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Best HID Grow Lights Review

Every grow light that I am reviewing, are decent products that have excellent overall reviews. So, you'd likely not go wrong purchasing any of the lights listed here. However, as many lights are highly rated, it can make it hard to make a decision on which light to buy. So, my reviews are going to be picky. But, my pickiness will hopefully help you be able to purchase the best light for you.

The HID grow light is cheap and can be well-suited for beginning growers. However, additional equipment (ballast, reflector hood) is needed with HID lights. Also, for best results, you will need to use both HPS and MH for your plants.

With all of that additional equipment, It can be a bit confusing assembling HID lights for your indoor growing, piece-by-piece. Therefore, It is recommended that you purchase an HID grow light kit, that includes both ballast, reflector, and includes an HPS growing light and MH bulbs.

FYI-Read The Following information Before You Go To Reviews

Other than for illustrative purposes or for examples this review will only showcase kits. 
High Intensity Discharge=High Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide-High Intensity discharge (”HID”) lights are a type of light bulb and Metal Halide (”MH”) and high pressure Sodium (”HPS”) are a member of that class or type of light bulbs. Unless stated otherwise, when I mention HID lights I will mean both MH and HPS.

MH and HPS, HID lights are shown below:

HPS Bulb

MH Bulb

As usual for my reviews, I will go straight to my review of the best HID grow lights. However, if you are unfamiliar with HID lighting, I recommend that you go straight to the appendix, which is located at the end of my reviews.

HID Grow Light Reviews

IPower HPS, MH Digital Dimmable Grow Light

"Best Overall Deal"

Product Specs

  • Wattage Options: 400 Watt, 600 Watt, and 1,000 Watts
  • Dimensions: 21" by 17" by 6"
  • Kit Includes: Electronic Dimmable, Ballast 1-MH, and 1-HPS Bulb, 2-8’ adjustable Clip Hanging Ropes (Claim to support up to 150 pounds), Mechanical timer, Wing Reflector (Claimed 95% Reflection Ability)
  • Reflector: Option for Wing, Cool Tube, or Air-Cooled
  • MH and HM? Yes
  • Safety Certified? Ballast is CE and UL Certified
  • Warranty: 24 Months Limited Warranty Ballast, 12 Month For Bulbs and Timer

PROS

  • Newbie Friendly-As it has everything you’ll need minus a fan, the Ipower is a perfectly suited for a beginning grower.
  • Assembly-Almost universally praised as being easy to set up. Also, which is quite rare, many owners were impressed with the thorough assembly instructions.
  • Great Value-This all-in-one kit is an excellent value because it has everything you’ll need (minus a fan) to start growing your cannabis plants. You’d spend a ton more if you were to purchase the reflector hood, timer, ropes, and adjustable ballast.
  • Customer Service-Reviewers praised customer service. Ipower was quick to address any purchaser complaints that appeared in Amazon’s reviews.
  • Customization Options- Ability to choose, different hoods. Although I still would recommend using an Air-Cooled Hood.

CONS

  • Packaging-A common complaint, even among overall good reviews, was that they received broken light bulbs, which was likely the result of inadequate packaging. However, you should note that the overall rating for packaging is above four stars.
  • No Fan-Ipower has everything but a fan, which is mandatory if you are going to use the Ipower in your grow tent or in a small enclosed area. This is a shortsighted as a proper cooling system will ensure that your marijuana plants yield is maximized and for safety reasons.
  • Ballast-A few purchasers stated that the ballast prematurely died.
  • Bulbs Burning Out Too Soon-The most common complaint was that the bulbs died out too quickly.


Air-Cooled Model

Clicking the image below will also enable you to buy the other reflector types. 

Conclusion

The ipower is a newbie-friendly grow light that isn't a bad purchase. After all, the iPower’s has stellar reviews and everything but a cooling fan is included. Also, because of the iPower’s praised customer service, if something does go wrong, you can be assured that your problem will be addressed. What I am most impressed though it that the Ipower can be customized, which makes this light good for seasoned and beginning growers.

VIVOSUN Hydroponic HPS MH Grow Light 

Product Specs

  • Wattage Options: 600 Watt, and 1000 Watt
  • Dimensions:
  • Includes: Digital Dimmable Ballast (Enhanced Internal Fan), 24-Hour Mechanical Timer Switch (ETL Listed), MH and HPS bulbs, and Rope Hanger
  • Cooling: Enhanced Internal Fan
  • Reflector: Wing
  • MH and HM? Yes
  • Safety Certified: Ballast is UL Certified
  • Warranty: 3-Year, Limited Warranty

I was initially going to review Vivosun’s Air-Cooled reflector (”HPS and MH)” kit. However, the model with nearly 400 reviews is no longer available, and the one available has less than 20 reviews. So, I am reviewing Vivosun, HID entry-level growing light. This light is reasonably priced. So, is it a case of: “You get what you paid for?” Find out by reading this review.

PROS

  • Rated Highly-Almost 300 reviews, with an overall above-average rating
  • Ballast is praised for being quiet and well made.
  • Customer Service- Even on negative reviews, customer service, was praised. For example, one customer remarked that Vivosun even replaced a product after the warranty ran out, and they replaced a defective bulb.
  • Warranty-Three year warranty is impressive.
  • Quality-The ETL a UL certification is a good indicator that this reviewed light is not only safe’ but also well made.
  • Good customer service-Customer stated that he was offered a refund even after the warranty.
  • Assembly-Many reviewers were impressed with the ease at which it was to set it up.

CONS

  • Wing Hood- Compared to an air-cooled reflector, Wing reflector hoods are second-class technology.
  • One Star Ratings-The The one-star rating percentage (other than the five stars) is the highest percentage rating.
  • Timer-Timer is EL certified. However, many reviewers felt the timer was cheaply made and just thrown in as a last-minute bonus.


Vivosun HPS MHS Grow Light

Conclusion

This is a decent HID lighting kit that has numerous positive reviews. Also, Vivosun has a reputation for making quality products. However, as it has a wing reflector, I would not recommend this HPS MH light, and you should instead pay a bit more for either a LED or a HID that has an air-cooled reflector. 


Sun System - HPS 150W Complete System with Ultra Sun Lamp 

The Sun Systems is as beginner-friendly as you can get. All you have to do is plug this setup, and you will be ready to grow. However, this model only offers a 150W version, and also, you can only place one bulb in at a time. So, is the simplicity and lower price make up for its limitations? Read more . . . To find out.

Product Specs

  • Wattage Options- 150W
  • Includes-2, Hanging Hooks, 150 W, High Pressure Sodium Lamp (No Light Bulbs Included)
  • MH and HPS? No
  • Customizable-No
  • Safety Certified-
  • Warranty? Two Years Limited Warranty

PROS

  • Vetted and High Ratings-Highly Rated With Nearly 500 Reviews, and it had an overwhelmingly positive rating.
  • Newbie Friendly- If comes in one piece; so, all you have to do is screw in the light bulb, and you are ready to go.
  • Two Year Warranty
  • Compact- It is quite compact and can fit into confined spaces. However, it does run hot, so you will need to make sure that you have proper ventilation, cooling.
  • Digital Ballast- Many reviewers praised the digital ballast.

CONS

  • Shipping Boxes-Older reviews stated the shipping box was not discreet as it clearly stated that this was a plant light.
  • Not A Complete Kit-Unlike other kits, the bulbs, and timer were not included.
  • Runs Hot-This light is quite compact; however, it also runs hot. So, because of it running hot, its use in small confined spaces is deceptive. As a result, before purchasing, you need to measure the ceiling of your grow space or grow tent to see if you can place this light far enough from your plants to prevent burning.
  • One Piece-For simplicity's sake having one unity is desirable. However, if that one piece goes out, you'll likely have to purchase an entirely new set up or wait to get a replacement.


Sun System HPS Grow Light

Conclusion

HID lighting is an old technology that has been surpassed by LED lighting. As a result, many complaints about the Sun System were based upon "HID" lighting technology and not the product. So, I will do my best to list any deficits to ones that deal specifically with the Sun System light. Also, it is quite beginner-friendly as all you have to do is plug it in and start growing. My overall assessment of Sun System lights is that this is a bare-bones HID light system with overwhelmingly positive reviews, and it is the cheapest HID that I am reviewing.

However, I would not recommend this for newbie growers as it is only directly compatible with HPS light bulbs (MH bulbs along with HPS are needed for the best yield), and also this "Kit" does not have all of the necessary equipment. Additionally, the low price is deceptive as you will have to purchase bulbs and a timer separately, and only the 150W option is offered.


APPENDIX

How Do HID Light Bulbs Work?

HID lights (both HPS and MH) are made of a quartz container, which is filled up with high pressure gas. A starter ignites an electrical spark between the electrodes and produces and ionized gas which generates light.

What Is The Difference Between The MH and HPS 

Equipment Needed For HID Grow Lights

Other than the HID lamp itself, the following are needed for HID growing lights

  • Ballast: The ballast allows an HID light to function with currents that are normally used in a typical household. Some of the ballasts that you may see are digital dimmable, ballasts that only work with either MH or HPS bulbs, or ballasts that work with HID light bulbs.
  • Reflector:  reflectors are a cover over the HID lights, which are used to direct the lights over your cannabis plants.

Reflectors

When growing weed via lights, you will want to make sure to use as much light as possible on your plants. A reflector or hood helps with that by helping you focus the artificial lights onto your marijuana plants. A hood forces the light down toward your plants, which increases light levels on your marijuana plants. Additionally, A quality reflector helps you save money as a hood can 30% more light to your plants without you having to use more electricity.

Wing Reflectors, Cool Tube, Air-Cooled-Which One Should I Buy?

There are several types of reflectors on the market; so, it can get confusing knowing which one would work best for you. So, I’ve included this background information on the most common reflectors (Cool Tube, Air Tube) used with HID growing lights.

Wing Reflector (AKA “Bat Wing”)

These are the cheapest type of hood that you can purchase. Also, they are the least effective. The Wing reflector can reflect light decently. However, they do a poor job of preventing excessive heat from beaming down on your babies. With a Wing Hood, you will need to place your light farther from your plants (you will likely have to do this even if you use a fan to cool your lights), which can reduce your yield. Also, best practices require you to place a fan directly over your plants.

Cool Tube

A cool Tube reflector is a type of air-cooled reflector that works well for cooling but isn’t very efficient in directing light toward your plants. The one advantage of the Cool Tube is that it is compact; so, it can be fit in small areas.

Air-Cooled (Preferred)

An Air Cooled Hood has a bottom glass sheet that contains heat, and the top is a larger hood with openings on each side. Combined this reflector with a fan, and you will be able to move additional hot air outside of your grow room or grow tent.

The number one advantage of an Air-Cooled Hood is that it reflects light better across your grow room or tent. Additionally, the air-cooled reflector allows you to place your Grow lamp closer to your plants.

What Should You Buy?

Unless you don’t have the room, you should purchase a more efficient air-cooled reflector. Granted, you may pay a bit more, but you will also use less electricity and have better results.

What Is The Difference Between Double Ended And Single Ended HID Light Bulbs?

When shopping for your HID grow lights you will encounter single and doubled ended HID light bulbs. Double-ended bulbs are skinnier, brighter and they also don’t screw into a socket.

Single ended HID bulbs cost substantially less than their double-ended bulbs. However, double ended bulbs last longer (approximately 10,000 hours more) than a single ended bulbs and, without having to purchase a higher wattage light bulb, they also produce light more efficiently. The only reason that you should choose single-ended bulbs is if the grow light reflector is not compatible with double-ended grow lights.

The following reflectors are compatible with double ended, hid bulbs: double ended wing, air-cooled reflector hood, large open hood, and a double-ended hood with an attached ballast reflector.

HID Grow Light Best Practices

As stated, MH and HPS light bulbs emit different colors and different light spectrum colors work best when approaching a respective plants growth stage. It is possible to get adequate results by just using HPS bulbs. Therefore, for optimum results, you need to use both HPS and MH bulbs for your cannabis plants. However, MH bulbs should never be used alone.

HID Grow Lights vs. LED Grow Lights

HID lights are an improvement over the traditional, Edison, incandescent grow light, and a HID grow light system costs less than LED grow lights. However, compared to HID, a good LED, full spectrum, grow lighting system is superior as LED lights emit less heat, less, power, and less equipment is needed. Additionally, with full spectrum led grow lights you don’t have to switch lights when you reach the different plant growth stages. Therefore, if you can afford it, I would recommend LED grow lights over HID.

Recommendations

As the added cost of LED grow lights have become increasingly cheaper I would not recommend using HID over LED grow lights. You'd be better to invest in a few more dollars, and purchase LED grow lights. The only reason that you should choose HID over LED is if you get acceptable results with HID and you don’t want to bother learning how to best used LED grow lights or you can’t afford the extra cost for LED lights. 

Indoor Light Coverage  Estimates

Wattage

Estimated

Coverage

1000

7' x 7'

600

6' x 6'

400

4' x 4'

150

2' x 2'


References

For further information on HID, HPS lighting-CLICK HERE

Click the following link for reviews of the best LED grow lights.