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Which is the better grow light solution, HPS vs LED?

HPS grow lights are one of the original grow lights, and have been used throughout the industry for decades. LEDs on the other hand, are  already becoming a favorite across the world.

Depending on the types of plants you’re growing, and the size of your operation, there may be one light type that’s better than the other.

Which is why in this article, we’re going to compare the two lights to help you understand which may be best for you. 

To start, it’s worth reminding yourself about the pros and cons of LED grow lights vs HPS lighting.

The pros and cons of HPS lighting 


  • Cheaper set up cost
  • Great light intensity for producing great yields


  • They use more energy than LEDs and are less efficient
  • HPS lights generate more heat and often require cooling systems to be in place
  • Bulbs typically need to be replaced every 12-18 months

The pros and cons of LED lighting 


  • There’s massive saving to be made when it comes to energy efficiency
  • LED technology is being continuously developed to become better and better year on year.
  • Much cooler running temperatures
  • Plants can be place closer to the lights without damage (great for small spaces)


  • Higher up-front cost
  • Growing in cold spaces may require you to buy additional heat devices

LED vs HPS Yield 

HPS grow lights have always been known for their high yields. Which is why they’ve always been so popular for commercial growing. However, more and more commercial operations are now making the switch to LED.

High quality LEDs can provide the same yield – if not more - as HPS lighting with half the power. It’s why LEDs are rated so highly for energy efficiency.

HPS vs LED Lumens 

When looking at lumens, HPS lights are pretty great. Even by the end of the bulb’s lifespan, HPS lights can efficiently retain around 80% of their lumens.

Both types of lighting produce around the same number of lumens per watt. However, as HPS lights spread the light in all directions, they often feel duller or less bright than their LED counterparts.

LED vs HPS Power Consumption 

When considering the current state of energy prices, it’s pretty crucial to think about how much energy is being used in your grow space. High-pressure sodium lights often take a period of time to warm up when turned on. To ensure maximum illumination, you probably need to be putting your HPS lights on 20 minutes before you need to use them. And those 20-minute periods can really add up.

Are LED grow lights more efficient?

This is where LEDs excel: There’s no warm up time needed so your plants can enjoy the full illumination as soon as they’re switched on. They also have one-directional lenses meaning the light goes directly to the plants in a much more efficient way. HPS lights are omni-directional, meaning light and heat can be wasted if it’s not properly reflected around the space.

All of this generally makes LED lights much more efficient than HPS lighting.

Are LED grow lights better than HPS? 

With all this information, it definitely seems there’s a clear winner for HPS grow lights vs LED. High-pressure sodium lights certainly have their place in the industry. But for the average grower, it’s worth investing in LEDs for long term success.