Are LED Grow Lights Better than HPS Lighting?

Back in the day, if you were looking for a plant light that could make your indoor greenery shoot up like crazy, the HPS grow light was the undisputed champion. It was like a powerhouse emissary of the sun, bringing promises of bountiful harvests to the indoor gardening world.

Times, however, have changed, and with advancements in LED technology, the landscape is shifting. HPS lights are no longer the uncontested rulers of the realm.

Many growers now recognize that LEDs are a superior choice when it comes to energy efficiency, environmental considerations, and longevity, capable of illuminating your crops for a solid 15 years without so much as a hiccup.

Nonetheless, some still wonder: Can these LED lights truly match the prolific yield-enhancing prowess of HPS lights? Though it’s a misconception, it’s not entirely surprising.

Indeed, HPS lights are a force to be reckoned with, their intensity so fierce it’s as if they’ve condensed an entire summer’s worth of sunshine into a single point. But make no mistake, LED grow lights are no slouches either, offering equally potent illumination and unprecedented precision control over the growth process.

Today’s LED grow lights boast impressive efficiency, with roughly 1 to 1.5 grams of yield per watt of power consumed, dwarfing the average 0.5 grams per watt output of HPS lights. They are veritable ambassadors of high-efficiency lighting.

LEDs are reshaping the indoor gardening game with their unique advantages. Join us on this journey as LED plant grow lights revolutionize energy conservation, and environmental friendliness, and, ultimately, deliver even more bountiful harvests to our botanical sanctuaries!

Table of Contents

What Makes LED Grow Lights Equivalent to HPS?

Spectral Control

HPS lights are like seasoned instructors specializing in the red-yellow portion of the light spectrum, particularly adept at coaxing flowers to maturity. However, our botanical students require a curriculum far more diverse than this single subject. The spectrum of light they need varies throughout their different growth stages.

While red light is highly effective during flowering, during the vegetative phase, plants rely heavily on blue light for robust stem and leaf growth, preventing excessive stretching.

This is where LED grow lights step in as versatile, all-knowing mentors, able to adjust their spectral output dynamically to ensure plants receive optimal light conditions tailored to each stage of development. You have complete control over your spectrum at every growth stage, first prioritizing vegetative vigor, and then switching gears to promote flowering.

LED grow lights have been shown to accelerate flowering times. You know what that means: shorter growth cycles, more cycles per year, and ultimately, higher yields.

Consistent Light Intensity

HPS lights are akin to an aging boxer whose fighting prowess gradually diminishes over time. They require a bulb change approximately every year to prevent insufficient light from undermining plant productivity.

In contrast, LED grow lights are like an ageless triathlete, maintaining their stamina for the long haul. High-quality units can last over 15 years with minimal decline in light intensity, eliminating the need for frequent replacements and saving both time and money.

LED Grow Lights Produce Less Heat

Heat can be tough on plants. Excessive heat not only weakens them but can also throw off their normal flowering patterns.

HPS lights are like a scorching summer sun, their direct beam is liable to make plants uncomfortable. LED grow lights, on the other hand, are more like a gentle spring breeze – they dissipate heat efficiently and generate significantly less warmth than HPS lights, greatly simplifying the task of creating optimal growing conditions for your plants.

If you’re an experienced grower accustomed to HPS, you may have had a supplementary cooling system in place. You may have also determined the ideal hanging height for your HPS lights to ensure the heat wouldn’t harm your plants.

Switching to LED, everything becomes simpler. You can position the lights closer to your plants without worrying about heat damage, intensifying the light exposure while keeping your plants safe from excessive warmth.

Suppose you aspire to achieve higher yields and efficiency in indoor horticulture. In that case, LED grow lights are undeniably your ideal partners, especially top-notch models with adjustable spectra, which are essentially magic wands for plant growth.

Do LED Grow Lights Yield More Than HPS?

Swell Farms is an indoor commercial cultivation enterprise previously equipped with 1000w DE Gavita HPS lamps. Under the expert guidance of General Manager Tony and Cultivation Master Tyson, Swell Farms’ team consistently produces premium crops. Like any competitive commercial grower, however, Swell Farmacy is always on the lookout for opportunities to innovate and optimize.

They experimented, replacing their HPS lights with new LED grow lights.

LED lighting is rapidly becoming an attractive option for commercial growers. The economic and environmental advantages of LED plant grow lights are increasingly well-known, as high-quality LEDs promise energy savings of up to 50%, significantly reduced cooling costs, and a lifespan of 50,000 hours with minimal loss of light intensity.

Like many professional growers, Tony and his team focused on the bottom line, swapping out 20 HPS lamps for 20 LED equivalents.

They compared lighting conditions side-by-side in separate growth chambers housing identical strains. The rooms themselves were identical, with both HPS lamps and LED plant lights suspended over 5-foot by 5-foot coverage areas.

The Swell Farms team ran identical nutrient regimens and performed soil and nutrient comparisons in both lighting scenarios. With all conditions otherwise equal, Swell Farms was able to make a clean, apples-to-apples comparison of the results.

Here’s what we learned.

Girl Scout Cookies

Under HPS grow lights:

Total THC %: 25.17

Total Cannabinoids %: 28.67

Total Terpenes %: 1.31


Under LED grow lights:

Total THC %: 30.11

Total Cannabinoids %: 34.26

Total Terpenes %: 1.51

Lemon Kush

Under HPS grow lights:

Total THC %: 20.48

Total Cannabinoids %: 21.37

Total Terpenes %: 1.09


Under LED grow lights:

Total THC %: 27.76

Total Cannabinoids %: 31.67

Total Terpenes %: 1.50

White Widow and Bruce Banner

Under HPS grow lights:

Total THC %: 15.91

Total Cannabinoids %: 18.17

Total Terpenes %: 2.09


Under LED grow lights:

Total THC %: 21.79

Total Cannabinoids %: 24.72

Total Terpenes %: 2.64


Light Quality and Energy Consumption

Total yield per lamp varied by strain, but overall production differences were within a 3% margin, with A-grade flowers showing a 10% increase under LED.

Overall energy consumption decreased by 38% under the LED, with a 45% improvement in grams per watt under LED.

LED demonstrated a 33% higher light output efficiency compared to HPS.

Overall Chemical Profile

Under LED, the total THC percentage increased by over 24%.

Under LED, the total CBD percentage increased by over 23%.

Under LED, the total terpene percentage increased by over 22%.

What LED Grow Light Will Replace A 1000w HPS Light?

The cannabis grow light GT05 serves as a replacement for a 1000-watt HPS system while consuming an average of only 800 watts, delivering substantial energy savings.

Item Number





790mm x 350mm x 165mm

Fixture Weight

15.8 kg


Osram and Samsung LEDs


Inventronics LED Driver


Full spectrum 5000K, 660nm Red, 450nm Blue


1960 µmol/s


2.45 µmol/J

Lighting Coverage

5×7ft /1500mm×1500mm


Knob dimmer + RJ14 Port


Measuring 790mm in length, 350mm in width, and 165mm in height, the GT05 offers growers a generous coverage area of up to 5 feet by 7 feet, depending on the desired light intensity.

These lights can also be suspended at higher levels in commercial settings to facilitate overlapping coverage, ensuring uniform light distribution across larger grow spaces.

The GT05 is designed with robust sealing from the top to the bottom, effectively shielding the internal components and emitting light from humidity, dripping water, sprays, and accidental splashes. This protective construction ensures the longevity and optimal performance of the unit in challenging indoor cultivation environments.

From its technical engineering to its functional design, the cannabis grow light GT05 stands as the most versatile and potent lighting solution crafted by VantenLED.

Remarkably, we have managed to offer these advanced LED grow lights at a cost-effective price point, making them an outstanding choice for serious growers seeking to optimize their operations.

If you aspire to achieve comparable results in your cultivation endeavors, we would be delighted to consult with you regarding our LED grow lights, smart grow light controllers, and any other products within our extensive range of commercial, greenhouse, and personal plant lighting solutions.

Simply reach out to us, and we will guide you on how our offerings can best serve your specific needs and elevate your growth outcomes.

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