Using HPS Grow Lights
HPS grow lights are the standard in the cannabis growing industry, and with good reason! The same set of HPS lighting equipment can be used for the entire grow cycle. From seed to harvest you are taken care of. There are some growers that would rather switch to different lights during the vegetative phase, but it isn’t always necessary. When it comes to yield, for most people, HPS is king. They do put out a lot of heat and take a lot of energy to run, which can be a problem, but if you know how to pick the right lights you can have incredible results.
When You Want HPS Grow Lights:
HPS grow lights are excellent for rooms that are in cool environments, to make up for the heat that HPS lights put off, have great ventilation, have a lot of plants, and have plenty of vertical room to put space between the plants and the lights. These are also excellent for times when you want the absolute best flowering growth possible, since these lights are considered the gold standard in this area.
When You Don’t:
HPS grow lights aren’t very ideal for indoor grows where there is not adequate ventilation or is in a confined space. The heat plays a large part of HPS lighting, so you have to be able to take that into account.
HPS lights have a lot of positive points. Their light is in the red and orange spectrum, due to the inclusion of sodium, but they are powerful nonetheless. The average lifespan of an HPS bulb is nearly twice that of comparable metal halides and keep running strong after 18,000 hours. After that point, though, they might also start drawing more power, so you will have to keep an eye on your power consumption after the first two years. It is also helpful that each light can produce 140 lumens per watt, making it an incredibly powerful grow light that can take your grows to new levels.
Things To Keep In Mind
With HPS lighting, you are using a light that sends electricity through ionized gas and takes a little bit to warm up. Ballasts are used as a resistor and helps to regulate all of the current that is flowing through the light and keep the circuit going. Once the ballast can no longer supply enough voltage to keep the light running, it will be time to replace the bulb.
An important part of using HPS lights is making sure, as I’ve made clear I hope, the temperature of the room. The natural temperature of the environment should be lower than 65 degrees, and if it is higher you will have to start thinking about how to control the heat through exhaust systems. Even a simple exhaust system of a tube and fan can get the job done in most cases, as long as you have some way of getting air in and out of your grow room. Imagine having a 1,000 watt heater inside of your house. That is comparable to the amount of heat that these lights will put out.
With that in mind, setting up an HPS grow takes a fair bit of planning to be prepared for. Part of planning the exhaust system is making sure that you have a fan that is powerful enough to move the air away from your plants. The larger the exhaust hole, the more air you can remove from the room, the lower the temperature can stay. If you have a large fan, but a small exhaust hole, your fan will struggle to move any of the air, and vice versa. When you are planning your system, you want to make sure that your exhaust takes air directly out of the room and through a window or hole that is as close as possible to take the strain off of your fan. That poses another problem, though, and you’ll need to start thinking about a carbon odor scrubber to make sure that you don’t alert any of your neighbours!
When hanging your lights, you should also make sure to hang them a proper distance from the tops of your plants. A 100w light should be 2-3 feet above your plants and a 1000w, or higher, light should be about twice that. This is just as important as handling the exhaust system because you can run the risk of burning your plants.
The Final Word
Overall, HPS grow lights are incredibly effective and incredibly popular. They are considered the standard by most growers, even if they have themselves moved on to other types of lighting. The heat is a concern, but if you have the ability to keep your plants cool enough, you will experience growth like never before and have yields like nothing you have ever seen.