Review: Single ended vs double ended HPS grow lights

Single-ended HPS cool tube grow light in grow tent.There are plenty different types of grow lights to choose from for your grow room, and we know you want to make the best decision when it comes to your plants!

HID (high intensity discharge) grow lights are a great, affordable option when compared to LED lights. Specifically, HPS, or high-pressure sodium grow lights, are some of the best HID lights in the game. This is because they give you a great amount of raw light, which will help produce high yields from your flowering plants.

But once you decide to use an HPS grow light, you still have to figure out whether you’ll use single-ended or double-ended grow bulbs, which can be a whole other tough decision to make.

To help you figure it out, we’ve broken down the basics of how both of these styles of bulbs operate. That way you know the differences and advantages of both single-ended and double-ended HPS grow lights.

Double-ended HPS grow light kit in grow tent.In this article, we’ll also give you a rundown of some of the best single-ended and double-ended HPS grow lights on the market.

Table of Contents

  1. How Do HPS Grow Lights Work?
  2. HPS Grow Light Reflectors
  3. Advantages of Single-Ended Grow Lights
  4. Advantages of Double-Ended Grow Lights
  5. Are Single-Ended or Double-Ended HPS Grow Lights Better?
  6. Top 6 Single Ended and Double Ended HPS Grow Lights
    1. Editor’s Choice- Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit
    2. The Strongest Grow Light Around- Yield Lab Pro Series 1000W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Double Ended Complete Grow Light Kit
    3. Perfect for Getting into Double-Ended Growing- Yield Lab Pro Series 600W HPS+MH Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit
    4. Yield Lab 400W HPS+MH Wing Reflector Grow Light Kit — The Perfect Grow Light for Novice Growers
    5. Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Cool Tube Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit — Large Coverage Area with Low Heat Output
  7. Choosing the Best HPS Grow Light for Your Plants

Now, let’s talk about HPS grow lights!

How Do HPS Grow Lights Work?

Single-ended (SE) HPS grow light kit.Single-ended HPS grow lights essentially work the same way the first gas-powered lamps did. Single-ended lights have one socket on one end into which HPS grow bulbs can be screwed — just like your typical light bulb. However, the sockets on these lights are slightly wider than those that fit standard light bulbs. This type of socket is known as a Mogul base.

Single-ended HPS grow bulbs are also long and wide in order to fit all of the essential components inside of it:

  • The bulb contains an inner tube, called an arc tube, that generates the light.
  • Electricity jumps from one side of this tube to the other in order to produce light without any filaments, much like lightning.
  • Low-pressure gas, mercury, and sodium allow for brighter light in the arc.
  • The base of a single-ended bulb, which is connected to this arc tube, is held up on each end by something called a frame wire, which is made of metal.

Double-ended HPS grow bulbs, on the other hand, do not have frame wire and are instead connected to a light in a way that’s similar to fluorescent tube bulbs:

  • Double-ended (DE) HPS grow light kit.Two small wires support the arc tube on each end and fasten back into the sockets of the light’s reflector. This lack of a frame wire allows double-ended bulbs to be much thinner than single-ended ones.
  • These double-ended bulbs are also filled with nitrogen gas, as opposed to single-ended bulbs, which are under a vacuum. Because of all this nitrogen, double-ended bulbs operate at much higher temperatures.
  • The higher the temperature of a double-ended light, the more efficient it is, so you don’t want any air blowing directly on these lights.
    • Meanwhile, single-ended lights operate at cooler temperatures. This makes managing the temperature of your grow room easier because it allows for a cooling setup with cool tubes.

HPS Grow Light Reflectors

Air cool hood for HID grow light kit.In order to get the most out of your grow lights, you’ll want to make sure you have a grow light reflector to use with them. Reflectors are included with most grow light kits, but you might have to replace them from time to time. Thankfully, they’re pretty affordable!

Grow light reflectors are metallic shields equipped with smooth or textured aluminum. This aluminum reflects light from the bulbs in order to intensify and concentrate the light as well as provide proper coverage for the plants below. Without a reflector, a lot of light will bounce onto the ceiling and go to waste.

Single-ended and double-ended grow lights work in slightly different ways:

  • Extra-large double-ended HPS grow light hood.Single-ended reflectors have sockets for the Edison-style single-ended bulbs to be screwed into, which double-ended bulbs aren’t compatible with. Likewise, single-ended bulbs won’t fit in a double-ended reflector.
  • In the case of double-ended grow lights, both ends of the bulb are snapped into place on a double-ended reflector. Double-ended lights have to be used with double-ended reflectors, as single-ended ones won’t be suitable.

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to both single-ended and double-ended reflectors. Typically, the same styles are available for both types of bulbs.

  • Wing reflector hood for HID grow light kit.Air-cooled hoods provide openings to which you can connect your ventilation system.
  • Non-air cooled hoods have this same hooded shape without ventilation.
  • Adjustable wing-style reflectors have two wings that help keep the heat from your lights a bit lower, but not as effectively as air-cooled hoods.

Keep in mind that air-cooled reflectors are the best way to keep your grow room cool, but double-ended HPS bulbs will need high heat to operate at their highest efficiency.

Advantages of Single-Ended Grow Lights

Both single-ended and double-ended HPS grow lights are great options that will get the job done in your grow room. As such, you really can’t go wrong with either type of HPS grow light.

600w HPS bulb and grow light kit.That said, single-ended grow lights have some unique perks to keep in mind.

  • Lower Heat Output: Single-ended HPS grow lights produce significantly less heat than double-ended lights. While it’s great that double-ended lights can utilize higher temperatures to produce more light and power, that heat can cause trouble for your grow room. With single-ended grow lights, you’ll get gentler intensity and heat, which will help you avoid extreme temperatures.
    • Because they’re more gentle, single-ended lights can be placed closer to your plants than double-ended lights, which need to be placed several feet above your canopy.
  • Compatibility with Cooler Areas: The structure of a single-ended HID grow bulb allows airflow onto bulbs without giving up any brightness. Double-ended lights, on the other hand, start to lose some brightness if they’re hit with wind or exposed to lower temperatures.
  • Perfect for Smaller Spaces: With single-ended grow lights, you’ll find 400w options that are perfect for small areas containing 1 to 2 plants due to their minimal light. On the flip-side, there are no gentle options when it comes to double-ended grow lights.

Advantages of Double-Ended Grow Lights

As great as single-ended HPS grow lights are, it’s important to note that double-ended grow lights offer several advantages over their single-ended counterparts.

Double-ended bulb and HPS grow light kit.Let’s take a look at what double-ended lights have to offer.

  • Stronger Light Intensity: Double-ended HPS grow lights can withhold much higher heat than single-ended lights. This means you’ll be able to heat them to higher temperatures in order to produce a lot more light.
    • A double-ended HID light can produce at least 20,000 lumens more than single-ended ones, making it a much more powerful option for your grow room or grow tent.
  • Even Light Distribution: Double-ended lights generally offer a more even distribution of powerful light. They also have a more ideal spectrum that’s closer to the sun, including ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light.
  • Slower Bulb Degradation: Double-ended bulbs have been shown to degrade at a slower rate than single-ended bulbs: Even after 10,000 hours, a double-ended grow light will still be able to output light at 90 percent of its original intensity. They’re definitely a good option if you want super powerful, long-lasting lights for your grow room.

Are Single-Ended or Double-Ended HPS Grow Lights Better?

Grow tent with double-ended HPS grow light.Ultimately, the only way to know whether you should use single-ended or double-ended HPS grow lights is to figure out which is best for your grow room. There’s no end-all, be-all for the best grow light out there. You’ll have to assess your own preferences and the unique needs of your plants.

Let’s discuss a few key factors to keep in mind when making your decision.

  1. Your Plants’ Needs: If you’re working with plants that require a lot of light, you’ll probably want to go with double-ended lights. Double-ended HPS grow lights will be the better option for a grow room with lots of fruit bearing trees, for example, that will need a lot of lumens to grow strong and healthy.
  2. Grow Room Size: Double-ended lights are also a good option for larger grow rooms or grow tents with lots of plants, like commercial grow rooms. If you’re a hobby grower with an at-home grow room, though, single-ended lights are the more ideal option.
  3. Necessary Light Intensity: Overall, double-ended grow lights are the more powerful option, so if a lot of high power light is a priority for you, they’re the way to go.
  4. Temperatures: If you’re concerned about maintaining cool temperatures, single-ended lights will work just fine for you. They’ll still give you all the light that’s necessary for many indoor plants, vegetables, flowers, and even small fruiting plants, and you won’t have to worry about overheating.
  5. Necessary Power: While power is great, too much of it isn’t always necessary to grow healthy plants and maintain a great grow room! Single-ended grow lights can be a great option to get the job done.

Top 6 Single Ended and Double Ended HPS Grow Lights

Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of both single-ended and double-ended HPS lights, it’s time to talk about the best options out there for both in great detail! Here are the best single-ended and double-ended HPS grow lights!

Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit — Editor's Choice

Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit for indoor grow tents and grow rooms.The versatility of the Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit makes it one of the best grow lights around and an excellent choice for any grower.

This HPS grow light is a great fit for a range of different grow rooms. The light is strong enough to grow at least 3 to 4 plants with great, intense coverage thanks to the 25in x 22.75in air cool hood.

The grow light kit’s design can give you maximum intensity when you need it for all of your plants. And you don’t ever have to worry about factors like overwhelming or burning your plants or overheating your grow room, because this kit is also complete with a dimmable ballast. With this ballast, you can reduce the heat emission and lumen intensity by as much as 50 percent.

So if you’re looking to grow your own plants and want to keep them in a safe, healthy environment, this single-ended 600w HPS light is an easy choice.

HPS Grow Light Specs

  • Wattage: 600w
  • Reflector: Air cool hood
  • Lumen Output: 90,000 lumens (HPS bulb); 61,000 lumens (MH bulb)
  • Color Temperature: 2100k (HPS bulb); 5500k (MH bulb)
  • Plant Coverage: 3 to 4 plants (2x4 grow tent or 4x4 grow tent)

Our Price: $219.95 | Click Here to Buy This HPS Grow Light

Yield Lab Pro Series 1000W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Double Ended Complete Grow Light Kit — The Strongest Grow Light Around

Yield Lab Pro Series 1000W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Double Ended Complete Grow Light Kit for indoor grow tents and grow rooms.If you’re looking for the strongest HPS grow light you can find, the Yield Lab Pro Series 1000W HPS+MH Air Cool Hood Double Ended Complete Grow Light Kit is the way to go.

This grow light is equipped with two high-powered grow light bulbs. The double-ended HPS bulb produces intense output and extra PAR, while the double-ended MH bulb provides high UV and IR levels to produce more essential oils in your plants.

This double-ended grow light kit definitely packs a punch with a crazy amount of lumens. It’s enough to ensure vigorous growth for at least 4 to 5 plants, and chaining even just a few of them together will give you a huge coverage area that’s perfect for larger grow rooms.

This HID grow light is complete with a dimmable ballast so that you can adjust the settings as you need. In addition, the air cool hood reflector has a protective glass shield that makes replacing bulbs super easy.

Overall, this light is the best way to pack the biggest punch when it comes to intense light for your grow room.

HPS Grow Light Specs

  • Wattage: 1000w
  • Reflector: Air cool hood
  • Lumen Output: 159,200 lumens (HPS bulb); 85,200 lumens (MH bulb)
  • Color Temperature: 2100k (HPS bulb); 6000k (MH bulb)
  • Plant Coverage: 4 to 5 plants (5x5 grow tent)

Our Price: $305.95 | Click Here to Buy This HPS Grow Light

Yield Lab Pro Series 600W HPS+MH Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit — The Perfect Double Ended Light for First-Timer's

Yield Lab Pro Series 600W HPS+MH Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit for indoor grow rooms and grow tents.If you’re ready to make the move from single-ended to double-ended grow lights, the Yield Lab Pro Series 600W HPS+MH Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit is a great place to start.

The wing reflector is a lot like the standard ones, so it’s super easy to set up and use. That said, the double-ended base of this one is a lot stronger than your usual, standard wing reflectors.

You’ll see all the benefits of double-ended lights while still maintaining an ease of use with this grow light kit. It’s complete with both a double-ended HPS bulb and a double-ended MH bulb, as well as a dimmable ballast to control the intensity and heat of the lights for your plants.

This grow kit will bring the intensity with an output of 96,600 lumens — that’s 6,600 more than a standard single ended HPS bulb!

HPS Grow Light Specs

  • Wattage: 600w
  • Reflector: Wing reflector
  • Lumen Output: 96,600 lumens (HPS bulb); 85,000 lumens (MH bulb)
  • Color Temperature: 2100k (HPS bulb); 6000k (MH bulb)
  • Plant Coverage: 2 to 3 plants (3x4 grow tent or 4x4 grow tent)

Our Price: $239.95 | Click Here to Buy This HPS Grow Light

Yield Lab 400W HPS+MH Wing Reflector Grow Light Kit — The Perfect Grow Light for Novice Growers

Yield Lab 400W HPS+MH Wing Reflector Grow Light Kit for indoor grow rooms and grow tents.The Yield Lab 400W HPS+MH Wing Reflector Grow Light Kit is great if you want a quality grow light but don’t want to break the bank to buy it.

It operates with a single-ended bulb, so it’s a little weaker than the double-ended options, but it’s still a solid light for anyone with a smaller, at-home grow room. It’s perfect for about 1 to 2 plants, especially for those that are flowering or need a lot of light.

This HID grow light is also equipped with a dimmable ballast, so you can bring the intensity down on hot days or whenever else you need to. For small-scale growers or anyone who just needs an affordable light for their plants, this one’s a good go-to option.

HPS Grow Light Specs

  • Wattage: 400w
  • Reflector: Wing reflector
  • Lumen Output: 55,000 lumens (HPS bulb); 36,000 lumens (MH bulb)
  • Color Temperature: 2100k (HPS bulb); 5500k (MH bulb)
  • Plant Coverage: 1 to 2 plants (2x2 grow tent)

Our Price: $149.95 | Click Here to Buy This HPS Grow Light

Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Cool Tube Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit — Large Coverage Area with Low Heat Output

Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Cool Tube Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit for indoor grow tents and grow rooms.If you’re looking for good coverage for your grow room or grow tent, the Yield Lab 600W HPS+MH Cool Tube Hood Reflector Grow Light Kit comes highly recommended.

With a combo of 600 watts and a 25in x 22.75in cool tube hood reflector, this grow light kit gives you a huge coverage area and great intensity — but not so much that it will overwhelm your plants. You won’t have to worry about burning them, and you can also enjoy more comfortable temperatures in your grow room since these lights won’t output too much heat.

The coverage area of this HPS grow light with the reflector is large enough for about 4 to 5 plants, offering them softer, more even light. It’s perfect for grow rooms with larger plants that take up more space than others but that need less light intensity.

HPS Grow Light Specs

  • Wattage: 600w
  • Reflector: Cool tube
  • Lumen Output: 90,000 lumens (HPS bulb); 61,000 lumens (MH bulb)
  • Color Temperature: 2100k (HPS bulb); 5500k (MH bulb)
  • Plant Coverage: 4 to 5 plants (5x5 grow tent)

Our Price: $219.95 | Click Here to Buy This HPS Grow Light

Choosing the Best Grow Light for Your Plants

Double-ended HPS grow light in grow tent.As you can see, there are plenty of options that you can choose from if you want the best grow light for your plants.

If you want to go big on lumens, double-ended HPS grow lights will give your plants the light intensity you’re looking for. Alternatively, if you want to stick with the gentler, cooler single-ended HPS grow lights, there’s sure to be a great fit for your grow room.

Remember: For the most intense light, go double-ended. But if cooler temperatures are a priority for you, choose single-ended!

If you choose any of the lights on this list, especially now that you know the ins and outs of HPS grow lights, you definitely won’t regret your decision!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published