How Do LED Grow Lights Compared to HPS Grow Lights

hps vs led grow light

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The two options are popular when it comes to plant grow lights. These include LED Grow Light and HPS Grow Light. Most first-time buyers get confused about which option they should opt for. 

Are you one of them? If yes, you have come to the right place. In this post, I will be comparing LED Grow Light and HPS Grow lights in different aspects. It will help you determine which plant growing light is suitable for you.

Compared to HPS Grow lights, LED Grow lights to have a longer life and more efficiency. Furthermore, they produce lower heat. Most first-time users also find LED Grow lights easy to install and convenient for overall handling. On the contrary, with HPS Grow lights, you require pre-buried junction boxes and various other fixing methods. It might feel like a huge burden for some beginners.

I will discuss all the points in detail. However, before that, let us learn the basics of both light types.

hps vs led grow light

What is an LED Grow Light?

An LED Grow light is a plant growing light that uses light-emitting diodes to produce a sun-like color spectrum and photon flux. Therefore, it helps in plant growth. It lets you adjust the wavelengths of light according to the growth phases of your plants.

Do you want to learn more about the working of an LED Grow light? I recommend reading our post: 《How LED Grow Lights Work》.

Nowadays, LED Grow light manufacturers make various light types as per different needs. With the improvement in technology, LED grow lights are more advanced than ever. They come with a heat sink or built-in fan to minimize heat in your plant growing area.

What is an HPS Grow Light?

High-pressure sodium lights, or HPS Grow lights, are conventional plant growing lights. Generally, this type of light contains chemicals like mercury, sodium, and xenon inside their arc tube. People growing flowers and vegetables indoors invest in HPS Grow light.

hps grow light

LED Grow Light vs. HPS Grow Light: Comparison of Different Aspects

In the above section, you learned the basics of LED Grow Light and HPS Grow Light. Let us find how they differ based on several factors.

Energy Efficiency

Regardless of the type of light you use, energy efficiency is a critical factor to consider.

LED Grow Lights employ light-emitting diodes that consume significantly less energy than traditional plant-growing lamps. Unlike HPS Grow lamps, LED Grow lights to have diodes instead of heated filaments or gas. As a result, they consume low wattage of electricity.

The Council for Energy-Efficient Economy concludes that HID Grow lights require more energy than LED lights to produce the same light wavelength. Another report mentions that growers who choose LED Grow lights over HID lights can save about 31% to 35% electric energy per square foot. Additionally, LED Grow Lights put a low load on your electric breakers and amperage.

HPS Grow Lights, on the other hand, need a ballast to transfer wall-socket current into usable energy. In this process, a lot of electricity gets wasted. Therefore, they consume more electric energy.

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The durability of light is another vital aspect you must look at. After all, it directly affects your pocket.

LED Grow lights are more durable than HPS Grow Lights. If you buy them from a professional LED Grow Light supplier, they can last for ten years or even longer. Nowadays, manufacturers also mention how many hours their light will last.

One of the most common complaints about HPS Grow Lights is that they get dimmer with time. Often, you need to replace them after 12 to 16 months. It will naturally put an extra burden on you in terms of production cost.

Furthermore, HPS Grow Lamps start consuming more energy as they age. With LED Grow lights, this is not a significant issue.

To ensure the durability of your LED Grow lights, do not forget to check component material and quality certification. Wondering what other things you should keep in mind when buying LED Grow lights? I recommend reading our post: 《Top 11 Things to Consider When Purchasing LED Grow Light》.

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Intensity of Heat

Compared to HPS Grow Lights, LED-based plant growing lights emit low heat. The primary reason is that LED lights consume and waste relatively low electric energy. If you switch to these lights, you will save on the ventilation setup. 

Nowadays, LED Grow Lights have built-in heat sinks that soak up the heat and disperse the thermal energy into the air. You may also find built-in fans in some LED-based plant-growing lamps.

In normal circumstances, LED Grow light will not cause any harm to your plants because of heat output. Read our post《Can LED Grow Lights Burn Plants?》for more detail.

On the contrary, HPS Grow Lights require more electric energy. Therefore, they emit more heat. Apart from this, the primary reason for excessive heat production is that they contain gas and chemicals such as mercury.

HPS Grow lights can significantly raise the temperature of your plant growing area if you do not have a ventilation system. You will need to invest in an additional airflow system in a plant growing area to maintain the ideal environment for your plant. Remember, excessive heat inside the greenhouse can cause harm to your plants or crops.

However, in the case of LED Grow lights, you might need extra heat in winters to provide your plants with a sustainable temperature.

led grow lights compared to hps grow lights


The cost is the primary concern for a lot of buyers. Several factors influence pricing, including size, quality, and origin.

However, if I consider the initial cost, HPS Grow Lights are more reasonable than LED Grow Lights. Nevertheless, the operating cost of HPS over the period will be more than that of LED Grow lamps.

HPS Grow lights consume excessive electricity to emit light. Additionally, you’ll have to invest extra for a ventilation system due to the extreme heat. 

As mentioned above, HPS Grow lights are not as durable as LEDs. I can say these lights seem cheap but are expensive in reality.

The upfront cost of LED Grow Lights is higher than HPS Grow lamps. Nevertheless, they will be cost-effective in the long run. They consume low light comparatively. 

You can notice up to 50% reduction in the electricity cost by switching to LED Grow lights. Furthermore, they are durable and require low maintenance. 

These are some reasons the LED Grow Lights Industry is growing. For complete information, you can read our post,2022 Outlook of China’s LED Lighting Industry.

If you want to buy premium-quality, safe yet affordable LED Grow lights, visit DarklessLED.

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Maintenance & Installation

Installing and maintaining plant growing lights could be a hard row to hoe for new users. You have to keep several environmental factors in mind. Modern LED Grow lights are easy to install and come with pre-designed fixtures. Even some lamps feature built-in drivers. It means you install them quickly without too much assistance.

With the advancement in technology, LED Grow Lights are becoming more user-friendly. Modern LED Grow lights come with brightness adjustment. It means you will not have to move them during different stages of your plants’ development. Furthermore, it is easy to clean them. Any standard glass cleaner will work fine to remove dirt.

HPS Grow Light needs extra care when it comes to installation and maintenance. You will need screws, hooks, and junction boxes to fix them in your plant growing area.

Furthermore, LED Grow Lights are smaller than HPS Grow Lights. Therefore, you can install them in more numbers to boost the utilization rate of the planting area.

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Light Spectrum

The growth of your plants depends on the light spectrum they receive from the source. LED light technology has been continuously improving. While it does not prioritize light intensity, it has an appropriate light spectrum for different stages of plant growth.

HPS Grow lights are more intense than LED Grow lights. After all, their luminescence principle and spectral curve are different. They encourage plant development in the same way that LED Grow lights do. However, they may cause more harm than good by producing excessive heat when you use them in a small area.

Note: Avoid using wooden fixtures when working with HPS Grow lights. It might cause a fire. Additionally, keep them away from flammable objects.


LED Grow lights have upper hands in almost every aspect. You have to pay some extra bucks in the beginning. However, LED Grow Lights indeed save a lot of electricity costs in the long term. For more information about the LED Grow Light power consumption, you can read our post,《How Much Electricity Does LED Grow Light Use》.

Additionally, since LED plant-growing lamps are cooler than HPS Grow lights, you do not have to set up a cooling system. Most LED-based plant growing lights come with a heat sink or built-in fan for this purpose.

Apart from this, LED Grow lights have advantages in terms of installation and user-friendliness. Also, you can adjust their spectrum as per the requirement of your plants. LED Grow Lights are a great choice for cannabis cultivation as well.

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