Finding cheap grow lights can save you a small fortune in lighting your indoor grow room, grow closet, or even just an individual plant. Comparing the cost of grow lights isn’t easy, because not only do you have to take into account the upfront cost of the equipment, you also need to consider the running costs which are quite complicated to calculate.
For an accurate comparison of lights, you will need to consider:
- Upfront cost
- Efficiency producing light
- Lifespan of components
Getting accurate figures is no easy task and will also depend on your specific needs.
Grow Light Technologies
There are three main grow light technologies you can choose from:
- HID (high-intensity discharge) which includes HPS (high-pressure sodium) and MH (metal-halide) lights. Also called gas-discharge lights
|Technology||Overall luminous efficacy (lm/W)||Component lifespan||Other|
|High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)||85-150||around 20,000 hrs. Replace approx every 2 yrs|
|LED||58.5-93.1||50,000 – 100,000 hrs||No ballast, reflectors, cooling fans needed|
|Metal-Halide (MH)||65-112||around 5-12 months @ 18hrs/day depending on wattage|
Grow light reflectors help you make full use of your existing lights. Rather use your lights efficiently than install additional lighting which will cost more. Reflectors range in price from around $40 to over $300.
Plants do not use all colours of light (for example they don’t use green light). They also use different colours of light during different phases. During early growth stage, plants need blue light while orange/red light becomes more important during the reproductive stage.
So it doesn’t make sense to buy ordinary lights that waste energy generating green light. For more efficiency, get lights that are designed as grow lights and that only produce light that your plants use.