What is the difference between Chinese LED grow lights and US LED grow lights?
First of all, although we are a Chinese LED grow light manufacturer, this article is purely based on a third-party standpoint.
There are differences for sure, but not as big as you might think.
1. Quality of LED grow lights
Here I am not talking about a specific brand or model, but on an average level.
If the scale is 0-100.
US LED grow lights score 80.
Chinese LED grow lights score 50.
WHY? Generally speaking:
US companies focus firstly on product quality, secondly on price.
Mostly Chinese companies firstly focus on competitive price, secondly on quality.
This quality applies to four major parts: hardware\lifetime\spectrum\technical parameters.
The deeper reason behind the quality-price variation is much more complicated, such as the overall economic development stage, the level of understanding of horticulture industry, company value & culture, brand confidence, etc.
But we also must understand that there are less than 100 US companies making LED grow lights, and most of them outsource manufacturing to Chinese factories. But there are more than 1000 LED grow lights manufacturers in China. There are also a lot of China grow lights manufacturers that deeply understand the western business culture and the horticultural lighting industry requirement, and make high quality LED grow lights to meet the international standards.
If you compare to the top 100 LED grow lights manufacturers in China with the US 100 LED grow lights companies, their quality is very close. Because basically, they use the same material, aluminum alloy housing, Samsung or Osram or Lumileds, etc LED chips, Meanwell or Inventronics, etc LED drivers, etc, and they follow the same international manufacturing standards as US peers.
Same thing, if we put the scale as 0-100.
If the LED grow lights made in US is about 85.
The made in China is about 70.
Naturally, US local companies have a geographic advantage for serving local customers. More importantly, the long history of consumer-oriented business culture has been deeply rooted in most industries. For, example, you can get a money guarantee policy for 30 to 90 days on most US products, but the corresponding time is China is 7 days mostly.
Chinese brands of LED grow lights tend to have the reputation of poor warranty service due to longer service time for an international warranty claim, and some short-sighted companies even don’t keep their promise at all.
Actually, this aspect is very similar to the quality part.
Assuming the price at a scale of 0-100.
The average US LED grow lights is about 90, While the average Chinese grow lights is about 50.
Why is there such a big difference in price?
(1) Is it different raw material?
Actually, except those low-end crappy grow lights made by some of the notorious manufacturers in China, other China companies and US companies use the same raw materials as wen mentioned above. If you dig deep enough to ask the grow lights manufacturer what they use to make the grow lights, you will find the truth.
By the way, how to spot those low-end crappy grow lights, if the price per watt is less than 0.5USD/watt, never buy it. Because this price is not even enough to cover the raw material cost for making a decent quality grow lights.
For example, 300USD for a 600W LED grow lights, you better be careful and walk away.
(2) Is it brand-added value?
Yes, in terms of LED grow light industry, it is true that we have to admit Chinese LED grow light manufacturers mostly ignore the branding, or know very little how to build an international brand.
The price difference is partly, perhaps about 30%, attributed to the brand advantage of US companies.
But whether it is worthy to pay a higher price for the products labeled with a better brand is up to personal choice. It is partly a economical issue, and also partly a psychological issue.
(3) Is it company operation cost?
Absolutely, the average Chinese company employee wage is still about 20% of their US peers. Though US companies outsource the manufacturing part to China factories, the other part of their local operation cost is still much higher than in China.
But as we mentioned above, the average price difference is not a reflection of the real price difference, because China has much more companies than US, and those low-end companies do not count if we compare the price of products of the quality.
If you compare those LED grow lights with the same wattage, same spectrum, same PPF, same PPFD from US and Chinese companies. The price difference is actually about US-90, China-70. The 20 gap is largely due to company operation cost and brand-added value, not much related to product quality.
So should you buy Chinese LED grow light and US LED grow lights for your cultivation?
Well, it all depends on yourself.
But our suggestion is to be professional about what you want to buy, and to compare more supplies wherever they come from.
Hope you find the best price with the decent quality LED grow lights meeting your requirements!
Check out VANQ LED grow lights: