Hydroponic Grow Lights Guide


If you’re looking for hydroponic grow lights your in luck. Mainly because they are the same as any other grow light.

While growing in a hydroponic system is an entirely different process from growing in soil, light is light. Both growing systems need the same amount of lights for their plants.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some serious thoughts in the types of lights you want from veg to flower. If it is your first time growing, period, and you are using a hydroponic system, don’t be overwhelmed by thinking everything has to be done differently.

Here’s the top hydroponic grow lights that you should be using in your grow.

Hydroponic Grow Lights For The Vegetative Cycle

During your plants’ vegetative cycle, it requires much more light to resemble the longer days of summer when it would normally be planted outside. This 18/6 lights on/off ratio is essential to early growth and development.

To achieve the best results, you want a grow light that can keep your plants happy without overwhelming them with light during the 18-hour on cycle. Metal halide (MH) bulbs like the Hortilux 1000W MH Single Ended (SE) bulb are extremely cost effective and efficient, and at a higher wattage it will cover a greater area than lower wattage bulbs.

If you don’t have a large grow area and want a lower wattage bulb, a great option is the Philips 315 MasterColor CDM-TMW Elite 315W/942 CMH bulb. The 4200K bulb is great for the vegetative cycle, and you can also get the 3100K bulb at the same price for your flower cycle.

Best Grow Lights For The Flower Cycle

When your plants enter the flower cycle, they get less light, but need more powerful light to absorb and flower to its fullest. Veg lights give off more blue light, which is beneficial for foliar growth and establishing a lush green base. Flower lights are hotter and give off more red light to push your plants to their final stage.

For maximum light output and efficiency, Double Ended (DE) bulbs are the way to go. The Philips Master DE Green Power Plus EL 1000W HPS lamp is one of the best HPS lamps on the market. It is even nitrogen filled with a quartz glass outer jacket for perfect optical quality. A double ended bulb will cover more square feet with more light, which is great if you have a bunch of plants!

One of the best Single Ended (SE) options is the Hortilux Super HPS bulb. The Super HPS bulb provides 17% more total energy and 25% more energy in the violet, blue, and green spectrum than standard HPS lamps.

There are other good double and single ended options out there, and it really depends on how big your grow area is, and how much you’re willing to spend. The best hydroponic grow lights will always be more expensive, but that’s usually why they are the best. 

Cultivate carries lights for every cycle, on every end of the light spectrum, and price spectrum. Check out some of the lights we have in stock on our Products page, or get in touch with us about getting your entire grow set up with our help!