LED vs HID
Have you ever wondered what the total cost of setting up and running a traditional High Intensity Discharge (HID) garden is compared to a garden set up with the newest Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology? The short answer is that using LED lights becomes less expensive, quickly. Compared an HID-lit garden that used two 1000w Metal Halide (MH) bulbs for vegetative growth and two 1000w High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs for flowering versus a garden lit with two 600w led grow lights. For the sake of simplicity and to make sure this applied to everyone, we only included the cost of bulbs, ballasts, sealed reflectors, and fans/ducting in this research. We did NOT include the cost of air conditioning for the HID garden because this will vary from slightly expensive to very expensive depending on climate and time of year. If we had included air conditioning, it would only make LED lighting more cost effective in even less time when compared to HID.
Since we know the frequency of bulb replacement varies from one gardener to the next, we studied two scenarios: “optimal” and “economical,” as explained in the chart below.
In the graph below the chart, you can see that LED grow lights are less expensive at 12 months in the optimal bulb replacement scenario and 18 months in the economical bulb replacement scenario. After this time, you are spending less money each day you garden with LED grow lights. Also, with LEDs, you will not be adding toxic mercury to the landfills each and every time you change your bulbs, as is the case with all HID and fluorescent bulbs.
We believe in full disclosure so if you want all of the details please keep reading, otherwise... Happy gardening!
For the HID setup, we used:
2 - 1000w Hortilux HPS
2 - Hortilux Blue Day MH 1000w
2 - Lumatek 1000w 120v
3 - 6' Activeair Inline Fans (for venting the room and the reflectors)
2 - Magnum XXXL 6" Reflectors and some basic ducting
For the LED Grow Light setup, we used:
2 - 600w led grow light
2 - 6' Activeair Inline Fans (for venting the room only; the lights do not need to be vented because they are LEDs)
Assumed Cost per kwh: $0.108