot. Though of course, you can pick this amount of wattage if you can manage the heat it produces.
But what I really want you to do is to use several fewer watt bulbs than picking up those with high wattage because it is more efficient.
- Use 250 watts for 3-5 plants and distance them from the Canopy 6 inches to 8 inches.
- Use 400 watts for 6-9 plants and distance them from the Canopy 9 inches to 12 inches.
- Use 600 watts for 9-12 plants and distance them from the Canopy 12 inches to 18 inches.
- Use 1000 watts for 12-16 + plants and distance them from the Canopy 18 inches to 26 inches.
Type of Bulbs
This is a little bias but apparently, double-ended bulbs are 30% more efficient compared to single ended bulbs. What it means is that they produce greater PAR ratings for the same watt. Also, they last better and retain 90% of their output after 10,000 hours of use.
But why does not everyone get their hands on double-ended bulbs if it’s this efficient?
The answer is simple. They are a lot more expensive.
That’s why I’m telling you to stick to single-ended bulbs since we are just growing inside our house.
There are less necessary things that you must consider before buying HID lights such as:
- Power Control
- Dimming Ability
- Energy Saving
- Bulb Life Enhancement
- Heat Release
I say that they are not really crucial since apparently all of the modern HID lights don’t really vary from these particular kinds of stuff.
Now let’s proceed with my BEST 5 HID Lights products that I would suggest you purchase if ever you have the leisure.
Top 5 Best Hid Grow Lights of 2020
Appolo Horticulture Digital Dimmable System
I highly suggest this product because of its high-quality design such as its well-designed reflector hoods that are very nice and reflective.
Its ballasts stay cool which is great for heat matters. The bulbs are incredibly bright and they have about or higher lumens like those of higher end-bulbs. Its built-in pulley system is just a lifesaver that helps you to control the light closer or further away depending on the plants’ growth stage.
To top it all of, it’s affordable.
- Lighter compared to other most HID lights
- Less heat production than other HID lights
- Adjust rope hangers and dimmable lights effortlessly
- Some users had problems maintaining its light consistency
- Bulbs must be replaced at least a year
iPower Digital Dimmable Grow Light System
It has a secured ballast and attaches securely to the wall using 2 screws and can be easily removed for storing. Its wiring is quite long and very durable and the ballast takes up little space.
If you set the knob to around 50% then you could save some cost on your electric bills.
The design is sturdy and its hood is incredibly flexible making the light to be well-aimed. Its light grows lettuces in just a matter of weeks and gets you a running start on a spring garden!
- Its two bulbs offer full-spectrum growth
- All-inclusive kit has everything necessary
- Heavy-duty hangers
- Must be included with fan due to its residual heat
- In some particular instances, its light runs interference with the signals in the house
- Sometimes inconsistency with the power output from the ballast occurs
iPower Digital Dimmable System – Air Cooled Hood Set
It has a timer and very basic and easy to use just like its hangers. Its ratcheting hangers have a very simple design and hold the weight of the tube effortlessly.
When assembling the cool tube wings, you must be careful to avoid bending its frame.
The fan on the ballast is quite loud but it does move more air and maintains the cool atmosphere.
- The hood is ready for an energy-saving in-line fan
- Complete spectrum lighting
- Dimmable ballast and customizable
- Purchasing in-line fan is a must
- Loud ballast
- Not the best hid grow bulbs, problems with the bulbs occur quite frequently
Vivosun Hydroponic Hid Grow Light Air Cooled Reflector Kit
The kit comes with one MH for vegetative process and HPS for flowering bulbs. How wonderful! Despite the reflector being quite flimsy, it has a very good reflective surface. The hanger system is very convenient!
- Easy to set-up an inline fan right into the hood
- Cheap hid grow lights elements
- Not really energy efficient
- In-line fan not included with the kit
Sun System Grow Light Fixture With Ultra Sun Lamp
Comparing this to a 150w HPS Hydrofarm fixture and the sun 150w HPS draws significantly because of less amperage than the prior approach! In an enclosed surrounding, its light is only a bit luke-warm but very beneficial. I’m also shocked that glass is removable!
- Lightweight and easy to hang
- Lower heat compared to large lights
- Makes a fine supplemental light source in larger gardens
- Not a complete spectrum since only single bulb at a time
- Not advisable for vegetative plant growth
Now that you have the top 5 best HID grow lights above, then don’t be afraid to choose one.
What I’ve listed has only beneficial matters as you will gain experience along the way of using one of them. Just compare them if you have doubts and conclude if it suffices your taste.