One of the biggest areas of potential saving is with your lighting system. The two most popular grow lights are HPS and LED, and either one can be an excellent choice for your grow operation.

  • HPS Grow Lights – HPS grow lights are best known for producing lots and lots of light, which is incredibly important for flowering plants. The downside of HPS grow lights is that they also produce lots of heat, requiring more ventilation equipment. HPS grow lighting systems are generally cheaper to set up, but they require more electricity than LED grow lights to run.
  • LED Grow Lights – LED grow lights are the most efficient grow lights on the market, and they can help you save more every month on your energy bills. However, the startup costs of installing an LED system can be expensive. And, since LEDs produce so little heat, you may need to add in extra heat by installing a HID light for cooler indoor areas.


LED lights last for thousands of hours and have better energy efficiency compared to incandescent bulbs. That makes them a great choice for household and commercial use. With all the benefits of LEDs, you may have considered using LED grow lights for your indoor plants. Is there any difference between these and traditional LEDs? We did lots of research to bring you the answer.

What’s the difference between LED lights and LED grow lights? Standard LED lights only provide illumination while LED grow lights have a wider spectrum of both blue and red light( see below picture) that promote vegetative growth and flowering, respectively.

GAOPIN’s lighting experts elaborate more on both LED lights and LED grow lights, expanding on the differences between them. We’ll also explain whether you should use LED grow lights for your indoor plant or another type of grow light entirely.


To discuss the differences between LED lights and LED grow lights, we first have to explain both light sources in depth. Then we can compare them.


Short for light-emitting diode, an LED light has its own microchip inside. Electrical currents travel to that microchip, providing light to the LED. These bulbs also have a heat sink, where heat goes when the LED gets warm. That’s part of what keeps LED lights generally cool to the touch.

LEDs outperform incandescent lights in many ways, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. Your LEDs can save energy at a rate of 90 percent more than incandescent bulbs according to Energy Star. The way LED lighting works is, when you turn your light source on, it’s directional. That means the LED light aims in a certain direction to provide illumination. Compare that to a compact fluorescent lamp or CFL as well as incandescent bulbs, where the light goes in every direction. That cuts down on energy efficiency since some light gets needlessly wasted.

Not only do LEDs make a smarter choice for the environment then, but for our wallets as well. Most LED lights will last about 50,000 hours.

We won’t say that LED lights are the most inexpensive lighting option the market, because that’s not true. However, since you don’t need to replace them nearly as often as other light sources, you quickly recoup that money back.


Next, we’ve got grow lights. These don’t solely have to be LED lights. You may also choose to grow your plants with high-intensity discharge lights or HIDs, fluorescents, and incandescent grow lights.

No matter which you choose, grow lights generate the right amount of light so a plant can photosynthesize. As we covered on this blog, this means of conversion gives the plant energy.

Most grow lights are electric, and all are artificial. Plant owners will use grow lights if a plant needs an extra light source besides the sun or if the plant cannot get access to the sun for any reason. For instance, maybe you grow a plant at work and you’re in a cubicle.

Grow lights, although artificial, try to mimic the sun as naturally as possible. In doing this, you typically have a varied light spectrum available for your grow lights. Besides the color spectrum, it’s also possible to have control over the color temperature and the luminous efficacy with grow lights.

What is all that? Good question. Color temperature is a means of defining different light colors and feels. It’s always represented in Kelvin or K. The lowest light temperature is 1,000K and the highest 10,000K. A warm white color has between 2,000K and 3,000K, a cool white is 3,100K to 4,500K, and a blueish daylight tint is 4,600K to 6,500K.

As for luminous efficacy, this refers to the quality of visible light you get from a particular light source. Often, you’ll see luminous efficacy expressed in lumens per watt. Our eyes have a spectral sensitivity that does not necessarily let us see every light wavelength, hence why it’s important to measure luminous efficacy.


Now that we’ve gone into detailed explanations of both LED lights and LED grow lights, what’s the differences between them?

  • Illumination purposes: LED lights are solely used for providing illumination in a residential or commercial sphere. LED grow lights encourage plant growth.
  • Light variety:As we mentioned, you can select from a variety of grow lights that suit your budget and needs. These include HIDs, fluorescents, incandescents, and, of course, LEDs.
  • Colors available:Here’s what we covered in the intro. Normal LEDs do have a color spectrum, but it may not be as comprehensive as that of grow lights. For instance, LED grow lights need both blue and red light spectrums. The blue allows your plant to experience vegetative growth while the red can promote flowering.

While regular LEDs are great to have at home since they last practically forever and can save you money, don’t get it confused. LED lights are not the same as LED grow lights. If you’re providing a light source for your plant, a grow light will ensure they reach their full potential. That’s not to say you can’t use an LED or another non-grow light source, but grow lights work better.

2022-09-05 09:19
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