If you are looking for the best CMH grow lights to take your plants from seed to harvest, you have come to the right place.
Not only are we going to share our top ceramic metal halide grow lighting picks of the year, but we’ll help you pick the right one for you and your grow room.
CMH grow lighting is a great technology for full cycle growing, right up there with LED grow lights.
Whether this is your first light or you’re looking to upgrade from your existing grow light setup, we have something for you on this list.
What is a CMH Grow Light?
CMH bulb diagram showing chemical compounds in a CMH grow light.As its name suggests, a ceramic metal halide grow light uses a ceramic arc tube as opposed to a standard MH grow light, which uses a standard quartz arc tube. This stronger arc tube material helps the CMH bulb operate at a much higher pressure than the average MH bulb.
Like HIDs, CMH grow lights use a unique mixture of salts and halides to provide a ranged spectrum of light. The ceramic arc tube of the CMH bulb slows down the caustic breakdown of this mixture, creating a broader spectrum that gives plants enhanced photosynthesis for optimum growth.
Why Should You Start Using/Switch To CMH Grow Lights?
The grow lights competition is one of the stiffest for indoor weed growers. For you to get the best results out of your crops, you need to keep up with the latest technology and do away with the old. CMH is one of the latest grow light technologies taking the weed growing market by storm.
Before you decide on whether you want to change to this new technology and give your crops better service, it is good to understand what makes hem a popular choice for many growers and what the downsides are.
All-in-one construction — ballast is built into the hood, making this kit much more compact than others
Bulb hangs vertically — more even light spread than horizontal bulb
Huge amount of light — given the 315w consumption, the bulb gives you a huge 33,000 lumen intensity
Long lifespan — the high quality bulb is rated for 20,000 hours and retains 85% of its PPF output in that time
Square wave ballast — no issues with RF interference and a much more steady stream of light
Low heat — this light does not need to be ventilated
Free ratchet hangers — a free set of ratchet hangers is included
High price — higher price than competing lights, but, as usual, you do get what you pay for
ECO Farm Grow Light can be your best choice.
Lower cost — the Grow Co kits costs just over half as much as the brand above
1000 watt option available — you can double the power with a dual-bulb reflector
2 year warranty — twice as long as the previous brand above
External ballast — this makes the system a bit bulkier
Reflector less effective — the reflector does not reflect light as efficiently as the Sun System reflector, meaning you lose more light
Huge output — given the 315w consumption, this bulb gives you a huge 33,000 lumens
Long lifespan — the bulb is rated for 20,000 hours and retains 85% of its PPF output in that time
1.95 PPF/w/s — incredible efficiency, with very high lumens per watt consumed
Low heat — this light does not need to be ventilated
High price — higher price than competing brands, but as usual, you do get what you pay for
Things to Consider When Buying a CMH Grow Lights
Aside from wattage, there’s a lot to consider for choosing the right CMH grow light system for your room, tent, basement, or closet. These are the most important things to think about:
Because of the unique design of CMH lights, they can only be used with a certain type of ballast. You’ve got to use a magnetic ballast, so think about this before buying – especially if you’ve got a pile of electronic ballasts on hand.
Just like any high-intensity bulb, CMH lights give off a lot of heat. If you have low ceilings or poor grow room ventilation, you might want to look elsewhere (like LEDs).
CMH heat output isn’t as high as the heat that’s emitted from HPS bulbs, but it’s still something to avoid for small closets and tents. Just remember that ventilation is key in order to move the hot air out of the room and keep the grow room environment from overheating.
Even though CMH lights have a better-balanced light spectrum than most bulb types, HPS is more capable of delivering high yields during flower. This is why some growers start with CMH and then transition over to HPS during the flowering phase.
CMH grow lights are becoming more affordable as the demand for them grows, but they’re still not the cheapest type of light on the market. The upfront cost is a bit on the pricey side, but they cover more area and save more energy in the long run.
We’ve extensively explored CMH technology and arrived at the conclusion that there is no better single HID grow light solution available in the market.
Not only do they save you energy and produce less heat per watt used and provide very good light spread, but they’re also a complete-cycle growing solution suitable for most green and flowering crops with their balanced spectrum output, UV supplementation and the capability to be hanged in any position over the canopy.
The only downside right now is their high price, which hopefully will decrease as they flood the market and become a more accessible option for growers looking to step up their grow.