Last updated: April 7, 2021
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) grow lights have quickly become a gold standard for the flowering phase of indoor cannabis cultivation for good reason: Their powerful red spectrum light is targeted specifically towards the production of tall, bushy plants. In short, if you want to grow the best quality and greatest quantity of cannabis indoors, there’s no replacing HPS grow lights. But how can you know which lights are best for your particular setup?
Indoor growing has enough challenges without worrying about your lights, too. That’s why we put together these reviews of our 8 best HPS grow lights: To point you in the right direction, and answer any questions that come up while you’re searching for the right lights for your indoor grow.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at HPS grow lights to suit every budget and need!
|Best Overall||iPower HPS Grow Light System||
|Best Value||Sun System 900490 Grow Lights||
|Premium Choice||TopoGrow Double Ended HPS Grow Light||
|VIVOSUN Hydroponic HPS Grow Light||
|Hydroplanet Horticulture Air et Grow Lights||
Did you know that HPS growing lights are only one half of a complete HID grow light system? Indeed, most cannabis cultivators will pair them with a Metal Halide (MH) light for use during the cloning and veg phases because their blue light spectrum is more suited to growth at this time.
iPower has capitalized on the two-part nature of this system in the best way possible: By combining HPS and MH grow lights into one complete package. By offering it in a variety of power ranges (400, 600, and 1000 watts) and including a dimmer, they have made it easy to customize this product to your exact growing needs.
It’s extremely important to note that this unit generates too much heat to be used without adequate ventilation. In fact, this is true of most HID grow light systems; their increased power comes with the tradeoff of increased temperatures in your grow room.
For many beginning growers, maximizing output and yields from their plants isn’t nearly as important as just getting started. Because HPS lights can be such a pricey part of your setup, they can deter many a first-time cultivator from ever starting.
This lamp from Sun System really does a fantastic job of getting around all of that. By focusing on the essentials — a decent power output, high reflectivity, and easy installation — they’ve kept the cost down for beginner projects while still making a very useful grow light.
At 150 watts of power that focuses on the red-light spectrum, this light definitely won’t blow you away with plant growth. What it does do best is give beginners a fast and affordable solution to getting their first harvest, and that’s why it definitely receives our recommendation.
With an exceptionally long operating life, maximum light distribution, and incredibly efficient bulbs, the TopoGrow Double Ended model is a real beast of an HPS light.
Where it may be most substantially different from other products in this review, though, is in its durable construction: High-grade German aluminum both looks and feels like a real, substantial item. Combine that with a 1,000W power output, and it makes this grow light a very attractive option, indeed.
Our only real gripe with this premium cost grow light is the lack of a complementary MH light, as in our #1 pick. You’ll definitely need ventilation for this powerful light, though that’s par for the course with any 1,000W HID light.
Another combination HPS/MH grow light, the VIVOSUN hydroponic offers a feature that many others on our list miss out on: An internal fan cooled operation. Generating 25% less heat, it may not be enough to completely avoid further ventilation, but goes a long way towards keeping your plants healthy and moist.
For sheer ease of use, this combo grow light is top notch. You won’t need to buy another light, as the full spectrum is covered by its two types of HID bulbs. Add a dimmable ballast and easy hardware installation to that, and you can see why we’ve enjoyed using it.
So what kept this grow light from being our #1 choice? Unfortunately, a fair number of reviewers have stated that the bulbs that are shipped with these systems aren’t reliable. Expect to spend a little bit extra on replacing them.
If you’re really not the DIY type, all of these grow lights that require construction and mounting might be making you nervous. For the easiest straight out of the box solution, Hyrdoplanet’s Hood Set is an ideal choice.
Getting started with this grow light is as simple as putting in the bulb, plugging in the ballast, and clipping the attached carabiners into wherever you plan to hang it from. Thoughtful touches like this make Hydroplanet’s grow light feel more expensive than it is.
As an HPS/MH combo light, it’s a one size fits all solution for any indoor grow. The only catch? 400 watts is the maximum power output, with no other more powerful models available. While this certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at, you’ll eventually need to replace it if you want to go on to a bigger grow.
It takes especially durable construction for a company to offer a 5-year warranty on a grow light — which is exactly what this 1000W superpower comes with.
Really, this grow light system has some of the best features of each of the other products in this review. A full spectrum HPS/MH light combo, easy setup ratchet rope hangers, 1000W bulb, and highly reflective German aluminum construction all contribute to its value.
What it doesn’t include, though, is a timer for moderating your growing cycles. Instead, you’ll have to purchase a Gavita Master Controller separately or operate them manually to maximize efficiency and yields. Add this to an already costly investment, and it places this kit firmly out of the range of many growers.
If a larger ventilation system won’t work in your particular grow setup, consider this light set from Apollo Horticulture.
400 Watts of HPS/MH combo light is enough for any small to medium size grow, especially when combined with the included mechanical timer. The rope hangers will take a little bit of work to set up, but once attached they’ll hold reliably.
What makes the Apollo stand out, though, is its integrated electronic fan cooling ballast that is dimmable across a wide range. This makes it ideal for small growing spaces where you can’t fit a larger ventilation system; simply reduce the overall power output, and wait just a bit longer for your plants to grow.
For the last item in our review, let’s take a look at a kit that is a jack of all trades… But a master of none.
Yield Lab is a very thoughtfully designed grow light system, coming in a range of power outputs. It has an air-cooled hood, significant reflector coverage, a variable dimmer, and offers an HPS/MH for full spectrum light. It’s easy to set up and has a significant warranty, but comes at an equally significant price.
In many ways, we really wanted to love this Yield Labs grow light; but for the price, the other options on our list are more specialized. It’s fantastically versatile, which is why we choose it as our best general purpose light — and if the price was lower, it may have even been able to steal away #1.
After looking through your options for HPS grow lights, does one of them stand out to you as your clear choice? If not, consider these three questions to help narrow down your search:
The larger your growing space, the greater the maximum power output you’ll need. Conversely, if you have only a small indoor growing space, you can go for a light on the lower watt end of the spectrum.
If you go for too much power in too small of a space, you risk burning the plants. Naturally, then, too little power in too large of a space will lead to substandard yields — or no plant growth at all. Either way, a good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 50 watts per square foot of plant growing area.
The more power your HPS grow light puts off, the more ventilation you’ll need. Don’t take this question lightly! Improperly ventilated rooms with overly powerful HPS lights can lead not just to burning your plants, but to a serious risk of fire hazards. For even the smallest of lights, be sure to periodically test how hot your grow room is getting during the hottest part of the day.
While some growers swear by the red/blue light spectrum combo provided by HPS and MH lights, others find it completely acceptable to use just HPS. Why? Red light (the kind provided by HPS) encourages cannabis plants to “reach” and grow, as well as produce abundant flowers. While this may not be ideal for absolute yields, it can make the plants easier to trim come harvest time.
So, while an HPS/MH combo light gives more flexibility and control over your grow cycles, it may not be an absolute necessity if you’re just starting out. Once you have some experience under your belt, consider upgrading to a combo light.
Growers agree that HPS lights are essential to high yield indoor growing operations. By choosing the right one for your setup and making sure you have adequate ventilation, you can make significant strides towards your best harvest yet. Thank you for reading our review today, and we wish you many good buds to come!
Featured Image: HPS Grow Light System/iPower, Amazon
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