What is a Ceramic Metal Halide Grow Light?
CMH grow lights are simply a modified MH light that includes aspects of an HPS light. A CMH uses a ceramic arc tube typical of those used in HPS grow lights instead of quartz ignition, which is used in traditional metal halide grow lights. This ceramic composite allows the tube to reach higher temperatures, which in turn allows for an ideal formulation of gases. The result of this is a fuller spectrum of light that increases not just the growth of your plants, but the overall health, and more importantly the yield.
Due to this special composition, a CMH ballast is needed. Since CMH lights must operate at a low frequency, they need a ballast that can accommodate this.
What are the benefits of CMH Lights?
Although this is the most expensive HID system available, the money you IMMEDIATELY start saving is worth the investment, and it will pay for itself in the long run. Growers have reported yields from one 315 Watt CMH light light are greater than yields from a 1000 Watt HID light. In some cases, these CMH lights are regarded as an energy-efficient lighting system, and you may be incentivized for switching.
These lights also have a lower heat output due to their lower wattage, saving costs on air conditioning. Another advantage is that when implementing a CMH ballast, there is no RFI or EMI interference like with a digital ballast. CMH lamps utilize square-wave technology, which is a way of producing a steadier beam of light, and therefore provide plants with more light over the course of their life.
The final reason many growers are opting for a new CMH system is because the quality of light produced greatly exceeds that of a HID system. The spectrum it produces is fuller, including ultraviolet and infrared rays which leads to unmatched growth when compared to other grow lights. Growers have even recommended to use silica with this type of light, to ensure the plants cell walls and stems are strong enough to handle the amount of growth you will experience.
How long do CMH bulbs last?
These tubes are more durable than MH and HPS grow lights, and thus they last significantly longer. CMH and LEC bulbs can last over 24,000 hours, which is over twice as long as the 10,000 hour average life span of MH and HPS bulbs!
To learn more about grow lights, head over to our learning center where we go in depth on a number of subjects! If you have any questions, reach out to our experienced growing staff at 888-815-9763!