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Hello Growers!


We understand that with so many options, you may be confused by which system is right for you. To assure that you are getting the best result with our products, We higly recommend this buyer's guide to help with making the right selection, as well as getting a better understanding of our grow light systems. Here is a simple breakdown of all our different digital grow light systems, separated by Wattage/Growing area, timing device, and reflector types. Here’s a quick explanation the main differences between metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs.


Metal Halide vs. High-Pressure Sodium


High intensity discharged lighting is by far the most efficient lighting there is on the hydroponics market.  A HID system consist of a bulb, ballast (which includes capacitors and igniters), and the power source. As electricity enters the system, it charges capacitors, the batteries that stores the energy required to fire the igniter. Once the capacitors are fully charged, igniters will fire the bulb at an upward of 10,000 volts. Once the initial firing is complete, the ballast will automatically power the bulb at its rated voltage (120v/240v). This start-up sequence only lasts for a few seconds and the incredibly high voltage is powered by very little amperage. Like any kind of light bulb, the less often it is turned on/off, the longer its life will be.


Metal halide bulb consists of several different kinds of gases and chemicals in which react to electricity by producing light anywhere from 4300K to 8000K Kelvin temperature (depending on the chemicals inside). Most metal halide is around 4600K-5000K, with a few exceptions that register at 4300K and 6000K or above. Any metal halide bulb above 8000K comes with an ultraviolet shield that blocks out ultraviolet radiation, and should not be used if the shield is absent. High-pressure sodium bulb is very similar to a metal halide bulb, with the exception that the chamber is filled with high-pressured sodium gas. Instead of producing a light that has a blue-ish tint, it produces a light that has a yellow-ish with a hint of pink. HPS bulbs can register anywhere from 2400K to 3200K in Kelvin temperature.


One of the main advantages of HPS bulb over MH is its bulb life. However, this does not mean that MH bulbs are obsolete; growing a plant properly requires both kinds of lights. Generally speaking, MH bulbs promote length and vegetation growth, while HPS bulb promotes width (bushiness) and flowering. There are many different factors to the hours of light needed from both kinds of bulbs, such as: type of plant, length of light exposure, type of reflector used, position of light mounted, etc. We highly recommend surfing forums dedicated to the particular plant of interest (Google it)!


Wattage & Growing Space


The HID lights are the most common lighting systems for indoor gardening. HID grow light kits provide different type of hoods, ballasts, a light hanger set, a free timer, and bulbs. The increase of the wattage means the more intense the lights will be which gives you more space to grow. The higher wattage is an advantage for those who are growing in a larger area. Please see the diagram on the left that best shows a general guideline on how many watts are needed per square ft.


Primary Grow Area Chart


Grow

Light

Watts

Growing Area

Heat Output

Recommended Light Height Above Plants

Bulb Life
(hours)

Primary

Secondary

HPS

250

3' x 3'

5' x 5'

Medium

2' to 3'

24,000

HPS

400

5' x 5'

8' x 8'

High

3' to 4'

24,000

HPS

600

6' x 6'

10' x 10'

High

3' to 4'

24,000

HPS

1000

8' x 8'

12' x 12'

Very High

4' to 6'

24,000

MH

250

3' x 3'

5' x 5'

Medium

2' to 3'

10,000

MH

400

5' x 5'

8' x 8'

High

3' to 4'

10,000

MH

600

6' x 6'

10' x 10'

High

3' to 4'

10,000

MH

1000

8' x 8'

12' x 12'

Very High

4' to 6'

10,000

 


24 Hour Timer - Recommended Product


Timer operates off of an internal clock and can be programmed with up to 2 different on & off settings per day. So with our timer device, grower can now let our light system run automatically without worrying when to turn on or off. Saves you a lot of worrying and headaches.


Types of Reflectors


The reflector is the greater part of the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) & Metal Halide (MH) Grow Light Kits after the bulbs because it helps reflect light towards your plants for more intensity and coverage. The different types of hoods we have available in the HID Grow Light Kits are listed below. Keep in mind that these might not be the official names for these hoods but it will give you a clear description of what they look like. Also keep in mind that there is no one hood that is better than another, however there are some advantages using over & over another depending on your grow space.


Wing Reflector

Reflector Wings


It is the basic vertical hood lighting setup and is great for beginners on a budget. It is light-weight and can be set up in minutes. The wing style hood are included in the 400 watt, 600 watt and 1000 watt HID Grow Light Kits.


Cool Hood

 

Cool Hoods


This horizontal hood shape is a traditional hood style of grow light reflection. This is another basic setup but with more added features on the hood. This includes a high temperature glass cover and ducting holes so you can install fans to suck out the heat and keep the reflector, the bulb, and the grow area nice and cool. We offer this hood style in our 250 watt, 400 watt, 600 watt and 1000 watt HID Grow Light Kits. Available in: (4 inch = 250w & 400w ; 6 inch = 400w-1000w ; 8 inch = 1000w)


Cool Tube

 

Cool Tubes


If heat is an issue, then the cool tube style hoods are great for extracting heat easily and efficiently from the hood and grow area due to its smooth cylinder shape. We have this tube style available in the 400 watt, 600 watt, and 1000 watt HID Grow Light Kits. Available in: (6 inch = 400w-1000w)


We hope this article has provided more knowledge regarding our products and in helping you make a better decision in purchasing. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our products, please at sales@growlightdirect.com or call us at: (626) 863-7344.