LED vs HPS


December 12, 2016

Energy

Electricity is often a grower's largest ongoing expense. Certain high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting might have a higher light intensity, or lumen output, but a lot of that light is wasted since it is within a spectrum the plant cannot use. Cultivate Tech LED grow lights use about half the electricity, only focusing on wavelengths in the spectrum that matter to your plants ultimately resulting in significantly more useful light per watt.

The energy savings alone can quickly pay off your investment of LEDs, and the longer you own your system, the more you save. Below is an example using the national average electricity cost of 12 cents per kWh and replacing a 600W HPS with Cultivate Techs 320W GROWTECH 4000. Note that these comparisons don’t factor in what you would save on cooling costs by switching to LEDs.

 600W HPS   
320W GrowTech 4000
Electricity Cost 
$471.74    
$251.60
Annual Replacement Bulb Costs 
$32.76          
$0.00


Total Annual Savings: $252.90
Total Savings over Life of Fixture: $1930.00
Cultivate Tech LED Fixture Pays for Itself in 18 Months

 

Heat/Cooling

Heat generated from HPS grow lights is perhaps the largest problem for indoor growers, especially during summer months. HPS bulbs can reach 750 degrees on the surface, and if not controlled properly with expensive cooling equipment, can lead to a host of issues including stunted plants, wispy flowers, and rapid drying of medium, which would result in root mass loss, nutrient deficiency, and even entire crop failure. A grow room that uses only three 1000 W HPS grow lights generates enough heat to require nearly a ton of air conditioning. Once you start calculating all of the costs associated with “cheap” HPS fixtures, it quickly becomes obvious that it’s a much more expensive lighting solution than you might have first thought. Those unexpected expenses add up quickly in even the smallest of home grow setups, imagine the costs to run a large indoor horticulture business. Costs can run close to $1 million on industrial cooling just for installation and equipment alone.

Cultivate Tech LED grow lights, on the other hand, run very cool, so cool in fact that no additional temperature control equipment is needed and the LED fixtures can be placed very close to the actual plants. Lower temperatures from your lighting equipment gives a lot of control back to the grower. It leads to a much more easily maintained grow environment in which your plants are in a perfectly ideal environment in which they can thrive. The less obvious, but no less important advantages to cooler lighting temperatures is additional savings on water and expensive nutrients that evaporate in hot grow rooms.

 

Spectrum

HPS fixtures use a lot of energy producing unwanted heat, but also producing white light which encompasses all the colors of the visible light spectrum. However, photosynthesis only requires specific wavelengths of light so all extra wavelengths that are in white light are completely unnecessary and waste massive amounts of energy producing. Yes, your plants will still be getting light within the spectrum they need to grow and flower, but it is being delivered in a highly inefficient, wasteful way, raising your production costs for no reason.

Cultivate Tech LED grow lights are made up of individual LED light diodes and only use energy where it is needed, with no waste. Cultivate Tech LEDs blend only the wavelengths that are needed and distribute them in the correct ratios necessary for photosynthesis. Emphasizing on wavelengths within blue and red that support vegetative and flower growth (430-450nm for blue and 660nm for red), Cultivate Tech LEDs puts the power where it’s needed to maximize the amount of light that can be photosynthesized, allowing plants to flourish and spread without wasting additional energy.

 

Maintenance

It’s true that initial costs favor less expensive traditional grow lights such as HPS. However, maintaining a grow room of any size that uses them will require significant ongoing costs. Apart from the need to purchase cooling equipment as we mentioned above, growers will need to invest time and money into their hardware as well if they hope to see peak performance consistently.

 

Conservatively, Cultivate Tech LED grow lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours. Compare that to the lifespan of an HPS at roughly 10,000-18,000 hrs. What's more, traditional lamp efficiency begins degrading immediately even losing as much as 10% of its output in only 1500 hours, while Cultivate Tech LEDs maintain the majority of their potency over the entirety of their long lives.

 

Environmental

While the LED grower personally will see a great deal of savings on energy and maintenance costs, they are also benefiting the environment.

Cultivate Tech LED grow lights use less electricity to run and have a much longer lifespan meaning less wasted equipment ending up as mass in a landfill. They generate much less heat requiring less energy running cooling systems. Additionally, plants growing under Cultivate Tech LED fixtures in rooms with less heat will require much less water since there will be no loss caused by evaporation.



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