If you want to grow your own food indoors, you need the proper equipment. And the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need is a grow light. Perhaps several grow lights.
Now, they don’t have to cost too much. If you decide to go with florescent grow lights, you won’t spend all that much money, but this is only an option for very small gardens. For larger gardens you will need a combination of HPS bulb and MH grow light or you will need an LED grow light system.
Both of these will cost you much more. The HID system is cheaper upfront, but it costs a ton of money to run, since it guzzles electricity and gives off ridiculous amounts of heat. LED lights are much more expensive up front, but they run much cooler and use much less electricity, saving you in the long run. They are also easier to operate.
There are millions of options when it comes to grow lights. So many companies sell them and it seems like there are new ones each day. Most of them are located in China, obviously. I would not buy lights from a company that is headquartered in China.
All companies source their products in China, but the ones that only have offices there are the ones you want to stay away from. Their quality control is almost always terrible. This is true for every kind of grow light, fluorescent, HID, LED whatever.
One company that is famous for sourcing from China, but that has its headquarters in the US, is Yield Lab. This is one of our favorite companies. Because they get their lights from China, they are incredibly cheap. The quality is better than most Chinese lights, though. They do some form of quality control, although it is nowhere near as good as you would prefer and nowhere near as good as other companies that source from China, like kind LED, for example.
So what this means is that when you buy a Yield Lab HID grow light, there is a higher percentage chance that you will get a defective unit. The good thing about this company, though, is that they stand behind their lights. And they’re just as good as other lights.
If you get when that doesn’t work, they will replace it. It’ll take some time and you lose some valuable growing time, but you won’t lose your money. That’s why we like them. Yes we would prefer a higher quality light, like a Hydrofarm or a Sun System, etc., but why pay so much more, when you can get a great light for much cheaper. As long as you factor in the risk of losing some time, you’re much better off going with Yield Lab.
Here is a good video comparing a double ended Yield Lab light to the industry standard Gavita light:
So who are the people that run Yield Lab hydroponics? First of all, let me explain what exactly they are. They’re privately branded lights. The same people who make Yield Lab also make Advance Spectrum LED lights. They also sell various other lights as wholesalers, lights by famous companies. Not only lights, various other hydroponic supplies as well. But their main sellers are their own brands: Yield Lab and Advance Spectrum. Everything we said about the former above, goes for the latter as well.
So, this hydroponics supplying company was founded by one guy who we will call Jay. It is based in Anaheim, California and ships all over the US. You can buy the lights on only a few websites. Amazon is probably the most convenient, but we prefer to buy from a site like Grow Light Central. We recommended them before on our blog, so for you regular readers, this name will sound familiar.
They are a small company, but we love working with them, because their customer service is outstanding. They are always willing to help and if there is an issue with your light, which, as we mentioned above, is a distinct possibility when you buy a Yield Lab light, they are always available, ready and willing to make sure you get your replacement as soon as possible. What more can you ask for from a grow light supplier?
So, if you’re looking for a grow light system to get your indoor garden started, why not give Yield Lab a try? No, they’re not the most famous brand and they’re not the best brand, but we feel they offer the most value of all the brands out there. And if you want to go with LED, try Advance Spectrum. As mentioned above, everything we said about the one, is just as true for the other.