What to look for when buying a light
by Greg Green
The first thing to say is that some growers have a MH set-up for seedlings and vegetative growth and a HPS for flowering. The HPS is a better flowering lamp, while the MH is a better veg lamp. If we can only afford one we should get a HPS. Both MH and HPS can be used for vegetative growth and flowering. However since we are growing for bud, we should try to get the best HPS we can.
The next thing they look for is the light kit itself. Check to see that the light is certified and is in good shape. Then check to see if the light is air-cooled. Some of these lights have a fan built in which keeps the light cool. If you see this then you know that you are going to need somewhere to vent your air. This may mean that you need to adjust a wall in your grow area so that the air is extracted from the light.
Lights that are air-cooled tend to last longer and do not heat up your grow area that much. Most expert growers like to keep a room at a stable controllable temperature and use these air-cooled lights to achieve that. If your light is not air-cooled then you will have to build an air vent and fan in your grow room wall to keep the temperatures under control. Cannabis leaves will burn if placed too close to a HID light.
The next thing to check is how the light is supported. Does it require a light stand or does it require to be hung from the ceiling. In most cases you will be able to make your own stand if you feel that you are not willing to fasten a few hooks and chains to your ceiling. Also check to see if the electrical fittings suit your needs. Will they plug straight into your system at home or do you need an adapter? Maybe you might require an extension cord with your purchase. Most HID kits can only take a specific wattage of bulb and a certain type of bulb. If you have a 600W HPS system, then you should only use 600W HPS bulbs. Some lighting kits have something called a ‘switchable ballast’. This means that you use both MH and HPS lights with the system. Check your kit for further details.
The next thing to look for is the guarantee. Check to see what the manufacturer has said about this light and how long the guarantee is for. Last but not least is the most important part of your light. The wattage and lumens.