Comparison to HID Lights

LED grow lights all claim varying amounts of increased plant-growing efficiency over HID in terms of how many watts you need to get the same yield. But, this isn't always stated as such, and not everyone gives hard numbers. Various companies have wildly different claims, sometimes even among their own models. Since not every LED grow light seller provides an HID equivalent, in this section I'm only comparing companies and models here for which an "HID equivalent" was explicitly specified for the light model on the companies' websites.

There's a huge range of claims, from 1 watt of LED light = 1.2 watts of HID up to 1 watt of LED light = 9.6 watts of HID. I know LEDs certainly can be more efficient than HID lights, but I don't believe they are twice as efficient, and anything claiming to be 3 times more efficient seems like a lie — even for street lighting, LEDs aren't 3 times more efficient than HIDs.

In the table above, the companies that in my opinion are giving an honest HID equivalent for their lights are in "The Good" column. Companies in "The Questionable" column claim that their lights are twice (or more) as efficient as HIDs, which just doesn't ring true to me, though they aren't the worst of the lot. Companies claiming to be 3 times or more efficient than HID are in "The Liars" column. It would be great if their claims were true, but I'm almost certain these sellers are lying about their lights' ability to replace HIDs.

You can see all of the HID light comparisons for each model light in the table at the bottom of this page.

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Comparison to HID Graph

Again, I believe anything in the 1-2 range in the graph is realistic, 2-3 is much less likely, and anything 3 or over is a lie.

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Confusing Inconsistencies

You'd think vendors would be consistent in their HID replacement claims for all their products (at least within a "series" of lights), but this is not always the case. Here are the interesting inconsistencies I've noted in HID comparisons. (These really make me wonder about the knowledge and trustworthiness of these companies!)

Advanced LED only gives HID comparisons for their 3 Diamond Series XML lights, but the smaller one is claimed to be 4.6 times better than HID lights, while the biggest one is supposedly only 1.6 times more efficient. That's a pretty big difference that just doesn't make sense and means they are probably making these numbers up.

Apache Tech has a variety of claims for their AT120 models (actual draw 156-170 watts) Apparently, they:

  1. were designed as a replacement for 400W HID supplemental lighting in greenhouse,
  2. outperform every LED array currently available on the market and are comparable in intensity to conventional 1000W HPS lights and produce more usable (PAR) light than the conventional 600W HPS, while consuming approximately 80% less power, and
  3. the 120x1W LED array produces the equivalent of a 1000W HID lamp

They say their AT600 model (actual draw 764 watts) has a footprint greater than 4' x 4' and a PAR output that exceeds a 1000W HID. This light is a direct replacement for all 1000W HIDs…

Now, if a 170-watt, $859 light is equivalent to a 1000W HID, why on earth would I pay $2499 for another Apache Tech light that uses almost 600 more watts to do the same thing? Surely they knew they were lying about the AT120's HID equivalency, especially because they also state that the lights were only designed to replace 400W HID lights in supplemental lighting situations.

Hydro Grow's X-PRO series of lights ranges from 1.5 times as efficient as an HID light (the 168X-PRO 270W) all the way up to 4.2 times more efficient (the 21X-PRO 36W). Even ignoring the 21X-PRO, the 84X-PRO 120W (3.3 times as efficient) and 126X-PRO 200W (3 times as efficient) both have double the relative claimed HID efficiency of the 168X-PRO 270W. I suspect they were just pulling numbers from thin air (or somewhere else) when trying to compare their lights to HIDs.

LumiGrow's 2 light offerings both claim to replace a 1000W HID, but the Pro 650 model takes twice the wattage — why? Is it a different technology that is just half as efficient as the Pro 325, or are they lying about the Pro 325 being able to replace a 1000W light?

Lush Lighting compares their 435 watt Dominator and 650 watt Dominator XL models to a 1000W HID (2.3 and 1.5 times as efficient, respectively) but claims their 180 watt Luminator and Herbalvador models consume ¼ the power of an equivalent HID bulb (making it equivalent to a 720W HID, and 4 times as efficient). Why don't they use whatever magic technology that's in the Luminator and Herbalvador models to make their Dominator XL 4 times as efficient as HIDs as well?

Pro Max Grow claims each of their 104 watt and 250 watt models "more than replaces any 1000W HPS or MH". Why use the 250 watt MAX 1200 light when the 104 watt MAX 600 will do? On their FAQ page they say their lights are similar to 400 watt HID light systems. And while 250 watts replacing a 1000W HID would qualify as one of the more outrageous lies I've seen, 104 or 125 watts of LED light replacing a 1000W HID light is so far beyond the range of believability that I don't know what to say.

Pro Source Worldwide offers the 100-watt "Illuminator 100W" which is supposedly 4 times more efficient than HIDs, but their "Illuminator Commercial 400W" (392 actual watts) is only 2.6 times more efficient.

HID Comparison Data for All Lights

The data table is very large- you may need to scroll side-to-side as well as up and down to see the whole thing. Larger screens help! If you're only looking for one company or light model, enter the name in the search to only show those results.

CompanyConclusion RankingProductActual WattageClaimed HID EquivalentClaimed HID/LED WattsClaimed HID replacement ratio (HID watt / LED watt)
Diamond Series DS 100 - Extreme 3w
?
Diamond Series DS 200 - Extreme 3w
?
Diamond Series DS 300 - Extreme 3w
?
Diamond Series DS 400 - Extreme 3w
?
Diamond Series DS 600 - Extreme 3w
?
Diamond Series DS 800 - Extreme 3w
?
XTE Series DS XTE 100 - 5W LEDs
?
XTE Series DS XTE 200 - 5W LEDs
?
XTE Series DS XTE 300 - 5W LEDs
?
XTE Series DS XTE 400 - 5W LEDs
?
Diamond Series EX-Veg DS200
?
Diamond Series EX-Veg DS300
?
Diamond Series XML DS XML 150
600
4.62
Diamond Series XML DS XML 350
1000
3.03
Diamond Series XML DS XML 650
1000
1.62
AT-120WB (White and Blue LEDs)
1000
6.41
AT120RB (Red and Blue LEDs)
1000
6.41
AT120W (All white LEDs)
1000
6.25
AT120WR (White and Red LEDs)
1000
5.85
AT-600-WR2 (White and Red)
1000
1.35
GL100LED Full Spectrum 300W LED
?
GL80x5LED Full Spectrum 400W LED
?
Full Spectrum 600 Watt LED
?
GL140x5LED Full Spectrum 700W LED
?
Full Spectrum 900 Watt LED
?
Full Spectrum 1200 Watt LED
?
GL25LED Full Spectrum 75W LED
?
GL25LED Full Spectrum 135W LED
?
GL25LED Full Spectrum 180W LED
?
W90-3000K
?
W90-4000K
?
W90-5000K
?
PhytoMAX 200
300
1.40
PhytoMAX 400
600
1.41
PhytoMAX 600
900
1.50
PhytoMAX 800
1000
1.25
PhytoMAX 1000
1250
1.23
SPYDR 600 START-MAX Spectrum
600
1.73
SPYDR 600 GROW-MAX Spectrum
600
1.80
SPYDR 1000 GROW-MAX Spectrum
1000
1.92
SPYDR 1200 GROW-MAX Spectrum
1000
1.50
Solar Storm 880W
1000
1.54
Solar Storm 440W
600
1.88
Solar Flare 220W LED VegMaster
400
2.42
Solar Flare 220W LED BloomBooster
400
2.42
Solar Flare 220W LED FullCycle
400
2.42
Solar Flare 110W LED VegMaster
?
Solar Flare 110W LED BloomBooster
?
90 Watt LED All RED G8 Flowering BOOST
?
240 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED BLOOM only
?
450 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED BLOOM only
?
240 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED Grow Light
400
2.86
450 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED Grow Light
800
2.86
600 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED Grow Light
1000
2.56
900 Watt Full Spectrum G8LED Grow Light
1400
2.59
E60
1000
1.59
RX30
?
L4A Series 10 (refurbished)
?
LX601 C-plate
?
LX601 G-plate
?
LX602
?
21X-PRO 36W
150
4.17
84X-PRO 120W
400
3.33
126X-PRO 200W
600
3.00
168X-PRO 270W
400
1.48
189X-PRO 290W
750
2.59
336X-PRO 500W
1000
2.00
420X-PRO 600W
1000
1.67
Sol 1 (45 Watt Configuration)
75
1.67
Sol 1 (85 Watt Configuration)
150
1.76
Sol 2 (45 Watt Configuration)
150
1.76
Sol 2 (85 Watt Configuration)
350
2.00
Sol 4 (45 Watt Configuration)
350
2.00
Sol 4 (85 Watt Configuration)
600
2.00
Sol 6 (45 Watt Configuration)
500
1.89
Sol 6 (85 Watt Configuration)
800
1.60
Sol 9 (45 Watt Configuration)
750
1.92
Sol 9 (85 Watt Configuration)
1200
1.60
NeoSol DS
1000
1.92
NeoSol NS
600
2.00
NeoSol LS
?
H380
?
H350 (Magenta or Purple models)
350
4.79
H150 (Magenta or Purple models)
150
5.00
H150 Blue
150
5.00
H150 Red
150
5.00
K3 - L300
300
1.36
K3 - L450
450
1.67
K3 - L600
600
1.88
K3 VEG L600
600
1.88
K5 - XL750
750
1.74
K5 - XL1000
1000
1.54
90 watt LED Grow Light UV
?
90 watt LED Grow Light HO (Vegetative Model)
?
BlackStar 480 watt LED Grow Light HO V2.0
?
BlackStar 480 watt LED Grow Light UV V2.0
?
BlackStar 180 watt LED Grow Light HO V2.0
?
BlackStar 180 watt LED Grow Light UV V2.0
?
BlackStar 240 watt LED Grow Light HO V2.0
?
BlackStar 240 watt LED Grow Light UV V2.0
?
Lighthouse Hydro ION 8 426w FSF LED Grow Light with UVB
?
Lighthouse Hydro ION 8 1546w FSF LED Grow Light with UVB
?
BlackStar Chrome 180w LED Grow Light FSF
?
BlackStar Chrome 270w LED Grow Light FSF
?
BlackStar Chrome 405w LED Grow Light FSF
?
BlackStar Chrome 720w LED Grow Light FSF
?
BlackStar 600 watt LED Grow Light UV
?
BlackStar 900 watt Commercial Grade LED Grow Light UV
?
LumiGrow Pro 650
1000
1.65
LumiGrow Pro 325
1000
3.08
DOMINATOR
1000
2.30
DOMINATOR XL
1000
1.54
DOMINATOR 2X
1000
2.30
DOMINATOR 2X XL
1000
1.54
Luminator
720
4.00
Luminator 2X
720
4.00
Vegetator
1000
3.03
Vegetator 2X
1000
3.03
Herbalvador
720
4.00
Herbalvador 2X
720
4.00
Mars II 400w LED Grow Light
250
1.35
Mars II 700w LED Grow Light
350
1.13
Mars II 900w LED Grow Light
450
1.11
Mars II 1200w LED Grow Light
600
1.11
Mars II 1600w LED Grow Light
800
1.11
Reflector-48
150
1.58
Reflector-96
250
1.25
Reflector-144
350
1.13
Reflector-192
450
1.15
MarsPro 160LED Epistar-160
600
1.67
MarsPro 320LED Epistar-320
800
1.14
MarsPro Cree-128
600
1.85
MarsPro Cree-256
800
1.23
P150
250
2.87
P300
400
2.22
P450
600
2.35
P600
800
2.32
P900
1000
1.94
P1200
1400
2.03
P4-XML2
600
2.59
P9-XML2
1000
1.80
MAX-600
1000
9.62
MAX-1200
1000
4.00
Illuminator 100W
400
4.00
Illuminator Jumbo 200W
600
3.11
Illuminator Commercial 400W
1000
2.55
Mother Keeper 100W
?
300 Series 90° reflector
600
1.76
300 Series 120° reflector
600
1.76
400 Series 60° reflector
1000
2.27
400 Series 90° reflector
1000
2.27
400 Series 120° reflector
1000
2.27
400+ Series 60° reflector
1000
2.27
400+ Series 90° reflector
1000
2.27
400+ Series 120° reflector
1000
2.27
M6
450
3.00
M9
675
?
M16
1200
1.68

Comments

2 thoughts on “Comparison to HID”

    1. I have not seen the new Osram Zelion lights– it looks like they've been released only in the last month. From a first quick look, they aren't looking that impressive- only red and blue LEDs (and they don't say what wavelength they're using), and the claimed 3' x 2' footprint for 150 watts would put them in the "Unlikely to flower Cannabis" category for footprint coverage. So, no UV, no IR, you'd likely need more lights than they claim, and they're fairly expensive.

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