For years, growers using high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights have been hesitant to switch to LED grow lights, even though LED lights use less electricity and produce less heat. They worry about the cost difference between HPS and LED grow lights. On the other hand, growers who use LEDs say they get bigger, better buds from their plants. To help you make an informed decision about which type of grow light is right for your space, GrowLight Heaven in Monsey, NY, has put together a quick guide on calculating how many grow lights you need for your space.
The Beginning Phase
Perhaps you're more concerned about the upfront cost of the light than its energy savings. You don't want the most powerful light that produces a flat footprint and minimal heat. That's why we'll get particular in comparing these two very different technologies against each other.
Here are the variables we'll consider:
Energy Efficiency and Heat Production
Regarding your lights, you're concerned about two things: how much energy they use and how much heat they produce. HPS lights are notoriously power-hungry, so if you're looking to save on your electric bill, LEDs are the way to go. But what about heat?
HPS lights produce a lot of heat - so much so that most growers use them with ventilation and cooling systems to prevent their plants from getting heat stress. Unfortunately, this can raise your energy costs even more. On the other hand, LEDs produce very little heat, so you won't need to worry about extra ventilation or cooling costs.
Light Intensity, Penetration, Spectrum, and Uniformity
LEDs have a big advantage over HPS lights regarding the quality of light. LED grow lights can be tuned to produce the exact spectrum of light your plants need for optimal growth. This means that you can get more intense light with less power.
HPS lights, on the other hand, produce a broad spectrum of light that is not always ideal for plant growth. This can result in weaker, less vigorous plants.
Lifespan and Maintenance Costs
LED grow lights last much longer than HPS lights - up to 50,000 hours compared to just 20,000 hours for HPS lights. This means you'll need to replace your LED lights less often than HPS lights.
LED grow lights also have a much lower maintenance cost than HPS lights. HPS lights require frequent bulb changes and can be demanding to keep running properly. This means that you'll need to budget for more frequent light maintenance with HPS lights.
Upfront Investment Costs
LED grow lights are more expensive upfront than HPS lights. However, you'll save money in the long run due to their lower energy costs, longer lifespan, and lower maintenance costs.
So, how many grow lights do you need for your space? The answer depends on your unique scenario built from these cases. Contact us today if you have any questions about how to grow the best indoor plants for yourself!