Before I launch into a detailed review of the Higrow 2000w double chip LED grow light, I’m going to do a comparison.
You need to know the differences between the double chip series and the optical series of Higrow lights.
That’s because the differences between them perfectly illustrate what is wrong with the LED grow light industry.
Both are good lines of lights, but one is clearly better. And it’s not the more popular one.
And of course, the worse of the two series is the one that gets glowing marks on every grow light review site out there.
We’ll get into that in a minute, but I’m sure you can guess that those sites get something out of it.
First, let’s do a brief comparison of the Higrow Optical Lens Series 1000w light and the Double Chip series 2000w light, since those two are the most similar, despite the confusing (and ridiculous) “wattages” in the names.
Higrow Optical Series Vs. Higrow Double Chip Series
These are the two lights we will be comparing, because they are the most similar to each other among the lights in either series:
One is a 2000 watt light and one is a 1000 watt light, correct?
Both of these lights use 400 watts. And notice I said “use” not “put out.” Lights do not “put out” wattage. Output is measured in lumen (for visible light) or umol/s/m² (for light that plants use).
If you land on a review site (or worse, a store selling grow lights) that tells you a light “puts out” a certain wattage, leave that site as quickly as possible.
People think wattage tells you how powerful a light is, because this has been perpetuated by grow light manufacturers. It is an easy way for them to make their light seem better than the competition.
Hence the ridiculous naming conventions among Chinese brands: calling these two lights a 2000 watt and a 1000 watt light, for example.
Wattage by itself tells you nothing about how good a light is. You need to know what it does with that power you give it (and pay for).
And that brings us to…
This is where it gets interesting. Both of these lights use 400 watts, but what they do with that power is quite different. At first glance, the 1000w optical lens series light is far better. It has an output of 765 umol/s/m², while the double chip fixture has an output of 691 umol/s/m².
Not so fast. This is another favorite trick of (mainly the Chinese) LED brands.
They provide you with a single PPFD (they often call it PAR) value for their lights, that was measured dead center, directly beneath the light. It looks impressive at first glance.
But when you take a closer look at the light, you realized they designed it to focus all its light into a tight beam, specifically to achieve such a high value. When you move away from the center of the coverage area, the output drops off considerably.
The light is capable of growing a single plant right beneath it, but that is all.
That is why you always want to look at a full PPFD footprint of the entire coverage area. And to Higrow’s credit, they provide these. It should be noted that they also do not use the single value in their advertising materials. I am very happy to see that.
So what do we see when we look at the PAR footprints for these two fixtures?
The 1000w one is suddenly less impressive. The PPFD values drop off and by the time you reach the corners of a 3×3 foot coverage area, they are below 100 umol/s/m² in two of the corners (you want at least 100 to effectively flower).
You could use it for a 3×3 area, but I’d use it for a smaller hydroponic tent area than that.
The 2000w light, on the other hand, easily covers a 3×3 area. The lowest value across that area is 170 umol/s/m², so you could use it to light a slightly larger space than 3×3.
The main reason for this difference is in the LED chips used and the optical lenses.
LED Chips And Lenses
The 1000w light is part of the optical lens series, so it obviously uses optical lenses. Specifically, it is outfitted with 90° lenses that focus the light into a tighter beam.
This gives you more intensity in the center, but a smaller coverage area. It also gives you a better canopy penetration. But it uses 5 watt chips.
The 2000w light uses 10 watt chips, which give you a better penetration than lower wattage chips. But they aren’t actually 10 watt chips.
They are two 5 watt chips combined to form a single 10 watt one. All told, the 5 watt chips on the 1000w light with the optical lenses lead to a deeper penetration.
That said, the 2000w model also has lenses that focus the light. It uses a mix of 120° and 90° lenses, which gives you a nice balance between deep penetration and larger coverage. Overall, this setup is better for most growers, since this fixture effectively covers a larger area with light.
Now let’s look at what kind of light it covers that area with.
Both lights use multiple colored diodes, but the colors they use differ. The 2000w model has 155 red diodes (660, 630 and 610 nm), 25 blue ones (460 and 430 nm), 16 white ones (3000K and 6500K), 2 UV and 2 IR.
The 1000w model has fewer red and more blue diodes, plus yellow and green ones.
Overall, the 1000w light is better for vegging, while the 2000w one is better for flowering, but both are great full-cycle lights. For full-cycle, I prefer the 2000w one, but not by much. I prefer it because it has more red light, but what I don’t like is that it has less light in other colors.
The 16 white diodes provide light in the green and yellow wavelengths, but not as much of it as you get with the 1000w spectrum. It has a better amount of green light, although still not as much as you want.
The 1000 watt optical lens series light costs a bit more than the 2000 watt double chip series light.
Two main things are worth mentioning.
First, the 2000w light is daisy-chainable. This means you can plug several lights into each other and run them from a single outlet. There is a limit though. You can only run up to 1000 watts from a single outlet, so basically, you can connect 2 lights.
Second, the 1000w light has separate veg and bloom switches. This allows you to turn off some of the diodes when you don’t really need them, saving you money in power costs.
Overall, the 2000 watt light is the better choice for most applications. I would only choose the 1000 watt light is I were only vegging or if I had a smaller garden (up to 2.5 by 2.5 feet).
If I were using the light for bloom only, the 2000 watt one is the clear choice. For a full cycle grow, the choice is much closer, but I’d still go with the 2000 watt one.
So why do all review sites cover (and love) the optical lens series?
One word: money.
They get a commission from Amazon whenever someone clicks on their links to Amazon and then buys something. The optical lens series is more expensive, so they get a bigger commission.
Their only goal is to get you to click to Amazon. That’s why they have no problem starting a site reviewing a product they have never even seen in person, and that they know nothing about.
They just hire a cheap writer from India (who also knows nothing about grow lights), to write a review that contains a few facts taken directly from the product page on Amazon.
The rest is all nonsense (like the aforementioned “this light puts out X watts”). They hope you will get sick of reading (and you quickly do, since you learn nothing) and just click through to Amazon.
Of course, I also get commissions from Amazon. We all do.
But I try to at least provide some useful information to help you make an informed purchase. And in many cases, like this one, that means recommending a cheaper light over a more expensive one, even if it means far lower commissions for me.
That is why I am recommending the double chip series over the optical lens series, even though no one else is. But I don’t want you to just take my word for it either. Check out the PAR footprints above (there are larger versions on Amazon) and see for yourself.
Review: Higrow 2000W Double Chip LED Grow Light
Since the 2000 watt light is the best among all the lights Higrow offers, I have decided to focus the rest of this review on that model. Everything written below goes for the 1500 watt double chip light as well, apart from the specific numbers.
The optical lens series is obviously a bit different, but I have just gotten done pointing out those differences above.
Higrow Double Chip 2000W Features
- Uses 400 watts — save about 40% on your electric bill over HID lights
- Equivalent to a 600 watt HID system — but costs less to buy AND to operate
- Great full spectrum light — works for all stages of growth (but I’d like a few more white diodes)
- 3.25 by 3.25 foot core coverage — equivalent to a comparable HID system
- Zener diodes — if one LED burns out, the rest keep running as normal
- Bridgelux/Epileds 10w LED chips — top quality high-intensity chips that are brighter and get better penetration
- Daisy-chainable — connect several lights together and run from a single outlet (max 2, however)
- Runs on AC100 to 240V — will work in any country
- Rated for 50,000+ hours — over 5 years with no need to change bulbs
- 3-year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee — risk-free purchase
Since I have already covered all the advantages in the comparison section above, I’ll only summarize the pros here.
- Great spectrum for any stage, but especially bloom (though I’d like to see more white diodes)
- Great light spread that gives you high PPFD values across entire coverage, not just in the middle
- Good coverage area of over 3 by 3 feet (around 3.25 by 3.25)
- Daisy chain feature, though only two lights at a time
- Lower price than most comparable lights
- 3 year warranty is longer than most Chinese brands
I will do the same for the cons and simply list them here.
- Spectrum could benefit from a few more white diodes, but is still great as is
- Daisy chain feature only works to connect 2 lights, not more
- 6-foot power cord is a bit short
- No separate switches for veg and bloom modes
Higrow Double Chip LED Grow Light Review Summary
The Higrow 2000 Watt Double Chip LED grow light is a great light that does not have many disadvantages. And none of them are deal-breakers. There is a reason it made this list of best 2000 watt LED lights.
That said, if I were to purchase a light for myself right now, I would not get a Higrow light. As good as they are, the Phlizon COB lights are better.
They have a better spectrum and get more output. Of course, they also cost more.
If you are on more of a budget, or if Phlizon does not have a fixture in the size you need, then a Higrow light might be right for you.
They are well-made and backed by a long warranty. They give you a good light spectrum (though not quite perfect) and do a great job spreading the light out across the entire coverage area (the double chip series, not the optical lens series).
I give the double chip series LED grow lights a Grow Light Info rating of 4.2 out of 5. I score the optical lens series a bit lower, due to the smaller coverage. It gets a 4.0.