Grow Lights – LED Vs HPS

LED plant lights use semiconductors which emits light when electricity passes through them. Depending on the material the semiconductor diodes are made, it can produce different colored lights. The light produced by the diodes is powerful that has enough intensity to go through the plant growth and help in photosynthesis. The HPS lights are the High Pressure Sodium lamps that use sodium D-line as the source of light emission. The arc tube is made of aluminum oxide and the tube is filled with starter gas Xenon.


Intensity: When the intensity of these two lights is compared, HPS light stands higher than the LED. The light produced by the HPS light is far more intense than the same from a LED light.

Efficiency: Efficiency of LED and HPS grow lights are somewhat similar. A lower power LED light can produce the same light spectrum than a high power HPS grow light can produce. The HPS light is more suitable for flowering stage of the plants, while LED may be used as single grow light that can be used from young stage till harvest.

Heat production: LED grow lights produce less heat than the HPS lights. The higher intensity light from the HPS lamps will have a greater heat energy also that raises the temperature around, which is harmful for the plants. Whereas, the LED lights produce lesser heat and it is dissipated inside the heat sink where the diodes are fixed.

Power consumption: As for the power consumption, LED lights draw less electricity than the HPS lights. A high powered HPS can be replaced by a less wattage LED light.

Wattage: LED light uses 3W diodes to produce the light and these 3W diodes are used in many numbers to create a particular wattage grow light. For the same amount of light, a HPS grow light will have to be high wattage that will also need more electricity to work.

Supporting accessories: LED grow lights can be a single unit that has the cooling systems built in and the secondary lenses when fixed can be more efficient than having an additional reflector. But the HPS light will need a ballast to control the incoming electricity, a light cooling system to cool off the heat and a reflector for better focus and coverage. All these additional accessories add to the power consumption and are a major disadvantage of HPS lights.

Popularity: When the popularity is compared both LED and the HPS grow lights are somewhat equal. Both these lights have their pros and cons and people prefer the light that they think is suitable for their crops and environment.

Life span of the LED grow lights is longer than the HPS lights. HPS lights will have reduced efficiency after a particular number of hours of working and will need replacement faster than the LED lights. Two HPS grow lights may be needed for the same length of time a single LED grow light works.