Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Building a home grow room or a large multi-room set up? If so, lighting is one of the most, if not the most important factors. It seems easy but with so many choices and so few standards, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed. Here are the key factors you should look at while exploring each style of light. For more insight check out our latest episode
Energy efficiency is a must. HVAC and Lighting tend to be the biggest operational cost. The more energy-efficient your lights, the more money you save over time.
Lifespan and warranty are another cost consideration. A longer lifespan will save you on future replacement costs.
Installation cost. Grow lights are powerful, emitting light at different temperatures that may require different equipment or installation methods. Some lighting systems will not be sold unless professionally installed for warranty reasons. Choosing a light that installs easily is always a great choice.
Simple Comparison from Pinterest
Quick Comparison of Options
Fluorescent and CFL
Fluorescent both compact fluorescent and T5 lights have the lowest initial price point. They are relatively efficient but can be temperamental and are weak in some areas. For example, they have a limited lighting spectrum, and while you can focus on red or blue light. They are really ideal only for the propagation stage. They will also require the use and installation of separate ballast to operate.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
more common than fluorescent grow lights HID “high-intensity discharge.” Lights tend to be the most popular and go to for a lot of growers s over the last few years. First-time growers may be turned off by the price tag, but they make up for the initial cost in operation and replacement savings. LEDs are cheaper to operate than HIDs. energy-efficient LEDs use about half the energy HID to produce the same amount of light.
LED lights also last longer and plug directly into a standard wall socket, so installation is easy with no ballasts. In some areas, choosing LEDs may be eligible for energy rebates. All lights are not equal. The top lights allow you to actually change the amount of blue or red light and better control your plants growth.
The real consideration here is whether to pay the high upfront cost for better control or yield.
there are two types of HID lights. metal halide lights favor the blue spectrum. high-pressure sodium gives off more of the red spectrum. Most growers switch between the two from one stage to another.
There are some critical drawbacks that one has to consider. They take a lot of energy to operate and the light will degrade over time. HID lights give off a lot of heat, which means you may need to install a system for cooling.
there are two types of HID lights. metal halide lights favor the blue spectrum. high pressure sodium gives off more of the red spectrum. Most growers switch between the two from one stage to another.
Now that you have the fundamentals, choose the light that works for your environment, expected results, and budget.