Grow lights hold a very special place in the life of people who grow marijuana. Growing weed is a long and often tiring process, which is very rewarding towards the end. However, in order to grow the best weed, you need to provide your plants with the best kind of lighting. HPS grow lights have, for the longest time, been quite the popular means of providing lighting to your plants. While the arrival of LED lights has brought in a shift of gears and a number of growers are moving towards these newer lights, HPS grow lights continue to be a major force in the markets. In this article, we shall take a detailed look at the 10 best HPS grow lights in 2020 and review them.
Regardless of the change brought by LED lights, HPS lights are here to stay. In this article, we shall be taking a closer look at what HPS grow lights are and how they function, and then which are the 10 best HPS grow lights in 2020. Post our review of these lights, we shall also be looking at a buyer’s guide which will help you get the best lights for your needs! We shall also answer some frequently asked questions so that you get a better and all-round view about what these grow lights are and what you can expect from them.
Let us now head straight into understanding the need for grow lights and what HPS grow lights are:
What are HPS Grow Lights?
High-Pressure Sodium grow lights, popularly known as HPS grow lights, are among some of the best grow lights for growers who want to provide warm lighting to their plants. Before heading into the specifics of HPS lights, one needs to understand why lighting is needed for plants. It is essential that your plants get a regular access to light because they convert this light into energy that is then used for preparing their food and for breaking down sugars, etc. The light that comes from the sun also helps the plants become leafier and develop more foliage. It also helps them improve their root mass, as well as develop a better flavour and smell. In marijuana plants, sunlight is also a major factor in the amount of THC and CBD that they have in them which gives them the psychoactive properties!
HPS grow lights are a type of High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights. HID lights come in two types – there are the Metal Halides which emit cool blue lighting and then there’s these HPS grow lights which emit the warm red light. Plants, during different phases of their growth, need different kinds of lighting. The first half of their growth cycle is dominated by the need for blue lights while in the second half (flowering phase), they need the red lights. However, red lights are usually needed all through their growth in a limited quantity, which makes HPS lights quite important.
Blue lights are important for the development of the foliage and for photosynthesis while the red lights are more beneficial when it comes to the flowering stages and for the better and bigger blooming of the buds and flowers. Now that you know what kind of light HPS lights emit and what their function is, here’s a look at the 10 best HPS grow lights in 2020 – along with their review, pros and cons of each light and a look at some of their key features which make them special:
10 Best HPS Grow Lights in 2020 Reviewed
These are the 10 best options that you have if you are planning on buying HPS grow lights in 2020:
- Wattage: 1000W
- What’s Included: One HPS grow lamp of 1000W
- Price: $28.99
Vivosun is undisputedly ‘the’ top name in the markets when it comes to buying grow lights for growing indoor plants. The company has been making some stellar products over the years and they are known for making a large number of gardening supplies. HPS grow lights happen to be one of them. This particular product from Vivosun offers you with 1000W of lighting, while supporting both, magnetic as well as digital ballasts. Apart from the 1000W variant, there are two other 400W and 600W variants available as well.
This grow light comes with an E39 base which fits in well with most ballasts. Other than that you get a 14000 lumen output which is very bright and will help your plants grow well. One of the key things that stands out about this grow light is that it has been optimized in a manner which will ensure that the lumen output remains at about 90% even after 5000 hours of using the bulb! The overall lifespan of this grow light is 24,000 hours which is very impressive when you compare it against other similar grow lights. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes after being switched on to reach peak brightness and the manufacturer suggests that you should wait at least 5 minutes after turning it off if you wish to start it again.
- Very durable and long lasting bulbs
- Do not heat up too much
- Works with electric as well as magnetic ballasts
- Not quite pricey
- Decent 24000 hour lifespan and works well even after 5000 hours of use
- Some growers have complained that the glass quality could be improved
- Wattage: 600W
- What’s Included: One HPS bulb, One MH bulb, one 600W electronic ballast, a ratchet clip hanger rope, mechanical timer, 19 inch reflector
- Price: $128.82
While the first one that we saw on this list was a standalone bulb, let us now take a look at a complete grow light kit from iPower. An HPS grow light kit basically consists of a number of things – such as the ballast, ropes, a timer, the two bulbs (one HPS one MH), etc. that you need to grow your plant. Most growers who are starting their operations choose to buy kits instead of going for buying standalone parts separately because the advantage of buying a kit is that you know everything is going to fit in smoothly. This kit comes with a 600W electronic ballast – though there are 400W and 1000W options as well.
This is a dimmable ballast which is what makes this one of the best HPS grow lights in 2020 as you can easily reduce or increase the lighting based on your plant’s needs. You get a 2100K HPS grow light along with a 6400K MH grow light. There’s also a 24 hour mechanical timer that you can use to automatically power on or off your grow lights. The 19 inch wing reflector that is included in this kit makes sure that your light covers an area of about 4×4 feet, which should be suitable for most small scale growers. One thing that you need to take care of is that you will need to add a lot of ventilation options as these bulbs generate quite a bit of heat!
- Comes with the entire kit, no need to buy anything else separately
- Provides a very bright HPS light and a very effective MH light
- Dimmable ballast ensures you can provide the right kind of lighting to your plants
- Comes bundled with a timer which makes it easy for growers to automate things
- Decent 4×4 feet coverage
- Tends to heat up a little too much
- Wattage: 150W
- What’s Included: Two hanging hooks and one 150 watt HPS lamp
- Price: $85.95
One problem that a number of people have when it comes to HPS grow lights is that they tend to be quite bulky and weigh a lot. However, this grow light from Sun System has been designed keeping in mind this specific need of the growers and it is quite a lightweight grow light which won’t add too much weight to your grow tent. It is very easy to set up and even a grower who has very basic knowledge of growing weed can set it up. The lamp can provide you with about 16,000 lumens at its brightest and is a very effective grow light in the 150W category.
There’s a two year manufacturer’s warranty on the fixture while the lamp itself is covered under warranty for a year which is pretty good.There are a number of vents on the reflector which ensure that heat exits from multiple places. It covers a 2×2 growing area which is good enough for personal-scale growers. There are two hanging hooks attached on either sides of this grow light which make it pretty easy to hang. The grow light claims to offer up to 5 times more light than compared to a regular incandescent bulb, which is also something that is quite impressive. There’s a built-in ballast which ensures that the light is safe to use and operates smoothly.
- Light in weight
- Operates at 16,000 lumens
- Easy to set up and use
- Very bright
- Emits low heat and has enough heat dissipation vents
- Covers only 2×2 area
- Wattage: 1000W
- What’s Included: 2 Super HPS bulbs of 1000W each
- Price: $182.99
At a little over $90 a piece, growers rightly point out that this bulb is a little expensive than what they would consider an average grow light bulb to be. However, given that this is really bright and long-lasting, growers all over the world are extremely satisfied with its performance and are willing to shell out the extra bucks for this quality product. This is one of the best HPS grow light bulbs and it provides about 17% more energy and 25% better lighting in the violet, blue and green spectrum than other similar bulbs. Another major advantage of using this light is that it contains a lesser amount of mercury in comparison and is safer to use.
Besides the mercury thing, this grow light is also safe to use as it does not carry any amounts of Barium, making it an environment friendly product too. Besides that, this grow light can work well with electronic ballasts as well as magnetic ballasts, making it quite a delight to work with! These lamps go through a rigorous testing before they are shipped out and it is ensured that they are flawless products. While there are many HPS bulbs that go weak after 6 to 9 months of usage, these bulbs have been used by growers for a year or even a year and a half in some cases and they continue to impress them. This long lasting performance is one of its key strengths.
- Has a very long lifespan
- Tough and durable
- Offers better lighting in the violet, blue and green spectrum
- Contains no barium and less mercury in comparison with standard bulbs
- Supports electronic as well as magnetic ballasts
- Wattage: 150W
- What’s Included: One 150-watt high intensity lamp along with combined ballast and reflector
- Price: $74.79
Manufactured by Hydrofarm, this is one of the best and pocket-friendly options that growers have when they are looking forward to buying an HPS grow light. This is the Sunburst SBMM150S, which is a 150W HPS grow light. Many growers have pointed out that HPS lights tend to create quite a sound, but this one works on a very silent operation. It comes with an aluminum reflector which is lightweight as well as quite durable and easy to hang and set up. The reflector has been powder coated to ensure it does not gather any moisture too. You can simply take this light out of the package and start using it as it requires no assembly!
The bulb takes about three minutes to fully light up and after that it provides quite a bright lighting which will help your plants grow really well. It is best suited for personal growers who are growing small plants. Those growing ornamental plants can also benefit a lot from it. The bulb operates at a colour temperature of about 2000K, which is great for the flowering stage. Growers need to take care of the fact that it will generate some amount of heat and using a clip-on fan along with this grow light might be a good idea.
- Not too expensive
- Hydrofarm is a great brand and is known for well researched products
- Perfect for small scale growers
- Doesn’t create a lot of noise
- Good color temperature
- Easy to operate
- Heats up a lot
- Wattage: 1000W
- What’s Included: Reflector, Timer, ballast, 1x HPS light and 1x MH light, hanging kit
- Price: $155.99
And we are back to Vivosun, this time with a complete grow light kit! Kits are always better to buy and are strongly recommended for growers who are starting afresh. This grow light kit features everything that a new grower would need. To begin with, there’s an aluminium reflector that reflects 90% of the light, which is great for your plants. Then there’s a 1000W ballast which comes with these lights which can be used to mount the bulbs. There’s also a 24-hour timer that comes bundled with this grow light and you also get the complete hanging kit which makes it easy to set it up with ease.
Most importantly, you get one HPS grow light and one MH grow light along with the kit. The lights offer a very high PAR value and come with an optimized spectrum which ensure your plants are getting the best possible lighting experience. The HPS lamp provides the plants with 140000 lumens of light while the MH lamp offers 105000 lumens, both of which are pretty impressive. This is the 1000W variant, but you can also get this in 600W and 400W variants based on your preference and needs. Lastly, Vivosun as a brand has been known for offering some really great grow lights over the past few years and this is just another example of their finesse.
- A complete kit – comes with HPS and MH lights
- Very bright lights providing high lumen count and a high PAR score for your plants
- Very reflective ballast
- Comes in multiple variants
- Good brand credibility
- Generates quite a bit of heat
- Wattage: 1000W
- What’s Included: dimmable ballast, reflective hood, double ended HPS 1000W grow light, 8 ft power cord, hanging kit.
- Price: $213.99
This is one of the most complete and perfect HPS grow light kits for growers who are looking forward to buy an easy to use setup. Mixjoy’s grow kit offers you with all the components you’d need (apart from a timer, which is quite a bummer, but you could easily buy it from the stores). There’s a 1000W dimmable ballast to begin with, which allows you to control the brightness of your lights with ease. It offers quite a bit of adjustment and lets you brighten up or dim down your lights. The reflective hood that covers the grow light is 95% reflective and is made out of German Aluminum, which is strong and durable but also light in weight – just the perfect combination.
This kit features one of the best HPS grow lights in 2020, which is a full spectrum double ended light that comes bundled with it. The light operates at a color temperature of 2100K which is perfect for flowering plants. The manufacturer claims that the bulb can provide 35% more energy than any other bulb in the market. You get a total output of about 151,000 lumens when you use this grow light – which is a very impressive statistic. The hooks with this grow light allow you to hang the light with ease. However, setting up the bulb might not be as easy as it appears to be and first-time growers might struggle a little with assembling things. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away anything from the performance of the light!
- Comes with everything you’d need to operate the light
- Dimmable ballast works really well and operates at quite a wide range
- Color temperature is perfect for flowering plants at 2100K
- 151000 lumens are quite bright and help the plants grow really well
- Very reflective material
- Setting the light up might not be easy
- Heat accumulation
- Wattage: 150W
- What’s Included : Reflector and ballast, one HPS grow light
- Price: $75.94
This grow light from High Yield Lighting operates at 150W and is one of the best options for those growers who are looking forward to buying an HPS grow light for personal scale growing. The reflector hood that this grow light comes with features a tempered glass design, along with a glass lens which ensures that all the light that falls on the reflector is bounced back and goes to the plants – thereby maximizing the efficiency of the light. The bulb comes with an enhanced horticultural spectrum which is great for the plants during all stages but is of particular benefit during the flowering phase.
Compared to many other grow lights, this one actually keeps cooling in mind and has ensured with the help of vents and flanges that the heat can be dissipated really well. The light is really bright and operates at 16,000 lumens which is great to help the flowers bloom big and for the plants to get some great and bright lighting. The light also ships quite discreetly and is great for growers who want to use it to grow marijuana. The bulb performs really well and can easily last you for quite a long time!
- Comes with the complete kit, no need to buy anything additionally
- Enough vents for cooling
- Great for personal-scale growers
- Very reflective surface – bonus all the light back to the plants
- Quite bright at 16000lm
- Coverage area could be improved
- Wattage: 150W
- What’s Included: 150W high pressure sodium lamp from Ultra Sun
- Price: $19.43
If you are looking forward to buying one of the best HPS grow lights which doesn’t burn a hole into your pocket, this is perhaps something you might seriously consider. This grow light which provides a 150W lighting solution also comes in a 1000W, 250W, 400W and 600W variant for growers who would rather prefer it in a different wattage. The light operates at a temperature of 2000K, which makes it a perfect fit for plants which are at their flowering stage or for those which are at their fruiting stage. This is a lamp carefully engineered and designed specifically for horticultural purposes, making it an ideal fit for growers looking forward to growing plants under them.
- Perfect color temperature at 2000K
- Priced at a really low price point
- Multiple wattage variants for those with different needs
- Designed specifically for growing plants
- Doesn’t really tend to last for a long time
- Heats up quite a bit
- Wattage: 1000W
- What’s Included: One 1000W HPS grow light bulb
- Price: $32.98
Last on our list but one bulb which is certainly quite effective and has been appreciated by growers all over the world – this grow light offers 155000 lumens of lighting at 155 lumen per watt, which is really impressive and what makes it one of the best HPS grow lights in 2020. The light also offers a very high PAR score at 2000umol/s which means that the light gets absorbed by the plants really well. Even after 10,000 hours of using this grow light the brightness remains at 90%, as per the manufacturer. This is another major plus point of this grow light. At $33, this is a great grow light for most growers.
- Cost effective
- Quite bright and has a high PAR score
- Easy to set up and use
- Long lasting light
- Emits quite a bit of heat
Pros and Cons of HPS Grow Lights
Knowing what are the best options that you have when it comes to buying the best HPS grow lights, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of these lights:
- HPS grow lights usually come in complete kits along with ballasts, bulbs, reflectors, cords, hanging equipment, etc. which ensure that you are getting the right combination that will work smoothly.
- HPS grow lights tend to be very bright and ensure that the growers are able to provide enough light to their plants
- HPS grow lights provide just the perfect kind of light that suits the needs of your plants the best during the flowering phase and helps you generate bigger and better blooming plants.
- When compared to Metal Halides, HPS grow lights are 10 to 15% more energy efficient
- HPS lights provide a very high output per wattage
- These lights tend to heat up too much and too quickly
- Disposing HPS lights can be tricky because they carry chemicals inside them
- HPS grow lights provide only the red lights so you will need metal halides or some other kind of grow light that emits the cool blue lighting for your plants
Buyer’s Guide for HPS Grow Lights
You must keep these things in mind when you purchase the HPS grow light of your choice. These are some parameters you could run the light of your choice across and see if it is truly something that fits your needs:
The grow light that you are going to purchase must provide a coverage big enough to cover your plants. If your plants are growing in a 3×3 setup and your light covers an area of only 2×2, then it isn’t worth it – or you’ll need to buy two of such lights. Also make sure that you are buying grow lights based on the flowering coverage and not the vegetative coverage. This is because a vegetative coverage of 4×4 means it offers a flowering coverage of about 3.5×3.5 because the light needs to be lowered down during the flowering phase and would hence cover a smaller area.
2. Power Consumption
This is something that is quite important. The higher the amount of power your grow light consumes, the more will your electricity bill be. The cost of growing your plants gets higher if your grow lights consume too much power. Always make sure to check what is the exact amount of power that your light will draw from your wall socket before you go ahead with the purchase.
In case of HPS grow lights you’re dealing with chemical vapors which can sometimes be quite toxic. You need to make sure your light is safe to use and has all the proper certifications and ratings from organizations like the FCC and the CE etc.
4. Lighting Details
You must know the spectrum at which your grow light operates at and the PAR values that you are getting. When it comes to lighting the basic idea is – the brighter the better. However, you might want to go for a less brighter light when you are growing succulents or ornamental plants and a very bright light when you are growing something like marijuana. So make sure you’re getting a light with has the right kind of brightness to offer.
5. Durability and Design
A good grow light is not only a good looking grow light, but it is also a well designed and durable grow light. The design should be such that it is not too bulky or too heavy. Durability-wise, these lights need to be strong enough to survive the occasional bumps or scratches. Waterproofing would be another major benefit but that is rare to see in these grow lights.
6. Cooling Abilities
A good HPS grow light is one which comes with a strong cooling mechanism. Given how much these lights tend to heat up when compared to LED or fluorescent lights, one has to be worried about their cooling ability! Make sure your light comes with strong fans, heat vents, and other similar cooling features. You need to keep the working temperatures as low as possible!
7. Cost and Warranty
Cost and warranty are two very important aspects of a grow light – the lower the cost, the better and the longer the warranty the better. However, make sure you’re not compromising on the quality by going for a low-cost product.
Frequently Asked Questions About HPS Grow Lights
Growers tend to ask us many questions about HPS lights, here is a set of some of the most commonly asked questions that we have put together so that it becomes easy for you if you have some of these queries as well.
1. How are HPS lights different from MH Grow Lights?
HPS grow lights provide the plants with the warm red lights instead of the cool blue lights that Metal Halides provide them with. Besides, the gas that is inside the HPS lights is primarily sodium vapor while compared to the mercury vapor inside the MH lights. HPS grow lights are needed by the plants during all stages but play a more important role during the bloom phase. Metal Halides, on the other hand, are important only during the phase of vegetative growth.
2. Are LED lights better than HPS lights?
LED lights are generally considered to be better than HPS grow lights because first off, they tend to consume way less electricity in comparison. Growers can save a lot on their electricity bills, moreover, the LED lights don’t really heat up as much as HPS lights, are much safer to dispose because they don’t have any chemicals in them, are simpler to operate and offer a full spectrum lighting experience rather than having to change the bulbs time and time again. All of this put together, plus the fact that LED lights can last for a really long time (over 100,000 hours in some cases), makes LED lights better than HPS grow lights.
3. How to keep your grow tent cool while using HPS grow lights?
Most lights come with built-in fans that help them keep their temperatures low. Apart from that there are a number of openings and vents on the grow lights which ensure that there’s enough space for the heat to escape. Even the front panels have holes on the protective screen to make sure that heat exits the light from all directions. Some growers also prefer to use clip-on fans inside the tent which help lower the temperatures by maintaining a steady breeze. If there are too many lights at work you might even have to use an air conditioner to keep the temperatures under control.
4. Is it legal to use HPS lights to grow weed?
Growing plants using HPS grow lights is totally legal all over the world but the bone of contention will be what you are growing. If you are growing weed or any other plant that is deemed illegal in your area you might end up violating the law. Always check with your local law agencies as to what your laws are. Even in places where you are allowed to grow weed legally, there’s usually a limit as to how many plants you can grow. Do make sure you are following all the laws while growing weed.
5. Where can I buy HPS grow lights?
HPS grow lights are available at almost all gardening stores. Any store that supplies gardening supplies or lighting fixtures is likely to have HPS grow lights with them. Besides that, Amazon is perhaps the best place to buy HPS grow lights. In our list above, we have linked all our lights to Amazon so that you can easily buy the best light for your needs in just a few clicks. Buying them online is considerably safer these days considering the global pandemic and the need to stay indoors.
HPS grow lights have been in use for several decades now and are a very popular form of lighting for plants. Grow tents and grow rooms around the world have been lit up with the help of these grow lights and over the years so many brands of grow lights have emerged that growers end up being confused as to which is the best HPS grow light is best suited for their needs. This question bothers growers more so in 2020 as there are just way too many options. With our list of 10 of the best such grow lights, we hope that we have made it easier for your to select the ideal HPS light for your needs. Do go through our buyer’s guide and FAQs to ensure that you know everything that there is to know about these lights and can make a well-informed decision. If there are still any questions, do let us know in the comments or drop us a mail and we shall get back to you as soon as we can. Till then..
..Happy Growing! 🙂