Image result for frequently asked questionThe truth about Ceramic Metal Halide

The world of modern horticulture has come a long way in the last ten to fifteen years. As a result: there’s a lot of conflicting information, regarding new horticultural technologies, particularly Ceramic Metal Halide lighting.

We at are here to help you sort the fact, from the fiction – regarding CMH & horticulture in the 21st century.

So what is Ceramic Metal Halide?

Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide is a type of lamp, which uses Ceramic, rather than the traditional quartz, to emit light. This is a more efficient and effective alternative, due to ceramic producing a far broader and more natural light spectrum, than previous technologies.

And because Ceramic Metal Halide runs at lower temperatures, uses less power and gives off a more usable light; CMH is quickly becoming the favoured option for professional, commercial and hobby growers alike.

Can I use my old HID ballast to run Ceramic Metal Halide lamps?

In short, no you can’t. Ceramic Metal Halide lamps need a different frequency to run efficiently and effectively. So you will need a CMH ballast to run CMH lamps, but will give you better results.

Is CMH / CMD a new invention?

Although now being used in groundbreaking new horticultural systems, Ceramic Metal Halide technology was actually first patented in the 1960’s and was being manufactured here in the UK, as far back as the 1980’s.

But it is only in recent years that we have really learned how to harness and utilise the true power of this technology. It was the advent of modern digital ballasts, which enabled a high frequency, super-stable, high output power source, which could efficiently and effectively run Ceramic Metal Halide lamps.

But now in perfect digital harmony, we can expect CMH systems to quickly replace old school HID / High Pressure Sodium grow systems, in the future.

What is the difference between LEC, CMH & CDM?

Solis Tek CMH lamp

The short answer is: there is no difference between CMH & CDM.

Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide is often called CMH or CDM, they are one and the same. LEC lighting is not quite the same thing, as it tends to relate to a specific brand of Light Emitting Ceramic, but this technically is not CMH. So in short: we avoid LEC and focus primarily on CMH / CDM.

How do yields compare between CMH and High Pressure Sodium grows?

Forums and video streaming sites, like YouTube, are already teaming with uploaded reports of significant increases in g/w figures and in harvest quality by CMH growers.

Both professional and hobby growers alike are seeing considerable increases in quality and yeild from Ceramic Metal Halide grown plants.

And though the debate is still raging as to whether it is better to supplement CMH into your HPS grow, or to use as a stand alone system. We can be sure that CMH grow systems give a higher quality PAR (usable light) than old-school HPS systems.

So whether using CMH as an addition to your HPS system, or switching to CMH completely,: the instant increase of usable light makes a significant impact to your plant canopy. This can increase plant-health, growth vigour as well as quality and quantity of yield.

Are CHM lamps full spectrum, or are there Veg & Flower options?

Ceramic Metal Halide lamps are full spectrum, when compared to old Metal Halide or High pressure sodium technology. Click here for a generic PAR comparison graph.

But nevertheless CHM lamps do come in two main temperature colour bands. 3000k series, which are engineered towards the red end of the spectrum, for flowering. And 4000 series which are engineered towards the blue end of the spectrum for vegetative growth.

There are also 900k colour temp lamps which are a more neutral temperature colour range, which more closely relate to a full spectrum output.

However early reports are that it is perhaps more effective, to use either a combination of 3000k & 4000k, or swap them at the appropriate time in your photo period, than it is to expect the same results simply by running 900k.

What is the difference between single ended and double ended ceramic metal halide lamps?

Ceramic Metal Halide lamps come in two main configurations.

315w lamps feature a two pin T38 type type format. And double ended ceramic metal halide lamps, run T32.5 type format.

Both these require specific CMH or D/e reflectors, although adaptors can be bought (or are free with our Lumatek 315w ballast and bulb kits) to enable growers to plug their 315w CMH T38 lamps into a standard HID E40 type reflector, however users will still need a CMH specific ballast to run this configuration.

It is widely known that double ended lamps are brighter, longer lasting and more efficient than single ended lamps.  As they are super efficient,  very high output and have a much longer lamp life than s/e lamps.

However in the past heat levels were an issue, as D/e lamps are far longer and much brighter, so gave off more heat. But now with the advent of D/e CMH technology, we can have the best of both worlds…. The high output, longevity and efficiency of double ended configurations, teamed with the full spectrum, low power, low heat higher PAR output of CMH.

So our new double ended Lumatek ceramic metal halide lighting, is definitely considered the optimal configuration for PAR output and lamp longevity.  But this is  not necessarily ideal for all growers, particularly those with limited space or modest budgets.

So do not fear – if you are looking at 315w single ended Ceramic Metal Halide equipment, you can still enjoy all the benefits of super high and usable PAR output, lower heat signatures and lower power requirements. And rest assured, whichever ceramic metal halide configuration you choose, is the place to be for great deals and reliable information

If you have any further questions, we’re happy to add them to this page -so please send to …. we’re happy to help.



The Truth About Ceramic Metal Halide
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The Truth About Ceramic Metal Halide
The truth about Ceramic Metal Halide. Here at, we're here to help you sort the fact, from the fiction - regarding CMH & horticulture in the 21st century.
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