Does anyone know why I would not be able to use gymnasium style MH lights found in industrial catalogs? They are much cheaper than the hydroponic grow lights on the market and it's a lot easier to find used lights.
Just make sure they are a voltage you can work with.I personally feel they are sufficient.there is a lot of information on this forum which you should find helpfull.
Industrial/gymnasium lighting is fine for plants, but I would suggest looking for a pulse start metal halide. These will give you more light and use less electricity. Shop around because there are still plenty of people selling what is essentially obsolete equipment using old magnetic ballasts that are just a waste of your money.
Many "plant lights" are exactly the same metal halides with a different sticker on, maybe you get a different reflector housing. Some plant lights do offer different spectrum or the ability to switch to HPS bulbs, which you might find valuable.