What Products Make Up a Grow Light?
Written By – Joey E.
Grow Coach – Perfect Gardens
For the sake of this article, please understand that I am discussing what is required for an H.I.D. (High Intensity Discharge) grow light.
There are three main components needed to make a complete grow light. It’s not as simple as getting one product and plugging it in. Many people come into the store and think it is that easy and it is for some grow lights (LED & T5) however when it comes to the traditional indoor grow light, it requires a bit more.
The ballast is usually the most expensive component to your grow light setup. It is the device which will plug into your wall outlet. The ballast comes in two types: magnetic and digital (aka electronic). For more information on the different between magnetic ballasts and digital ballasts, check out our video:
The kind of ballast that we prefer are the digital ballasts. These are the new style ballasts that offer better features and benefits compared to a magnetic. The digital runs cooler, has dimmable options, handles both types of grow bulbs and comes with both the 120v & 240v cords.
It’s important to purchase a ballast from a trusted vendor and getting a ballast which has a minimum of a 3 year warranty.
Product #2 – Reflector
Reflectors are self explanatory in many cases. These are the pieces of equipment which help reflector your grow bulb, which helps to increase the efficiency of your complete grow light. Keep in mind some people refer to ‘reflectors’ as ‘hoods’ remember they are the same thing, just different names.
Some reflectors are only meant to help direct your light, others do this as well as help to cool your grow light fixture. The most popular style of reflector is the air-cooled hood. These kinds of reflectors will help spread your grow light and they will allow you to use air in order to move the heat generated by the bulb, away from your gardens canopy.
If you would like more information on air-cooled reflectors here is a video which will explain them further:
Give us a call and we can help you choose the right reflector for you. 1-855-GROW-GOOD
You can’t have light without the bulb, right? Well, yes you can in some cases but you know what I mean. The grow bulbs for H.I.D. come in two different types: Metal Halide & High Pressure Sodium.
Metal halide bulbs have more of a blue color to them which is great for the vegetative stage of growth. These bulbs mimic the color of the sun during the spring and early summer months.
High pressure sodium bulbs give off a redish color which mimics the late summer to fall sun. These bulbs are great to use for your plants flowering stages because the aid in the budding development.
Keep in mind that not all bulbs are created equal. Many brands do not take much effort into testing their bulbs and making sure that they are offering a quality product. We do our best to do the testing for you which saves you time and money. Our favorite bulbs are the Hortilux and Plantmax (as of today 2/16/13). Some people talk smack about Plantmax however we’ve had some great results with them!
If you’re thinking to yourself, man I don’t want to read all this, just show me the video! Here you go: