HPS vs LED Grow Light: All You Need To Know

In the HPS vs. LED grow light debate, many wonders which option is best for indoor plants.

All indoor gardeners should tell the differences and similarities between HPS and LED if they seek optimum plant growth. 

Although HPS lights have a low initial cost, some indoor plant enthusiasts have complained about their low efficiency.

On the other hand, we have come across some people praising LED grow lights for their high efficiency and extended shelf life, while others criticize them for the high initial cost. 

The general agreement is that these two grow lights have a unique design and application that depends on the user’s preference and plant needs.

Therefore, we explore the comparison of HPS vs. LED grow lights to help you make an informed gardening decision. 

What Are HPS Lights

(HPS grow light)

High-pressure Sodium is a high-intensity light that passes a current through a mixture of sodium ions and gas.

Generally, this light is yellowish; you’ll find it mostly in street lighting and indoor applications.

Moreover, the light is warm and presents better efficiency and a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent lights. 

These lights also have a lumen output that supports lighting up large areas.

But to allow for proper airflow, you must provide additional ventilation. 

What Are LED Grow Lights

Colorful LED grow light

(Colorful LED grow light)

We know that LED, which stands for light-emitting diodes, involves diodes that emit light energy when current pass through.

This technology has given rise to LED grow lights which produce a light wavelength that supports plant growth.

Therefore, instead of having to grow your plants only outside, LED grow lights give you a chance to have a garden indoors. 

We like LED grow lights since they use less energy to produce more light and less heat.

Therefore, they are highly efficient, although some complain about their high initial cost. 

Advantages and drawbacks of HPS Grow Lights

Check out the advantages and drawbacks of HPS grow lights below:


  • These grow lights produce an intense light amount that supports cannabis flowering.
  • HPS grow lights have a lower initial cost than other grow light options like LED.
  • Since we have various options, it becomes easier to standardize the lights. 


  • Although their initial cost is low, we noted a high long-term cost.
  • Also, they consume more power with reduced energy efficiency than LEDs.
  • Moreover, you’ll find it challenging to set optimal temperatures. 
  • They have a shorter lifespan than LEDs. 

Advantages and Drawbacks of LED Grow Lights

Consider the advantages and drawbacks of LED grow lights below:


  • They have a good shelf life.
  • LED grow lights don’t emit much heat, thus eliminating the need for extra airflow and ventilation systems. 
  • They’re highly efficient, consuming less energy than HPS but producing more energy. 
  • Since they’re smaller than HPS, you can maximize your growing space.


  • If you reside in colder climates and want a certain amount of heat, you won’t get it from LED lights. 
  • You can’t standardize LED lights.
  • Finally, they require a high initial cost. 

HPS vs. LED Grow Light: Differences

Marijuana growing under HPS grow light

(Marijuana growing under HPS grow light)

HPS and LED grow lights differ in the following ways: 

Energy efficiency: Generally, if you supply the same amount of power to an LED and HPS, an LED will convert a larger percentage of its energy into lights.

Therefore, LED is more energy-efficient than HPS, thus having a lower operating cost. 

Spectrum customization: With LED grow light spectra, it’s easy to customize the lights to a specific growth stage, including photosynthesis, fruiting, and flowering.

However, HPS provides a fixed yellow-orange spectrum that is difficult to customize to a specific growth stage. 

Heat emission: If you HPS grow lights, expect more heat generation, thus requiring extra ventilation systems.

However, with LEDs, you’ll get less heat, therefore, cost-effective as far as heat management is concerned. 

Lifespan: An HPS grow light could last about 10,000 hours, which must be under proper maintenance.

However, expect your LED grow lights to last tens of thousands of hours with minimal replacement. 

Cost: Generally, HPS has a low initial cost but higher long-term costs.

On the contrary, LEDs have higher initial but lower long-term operating costs. 

Size and design: If you have ever handled the two, you understand how light and compact LEDs are compared to HPS.

Also, they are available in different form factors, thus providing flexibility and easy installation, especially in an indoor setting.

On the other hand, HPS grow lights are bulky and, therefore, difficult to install. 

Which Is Better Between HPS and LED Grow Light

Greenhouse plant under LED light

(Greenhouse plant under LED light)

There is no better or bad grow light option between LED and HPS; choosing the perfect light depends on your needs and preference.

For example, if you’re concerned about the raw lumen output, we guarantee HPS to be brighter than LED grow lights.

Also, HPS has a low initial cost and would be ideal if you’re on a budget initially. 

However, some aspects of LED grow lights excel more than HPS grow lights.

For example, LED is more energy efficient, meaning that if you supply an equal amount of energy, it will convert most of its energy into light than HPS.

Moreover, LEDs are easy to customize, emit less heat, have a longer lifespan, and are easy to install. 

But if you’re forced to choose between these two, we recommend LED grow lights since they offer higher performance. 


How many LEDs can we equate to 1000W HPS? 

There is no direct equivalent between LED and HP’s wattages since their output and efficiency vary based on multiple factors.

But generally, we consider LED lights more efficient than HPS lights. 

On a rough estimate, you’ll need about 300-800 LED watts to get 1000W HPS.

However, we can get a more accurate estimate by considering factors like the intended coverage area, LED/HPS model, light distribution, and efficiency. 

Are HPS lights good for growing? 

Yes! We highly recommend HPS lights for growing indoor plants.

These lights emit a warm, yellowish light with a high lumen output to penetrate the plants.

HPS lights are suitable for fruiting and flowering stages and will serve you well, especially if you’re illuminating a large area. 

We’re sure they’ll give you a higher lifespan and cost-effective lighting solution.

However, be careful as they consume more energy than LED lights, and many users find them difficult to customize. 

Is LED or HPS good for flowering? 

Both the HPS and LED lights support flowering in plants.

However, a difference arises in the customization option with LED lights allowing you to tailor everything to your plant’s specific flowering needs. 

Final Remarks

As an indoor gardener, you should be able to tell the differences between different grow lights like HPS and LED lights.

As highlighted above, HPS and LED lights have unique differences that make them perfect in unique application scenarios.

Moreover, they have similarities that make them interchangeable in indoor gardening applications.

But generally, we recommend LED lights for high-efficiency applications and HPS for low initial-cost applications.