High-Pressure Sodium Lights For Growing Cannabis (Everything You Need To Know)

When growing cannabis, there are a number of things that need to be considered during the growing process – and the type of lighting you use is one of the most important choices you will make.

High-Pressure Sodium Lights For Growing Cannabis (Everything You Need To Know)

High-pressure sodium lights (HPS) are one of the most popular choices for growing cannabis due to their ability to provide intense light and heat and have seen a real rise in popularity in recent years.

But are they the best option for your operation? Do people still use HPS grow lights? 

We took a deeper look at HPS lights to help you decide, and ensure that you have all the information you need to make a smart, informed choice.

What Is HPS Lighting?

High-pressure sodium lighting (HPS) is one of the most popular lighting systems used in cannabis grows and is widely considered to be one of the most efficient and cost-effective options available.

It is made up of a metal halide lamp inside a sealed glass tube, which emits light and heat when electricity is passed through it.

HPS lights are particularly popular for their high intensity, which makes them ideal for growing cannabis indoors due to the fact that they can penetrate deep into the canopy of plants.

They provide a full spectrum of light, from infrared to visible light, but tend to be most effective in the red and orange ranges of the spectrum.

This is why they are often used in flowering stages, as the red and orange light encourages plant growth and development.

How Does HPS Lighting Work: The Science

When electricity is passed through the metal halide lamp inside an HPS light, it creates an arc of light that emits both visible and infrared light.

This type of lighting is known as high-pressure discharge lighting, and it produces a lot of energy in the form of light and heat.

The process works by releasing electrons from the tungsten filament inside the lamp, which then collides with a gas-filled inside the sealed glass tube. This creates an electrical arc that produces light, heat, and UV radiation.

The light produced by HPS lights is then absorbed and converted into energy by the plants for photosynthesis.

This makes HPS lights a great choice for cannabis growers looking for a lighting system that is both efficient and effective.

How High Should HPS Light Be For Cannabis?

When it comes to setting up your HPS lights for cannabis, it’s important to ensure that they are positioned correctly in order to get the best results. 

Generally speaking, the ideal height for HPS lights is between 24–36 inches above the plants, and they should not be closer than 12 inches. This will provide enough light without causing leaf burn or wilting.

It’s also important to remember that the further away from the plants the lights are, the less intense the light will be.

Benefits Of HPS Lighting

There are a number of benefits to choosing HPS lighting for your cannabis growing, and these include:

High Efficiency

HPS lights are known for their high efficiency, as they can produce more light per watt than other types of lighting – meaning you can get the same brightness while using less energy.

This makes them more cost-effective to run over time.

Long Life

HPS lights tend to last longer than other types of lighting, with many models capable of lasting up to 24,000 hours.

This means that you can get a lot of use out of them without having to replace them too often, offering you serious cost-saving advantages and benefits.

Excellent For Flowering

As mentioned above, HPS lights are excellent for flowering due to the red and orange light they emit.

This makes them ideal for encouraging plant growth and development during the flowering stage.

Increased Yields

HPS lights are well-known for producing higher yields than other types of lighting, meaning that you can get more from your cannabis crop with less effort.

This makes them great for commercial cannabis growers looking to maximize their profits.


HPS lights are incredibly versatile, as they can be used in any stage of growth – from vegetative to flowering.

This means that you can use them throughout the entire process, making them a great choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive lighting system.

Drawbacks Of HPS Lighting

Of course, no lighting system is perfect and HPS lights do come with some drawbacks. These include:

High-Pressure Sodium Lights For Growing Cannabis (Everything You Need To Know) (1)

Heat Generation

HPS lights generate a lot of heat, which can be difficult to manage in small growing spaces.

This can lead to problems such as leaf burn and wilting, so it’s important to make sure you have a good ventilation system in place if using HPS lights.

Higher Initial Costs

HPS lighting systems tend to be more expensive than other types of lighting, which can make them cost-prohibitive for some growers.

However, this is often offset by their long life and high efficiency, meaning you can save money in the long run.

Are High-Pressure Sodium Grow Lights Better Than LED?

You may be asking yourself the question, is HPS better than LED for cannabis?

The answer to this question depends on your individual needs and preferences, as both types of lighting have their own advantages and disadvantages.

LED lights work by emitting light in a specific spectrum, while HPS lights emit light in a full spectrum. This means that LED lights are more focused and can be used to target particular stages of growth, while HPS lights are better suited to providing plenty of growth support.

In addition, HPS lights are great for flowering stages due to the red and orange light they emit, while LED lights are perfect for vegetative stages due to their cooler color temperatures. 

So which is better? It really depends on what you need from your lighting system – if you need something that is focused and targeted, then LED lights may be the better choice.

However, if you need something that is all-around and can provide great results throughout the entire growth cycle, then HPS lights are your best bet.

Final Thoughts

High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are an excellent choice for cannabis growers, offering long life and increased yields compared to other lighting systems.

They also provide a full spectrum of light, which is great for all stages of growth, from vegetative to flowering. However, they can generate a lot of heat, so it’s important to ensure you have a good ventilation system in place.

Furthermore, they can be more expensive than other types of lighting, so it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons before making your decision.

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