The Best Double Ended Grow Lights – Pros and Cons


Let me tell you about about the best double ended grow lights and their pros and cons It’s time to up your indoor growing game!

Double ended grow lights (DE) in a row, above plants that are groing.

If you haven’t heard of double ended (DE) grow lights before don’t worry, I am going to cover the basics of a double ended grow light, how to use them, how long they will last, the pros and cons, who should use them and my top suggestions of the best grow lights that are available today.

DE grow lights aren’t for everyone and may not be necessary for your indoor garden or growing space. If you aren’t sure if they are for you, keep reading and by the end of this article, you should know if this little light is best for you.

I will say, that if you are a serious grower and light quality is something that you seek in having great results in your grown room, then the double ended grow light may be your top choice.

What is a single-ended grow light?

Let’s talk first about what a single ended grow (SE) is so that we can better understand what a double ended grow light is. A single ended grow light is screwed in at one end of the light bulb. It is a great option for hobby growers and is a great value.

It has less UV light than the double ended grow light, but is enough for growing a few plants here or there. I have used them for growing my INDOOR HERB GARDEN, when I can put them in a sunny windowsill.

Womans hand holidng a little indoor pot growing thyme in it

Not only do single ended grow lights cost less, but they can be set up more easily than a double ended grow light. You also don’t need high ceilings. That being said, you won’t have much success growing plants that need more sun such as things like fruit trees.

The bulbs for single ended grow lights won’t last as long as a double ended grow light either. So the single ended grow light is more affordable up front, but you may be replacing bulbs more frequently.

What is a Double-ended grow light?

Imagine a normal light bulb, like the one you use to screw into the light in your living room. It screws in on one end and doesn’t put off much heat. Well the double ended grow light has more high power light bulbs that are attached at both ends.

They have a higher UV light output and replicate more of what the sun will put off than the single ended grow lights. Double ended grow lights put off about 30% more intense light than the single ended grow lights. Their watt bulbs are anywhere from 600-1000 watt lights.

clipart pot with a plant growing out that looks like a money symbol.

Their light is also more evenly distributed and have a greater coverage area. Because double ended grow lights are more efficient, you may have a lower energy bill than when you are using a single ended grow light. Because of the higher intensity of light put off, the overall plant growth is greater.

But DE lamps usually require high ceilings because they need to be further away from the plant. They come with an arc tube and are surrounded by a long metal frame that will direct the light. They are the best option for those who are commercial growers.

How far should my double ended grow light be from my plants?

This largely depends on the type of double ended grow light you purchase. The 1000 watt double-ended bulbs will sometimes need to be several feet away while others may only need to be a few feet.

It is recommended that when you plan on using a double ended grow light that you should have high ceilings, some even as high as ten feet. So if your plants are five feet tall and the DE grow light needs to be three feet away, you could see how this would require high ceilings.

This type of light also puts off a lot of heat as opposed to single-ended bulbs. This could be damaging to a plant unless it is further away.

How long do double ended grow lights last?

Double ended grow lights have greater efficiency and more consistent performance. They have about 10,000-24,000 hours of use before they lose their usable light. This could be up to two years of use depending on the type of bulb you purchase and how frequently you use your lights.

This is a decent amount of time that a bulb will last. These grow lights are more costly, but in the long run, you may save money on buying extra bulbs with how long the bulbs will last.

Pros to the double ended grow light

  • More usable light
  • Best option for commercial growers
  • High light intensity
  • Greater coverage so you will need fewer fixtures
  • Requires less energy
  • Long lasting bulbs

Cons to the double ended grow light

  • May require high ceilings
  • Not suitable for hobby growers
  • Larger upfront cost
  • Releases a lot of heat causing high temperatures (may need to spend money on cooling down the grow room)
  • More complicated set up

Who should use a DE grow light?

This type of grow light is directed towards commercial growers, for those growing things in a large place on a large scale. For those hobby growers who are simply starting seeds indoors, growing a few indoor plants or growing an INDOOR HERB GARDEN the double ended grow light is overkill. You can get by with a single ended grow light for all your indoor growing needs.

What are the best double ended grow lights?

For those looking to grow commercially and are looking for the best grow lights, I can offer a few suggestions. There are many different companies who offer this type of grow light and have some similar side by side comparisons, but I will just cover a few that, in my opinion, would be worth having.


I am not sponsored by any of these companies. This is an honest opinion on the topic.

  1. Phantom 50 Series 750W. This one is more cost effective and runs a cheaper per month energy cost than other lights.
  2. Growers Choice Master pursuit 1000W. This one is a little more pricey, but has better overall coverage in area. Coverage is something to consider. A light that has a larger coverage might make it so that you only need one light. While a light that is cheaper with small coverage may require you to purchase multiple lights. So be mindful of the area that you are trying to cover.

From what I have seen, most grow light companies are willing to receive customer questions to help them best choose a grow light. It might be worth getting a more affordable light and trying it out for a time before investing in the more expensive grow lights.

If cost isn’t an issue, then I would go with the most energy efficient and largest coverage light. That way you can cover more plants while spending less on your energy bill.

Other gardening tips

For more help on starting your garden, check out my other gardening posts under the gardening tab. I have several articles on apartment gardening, growing herbs indoors, growing plants in pots, and in- ground gardening. Learn how to set up your own garden here.

If you want to create a therapy garden I have some tips on how to do that here.

Follow along on our YouTube channel here. We are starting our homestead from scratch and hope to educate, inspire and become friends with those who are following along with us!

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