Lighting is the main concern when setting up an indoor garden. Beginner growers are not aware of the pros and cons of the types of grow light existing. On asking, the grower gets all sorts of options from HID, fluorescent, and LED lights. But not everyone knows the difference between these lights. Here we will see the LED and HID comparison, and discuss what are they, how they differ and the many advantages and disadvantages of each type. This comparison helps the grower to decide which type of grow light suits his/her purposes and which light goes well with the budget and what can save energy. Indoor gardens mostly use hydroponics system and LED plant lights and HID grow lights are some of the lighting options available.
What are LED and HID grow lights?
LED: LED grow light uses the light emitting diodes to generate the light and does not use any gas or filament for this purpose. It is considered eco-friendly because of the lack of gaseous substance. In many LED grow lights, secondary optical lens are used to make the light focus at an angle so that it provides better reach to the plants and do not allow much wastage.
Depending on the shape and type of these lenses, there are many types of LED grow lights and the latest being the Diamond LED series that has individual lens for the diodes and the lens gives the appearance of diamond. 3W diodes are the most popular diode wattage used and in recent times there have been use of 5W diodes as well.
HID lights have filament and gas to generate light and there is also a high amount of heat energy produced. The heat energy makes it difficult to place it closer to the plants but the intensity of light covers this defect. The HID lights require an efficient cooling system along with controlling ballast and necessary reflectors to enhance the overall output and cooler environment.
What are the Benefits?
LED lights: The LED lights are known for its lesser heat production that may alter the surroundings and lessen the use of number of cooling systems. Less equipment means more power savings and thus saves more money as well. The use of secondary optical lens increases the efficiency of the grow light and provides better wavelength light for the plants to use for photosynthesis. LED lights are ready to use and only need the installation of the lamp. No other external ballast, reflector, or cooling system needs to be attached to the LED lights. LED lights can also be placed closer to the plant top than the HID lights because of less heat production. A single LED grow light is suitable for both vegetative as well as flowering stages.
HID lights: HID lights like the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps and the Metal halide lamps are the most efficient grow lights in terms of light intensity and light penetration capability. The HID lights are growth specific. The Metal Halide or MH lights are suitable for vegetative growth whereas the HPS lights are mostly used for the flowering period. These lamps emit a majority of specific wavelength of light that suits the growth stages. The same light may be used for both stages but the efficiency and the yield will be lesser than when using different lights.