Air-Cooled Hood vs Cool Tube

Air Cooled Hood vs Cool Tube: Pros and Cons Discussed!

It’s often very difficult to maintain the proper light reflection in the grow room. We growers even get worried about maintaining the optimum temperature as well. 

We usually stumble a lot while deciding to choose a cool tube or a cooled hood for our grow room.

But what are the differences between an air-cooled hood vs cool tube?

The main difference between an air-cooled hood and a cool tube is the light footprint. You get more light reflectivity with the air-cooled hood than with a cool tube. However, a cool tube is significantly more lightweight than a cooling hood. Then there’s also the difference in prices.

While these things are cheats to know, a full discussion is always better. It will help you to decide whether to pick the hood or tube.

So, let’s find out how they stack up against each other!

Briefly Comparing the Two Types of Hoods

Before heading into the full comparison, I think a brief is a must. Otherwise, all information can overwhelm you quite easily.

There are many things that can be the determining characteristics of each cooling system. Whether it’s the light reflecting mechanism or the compatibility, each characteristic is important to know.

And everything becomes easy to understand if the information is stacked together.

So, here’s the cool tube vs air cooled reflector comparison table for you to understand the differences-

CharacteristicsCool TubeAir-cooled Hood
Height & DepthSmall and less depthWide and more depth
Reflector WingsSmall and lightweightLarge with spread wings
Compatibility Only compatible with MH & HPS bulbsCompatible with MH, HPS & LED bulbs
Cooling AbilityUpto 10°CAround 5-8 °C
PriceCheapA bit expensive
Where to BuyOrder from AmazonOrder from Amazon

I hope you get a differentiating picture of what these tubes and hoods offer. However, it’s still far from being over. So, let’s dive into the full comparison of air cooled tube vs hood!

The Full-blown Comparative Analysis of Air Cooled Hood vs Cool Tube

Now is the time to get into the main discussion. I urge you to follow everything thoroughly. Otherwise, you may miss some critical points that might seal your decision-making deal.

So, here’s the ultimate characteristic-based comparison!

Height & Depth

This characteristic is very crucial because it can affect your cannabis growth significantly. Just like choosing between topping or not topping can influence the growth, height and spacing is also important.

Because of the wide build of air-cooled hoods, it is more flexible with extraction tubes. 

Source: Amazon

However, that does not mean cool tubes can’t do that. It’s just that air-cooled hoods are able to use their depth and height to their advantage. There will be enough space for the plants to get maximum airflow.

Cool tubes are also very good to use but lack flexibility in some cases. Nevertheless, they are perfect for growing rooms with small spaces. Also, they are more lightweight and easy to move.

They stay really close to the marijuana plants. The distance between the plants and the light is more or less like this setup.

Winner: Air-cooled hoods deliver better light reflection due to their width and depth.

Reflector Wings

Similar to the previous discussion, reflector wings tend to be wider in air-cooled hoods. Cool tubes tend to have a more effective cooling operation than air-cooled hoods.

However, you can’t ignore the fact that air-cooled hoods are good enough as well. If you have a smaller room it won’t make much difference. But it becomes a big issue when you have a bigger room as your grow room.

However, the light reflection is far better in air-cooled hoods compared to cool tubes. I used both of them and there was a certain issue with the cool tube. I used to get a “hot spot” straight under the tube.

This hot spot creates a huge amount of heat which is really bad for your cannabis plants.

Now, you might think about how to reduce heat in grow room?

To reduce heat in the grow room, use an oscillating cooling fan inside the grow tent. The fan will make sure that there is proper air circulation inside the grow room. 

So, if you choose to use a cool tube make sure to get an oscillating fan with it. Also, you should have proper air circulation and an exhaust system to maintain proper temperature.

Note that you won’t be needing exhaust fans to do this. Normal pole mount clip fans will do. So, here’s my recommendation for a few efficient fans.

This is where air-cooled hoods win the race as they give much more evenly distributed lights. All plants get enough light which helps them grow evenly. Also, there will be no hot spot formation either.

Other than this issue, cool tubes are very effective to cool down the temperature up to 10 degrees celsius. Whereas, the air-cooled hoods will keep the temperature down from 5-8 degrees celsius. 

Winner: Air-cooled hoods are better because of the wider wings.


While both the coolers have support for 3000k or 3500k lights, they aren’t the same. But while choosing between 3000k or 35000k lights you don’t have to think about the compatibility.

Eager to know in what ways they are different? Well, don’t stop reading then!

Starting with the cool tubes, I must say they are quite versatile. You won’t have any problem with your MH/HPS light bulbs. 

However, there isn’t that good of support for LED lights because they aren’t often used.

On the other hand, the air-cooled hood setup allows every bulb to be compatible. So, you don’t have to compromise on your setup and have full freedom.

Winner: Air-cooled hoods are more flexible with LED compatibility.


When it comes to the pricing, I bet you want to save some greens for your setup. However, is it always worth saving a couple of bucks? Let’s discuss that point.

Long story short, cool tubes are light, small, and cheaper. They deliver a very good reflection of light with decent airflow. So, no need for you to think that cheaper means bad products.

You can get yourself a full cool tube kit with light and other things. Or you can also get yourself a spare cool tube reflector. I’ve mentioned them both here so it’s easier for you to pick the suitable one.

On the other hand, air-cooled hoods are pricey but they have wider reflector wings. 

Now, you might be thinking, “Do hood vents help with cooling?” or are they just expensive? Well, they do actually help a lot to keep your grow room cool.

So, they are definitely worth the extra penny! Here are some of the top air cooled hood kit from Amazon-

Now, the decision rests with you.

Winner: Cool tubes are cheaper and perform well. But if the budget and space are not your concern, go for air-cooled hoods.

Choosing the Best Reflector between Air Cooled Hood and Cool Tube

The ultimate decision is obviously yours to take. That’s why it’s crucial for you to understand each and every factor fully. Here’s a brief overview of everything up to this point.

When there’s room available for big vents or hoods, it’s always best to choose air-cooled ones. Because they are more light reflective and don’t lose too much energy while redirecting it. Also, they are perfectly HPS bulb compatible.

But you might not have room for big hoods. Then you will be completely fine with cool tubes as those have their strong points. This characteristic is the most determining factor for many growers.

Moreover, price is another differentiator to look at. A tight budget can direct your attention to cool tubes as they are cheaper. But you have to be sure what you exactly want. Because air-cooled hoods are worth the higher price.

Now, decide after you are finished contemplating each characteristic. I’m sure you’ll choose the right thing!


How Do Air Cooled Reflectors Work?

Air-cooled reflectors work to reduce the temperature by creating a tight air tunnel. When the chilled air is blown through that air vent, the lamp’s heat gets reduced. And because of the glass bottom, no light is compromised. That’s how you get perfectly clean air cooling for your plants.

What is a Cool Tube?

A cool tube is a tube made from glass which has a connector for a light bulb with it. The main purpose of a cool tube is to reduce the temperature of the grow tent. You can open the reflectors to control the air cooling. That’s why using a cool tube can significantly speed up the budding process. 

How to Setup a Cool Tube Reflector?

To set up your cool tube, mount the shades on top of your plants. Then, put them together with ducting of 150mm (distance depends on the room). After that, place a one at one end to initiate the airflow within the tube. And leave the exhaust outside of the room so that the room stays cool.


That’s all the information I had on the air cooled hood vs cool tube debate! I think you are not confused about these two anymore.

All that’s left is to decide one and finish your grow room setup. But make sure you pick the reflector according to your grow room size.

So, go on and pump up those cannabis-growing processes!

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