Everything to know about HID vs. LED Grow Lights

Every year, there are lots of advancements done in grow lights. Grow lights are specially used to stimulate plant growth. There is a constant debate going on about which grow lights are better, LED (Light Emitting Diode) or HID (High-Intensity Discharge). This is a common topic revolving around weed growing community.

The main thing is, the grow light which helps you in growing in the current situation is the best grow light. 

In the last few years, LED grow light is widely accepted by people worldwide and it can easily replace an HID. Also, LED grow light fulfill demands of most of the grow spaces and setups. They are most likely used by a hobby grower or a conventional grower. 

In order to make your doubts clear, here we will provide all the details about HID grow lights and LED grow lights.

Without much discussion, let’s start with HID grow lights.

HID Grow Lights

High-Intensity Discharge lights are known for the brightness and intensity of light they emit. This light is highly intense that it can enter canopy and nourish the whole plant.

How HID Grow Lights work?

In these lights, gas is surrounded within a glass blub including electrodes. As soon as the current is passed via bulb it creates an arc between electrodes which heats the gas molecules. This results for gas to give light. Amount of brightness and color of light mainly depends on which bulb you use.

There are two types of HID bulbs

1. MH bulb: Which stands of Metal Halide, it is cooler and is normal for the vegetarian stage of growing.

2. HPS bulb: It stands for High-Pressure Sodium, it falls under the orange or red spectrum which appears yellow or gold to human eye. These are used for flowering, but can also be used for grow cycle if required.

HID Grow Light Components

A reflector hood to direct the light. Hood is also used for cooling as HID bulbs are very hot. Moreover, you will also need extra cooling.

Secondly, ballast which is used to power the light. With the required components, you are ready for growing. 

Let’s have a look at pros and cons of HID grow lights

Pros of HID Grow Lights

– Absolutely low initial cost.

– MH bulb spectrums contain UV light that helps in the production of terpenes and adhesive for good flavor and THC levels.

– HPS bulbs are useful in the complete growing cycle.

– 1000W HIDs are useful for commercial growers with large spaces.

Cons of HID Grow Lights

– HID bulbs not last long. 

– HPS bulbs are not suitable as they emit a lot of heat. Not suitable for small spaces as there is a risk of fire. Also, not suitable for low rooms as they needed to be hung higher.

– 75% of energy emitted is heat. It consists of Infrared which can damage plants.

– Due to reflections, the light loses 15% of its intensity.

– HPS bulbs generate more green and yellow light than required. This, it harms the environment.

– MH bulbs contain toxic metals which are bad for environment.

– Below 400W, they are inefficient and can be replaced with LED.

LED grow lights are becoming a trend because most of the above issues are solved in LED grow lights.

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights use LED chips instead of bulbs. These chips turn electricity into light. Similar to HID, some colors of LED chips are more efficient than others. 

Here, you don’t need any blasters or hoods. These lights function as plug and play. Hang on light, switch on and leave it aside. Changing the position of the light is difficult in the beginning.

Also, you can easily change the spectrum of light with just a click. These can also be controlled by different things like Wi-Fi, mobile apps, remote control or automatic program.

Let’s get started with Pros and Cons of LED grow lights

Pros of LED Grow Lights

– A primary full spectrum LED grow light can be easily used in complete grow cycle. 

– LED grow light deliver required spectrum as per your plants need. Hence, there is no wastage of the light.

– It can be kept close to plants as compared to HID grow lights. 

– As it produces less heat, it requires less water.

– No toxic metal used, less water and electricity.

– Better for 50,000 to 100,000 hours of growing.

Cons of LED Grow Lights

– If placed too close to plants, the intensity of light can cause light-burn.

– Few LED grow light makers get creative with specs and make false claims about their lights.

– Initial cost is high. Here, low running costs means they are cheaper in the long run as compared to HID.

– Due to few of the cheaper, less powerful models, you might require to learn training methods such as Sea of Green or Screen of Green. This is required to ensure that plants get needed light. 


Hence, LED grow lights are far to better and can easily replace an HID. If you want to buy, check out our list of best led grow lights

LED grow lights are popular because of low cost, maintenance, flexibility, and trust. Also, various big commercial growers are switching to LED grow lights.