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The Best Lighting Solutions For Your Next Hydroponic Grow! (Updated for 2023)

The Best Lighting Solutions For Your Next Hydroponic Grow! (Updated for 2023)

Blinded by the Lights!...or whatever that dude said...

Here at Fran's Hydroponics we understand that when it comes to selecting the light (or lights) that are going to be raising your next grow, it can be...overwhelming. There's multiple types of lights out there and even once you've picked a type then you have to find a model of that type that's going to suit you and there's so much to compare and it turns into a very large headache very quickly...

Don't fret! Because we've picked out our top picks for each type of lighting category so you don't have to spend so much time comparing and reading, and you can spend more time growing!

If you haven't already, go and check out our Beginner's Guide to Hydroponic Lighting in Australia 2023 which explains all the different forms of lighting that you can encounter when growing Hydroponically, and weighs up the pros and cons of each type.

Once you've read that and have decided on what type of light is going to suit you, it's now time to read below and see our top picks for 2023:

CFLs/Fluorescent: Power-Plant CFL130 Watt

Available in 14000k, 6400k, and 2700k, these CFL Bulbs are great if you're a beginner or looking for a very cheap lighting solution. You won't get the biggest yield in the world but you will get a result and if you're dipping your toes into Hydroponics these lights can serve as a nice starting point.


  • Cheap
  • Good for beginners
  • Good for propagation - not as good as LEDs for propagation but still worth your time
  • Good for very light sensitive plants


  • 1 Year lifespan
  • Will not produce large yields
  • Will not produce super high quality

HID (MH and HPS): Digi-Lumen 600 W SE Digital Kit (240 V) and Philips Son T Agro HPS Lamps

If you're in the market to get the full HPS Setup, you really can't look past the Digi-Lumen 600w SE Digital Ballast kit. Digi-Lumen's 600w Digital Ballasts are quality built, very reliable units, they feature a range of power settings (including a boosted setting) so you can set the lught intensity to suit a particular stage of growht!The kit comes with everything you need to use HPS Bulbs including the lamp connector, reflector and a bulb to get you started. Out of the box these kits are very fairly priced and will yield the kind of results that made HPS Bulbs the industry standard for all those years! An added bonus for the ballast specifically is that down the track if you decide to try LEDs, the Ballast is compatible with Digi-Lumen's Retro LED array!

However, if you decide to stick with bulbs and the time comes to replace the one that comes in the kit, the Philips Son T Agro HPS Lamps are a fan-favorite and are very good bulbs for producing excellent results!


  • Reliable
  • Consistent
  • Good for bulk yielding
  • Good in Winter
  • Retro LED Compatible
  • Relatively in-expensive to purchase


  • Expensive to run
  • Heat can be an issue in warmer climates
  • Bulbs need to be replaced often
  • Quality not as good as CMH or LED (Flavour/Smell/Colour)

CMH: Hi-Par Sunstorm CMH 315W Control Ballast, Lamp & Reflector Package

Hi-Par's 315w CMH Ballasts are known for their solid reliability and performance, and coming complete with a matching reflector and bulb mean you can enjoy the benefits of growing with a Ceramic Metal Hallide Lamp. The bulb captures a very wide spectrum of light as opposed to HPS so you can expect the great quality, smells and flavours that CMH Lights are known for.

The Hi-Par reflector features precisely engineered micro-aluminium and a PGZ18 bulb mount (two-prong) for a safe and secure connection, as well as maximising coverage.This 315w kit outputs around 800watts equivalent and the bulb should last about 2 years before needing replacement.

This kit sits in the perfect middle ground between cost and quality, you won't get the same bulk yield from a HPS but you'll get great quality, without paying the LED price tag!


  • Good Quality Yields (Flavour/Smell/Colour)
  • Broader spectrum of light vs HPS
  • More efficient than HPS
  • Consistent
  • Reliable
  • Good in Winter
  • Bulbs last longer than HPS


  • More expensive than HPS to setup/replace bulbs
  • Lower quantity yield vs HPS/LED
  • Heat output can be an issue in the warmer months
  • Bulbs need to be replaced
  • Lower Quality compared to LED (Flavour/Taste/Smell)

LED: Lumatek's ATS and Zeus Pro Range

While there was a time many years ago when people would have scoffed at the idea of recommending any LED at all...nowadays LEDs sit well and truly at the forefront of the absolute best lighting solutions out there.

Leading the way in the world of home growing is Lumatek's range of LED products. If you'd like a definitive breakdown of just how good these lights are, you can read our previous blog post on Lumatek here.

To summarise though, Lumatek LEDs are the all round best for efficiency, performance, yields, quality, reliability, and lifespan. They are exceptional on heat dissipation and are well worth the investment. There are two main models of LED that Lumatek makes: ATS and Zeus Pro. If you're in a small space i.e., 1m x 1m x 2m or smaller than pick a light from the ATS Models, and for larger spaces pick an appropriate Zeus Pro Model.


  • Super Reliable
  • Super Efficient (Up to 2.9 Efficacy)
  • Superior Light Coverage/Canopy Penetration
  • Full Spectrum
  • High Quantity and Quality Yields
  • Low cost to run
  • Low Heat Output (Great for Summer)


  • The most expensive upfront investment
  • May need to supplement desired heat in the colder months with a heat bar
  • Due to increased light penetration, plants may need higher nutrient amounts, which may increase nutrient costs.

So there you have it, our picks for each category of light! Having read this and our other blogs, you should now be able to make an informed decision to get the light that's right for you! If you have any further questions about which light may be right for you, you can always contact our store or come in and see us to have your questions answered!

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