250W MH/HPS Cannabis Grow Setup & Tutorial

Updated Jul 01, 2020

by Nebula Haze

250W HPS grow lights

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250W HPS Grow Setup (For Hobbyist Growers)


About This Setup

The 250W HPS is one of the best (if not most popular) setups a grower can use for small-scale indoor growing. It delivers impressive yields, high potency, lower starting cost, and it’s easy to use since the light can get so close to plants. The 250W also escapes much of the heat issues that larger models of HPS have, though they still have that tell-tale color that can alert people to your grow if it escapes the tent.

Pros: Cheap, easy to use, great yields, awesome potency

Cons: Harder to find, old-fashioned, harsh yellow light is easily distinguishable as a grow light

My last harvest with a 250W HPS grow light (dry yield was 8.97 oz) – View a video of the plants just before harvest

250W HPS grow tent before harvest


Cost Estimates

  • Total Setup Cost: $775.00
  • Estimated Electricity Cost: $21-43/month (based on $0.12/kWH to $0.25/kWh – see breakdown)
  • Total Cost for Entire First 4-Month Grow (Setup + Electricity): $947 ($105-236/ounce)
  • Total Cost for Second Grow (Nutrients + Electricity): $225 ($25-57/ounce)

Note: Because the 250W light runs significantly cooler and tends to grow smaller plants compared to the bigger HPS grow lights, the 250W setup uses a cheaper exhaust fan and carbon scrubber compared to the other HPS setups, which brings down the overall cost a bit.



Complete Grow Supply List

This cannabis grow room setup list includes all the supplies you need to get to harvest.


250W MH/HPS Grow Light

  • Recommended 250W Grow Light (ballast, bulbs, and reflector sold separately)
    • Ballast – Yescom 250W MH/HPS Digital Ballast
    • Bulbs – 250W MH bulb250W Super HPS bulb. This “Super HPS” bulb puts out significantly more light than the generic HPS bulbs so don’t skimp. If you must choose just one bulb, get just the HPS. An MH bulb helps plants stay shorter and get bushier if used in the vegetative stage, but an HPS bulb can be used from seed to harvest in a pinch.
    • Reflector – iPower Gull Wing Reflector. I’ve tried several different hoods with this setup and I’ve found the wing reflector (despite being the cheapest option) actually gets more light to more parts of the tent with a 250W HPS than a standard hood.
    • Cost: ~$175

The cheapest and most flexible way to buy a 250W HPS is to get the ballast, bulbs, and reflector separately. You’ll end up with a better grow light for much less money than an “all-in-one” 250W HPS kit.

* Alternative all-in-one 250W HPS – This hood cuts off light from the sides and costs more money than piecing the parts together, but if you want a grow light kit with the ballast and reflector built together…

“All-In-One” Kit: Sun System Digital 250/400 Complete – Don’t forget to get a 250W MH bulb and 250W Super HPS bulb

** Alternative/Equivalent LED Grow Light: VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series V600 LED (260W)

Grow Space

Plant Pots


  • You need a “vegetative” or all-purpose plant nutrient for the first part of your plant’s life
  • You need a “bloom” or low-nitrogen nutrient for the budding phase
  • Many nutrient systems have a nutrient schedule so you give your plants the right ratios for each stage of life
  • Always start at half strength with a new base nutrient system because the recommended strength is typically too high for cannabis
  • Get examples of great cannabis nutrients
  • Recommended Base Nutrients: General Hydroponics Flora trio (use at half strength) + CaliMagic (use at full strength)
  • (Optional) Bloom Supplement: General Hydroponics Floralicious Bloom
  • (Optional) Root Supplement: Botanicare Hydroguard
  • Cost: $50-100

General Hydroponics Flora trio - includes all your base nutrients! General Hydroponics CaliMagic Cal-Mag supplement
General Hydroponics Flora Trio and CaliMagic

Other Supplementary Items

Estimated Cost: $775 plus the cost of seeds

See Additional Grow Setups

2 days after auto-flowering cannabis seedlings sprouted under 250w HPS

Auto-flowering cannabis plants at week 6 - cozy in their tent!

From left going clockwise: Dinafem Critical Jack, Dinafem Sour Diesel, Dutch Passion Blue AutoMazar

Got a 6+ oz Harvest! Read the tutorial on how to grow exactly like this! (in this setup)

Example of a possible harvest with a 250W HPS

A hydroponic plant grown in this setup (6+ oz harvest!) – Read the grow journal!

Original Amnesia cannabis plant under a 250W light

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