Wondering when to replace your grow bulbs? The quick answer is, when the light intensity has dropped. Read on to learn everything you need to know about replacing your grow light bulbs. – Gro Indoor
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When & How Do I Replace Grow Light Bulbs

by Kunal Khatri 09 Apr 2023

When & How Do I Replace Grow Light Bulbs

If youre not growing your plants with LEDs, then youre probably wondering what’s the right time to replace your grow light bulbs and how to replace them. Before you move forward, the rule of thumb is that most growers replace grow light bulbs at least once a year. Given the number of variables at play, this isn’t the most accurate approach. You need to consider several other factors when it comes to replacing your grow light bulbs.

Below we will help you figure out how long a specific bulb technology is going to last and share all the insight that will help you figure out if the your bulb is on its way out.

We’ll also cover, the right way to choose a grow light bulb replacement and how to install it in the existing system safely and without hassle .

Replacing Grow Light Bulbs

If you are wondering when to replace your grow lights bulbs, you should consider different technologies. For instance, if you’re using a single-ended HID bulb, it needs to be replaced sooner than a DE CMH bulb.

You need to understand that these are just recommendations on when you need replace your bulbs. This does not imply that the old bulb is no longer usable.

In general, grow bulbs needs to be replaced when the light intensity has dropped by nearly 70-80%. It’s obvious you wouldn’t want to pay the same electricity bills without getting optimum performance. Let’s go over some general guidelines on different technologies and the variables you need to consider before replacing your Grow Light Bulbs.

How Long Do Single-Ended (SE) HID Grow Light Bulbs Last?

If the bulb is operated properly, the SE HID bulb can last for nearly a year. This doesn’t mean that the bulb will burn out in a year, but chances are the intensity and performance will drop significantly. Using an inefficient or burned-out bulb is never a good option financially. If a bulb is not giving you the same yields, we recommend replacing them.

How Long Do Double Ended (DE) HID Grow Light Bulbs Last?

While SE bulbs are a popular choice among small scale, hobby growers, DE takes the cake with commercial growers.

What makes an ideal choice from a commercial standpoint? Even though they are expensive, DE bulbs run longer than SE bulbs and have more light intensity. These bulbs run twice as long as the SE bulbs and, in some cases, up to 18 months.

How Long Do Fluorescent Tubes Last?

Fluorescent grow lights last longer than HID grow light bulbs. The T5’s or CFLs are popular choices in Fluorescent grow lights as these can last up to 60,000 hours. If you are new to growing, Fluorescents grow lights are a great option to consider as they are not expensive to replace.

For growing seeds or clones, Fluorescents grow lights are ideal as they don’t put much intensity, and young plants don’t need much light. Perfect pairing, isn’t it?

No Replacement in LED Bulbs

The reason why LED bulbs are so popular among small-scale, amateur growers is because their diodes have a surprisingly long lifespan. A normal LED bulb can last for years before it even begins to lose efficacy and efficiency. This means that you can continue to use them year after year, season after season, without any loss in light intensity. However, there is one drawback to using LED bulbs. When a diode burns out, you will need to buy an entirely new fixture.

Using LED lights for growing purposes is a wise investment decision considering the years of efficiency and the eliminated need to buy new bulbs every year.

Why Do Grow Light Bulbs Lose Their Intensity?

As mentioned in the earlier sections, several factors at play dictate how long a Grow Light Bulb will last. These factors include the grow room conditions, hours used, frequency of use, and the standard wear and tear. Some growers run their lights the entire day, 24x7, while others opt for an 18/6 photoperiod. Conversely, growers who cultivate leafy greens and veggies really don’t need their bulbs working the whole day. You need to monitor the hours the bulb is used to determine how long it can last.

You also need to consider how frequently you grow in a year: all year round or in 1-2 cycles. You don’t need to replace your Grow Light Bulbs every year if you have downtime harvest as you may be able to use them for a couple of years.

Lastly, you need to consider the condition of your grow room. If there is more humidity and the temperature is high, your plants will not grow properly. Also, your bulbs will lose intensity faster from all the moisture and stress.

Signs That Your Grow Light Bulbs Need to Be Replaced

Unless it’s too evident that the bulb is losing its performance and intensity over the past few months, you’ll have a hard time realizing when they need to be replaced. You’ll have to rely on the data you have gathered over the past few months for instance, how many hours the bulb has been running?

If it’s close to its intended lifespan, you’ll notice that the plants are not growing properly the way they’re supposed to. That is an indication that you should consider replacing them.

Replacing Your Grow Light Bulbs Safely and Quickly

Here’s the part that’ll really make you happy learning how to install a new bulb to replace the old one. This process starts with the simple step of choosing the right bulb based on your growing needs. Before you do all the market research and look for options, we recommend going for the same bulb type that came with the fixture. That way, you’ll know it’s compatible, or at least you’re sticking to the same brand. Refrain from guessing if you’re ever in doubt. Reach out to our expert growers, and they can help you pick the right one for you to grow.

As far as the installation is concerned, follow the instructions and recommendations included with the old fixture or the new bulb. To keep things safe, always wear gloves when handling the Grow Light Bulbs your fingerprints can create major problems for your plants. Most bulbs, in general, are pretty straightforward. However, there are some safety concerns over double-ended bulbs. Therefore, we want to highlight a few tips that will make the process safer for you.

Replacing Your Double-Ended Grow Light Bulbs

To get rid of any worries or concerns related to sparks, fires, and shocks, firstly disconnect the power supply. Make sure everything is cooled down and double-check if there is any power supply. Once you’re done with that, insert your new DE lamp's wires into DE fixture sockets. You need to ensure both ends fit perfectly, and you should never have to force anything into place. Never bend the wires; always make sure of that. Now, gently place your lead-wires into the slot, and slide the sockets of your fixture inward until they click, securing the Grow Light Bulb in the right place.

Final Thoughts on When & How To Replace Grow Light Bulbs

Now you know how to replace your Grow Light Bulbs, don’t wait to get things right. Order the right Grow Light Bulbs, so you don’t have to face any downtime when your current bulb starts to burn out. At Groindoor.com, we have the best brands and products to satisfy your grow needs at the best possible prices. Whether you’re a world-class grower or a hobbyist, we’ve got something for everyone. Reach out to us if you have any questions or queries.

May 5th 2021
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