Double-ended Lighting (DE Lighting)

Last Updated: July 18, 2017

Definition - What does Double-ended Lighting (DE Lighting) mean?

In cannabis cultivation, double-ended lighting is becoming increasingly popular. Double-ended lighting systems are a newer form of high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting designed specifically for indoor horticulture of marijuana and other types of valuable cash crops.

A double-ended or “DE” lighting system includes a gas-filled tubular lamp with connectors on either end. The DE bulb simply snaps into place on the fixture. DE lighting is in contrast to the single-ended, Edison-style lamp that screws into the socket.

It is believed by some growers that DE lighting is the latest evolution of traditional cannabis lighting, and that these grow lights were developed mainly to make traditional lights more competitive with the rising efficiency and lowering costs of LED grow light systems.

MaximumYield explains Double-ended Lighting (DE Lighting)

One of the advantages of DE lighting systems for plant growth is that they provide a more even light distribution for the plants. In addition, they are said to last longer than their single-ended counterparts. In fact, after 10,000 hours, double-ended lamps will still output approximately 90 per cent of their original intensity.

Double-ended light requires special ballasts that produce and regulate an electrical current that flows between the electrodes. This vaporizes the mercury and sodium within the glass tube into a gas that produces heat and intense light. In addition, a special reflector is also needed. These requirements make the initial investment of using DE lights rather than traditional HPS lights more substantial.

Double-ended light systems are preferred for cannabis grow rooms and hydroponic marijuana gardening because the intensity they produce provides plants with more UV light, which is used by the plant for photosynthesis.

DE lighting systems use a high-intensity lamp that can produce around 750 to 1,000 watts of power or more. It is also believed that DE lighting is more stable, which gives it a 10 per cent increase in light intensity and PAR output over traditional, single-ended HPS bulbs. One downside to DE lights is that they run quite hot, so a strategy for heat removal will need to be put in place.

Double-ended lights are also extremely efficient, long-lasting, and can easily be assembled into rows along a single strand of wiring.

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