LED vs HPS Grow Lights – Which is better? - X Large Stuff

LED vs HPS Grow Lights – Which is better?

  • February 6, 2019

If only the entire year is July, you may not need to use a grow light to simulate the sun in your indoor garden. Unfortunately, sun doesn’t shine all the time and in some parts of the earth, sun may even not shine at all. A grow light is thus needed to make sure that all plants in your garden can thrive. A grow light can emit ray with all necessary wavelengths for your plants to grow and to flower. The standard of grow light up to today is high-pressure sodium (HPS) light. Horticulture enthusiasts, especially those who grow plants on hydroponic system or indoor garden, are already familiar with HPS grow light.

Lately, LED light enters the market and there are already a number of grow lights that use LED light instead of other more popular lights, which include not only HPS, but also . It is indeed still not as popular as HPS light; however, its popularity rapidly soars and in fact, many gardeners consider it more favorable option if compared to HPS light. Some horticulturists, however, still look down on LED light because many believe that LED light is not as bright and doesn’t deliver as complete spectrum of color as that emitted by HPS light. In this article, you will read about how LED grow light vs HPS light are compared according to their features and see which one of the two grow lights is the best for your indoor garden.

LED vs HPS Grow Lights Compared

When comparing two different grow lights, the following five features are often taken into consideration


Efficiency indicates how much electricity a grow light consumes. In general, HPS light has always been hungry. Electric ballast that is found in HPS light, which is used to limit current flow, is indeed an innovation; however, it is also responsible for making HPS light energy-inefficient. LED grow light doesn’t require a ballast, which makes it a much better option if energy is taken into account.

Light intensity

One factor that makes HPS light a superior choice for a grow light is its high-intensity light. A LED grow light indeed emits slightly less intense light compared to that of HPS. This is the reason why many growers who want to use LED grow light still prefer to combine their LED grow light with a HPS light. However, despite its slightly low-intensity light, LED grow light is still capable to produce the same, or even better, produce with its light. As of today, there are already a number of LED grow light products that produce more intense light than that of a HPS light. Advancements in LED light technology are expected to improve the intensity of light emitted by LED grow light as well as its performance. Considering the rapid increase of LED grow light’s popularity, such advancements will not take too long to arrive.


HPS light is always hot. This can be an advantage if the light is used in cold seasons because the heat can help warm the plants. However, the heat can be a problem if the light is used in warmer seasons. HPS grow light users have to put the light far away from the plants and ensure perfect air circulation in the growing room in order to prevent the light from burning the plants. LED grow light, on the other hand, is always cool. Some LED grow light models indeed produce heat; however, the heat is not intense enough to make the plants feel uncomfortable. Besides, even the hottest LED grow light can easily be cooled with two or three fans, which are usually already incorporated with the light. Even in cold seasons, LED grow light is still considered a better option because instead of relying on the risky heat emitted by HPS light, it is much safer for growers to use the cool LED grow light while warming the room with a heater. LED grow light’s coolness also means that the light can be positioned as close as possible to the plants.


HPS grow light is favored because its white ray can effectively provide plants with full spectrum light and, especially, the red and blue wavelengths that the plants need in their photosynthesis. LED grow light, on the other hand, is usually available with only blue and red lamps. It can indeed satisfy the plants’ need to get blue and red energy; however, some LED grow light models may not be able to provide the plants with full spectrum light. Some growers overcome this problem by combining a LED grow light with a HPS or other types of grow light. However, this is actually not necessary because there are currently some LED grow light models that also emit full spectrum light.


HPS grow light’s average lifespan is about 10,000 hours. If the light is turned on for approximately 8 to 12 hours every day, the light will need to be replaced only after about 3 years. That is obviously long enough for growing the plants and allowing them to flower or to bear fruit. However, HPS light’s lifespan is not long enough to compete with that of LED grow light, whose lifespan is between 50,000 and 100,000 hours. This is the reason why when you buy a LED grow light, you will mostly enjoy warranty that remains valid for about 2 or 3 years.


Those are five differences between LED grow light vs. HPS light. There are obviously many other features that make the two lights different. For example, LED grow light’s less bulky structure allows growers to install it with better versatility. In general, LED grow light is still considered a better option than HPS light as well as other already popular types of grow light. Technologies that are used in this grow light are developing rapidly. In the near future, LED grow light is expected to be the best and the most efficient LED grow light that perfectly satisfies growers’ needs as well as those of their plants.