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HPS vs LED – what is right for you?

The question of LED vs HPS and which is “better” has been around since the LED grow light hit the market. We believe that the question should be “which is more suitable for you” so we are here to provide all the advantages and disadvantages to be aware of before making your decision.

Advantages of HPS Lights:

  • HPS lights are more standardised among manufacturers, making it a bit easier to comparison shop.
  • HPS light setups have a cheaper initial start-up cost, but the price gap between comparable HPS and LED grow has become much smaller as LED grow light setups have become more and more affordable each year.
  • HPS bulbs provide an immense amount of raw light intensity so they can produce great yields.

Disadvantages of HPS Lights:

  • HPS lights use more electricity to generate light than comparable LED grow light setups, and are less efficient.
  • HPS lights also generate more heat than LEDs, which often requires additional ventilation equipment to maintain the grow room temperature. If not dealt with accordingly, the added heat can make growing very difficult. This is especially challenging if your grow area is already prone to heat issues (growing in a hot attic, for example).
  • HPS grow bulbs diminish in intensity over time and must be replaced approximately every 12-18 months resulting in additional operation costs.

Advantages of LED Grow Lights

  • Today’s best LED grow lights can rival the production of HPS lights that use nearly twice the wattage, which provides great savings on the efficiency spectrum.
  • LED technology is developing year on year with one significant difference being that LED grow lights run much cooler than HPS lighting, resulting in an obvious set of benefits for the indoor grower.
  • LED grow light units typically come as all-in-one fixtures, which are easier to work within tight spaces. They can also be placed closer to plants in confined areas reducing the potential of heat damage.

Disadvantages of LED Grow Lights

  • LED Grow lights currently have a higher upfront cost but have been shown to save in the long run thanks to a lower cost of operation.
  • LED Grow lights are not as standardised across manufacturers just yet, making comparison-shopping more difficult. Still, the LED grow light industry has come a long way and design practices are becoming more consistent.
  • LED Grow lights produce very little heat, which for many is an advantage. However, those growing with LED’s in colder indoor areas may need to supplement the extra heat, which a HPS or MH would produce.


Both LED grow lights and HPS grow lights are equally capable of producing great yields, and both have advantages over the other. So what is important is what your requirements are and how each advantage & disadvantage suits you.

When you know the main factors within your grow room or growing method alongside your budget, then you can choose what is best for you.