How much do you know about HPS bulbs? If you own a garden or a greenhouse, then you’re probably no stranger to the importance of lighting. One thing that successful, big-time, indoor farmers have in common is that they leverage the power of the best HPS bulbs in their farming processes, giving their plants a consistent source of light for better flowering and blooming.
Are you looking to purchase the best HPS bulbs on the market? We’ve got you covered!
The Best HPS Growth Bulbs for Your Plants
So what is an HPS bulb? An HPS bulb is a high-pressure sodium light that offers raw light output to plants to stimulate their growth. We took the liberty of looking through hundreds of bulb brands, weighed their pros and cons, and picked out the absolute best HPS bulbs for you.
Here are five of our top choices:
Eye Hortilux is a renowned brand that provides some of the best HPS bulbs in the industry. This 1000-watt bulb gives out 25% more energy in the blue, green, and violet spectrum than a conventional HPS light.
It combines the energies of metal ace conversion lamps and super HPS lamps to produce a balanced spectral energy that ensures the proper growth of plants through all stages. Typically, the HPS spectrum is limited, but this super HPS bulb makes a commendable exception.
The intensity of this light ensures maximum PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) to support photosynthesis in your plants. You can be certain of a great harvest with the effectiveness of the Eye Hortilux bulb.
- Manufacturer – Eye Hortilux
- Weight – 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions – 15.1 x 3.2 x 3.4 inches
- 25% more energy for improved growth
- Provides a balanced spectral energy
- Combines metal ace and super HPS
- Very effective
- An Amazon’s Choice product
- Quite expensive for just one bulb
- May have to replace bulbs yearly for maximum performance
One of the most essential things that plants need is a light source with high PAR to stimulate fruit production and bloom at an enhanced rate. The iPower 1000-watt HPS bulb provides an impressive 140,000-lumen output.
This high-tier growth light is specifically designed for professional hydroponic plant cultivation and comes in a pack of 12 bulbs for full, high-intensity coverage. It’s optimized with a growth-effective, high-power, red and orange spectrum to best stimulate fruiting.
The lights have an amazing bulb life of 24,000 hours, but it’s recommended to keep them about 12 to 18 inches away from the plant canopy, as they can emit a lot of heat.
- Manufacturer – iPower
- Weight – 13.64 pounds
- Dimensions – 19 x 17.3 x 13.5 inches
- High lumen output of 140,000
- Specially designed for professional plant growth and fruiting
- Enhanced red and orange spectrum for maximum effectiveness
- Comes in a pack of 12 high-intensity light bulbs
- May be too intense for the average gardening setup
- Requires ventilation due to heat emission
This 600-watt bulb by iPower boasts of an 85,000-lumen output that is compatible with electronic and magnetic ballasts. Like the previous iPower bulb, this one is also best for professional hydroponic plant cultivation and features a red and orange light spectrum with high PAR for effective growth and fruiting.
The product is exceptionally durable, unlike many other brands, and the lumen depreciation progression is extremely low even after running for many hours. The bulb has an extremely long lifespan at 32,000 hours of use.
This iPower HPS bulb offers less wattage than the previous model, which is perfect if you have a smaller area that needs to be covered.
- Manufacturer – iPower
- Weight – 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions – 14 x 3.5 x 7 inches
- High lumen output of 85,000
- Improves plant growth and fruiting
- Exceptional lifespan of 32,000 hours
- Low lumen depreciation over time
- 30% more efficient than incandescent lighting
- Affordable price
- Takes about 5 minutes to reach full brightness
- Requires ventilation due to heat emission
Perhaps, you’re in need of something with a bit less intensity and heat, but that’s still very efficient. This 150-watt HPS bulb by Sunlite might just fit the bill if you’re looking to light a smaller area.
The bulb provides you with 15,000 lumens of quality light and has a lengthy lifespan of 20,000 hours. In many cases, people purchase according to wattage, but the 150-watt will be no barrier to the efficiency of this growth light.
The clear glass bulb delivers a 2,100K color temperature for your plants. Best of all, the bulb is very affordable and will save you a lot of financial hassle.
- Manufacturer – Sunlite
- Weight – 3.84 ounces
- Dimensions – 5.9 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
- Has a long life span of 20,000 hours
- 15,000-lumen brightness encourages photosynthesis
- Very effective for plant growth and fruiting
- Produces less heat compared to models
- Only compatible with an S55 ballast fixture
- Lower wattage bulbs have smaller ranges of growth promotion
The Vivosun brand is one of the most recognized and trusted brands when it comes to HPS technology. This 1000-watt grow light bulb boasts of an impressive 140,000 lumens and an optimized red and orange light spectrum to best stimulate growth and flowering.
The best part of this particular product is its longevity and brightness, which is exactly what indoor plants need to bloom. The bulb has a total lifespan of about 24,000 hours and can be used to promote growth at any stage in a plant’s life cycle.
- Manufacturer – Vivosun
- Weight – 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions – 17.72 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches
- High lumen output of 140,000
- Retains 90% of lumens after 5,000 hours of runtime
- Long total lifespan of 24,000 hours
- Highly effective light spectrum for plant growth
- High PAR to stimulate fruiting
- Must be used with an E39 lamp base fixture
- May be noisier than other light models
Buying Guide for HPS Bulbs
HPS technology has proven to be one of the best light choices for those that grow their cash crops indoors. Whether it’s a greenhouse or a dark enclosure, the power of the HPS bulb always comes in handy.
The following is a quick guide on everything you need to know before purchasing an HPS bulb.
What is an HPS bulb?
High-pressure sodium lights, also known as HPS lights, belong to a family of high-intensity lights that provide a large amount of brightness and are often used in street lamps. The mixture of gases and metals inside the glass material of the tube creates a bright orange-white light that’s ideal for the development of your indoor plants.
How long do HPS bulbs last?
Typically, an HPS bulb’s lifespan is about 24,000 hours. However, it’s often suggested that HPS bulbs that are used consistently for growing plants should be replaced after 18 months of use. Of course, the length of time each bulb will last may vary depending on their capacity.
What makes HPS lights so popular?
HPS technology is unique and provides a light spectrum that promotes the growth and development of plants. Fruiting crops and certain herbs require a specific light spectrum in order to bloom, and when these plants are grown indoors, there’s only one way to recreate ultraviolet rays for photosynthesis, and that’s through the use of HPS technology.
HPS bulbs are very powerful and efficient, and they’re also usually quite affordable and reliable, but the downside to these sources of light is that they emit a lot of heat and may require a source of good ventilation. They require devices called ballasts in order to be used.
What is a ballast and what does it do?
Running an HPS bulb without a ballast may be dangerous. This is because the ballast is what powers the bulb. The ballast stands as a voltage regulator. Its job is to take the input voltage flowing and optimize it in a way that maintains a consistent flow to the bulb, regardless of possible voltage fluctuations or low-high current outside the system.
Even if the input voltage drops suddenly, the ballast keeps your HPS bulbs running optimally.
What is a double-ended HPS (DE-HPS) light?
The DE-HPS is widely used among owners of indoor farms. Many people recommend them, and for good reason too. Comparisons have shown that over the years, DE-HPS bulbs increasingly out-perform single-ended HPS lights by a significant percentage in PAR output and durability. DE-HPS lights also function better with increased emissions of ultraviolet (UV) rays and infrared (IR) rays.
How do you choose the right HPS wattage for the best performance?
The size of your garden will determine the intensity of the light that you need to achieve the desired results. It’s common to pick the wrong wattage and later realize that you might not be using the right one. This is why it’s very important to get the right information before making any commitments or purchases, and that’s why we’re here to guide you through the process.
These bulbs usually come with their own built-in ballasts and reflectors, and they won’t build up heat like the others. They can cover an area of about 4 square feet and should be positioned at least 6 inches away from your plants.
These bulbs usually come with a built-in ballast and reflector as well. At 250 watts, the bulb will start to heat up, so it’s advisable to devise methods to improve ventilation and coolness. They can cover an area of about 6¼ square feet and should be positioned at least 10 inches away from your plants.
Typically the most popular HPS bulb in distribution, the 400-watt bulb also heats up significantly, but is quite efficient. It’s highly recommended due to the amount of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) it provides compared to lower wattages.
At 400 watts, a separate ballast will be required. These bulbs can cover about 9 square feet and should be positioned at least 12 inches away from your plants.
A 600-watt bulb is very powerful, producing up to 150 lumens per watt, or 90,000 lumens in total. They are by far the most efficient HPS lamps on the market. They convert more electricity, produce less heat, and are recommended to be kept around 18 inches away from the plants. They cover an area of about 16 square feet.
The 1000-watt bulb may be brighter than the 400-watt bulb, but it’s actually slightly less efficient, as you get less output per watt of electricity. It’s recommended that you place this bulb about 24 inches away from your plants, and one can cover approximately 25 square feet.
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your greenhouse plants using HPS bulbs, the five products above are our top recommendations for you. We hope that you’re now able to make an informed decision and purchase the best HPS bulbs for your unique gardening needs. Good luck!