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Truth and the LED Grow Light Industry.

Updated on October 21, 2013

Search results for "LED grow lights".

So many LED grow lights to choose from but how do you decide?
So many LED grow lights to choose from but how do you decide? | Source

It's hard for consumers to know what is the truth when it comes to advertising.

If you have ever been interested in gardening indoors then you have probably come across numerous websites who all have “developed the only spectrum that works”, sell “the best LED grow lights” provide “the best service and warranty”. So then how can you tell what is true or false and make an educated dissection on your purchase. With so many LED grow lights and companies supplying them it’s difficult to separate the hype from the truth. Setting up a website and sourcing a product is fairly inexpensive so even with very limited resources and experience almost anyone with access to the internet could set up to sell LED grow lights. Over the years a few decent companies have built a solid reputation for not only selling LED grow lights that work as promised but also standing behind their warranty and return policies. Throughout this article I’m going to reveal some things that most suppliers of LED grow lights would prefer remain largely unknown to consumers and hopefully give some much deserved credibility to the good companies who have developed the LED grow light industry in North America.

Some Top Names in the LED Grow Light Business.

Have you purchased LED grow lights from one of the brand name suppliers listed below?

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Rate The LED Grow Light Industry.

3.4 out of 5 stars from 12 ratings of The LED Grow Light Industry.

Famous Extreme LED X2 Lights

Remarkably similar to the X2 and X3 LED grow lights sold by countless other suppliers.
Remarkably similar to the X2 and X3 LED grow lights sold by countless other suppliers. | Source

LED grow lights have been proven to grow plants for several years however only over the past three years have the proper spectrum's been developed.

Going way back, this whole LED thing started with a couple of articles published by NASA on the use of red and blue light emitting diodes being capable of germinating corn plants. A few more university studies were conducted in the years following that showed plants can be grown effectively under a simple tri-band spectrum of 660nm, 630nm and 430nm LED lights. At the same time these studies were published here in North America the Chinese government had already done their own experiments and conceived the benefits of using LEDs for horticulture. This is when we started to see the first UFO’s and low wattage LED grow panels on the North American market. Resellers played on the hopes of growers to finally have an efficient alternative to the industry standard 1000 watt high pressure sodium fixture. Many resellers advertised that a 90 watt LED grow light would cover 30 square feet and replace the 1000 watt HID, we all know now that these claims had no way of being true however back then many people bought into this. Within the first couple years the North American LED grow light industry almost destroyed itself through broken promises and deception. Enter HydroGrowLED, they were the first North American company to successfully partner with an LED grow light manufacture in China and together they developed the Penetrator and subsequent models that really turned the industry around. HydroGrow researched and developed a spectrum that was far more advanced than what NASA has tests years earlier, this proved that LED grow lights could be far more useful then consumers had experienced. At the same time some other companies were developing their own version of what an LED grow light should be, out of this we got names like Kessil, Stealth Grow, Magnum 357, Black Dog, BlackStar and Advanced LED. What sets all of these companies apart from the droves of resellers seen on the internet today is that they developed a unique line of LED grow lights and although in many ways they are the same, each brought something special to the industry.

Latest Lie About LED Grow Lights

The latest scam in the LED grow light business is companies claiming false UL listing for their grow lights.
The latest scam in the LED grow light business is companies claiming false UL listing for their grow lights. | Source

One failed relationship spawned a grow light revolution.

So how did that lead to the proliferation of resellers that we see today? The answer is rather complicated and there are many factors that have come together resulting in the quagmire that is the LED grow light resale industry. It turns out that when business is good co-operation between a reseller and the Chinese manufacturer comes easy but when disagreements arise that can’t be resolved the reseller may choose to take their business to another manufacture. This is what happened with one of the major players in the LED grow light world. Early on when they took their design to a new manufacturer the old manufacturer just continued to produce and market the lights with a slightly different housing and spectrum. These lights began to appear on sites like and; it was not long before people noticed that they could buy what seemed to be the same “brand name” LED grow light for one quarter the price that they had just purchased their light for. It doesn’t take long before people realize that they can create a website and then have lights drop-shipped from China for a very low cost. Websites are born along with “brand names” and deceitful marketing to accompany them; this is how the industry has come to be what we see today.

G3-SmartGrow LED Grow Lights Use a Full Spectrum.

When buying an LED grow light try to choose a complete full spectrum light over one that only uses red and blue.
When buying an LED grow light try to choose a complete full spectrum light over one that only uses red and blue. | Source

Choosing the right LED grow light can be easy.

What does this mean for those who want to buy LED grow lights? Are there any reputable companies who sell LED grow lights that work like they claim? Yes, of course there are; some of the companies mentioned above of worth looking into and even many of the newcomers have good intentions. When choosing a company to purchase LED grow lights through there are a few important things to know that may help you separate fact from fiction. Cree, one of the best known and most renowned producers of LEDs has their factories in China, Taiwan and Korea; not the USA. When companies refer to their LEDs being manufactured in the USA there is a very good chance that they are simply telling the consumer what they want to hear. The next major deception in the LED grow light industry is wattage; some companies will list the actual wattage while others post a false power rating. How do they come up with this bogus rating? Let’s do some math, don’t worry not much. If a LED grow light has one hundred, three watt LEDs than it’s a 300 watt light, right? Wrong, that’s how they do it. See the wattage of an LED depends on the voltage and current running through it. A one watt LED is usually runs at 350mA of current, a three watt LED is run between 500mA and 700mA with most manufacturers running at 550mA to prolong the lifespan of the LEDs. What makes calculating wattage of LED lights even more daunting is the fact that different wavelengths require slightly different voltages to produce so even if you know the current and number of LEDs in a lamp not all the LEDs run at the same wattage. Most companies will not reveal the exact ratio of wavelengths used in their lights but I will say that almost every manufacturer in China now knows the correct spectrum to produce LED grow lights in so this is not as important to know as it was a few years ago. There is no need to go into details in this article but a good spectrum contains a source of “full spectrum” white with a 5 or 6 to 1 ratio of red to blue wavelengths and should also contain ultra violet at 380nm and infrared at 740nm. Armed with these simple facts about LED grow lights it will be easy to separate the good from the not so good.

Complete Full Spectrum in the SmartGrow LED Lights.

This is the spectrum of the SmartGrow LED lights, it uses UV and IR LED's as well as 2700k white, 4 reds and 3 blues.
This is the spectrum of the SmartGrow LED lights, it uses UV and IR LED's as well as 2700k white, 4 reds and 3 blues.

A Quick Demo Of The Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights.

A good example of a company who sells low quality lights.

I sold these lights for a year and have had to repair about 80% of them now.  They look well built and I truly wish they were.  Buyer Beware!
I sold these lights for a year and have had to repair about 80% of them now. They look well built and I truly wish they were. Buyer Beware!

When buying from China "what you buy is what you get". Manufacturers claim 3 year warranties but have you ever tried to claim one?

Now don’t think I’m recommending you go and buy LED grow lights direct from China to save money as it probably will not work out. A person who is comfortable with international trade laws may fair alright but the average grower is likely best to buy lights through a supplier in North America. The trouble then is figuring out which supplier to go with. My own company is a supplier of LED grow lights but in order to remain unbiased I will not include it in this article. Therefore rather than list off the suppliers that I feel are reputable, I will site attributes that make supplier reputable. Honesty is at the top of that list, when company lies about one thing it’s entirely logical to assume that is not the only thing they will be dishonest about. When browsing the websites of LED grow light suppliers look to see that all the companies contact information is available to customers, a reputable company will list their physical address even if it’s just a home office. Call the contact number and email the company. If it takes days to get back to you when you want to buy a light how long will it take when the light malfunctions? Good policies on shipping, returns, warranty and any stated guarantees should be easy to navigate to and not written in complicated legal terms. Many less reputable resellers will advertise free worldwide shipping by DHL; this seems great at first glance however this method leaves the buyer with a brokerage bill in their name that must be paid by credit card on delivery. Most who operate using this model also state that the lights come with a three year “manufacturers” warranty; what this means is that when a light malfunctions you are left to deal with the manufacture to get parts or have repairs done. As you can see the line “Free worldwide shipping with 3 year manufacture warranty” is easy to promise as it requires nothing of the reseller. In most cases it would be better to buy the exact same light as these resellers supply from a site like because you’re essentially receiving the same value for nearly half the price. The suppliers that are worth buying from are usually distributors for a manufacturer or resellers who work with manufacturers to create their own unique LED grow lights. These companies have a significant amount of time and resources invested in their business and a reputation to protect. Companies who simply create a website and resell the same LED grow lights found on have very little invested; they do not even place the order until you pay for the light. I’m sure many have good intentions however I would personally stick with the companies who add value and bring actual service to the customers.

How well do you know your LED grow lights?

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    • profile image 

      3 years ago

      I have 5 apollo 10 from cidly and I had great results with them in the past 3 years. I had a few failures(4-5) but they sent me the replacing parts in days with dhl (they charged me ZERO dollars).When you have a failure that's mean you lose one led per cluster(you have 15 x per cluster).

      Unsolder the broken one and solder the new one.That;s it

      So having 5 burned leds out of 750 in 3 years I think this means Quality.

      No problem with cidly

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I really have the feeling that most growshops and online sites here just sell the exact identical lights like I see on Alibaba. I don't see a difference, also in specs between, say, an Apollo 8 light sold on a local site for $650 and the same light on Alibaba for $220. It's the exact, same light, same LEDs, same spectrum etc. That being said, I would NOT buy off Alibaba but had good experience with vendors off ebay, not directly from China but Chinese vendors who have stock here or the US. Seriously guys, isn't ALL this stuff ultimately coming from Shenzen? :)

    • Faisalme profile image


      3 years ago

      there is another good source where you can find LED Lights

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      its about knowing how to use the lights properly, the early ufo lights were awesome, no hydro bill, no burnt plants, use as much tinfoil as wanted. warrantee this warrantee that bla bla bla

    • profile image

      LED Tech Store 

      4 years ago

      Yes many resellers can be deceiving in there marketing efforts and knowledge. This is why you should buy from someone reputable and established who also carries inventory. The only distributes products from the best manufacturers and provides excellent service.


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