Best Metal Halide Bulbs

best metal halide bulbs

iPower 600 Watt MH Grow Light

The iPower 600 Watt MH is the best metal halide bulb for vegetative growth. It offers a 6,000K blue light that results in high yields. The iPower also has a very long shelf life and lifespan.


If you need lighting for your vegetables, marijuana, reef tank, or just general use, you should be on the lookout for the best metal halide bulbs or best mh bulb. For those who don’t know already, a metal halide lamp produces light using an electric arc that uses compounds of metals with bromine or iodine. They are used in indoor and outdoor purposes from auto headlights, photographic and stage lighting, to reed aquarists and vegetation growing.

These mh bulbs are a solid choice of lighting because of their wide spectrum and good efficiency. They also known for their high intensity and count as a type of HID lamp (High Intensity Discharge). One common characteristic of the best metal halide bulbs is that they take several minutes to warm up when turned on. The reverse is also true when you turn it off as you have to let it cool for a bit.

When shopping for the best mh bulbs, you need to first consider wattage. Typically, mh lamps come in anything from 70 watts all the way up to 1000 watts. Please look up what wattage you need for your specific applications. Next you need to determine the type of bulb. Some are single ended and others are double ended. You should also figure out the bulb’s color temperature and rating. Finally, take special care in how you mount the bulb as certain mh bulbs only operate best at certain orientations.

What is the Best Metal Halide Bulb?

iPower 600 Watt MH Grow Light

best metal halide bulbs

If you want the best metal halide bulb for vegetative growth, the iPower 600 is a great choice. The 600 watt iPower is maximized to last a long time and helps you get better yields. This mh bulb has a 6,000K blue and violet spectrum with a high photosynthetic active radiation. This leads to a more rapid growth phase to any plant or vegetation. It is also very suitable for marijuana growing.

We like the fact that iPower mh bulb has an extra low lumen depreciation. In fact, the company reports that the bulb maintains 90% of lumen output even after running for 5,000 hours. Overall, this bulb can run about 12,000 hours and has a pretty low energy consumption.

Like all metal halide bulbs, this one also requires some start up time. It is three to five minutes to reach full brightness. If you want to turn it off, you need a full five minutes for it to cool off before striking again. Other pros of the iPower is that it doesn’t lure insects and has good fog penetration. This bulb is compatible with all standard 600W digital ballasts.


Vivosun 1000 Watt Metal Halide Grow Light

best mh bulb for vegetative growth

If you want the best mh bulb that is 1000 watts, go with the Vivosun Metal Halide Bulb. This particular bulb is optimized as a grow lamp for vegetation. It has a great blue and violet spectrum with a high PAR, which helps enhance vegetable and plant growth. The first 5,000 hours are basically protected from most lumen depreciation. It also has a very high lifetime compared to its competitors at 24,000 hours. The Vivosun 1000 also has a short startup time compared to others at 2 to 3 minutes.

We think these are great quality metal halide grow lights for the price. It is very bright and intense and quite energy efficient at the same time. We have never tested the maximum lifetime of the Vivosun, but we can say that it seemed alright after one full week of continuous use. In our side by side comparison with another generic MH bulb, we found it to be more intense and brighter.

The wavelength of the light emitted is 450-500 nanometers, which is blue to white. This is the perfect spectrum needed for most plants to grow. We didn’t have time to test out the full potential of this mh bulb in growing all sorts of vegetation. However, we can tell you that our test plant did grow more compared to the control, which used a cheap MH bulb.


Phoenix Electric Company Metal Halide for Aquarium

best metal halide bulb for reef tanks


The Phoenix Electric Company Metal Halide is the best metal halide bulb for reef tanks and aquariums. This is a double ended metal halide bulb that is designed specifically for water. It produces a nice crisp white light with a crisp white tint at 14,000K. The Phoenix Electric Company is great for bringing out the colors of the fish and coral in your reef tank. It also provides the sufficient light intensity for growth. You can get this particular MH bulb at 150 and 250 watts.

Unfortunately, not every ballast is compatible with the Phoenix HQI bulb. It only takes HQI, pulse start, or electronic ballasts. Since this is a rather intense light, we recommend that you hang it higher than normal. It has a pretty intense blueish light and will even effect the water temperature a bit. We think that at the 14,000K color temp, this bulb strike a great balance between color and growth.

The Phoenix Electric lasts quite a while as well and is definitely worth its cost. You were told from long term users that they last about a year with continuous use. Overall, if you want to brighten up your fish tank, aquarium, or reef tank, go with the Phoenix Electric Company. It is the best mh bulb for reef tanks and aquariums.


GE Lighting 47760 175 Watt Metal Halide

best metal halide bulb

If you are just looking for general purpose lighting for residential and commercial usage, you can’t go wrong with GE Lighting. GE or General Electric is such a huge company and has been around probably born you were born. They have the funds to pour into the research and development of excellent products. Also, their quality control and customer service is spectacular so rest assured every product is accurately tested for defects.

This 175 Watt GE light bulb is the best metal halide bulb if you just want a basic light, It can be purchased with all sorts of different lumen settings. In terms of specifications, it has a color temperature of 4000 K and a color rendering index of 65. The average reported life is 20,000 hours, which is the equivalent of over 2 years.

The GE metal halide bulb is a quality product. We ordered a batch of them and each one of them light up the first time. We cannot say the same for other brands. Sure, these bulbs will fade a bit over time, but so does other MH bulbs. But luckily, GE keeps their mh bulbs at a very high standard and it certainly reflects in its quality.


Hortilux Metal Halide Blue 600 Plant Grow System

best metal halide grow lights

Here is yet another grow light, but this one is a premium product. The Hortilux Blue 600 is the best metal halide bulb for vegetative growth and flowering from start to finish. Also, you must be willing to pay a premium. It has a lot of expensive technology built into it that helps it come extremely close to natural sunlight. The Hortilux Blue 600 Watt is great for professional and experienced plant and vegetation growers.

The selling point of the Hortilux Blue lies in its premium technology. It can be used as a standalone source of light throughout all phases of a plants growth cycle. Keep in mind that it is blue light from start to finish. You can also start with Hortilux Blue to encourage aggressive vegetative growth and then switch to HPS. Finally, you can mix Hortilux Blie with HPS form start to finish.

This Hortilux Metal Halide is designed to operate on 600W electronic ballasts or core and coil HPS ballasts. If you happen to use a digital ballast, please check with Hortilux first to confirm that it is compatible. In terms of the maximization of vegetative growth, we highly recommend the Hortilux Blue 600.




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