Metal Halide Vs. HPS for Veg? What Should You Use

When growing plants under a light lamp, it can be challenging to determine the best light. Both metal halide and high-pressure sodium lights have benefits and drawbacks that can help the growing process.

Metal halide bulbs are best for vegetation growth, whereas high-pressure sodium lights are best for flowering plants. But throughout the growing process, using both lights at the right time will help your plants flourish.

If you can only get one type of light bulb during the growing process, it is essential to know the benefits and how they work. Read on to determine the importance of each bulb and what it is best used for.

Metal Halide vs. HPS: Which Should You Choose for Veg?

If you are only able to use one bulb, use an HPS light. An HPS light will not damage a flowering plant and will help it to grow. 

But ultimately, the best solution is to use both lights throughout the process. But for growing cannabis, it is, in fact, even better to use a ceramic metal halide light for veg. The spectrum is, in fact, better for the growth of cannabis than the light spectrum of both bulbs.

An LED alight can also be used, but the light spectrum is much smaller than a metal halide light. 

All in all, determining which bulb is best for your growing process depends on many factors. Cost, plant type, and light spectrum are a few of the essential elements to pay attention to. These can help you to determine what bulb is best.

What is a Metal Halide Light?

Metal halide lights are identified by the bright bluish light they give off. A metal halide light spectrum is more visible to the human eye than those of other lights.

The gas found within the lightbulb allows the bulb to operate on a much higher wattage than a standard bulb. A higher wattage bulb will help the plant grow.

There are two different types of metal halide light bulbs. One type uses high-pressure sodium holders to help get the most power. The second type of bulb uses digital bolsters. Both of these bulbs help create a higher spectrum level being concentrated on the growing process.

How Does a Metal Halide Light Work?

The light spectrum of a metal halide light helps with the preliminary vegetation. The light will help make things flourish vigorously and help them to flower correctly.

These lights should only be used at the beginning of the growing process if you are growing flowering vegetables. If it is used throughout the entire process, you will have spindly and mealy vegetables. The light ruins the flowering growing process and is too concentrated for the whole of the plant’s life cycle.

MH lights are also customizable. You can change the color spectrum of the light to be either cooler or warmer. The cooler light will be better in the earlier growing process, while a warm red light mimics the high-pressure sodium light. 

Being customizable makes a metal halide light an option if you cannot afford both lights. Since the spectrum can be adapted, it can help the growing process throughout the vegetation process.

An MH light is not as strong as an HPS bulb due to its light spectrum, but customizing options can make it an easy choice.

Pros and Cons of Metal Halide Lights

Helps with the beginning vegetative stateCan ruin flowering plants
Can be a customizable light to allow for all different types of light to help plant growthNot as strong of a light source as HPS lights

What is a High-Pressure Sodium Light?

High-pressure sodium light is red. It is a more centralized light that is best used at the end of the growing process.

They mimic the light given from the sun and help the plants to flower. The filaments found in these lights create a 25 to 40 percent more concise light for the growing process.

They are a brighter light than a fluorescent light that makes it easier to see! That’s why they can also be found in parking garages and other hard to see places.

How Does a High-Pressure Sodium Light Work?

High-pressure sodium light is a more concentrated light than metal halide lights. The yellow and red light mimic the sun’s light and can help the plants flourish and grow.

HPS lights also have more lumens creating a higher concentration of light. The more light a plant gets, the more flowering a plant will be.

There is a customizable option for HPS lights to be bluer to help the vegetation process. This would allow them to be used throughout the entire growing process.

These bulbs need to be replaced after 12-18 months to ensure they keep a vital light source.

Pros and Cons of HPS Lights

Better for flowering plantsCan create spindly plants rather than strong ones if used at the beginning of the growing process.
Higher concentration of lightNeed to be replaced every 12-18 months
Mimics the light of the sun
Best used at the end of the growing process
Bright light that can help you to see better

What Are the Differences Between MH and HPS Lights?

The differences between MH and HPS lights are numerous, but primarily they are used in different types of growing.

A metal halide light is primarily used in the early vegetation process for flowering plants.  But if the plant is a vegetable that does not require flowering such as lettuce or basil, it can be used through the entire growing process

The light produced by an MH bulb is across the spectrum. It is a very bright blue light that can be seen quickly by the human eye. The ability to be customized can help save money but may damage your plants due to its less concentrated light.

HPS bulbs, if used throughout the process, will create spindly thin plants. But when used in the flowering process, it will help with the plant strength.

The lumens used in an HPS bulb help create a more concentrated light process than an MH bulb. 

The differences in plant growth benefits can all depend on what bulb and what plant you are using! Just make sure you research your plant and determine the best indoor light for growth.

The Optimal Light Growing Process

The best growing light is the use of both bulbs throughout the entire vegetation process. Both lights provide the proper light to help your plants grow strong and healthy as well as flourish. 

Using the bulbs at the same time will create a rich light full area that can make a concentrated light where it is needed most.

Having both bulbs on throughout the process can be expensive, but there are other ways you can save money.

First, in the early vegetation stage, use an MH light. The MH light spectrum helps the plants grow strong. 

Then after the plants have started to flourish, use an HPS light. The red-light produced by the bulbs helps them to thrive and grow better.

Using the particular bulb for the best stage is a cost-effective way to ensure your plants grow healthy and strong.

Final Thoughts

Overall choosing the best bulb for vegetation is an MH bulb, but an HPS bulb might be the right choice to save money and keep your plants flourishing! Now you know the research and can make the best decisions for you!

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