How to Compare Grow Lights (HPS vs LED vs MH)

How to Compare Grow Lights (HPS vs LED vs MH)

There are so many things to consider when you are looking for a new grow light. The options seem limitless. In a sense they are, but that is misleading. As we all know there are many restaurants to choose from when dining out. You can choose a good restaurant, a great restaurant, or a restaurant that really excites your taste buds and makes you remember that experience.Why do we remember those experiences?

Simply put…. It had everything you wanted. Taste, Choice, Ambience and Service.
Par Excellence.

When comparing grow lights, we need to closely examine in relatively the same terms.

Taste = Intensity

Light intensity can be viewed as the main attraction (just as the taste of delicious food). Without this key component in abundance, the plants will not achieve their optimal weight and mass.

Choice = Spectrum

The light spectrum is essential to plants. This is what drives their photosynthetic growth responses. When the choice is exceptionally unique and tailored for superlative growth response in every photoperiod, then plants outshine the rest.

Ambience = Environment

Environment is critical to growth cycles (especially the bloom cycle). If the environment is too hot, it can invite pests and pathogens.

Service = Decades of Science backed technical customer support.

Our Octo team is unsurpassed in every regard. Rigorous testing and safety compliance has been our focus from day one so we are well equipped to handle any and all questions and concerns.

Let’s begin by diving straight into the basics.

Plants begin their journey in the vegetative stage. This stage is crucial in order to bridge into the most important final stage – the bloom cycle.

Traditionally, legacy bulb fixtures – MH (Metal Halide) have been used for decades to light the gardens across the globe. These lights were effective but not that efficient. Although MH fixtures require less energy input (300-600 watts) to run than HPS (High Pressure Sodium), they
still work on legacy technology – bulb and socket fixtures. Bulbs need to be replaced every 6-8 months and this drives up maintenance costs tremendously when you have to replace hundreds of bulbs across an array of an entire facility.

With Octo’s sLED driven fixtures, their built in dimming capability can be utilized for optimal vegetative cycle growth. After the critical vegetative cycle, plants are then ready to be moved into the bloom photoperiod.

This is where the plants mature and flower, producing the desired traits that a superior light can bring out. HPS fixtures are almost identical to MH fixtures save for the fact that they require more energy to run (600 – 1,000 watts)

This increased energy expenditure coupled with the bulb replacement can run cycle costs very high. One other critical point to note is that MH and HPS bulbs produce what is called a narrow band spectrum Again, this is effective but not efficient. Plants need a full band spectrum to reach their full flowering potential.

Efficiency is the main impetus behind Octo and it plays a central role in determining a myriad of variables. Namely – Input Costs, Longevity, Finished Product and Profitability.

Let’s compare the input costs of MH, HPS and Octo LED objectively. To start we will examine the pros of MH and HPS.


– MH/HPS procurement costs are low
– The technology is vetted in terms of how to use them (lots of information is available to the end user online and elsewhere)
– Spectrum is relatively consistent (although not optimal)


– Input energy costs are high (double the cost of LED)
– Needs bulb replacement every 6 months to a year
– Less efficient at producing usable light, more light converted to unusable Infrared radiation
– Produces a significantly higher heat radiance than LED (thus driving up HVAC costs)
– In comparison test, HPS produces less THC than LED light sources (roughly 15-20% less)
– More heat radiance invites pests and pathogens easier
– Bulb disposal is cumbersome, requiring regulated hazardous material disposal (due to the mercury in HPS bulbs)
– Cannot do Multi-Tiered cultivation due to excessive heat radiance (less overall cycle yield output)

Now let’s look at Octo LED’s pros and cons


– Optimal canopy light penetration (PPFD)
– Optimal light spectrum (broad band)
– 50% reduced input energy costs
– No bulb replacement costs
– Significantly reduced HVAC costs (up to 80%)
– 200% increase in crop yield
– Minimized heat and humidity signature
– 30% decrease in total veg and bloom cycle time
– Multi-tiered vertical cultivation capability
– Eco-Friendly


– Higher initial procurement cost

Conclusion: The debate about quality or quantity is no longer valid. Octo’s sLED lighting outperforms legacy MH/HPS on every front. The debate now shifts to long term criteria such as upfront procurement costs, electricity consumption, optimal control over growing environment, management of light distribution, optimized spectrum, canopy light penetration, overall increased cycle performance and decreased cycle times which ultimately translates into higher yields and higher profitability.

Thus true efficiency wins in the end. The debate will continue but the choice is clear. The era of legacy fixtures has reached its full potential. Octo is the future and the future is now.