Double Ended (DE) Grow Lights
You don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive all-in-one fixture like the Gavita, Nanolux or ePapillon to enjoy all the benefits of DE lighting. In fact, in many cases you can put together a system that is better suited to your particular growing space, especially if you don’t have the 10’+ ceiling height required for the Gavita, Nanolux and ePapillon, and for less money. Here’s how...
Choose a reflector:
If you have a very large grow with long rows of trays or plants then you may want to consider going with the Adjust-A-Wing DE Reflector. It produces quite a bit of side lighting, and when putting these hoods together in a long row you get the benefit of lots of overlapping light. Another excellent choice is the Boss or AC/DE (non air-cooled version of the Boss) reflector by Sunlight Supply. You need to hang this reflector very high above the canopy (3-5') but it covers a very large area and generates more light in a more even distribution pattern than just about any other reflector on the market.
If you have fewer lights, say two lights over a 4x8 tray or 4 lights over two 4x8 trays that are side-by-side as opposed to in-line, then you would do better with a reflector like the Agrotech Magnum. Using a Gavita, ePap or even an Adjust-A-Wing in a situation like this isn’t very efficient, since a good deal of the light is going to splash up against the walls on the ends of the trays instead of being focused down onto the plants. The Agrotech Magnum is a very large reflector, so it covers the full width of a 4’ tray, yet it is extremely lightweight and easy to manage. Because of its large size, it doesn’t focus the light energy directly down onto the plants, creating a hot spot. Instead, it spreads it evenly over a larger area. Because the light is spread more evenly, so is the heat energy. Because of this, these reflectors can be kept closer to the plants than smaller reflectors such as the Gavita, Nanolux and ePap.
Choose a ballast: We have a lot of customers who are under the impression that they need one of these “fancy” high voltage, ultra high frequency ballasts to drive a double ended lamp, and that the lamp has to be a Philips Green Power lamp. That’s just not the case. Those ballasts are 400V because they were designed to work with the high voltage European power used in the greenhouses they were intended for. The important factor is that the ballast must be a “high-frequency” digital ballast. Many digital ballasts on the market today do not produce a high enough frequency to properly drive a double ended lamp. They are inferior in this and many other ways which is why they are so inexpensive. We highly recommend that growers use a digital ballast specifically designed for DE lamps. DE-specific ballasts will not only operate at the required frequency, they typically offer up to 6 different output wattage selections to make the most of DE lamps that can operate from 600w to 1200w. A great option is the Nanolux Remote DE Digital Ballast. This ballast offers a feature set almost identical to the Gavita and Philips ballasts, including six different wattage settings (600/660/750/825/1000/1200). But if you prefer to spend the extra money on a more expensive Gavita ballast, we’ve got those, too.
Choose a lamp: There are a growing number of choices when it comes to double ended lamps. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, we offer the Digimax DE Lamp. If you’re looking for a top-quality lamp that’s not made in China we have a couple of lamps by Ushio that are made in Germany. The Ushio Pro Plus DE lamp offers a higher lumen output and an outstanding PAR rating; this is the same lamp that comes standard with both the Philips ePapillon and the Gavita.
Whether you’re looking for a complete DE system or just the components necessary to retrofit an existing single ended system, BGH has you covered. Take a look at our complete DE systems, they are organized by reflector and you can customize them with whichever lamp and ballast combination you desire.
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