If you are looking to start your indoor grow with HIDs, you are probably wondering what the best HPS grow lights of 2021 are!
Many new growers choose this lighting technology because it’s cheap, simple, and produces huge, dense blooms.
But, there are so many options out there, and they all more or less look the same. This can make the shopping process somewhat frustrating.
Don’t sweat it, because today we are going to share with you our picks for the best HPS grow lights of 2021.
And for those who plan on using an MH bulb during veg, we will share a bulb you can use with each of these, so you can give your plants full spectrum of lighting when they need each!
Let’s start by talking about HPS technology in general, and lay out our criteria we followed when making this list of top contenders.
Why Do Some Growers Still Use HPS, Despite The Emergence Of CMH & LED?
If you have done your research on indoor growing, and the tools used to bring a plant from seed to harvest without the sun, you know the importance of grow lights.
You likely also know that these days, LED’s are usually the light of choice among those willing to put in the extra money to grow beautiful, resinous plants.
If not LED’s, then some growers opt for CMH - another somewhat new technology that greatly improved upon traditional HID lighting. Both of these technologies are more efficient, and put our a more optimized spectrum of light for growing plants.
With all this in mind, why do some growers still think HPS grow lights are best? For many, it comes down to ease of use, price, and sticking to what you know.
HPS Grow Lights Are A Lower Investment
When you compare the cost of a 1000 watt HPS grow light to that of a 1000w equivalent LED, such as the Gavita Pro LED, it’s no contest in terms of price. The HPS will cost you around $300-400, whereas the LED will come in well over $1,000.
That’s not to say there aren’t cheaper options out there in the LED market - take Covert LED’s for example. These are reasonably priced LED grow lights built to last, and a great option for any grower on a budget. Even still, some growers prefer the simplicity of HPS grow lights.
HPS Grow Lights Are Tried & True
A lot of growers have always used HPS, and are hesitant to change their technology because new isn’t always better!
While we may not be able to agree with you that HPS grow lights are superior to LED’s in terms of performance, cost savings, etc, we do understand that everyone has their own opinions and preferences.
So if you just flat out prefer HPS technology, and want the best HPS grow light you can get, you’re in the right place. Let’s quickly go over our criteria for selecting the best HPS grow light this year.
What Makes The Best HPS Grow Light Fixture - Our Criteria
As with all our best-of posts here at Hydrobuilder, we are strict in setting our criteria. We only display products we truly believe to be better than the competition.
When selecting the best HPS grow light fixtures, we looked at the following things:
- Construction - When it comes to the design of your fixture, not all metals are created equally. Some fixtures are very flimsy, and not really built to withstand the test of time. This is especially important due to the rigorous conditions of a grow room.
- Heat Dispersion - It isn’t a secret that HPS technology runs hot. But, these days, manufacturers have improved their design to help with heat dissipation. Certain HPS fixtures do a better job of dispersing heat and moving it away from the canopy, whether they are air cooled or not. This is another place where materials come in, as some won’t retain as much heat as others. Learn more about managing grow room heat in our blog post.
- Reflectivity - Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing the best HPS grow light is looking at the fixture’s reflectivity. More importantly, how a fixture maintains its reflectivity over time. Some reflectors lose a ton of efficiency quickly, which we definitely don’t want. You can learn more about this in our article about the best grow light reflectors.
- Lifespan - The majority of fixtures on this list include a bulb with them. But while even the best HPS grow lights will eventually burn out, some go quicker than others. This isn’t just bulb lifespan at play. We also considered fixture and ballast design, as some are far more efficient and run longer than others.
- Cost - In considering everything above, and more, we compared costs of these lights to determine which ones are really the best bang for your buck.
We’re confident that you will find an HPS fixture for you on this list. Now that you know we did our due diligence, let’s look at the best HPS grow lights of 2021!
What Are The Best HPS Grow Light Fixtures Of 2021?
We are going to break up our list of the top HPS grow lights into two categories: those geared more towards home growers, and those designed for commercial growing facilities. We’ll start with the hobby selections first.
Best HPS Grow Lights For Hobbyists
For the most part, the best HPS grow lights for hobbyists are gonna be SE (single ended). You can learn more about the difference between SE vs DE grow lights in our blog post.
But, these are just much cheaper options and run slightly less efficiently. That’s why commercial growers tend to opt for DE lights. The bump in efficiency adds up when you have lots of lights in the room.
Sun System HPS 150W Fixture with Ultra Sun Lamp
One great option is the Sun System HPS 150W Fixture with Ultra Sun Lamp. It’s perfect for those growing in smaller tents or closets, covering a vegetative footprint of 3’ x 3’ and a flowering footprint of 2’ x 2’. If you have a bigger room, you can simply add two of these.
It actually runs pretty efficiently, too. Your estimated electricity cost for this HPS fixture is just under $7 per month!
It’s super user friendly, and includes the 150w Ultra Sun HPS Bulb (2,000K). This bulb is perfect for flowering, but it can definitely take a plant from seed to harvest. However, we definitely recommend you grab an MH bulb to use during veg.
HBX Air Cooled Economy HID Grow Light Kits
If you are looking for an HPS light, and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a separate MH bulb to use during veg, check out these HBX Economy HID Grow Light Kits.
They include the reflector, ballast, and two bulbs - an HPS & MH option for each phase of growing. The great thing about these is you don’t have to guess whether your components are all compatible together.
Better yet, though, they are very budget friendly. The 1,000w HBX HID Air-Cooled Kit stats at just $282! As these are air-cooled fixtures, you won’t have to worry about too much heat build up around your canopy. Simply connect this with your ventilation system, and get to growing!
The two air cooled kits are both single end and employ a very efficient digital ballast. The 1,000w option covers a 6’ x 6’ footprint during veg and a 5’ x 5’ footprint during flower.
The 600w option covers a 5’ x 5’ veg footprint and a 4’ x 4’ footprint. This is the best option for those looking for a complete HID grow lighting setup, without investing much at all!
Best HPS Grow Lights For Commercial Growers
Now, we are going to discuss the best HPS grow lights for large commercial grows.
These will be double ended options, and come with more features/customization. They’re also made from higher-quality materials. Let’s start with the most popular right now.
Gavita Pro 1000W E-Series DE HPS Fixture
The Gavita Pro 1000w E-Series Slim Line DE Fixture is our top selling HPS grow light here at Hydrobuilder, and for good reason.
It comes in a range of voltages - 120/240, 208/240, and 277/347. No matter what your electric situation is in your facility, you can figure out a way to utilize this incredible fixture.
It covers a really wide footprint of 4’ x 6’, and only costs around $40 a month in electricity costs while pulling 1,000w from the wall.
As to be expected from Gavita, an industry leader in grow lighting, this fixture comprises premium materials. This includes the most reflective hood possible, redirecting as much light as possible towards your canopy.
The included bulb is the highly sought after Gavita Pro Plus 1000W DE HPS Lamp, which puts out an incredibly intense 2,100 µmol/s of light and with a light maintenance of over 96% per 5000 hours.
When paired with the Gavita Master Controller, you unlock tons of control over your lighting. A few notable features include soft start and dim, +15% boost capability, a status indicator, and more.
There are so many more features we want to highlight, many of which speak to how safe, efficient, powerful, and intuitive this fixture is. But we have a few more HPS lights to cover, so just head over to this product page to learn more about this beast!
Sun System Pro Sun DE 1000W HPS Commercial Fixture
Another leader in the grow lighting market is Sun System, and their Pro DE 1000w Commercial fixture definitely makes it in our top HPS grow lights list. Ranging in voltage from 120v all the way to 480v. Like the Gavita Pro, it’s built entirely from premium components.
It is also very similar to the Gavita Pro in terms of footprint and electricity costs, with a footprint of 6’ x 6’ during veg and 5’ x 5’ during flower, and costing around $40/month.
It includes a thermally optimized, non-air cooled ballast that operates at an ultra-high frequency, keeping energy bills low and light intensity high. The microprocessor in this ballast is specifically engineered to operate DE bulbs at peak performance for impressive growth.
In fact, this fixture/bulb tandem puts out an astounding 2,120 µmol/s at 1,000 watts and an amazing 2,400 µmol/s when boosted to 1,150 watts. But you can dial back the power during early growth, saving money and prolonging bulb life.
One of the best features of this HPS grow light is the compatible controller (purchased separately), and the flexibility & reliability that comes with it. You can daisy chain these fixtures together for maximum control, while cutting down on automation equipment.
Some of the features include dimmable/selectable/turbo wattage, built-in green LED lights to display any error codes/operating status, and protection from short circuit, open circuit, and high-temp exposure.
These are just a few of the noteworthy benefits you’ll enjoy by adding this HPS fixture in your facility, so head to the product page to learn more!
Nanolux Summit Series Modular Grow Light System
One of the coolest, most versatile grow light systems on the market right now is the Nanolux Summit Series.It’s a modular system, allowing you to configure it however best suits your specific grow room.
You get to pick from 5 different reflector styles and almost any lamp option you can imagine, including HPS! It operates on a 208-277v circuit, and the footprint, wattage, and estimated electricity cost all vary by configuration. With so many possibilities, it’s tough to give you an estimation!
The Nanolux Summit Series is the lowest profile double ended fixture on the market, saving space and getting your plants as much vertical grow space as possible for heavier harvests.
Other notable features of this diverse system include soft/random start, plug and play tech, compatibility with most lamp brands, and exclusive ceramic industrial grade receptacle.
If you want to see all the different ways you can build your Nanolux Summit Series Modular System, head over to the product page and play around with it!
Phantom Low Profile DE 1000w Grow Light Fixtures
A new addition to the marketplace are these two Phantom Low Profile DE Fixtures. There are two options that are virtually the same with one key difference: reflector type. You can choose between a fixture with an open reflector or an enclosed reflector.
Both of these are great options for commercial growers who need an intense, red light for robust blooming. Covering footprints of 6’ x 6’ during veg and 5’ x 5’ during flower, these lights will run you around $43 a month on energy.
These lights are especially advantageous for facilities with limited head height. They are ultra-low profile - just 5” in total height. This means you can give your plants more vertical growing space, for heavier harvests.
Furthermore, these fixtures are compatible with the Autopilot PX series digital controllers. This gives you maximum control over your lighting schedule and output.
From a power standpoint, these fixtures put out a whopping 2100 µmol/s with the included Phantom PRO HPS bulb.
The onboard knob allows you to dial the intensity between 50%-115% to save money/prolong life during veg and dial it up for maximum intensity during bloom.
As with most lights on this list, it’s built from 95%+ reflective European hammertone. This gets you the most bang for your buck in terms of light redirection!
Final Thoughts On The Best HPS Grow Lights Of 2021
Now that you know what the experts consider to be the best HPS grow lights available right now, it’s just a matter of considering which one fits your grow best.
If you aren’t sure, or you want us to recommend a light for your unique circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out!
If you’re interested in maybe switching technologies, you can read up on our year end review of the best LED Grow Lights Of 2021.