The most important choice is the wattage. The wattage of the light will determine how much area you can light up. If we assume that the plants will get no sunlight, a 1000 watt light will cover about 7x7 feet of growing area. A 600 watt will cover 6x6 feet, a 400 will cover 4x4 feet, a 250 will cover 3x3 feet and a 150 will cover 2x2 feet. Higher wattage lights will cost more to operate, you can estimate operating cost with our cost calculator.
The next choice is the type of light. We have Sodium, Halide and Fluorescent. Sodiums are the most efficient and a best for flowering plants. The Sodium light is yellowish in color like the autumn sun. Halides are best for leafy crops with lost of foliage, it's a white light and more natural in color. Fluorescent lights are lower in light output than the others but are better for starting seedlings or cuttings. You can start seedlings with Sodiums and Halides if you keep the light farther away from the plants.
We offer many different reflectors and the choices can be overwhelming. If you want the "dirt cheap, get the job done" type of system, the XtraSun II is the way to go. The Radiant lights have the best reflector and will more evenly light up the grow room. It's also a much more durable system. If you are considering setting up many lights indoors, you should use air-cooled reflectors like the Daystar Air-Cooled systems. Temperature control is very important and can severely limit the growth potential of your plants. We have several other reflectors to choose from with similar benefits to those mentioned above.
Seedlings and Small Plants
Small low wattage lights are best for seedlings. We have small grow light systems as low as 250 watts that work well with small growing areas.
For large plants you need the bright light that halides and sodiums can give. These lights range in power from 100 to 1000 watts. The 400 and 1000 watt lights are the most useful. A 1000 watt grow light can light up an area of about 7 feet square when the light is suspended 2 feet above the plants. A 400 watt light would work for an area of about 4 feet square. One of our best lights is the Radiant. It has an adjustable socket mount that adjusts the light spread. If your looking for a low cost grow light, the XtraSun II and Hydrofarm XtraSun lights work real nice.
Metal Halide also called Halide or just MH, emits a white light and is used for plants with lots of foliage. Halides are usually used for the beginning stages for plant growth, before flowering. The halides are not as bright and efficient as sodiums but they do have a better overall color spectrum for plants. The bulbs dont last as long as sodiums. They are less expensive than sodiums because there are fewer parts in the ballast and the transformers are smaller.
High Pressure Sodium
High Presure Sodium also called sodium and HPS, emit a yellowish light and are usually used for flowering plants. Sodiums are the brightest and most efficient lights and are the most popular. They are often used for flowering plants later in the plants life. The yellow hue simulates the autumn sun plants get late in the season when flowering. Sodium bulbs have a longer life span than halides.
The Horizontal Reflectors are the most popular option because they are more efficient than the vertical systems. When the bulb is mounted horizontally, most of the light is going to the plants without being reflected. When the light is reflected, some intensity is lost. The most light comes out of the bulb in a circle around the length of the bulb. The Radiant is the horizontal system we recommend because it has the highest reflection with an even light pattern.
For growing areas smaller than 3 x 3 feet and seedlings, it may be more suitable to have a reflector with the ballast mounted inside the reflector for a cleaner look. This is usually how the 250 watt and smaller systems are sold. We have halide and sodium Compact Systems.
If a grow room is too hot, it can severely limit the plant growth. If you are planning to have a 1000 watt light in a small closet or many lights in a bedroom, you should seriously consider an air-cooled reflector. An Air-cooled light has duct holes in the reflector to connect duct tubing and an inline fan for venting out the heat. Our Radiant Air Cooled Systems are the best air-cooled systems we have, they have 6 inch ducts for massive air flow.
XtraSun Grow Lights The Xtrasun series offers very good performance at a cost effective price level.
Hydrofarm XtraSun Wing Low Price - Incredible value! Super lightweight. Wide and bright light delivery
Daystar - Good Quality Choice The Daystar systems have a great light dispersion pattern and a quality reflector.
Radiant Directs light downward for maximum light intensity and growth
Radiant Air Cooled - Best Air-Cooled High quality and durable with six inch openings for duct tubing attachment. Includes glass. Top Choice!
Hydrofarm Daystar AC The Daystar AC is the answer for those wanting high performance coupled with maximum air cooling potential.
Compact Systems 250 watt halide and sodium systems. Good for small gardens or cuttings.