Grow lights have evolved from heavy magnetic, in-efficient ballasts and bulky reflectors to ultra-efficient dimmable and spectrum tunable Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) all-in-one fixtures. The modern hobby and commercial cultivator now have the power to dial in spectrums specific to the plant strain they are growing. LED grow lights offer the tunability to go from a vegetative blue spectrum to a flowering red spectrum with a turn of a knob. CMH’s closely mimic the sun, provide the highest gram per watt, and even provide the coveted good UV wavelengths that fend off mold and mildew as well stimulate plant vigor and greater resin and terpene production. Choosing which technology is right for you depends on the size of your grow, how long you will be growing in the space, and your allocated budget.
CMH grow lights last to 20,000 hours. If you are planning for obsolescence and want the greatest yield ROI within 1-2-year time frame, choose CMH. And even if you keep your grow space past 5 years, don’t worry, CMH’s provide a greater gram per watt due to their higher PPF and canopy penetration.
Let’s talk about the size of your grow. If you have a larger and taller space, using CMH technology is a better choice. Increased ceiling height allows for better heat management, better air-flow capability and more even light coverage for fuller and taller flower strains. CMH fixtures put off more heat than LED’s, but less heat than their HPS counterparts. This heat can be utilized to achieve the ideal temperature for your growing methodology, for example, if you are using CO2 injection.
Finally, everyone’s favorite factor to consider, BUDGET! The initial cost of an LED is 2 to 4 times the cost of a comparable CMH fixture. LED fixtures, especially the ones that include the UV spectrum, are very expensive in terms of up-front cost. When it comes to power consumption and the power bill, LED’s only save the grower about 15% on the power bill compared to CMH fixtures. However, the LED grower will use less power for cooling, but that savings depends on other factors in the grow space. The additional cost a CMH grower will realize is replacing bulbs. You will be buying replacement CMH bulbs after 12-18 months of use. In addition, it is recommended that you change between the 4100K CMH bulbs in the vegetative phase to the 3100K CMH bulbs for flowering. Therefore, you will incur the cost of more bulbs utilizing CMH technology, but you will optimize your light cycles and extend the timeframe to replace bulbs.
In conclusion, each technology, CMH and LED, are viable to successful grows however they speak to different methodologies and business initiatives.
ECO Farm single-ended 630W ceramic metal halide fixture brings you the best of high-intensity lighting and efficiency in one! This horizontally mounted CMH provides much higher amounts of plant-loving UV and spectrum, helping to make your next grow the best it can be!
If you are also interested in other grow equipments, welcome to visit our website: ecofarm.ca
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