When it comes to grow lights, HIDs seem to get swept under the rug by a lot of people. Yes, LED panels often get the job done, but in reality, nothing beats the intense glow of one of these best HID grow lights, in my opinion.
Particularly effective when you use a metal halide bulb during veg, and an HPS bulb during flowering. For larger 4×4, or even 3×3 tents, you’ll want a nice HPS to get adequate light to the whole canopy.
Aside from mere lumens, you also have to account for light penetration, and HIDs are fantastic at this. They offer immense penetration which can get down to leaves not immediately on the surface of the canopy. This creates more food for the plant, and better efficiency.
It is worthwhile to consider buying yourself an HID. If you’re looking for the strongest, most intense lighting solution, the HID gives that to you hands down.
The only thing you really have to be careful about is heat, which is abundant while operating anything above 500W HID.
Therefore, consider getting an air-cooled hood HID, which introduces airflow around the bulb, and evacuates the hot temperatures before they can be dispersed around the tent.
#1 in Best HID Grow Lights - iPower 400-1000W
This is probably the best HID kit on Amazon, for a few different reasons. Although it’s a bit less popular than the Vivosun HID kit, it’s a higher quality, and delivers slightly better results.
These bulbs are bright, and tend to last a bit longer than the Vivosun ones. They are definitely brighter than the Vivosun bulbs, so that’s significant in itself.
I like how the ballast is dimmable, that’s a very useful functionality. Sometimes, your tent might get a little bit too hot. Other times, you might want to actually reduce the amount of power your tent is using. Either way, you can tune it down to as low as 50% power consumption.
Also coming with an analogue light timer and ratcheting hanging straps, this is the full kit. Of course, you get both the HPS – high pressure sodium – and MH – metal halide bulb. The former is for flower, latter is for veg.
Overall, this is an extremely affordable and well-made HID grow light kit. It is definitely one of the best HID grow lights on Amazon.
The only complaint I have is that this package is not available with an air-cooled hood. Otherwise, it would be perfect. If you don’t think that you need an air-cooled hood, then get this one. Otherwise, keep reading, and I’ll show you the cooled HID bulb next.
#2 - VivoSun Air-Cooled HID Grow Light
This VivoSun model is perhaps the best HID grow light for those who are running in hot environments. Let’s face it, as great as HID bulbs are, they are HOT! If you’re growing in a room that’s already 28 degrees C, the inside of the tent can get as hot as 40.
Thankfully, the air-cooled lighting reflector is a fantastic way to keep your HID setup nice and cool, even throughout the summer time. You just need to attach a blower fan to the lighting hood, to either suck or blow air through the passage. This hot air can then be evacuated with ducting before getting into the tent.
With this setup, you can keep the tent nice and cool, while delivering an absurd amount of energy to the weed. That’s what makes this package one of the best HID grow light kits online, it comes with a lot of utility.
Much like the iPower package, this one also comes with the mechanical timer, and the ratchet hanging ropes. It’s a good package, but I must say that the bulbs are not as good quality as the iPower kit, but it definitely works alright nonetheless.
It’s got a decent ballast, which is dimmable down to 50%, but it also is able to be set to “super lumen” setting, which turbo charges the bulb. I honestly wouldn’t even think about using this setting. Even Vivosun says that it could lead to damaging the bulb, so it’s quite a stupid gimmick if you ask me.
All in all, it’s a decent little HPS grow light kit. The thing I love most about it is that it can be air cooled. That’s why you should get this HID bulb, in my opinion. If you don’t want the HID cooling, then stick with the iPower kit that I reviewed before.
#3 - SunSystem 150W HID Grow Light
I threw this little HID grow light setup in here for those of you rocking smaller 2×2 setups. This is a great way to light up a little 2×2 area, and get a whole bunch of lumens to your few plants. It’s great for new growers, as it’s extremely easy to set up and get going.
Although this kit only comes with one bulb, it’s an HPS bulb. The thing is that while you can not really grow good bud with a metal halide, you can veg with an HPS – you can do the whole grow with an HPS.
Therefore, don’t worry about not having the right wavelength distribution. Although it’s not necessarily the best way to do things, HPS bulbs can carry through a grow no problem.
This HID grow light kit also comes with the hanging hooks, but it does not come with the ratcheting straps. Those can be bought individually for a very low price.
There is no ballast to this HID grow light. Because it’s such low wattage, the ballast is actually built right into the hood. It’s a nice discreet way to store everything, although does add some weight to the hood itself.
Made in the USA, this product is a great way to support your local economy. I bought a dedicated cooling hood from these guys, and it works great. They have quality craftsmanship, and their products work great.
I would highly recommend this product to someone looking for a low-wattage solution for their little tents.
How to Choose the Best HID Grow Light for You
Those of us thinking about an HID solution are looking for raw, relentless power. We don’t care too much about hiking up the electricity bill a bit, so that we can get some super dense bud without fail.
There aren’t too many HID solutions online, as it’s becoming unfashionable to prefer a more energy inefficient method. However, I still use and HID myself, and so I think we should all have one of the best HID grow lights.
Choosing the best HID grow light for yourself will depend on your circumstances. The iPower is really my preferred lighting solution. It’s cost effective, but super bright and functional. Everything works well, and has been widely reported to last a decent length of time.
The only problem with the iPower is its simplistic design, lack of the ability to air cool the lighting fixture. Air cooling can be very important when using and HID in a grow tent. HIDs get super hot, and so you might need an air cooled system in which the heat is immediately evacuated from the bulb area.
This can be done with the second product, the Vivosun HID kit. It’s one of the best HID grow light solutions on the market, for its ability to be air cooled. Simply attach an inline blower fan to one side of the fixture, and let her rip. Evacuate the hot air, and save yourself the frustration of extremely high temperatures.
If you’re living in a hot area, make sure to account for the amount of heat an HID will put off. Even the best HID grow lights will be quite inefficient, and put off a whole bunch of heat during operation.
If you’re growing in a colder, or more temperate climate, this may not matter to you. In that case, consider the iPower, as it is a slightly better product.
For those with a smaller 2 x 2 sized tent, high wattage is highly unnecessary. Therefore, I have added option #3, the Sun System 150 W HID. It’s a nifty little solution for the smaller grow spaces like 2 x 2 tents or bigger grow boxes even.
If you would like to learn more about light cycles, and changing your bulbs from Metal Halide to High Pressure Sodium and back, check out my Ultimate Lighting Setup Guide for more information.
With all that said, I hope this guide has helped you find the best HID grow light for your personal situation. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, and happy growing!