LED Grow Light Manufacturer Overview and Comparison — Why Choose Mars Hydro

After establishing a “lit” indoor cultivation chamber, you’ve got to figure out how to keep your grow space, well, “lit!” Even if you’re new to the cultivation game, you don’t need us to tell you how much grow lights impact your ROI. Poor lighting choices could lead to reduced yields or burnt buds. However, even if you go with high-quality lights, you may be unnecessarily driving up your operating expenses.

As commercial cultivators search for a balance of quality and affordability, most have begun turning to LED panels. Compared with more traditional HPS models, LEDs offer many significant benefits, including easy set-up, energy efficiency, and a lower overall cost. However, just because most indoor cultivators are “diving into diodes” doesn’t mean you could blindly choose any LED brand. Indeed, as the demand for these grow lights increases, more and more LED manufacturers are emerging and potential buyers need to know how to assess the reliability of various LED manufacturers.


LED Grow Lights Market Overview - What types of manufacturers are involved?

Currently, there are four major LED grow light manufacturers customers need to keep in mind:


Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM)

OEM - An original equipment manufacturer is generally perceived as a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. We are referring here to a category of manufacturers who produce finished products in China or other non-local factories, which are then branded and shipped to local sales. OEM companies are very common in the LED grow light market, and they’re classified into top-tier OEMs and low-quality OEMs in terms of quality control.

OEM LED Grow light manufacturer


IntegratedIndustrial andTrade Enterprises(IITE)

IITE - Integrated Industrial and Trade Enterprises are those manufacturers who not only develop and produce their own products but also engage in sales and trade. A quality IITE requires good integration of resources, a fine and clear internal division of labor, and rapid completion of the customer and factory interface. Therefore, IITE usually produces quality products and sells them at a fair price with fast and service response.

Integrated industrial and trade enterprises of LED grow light manufacturer


Temporary Manufacturers(TM)

TM - Temporary manufacturers are also a type of IITE, and they refer to the type of business that sees the industry as profitable and temporarily adapts to join it to make a profit from poor quality materials and services. With the gradual improvement of the LED market in recent years, such enterprises are increasing year by year.

 Temporare manufacturer of led grow lights


What Makes A Good LED Manufacturer? — Considering Service & Structure


Price vs. Quality

Humans are hardwired to associate higher prices with higher quality. Hence, many people in the LED market gravitate towards the top-tier Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). While these brands are top-tier manufacturers, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to drawbacks. Indeed, the high reputation these premium OEMs enjoy could be considered a downside, as it often inflates their prices.

The obvious reason OEM brands cost more has to do with branding premiums. These manufacturers also have to sell through intermediaries, which further drives up the cost of their elite LEDs.

On the opposite extreme, temporary manufacturers seem to offer decent LEDs at incredibly low prices. While their cheap prices are tempting, temporary manufacturers have a notoriously bad reputation for quality. It’s also challenging for buyers to hold temporary manufacturers accountable because they don’t provide credentials or contact details.

The only business model that offers the best of both OEMs and temporary manufacturers is the Integrated Industrial and Trade Enterprise (IITE). Unlike OEMs, IITEs like Mars Hydro sell directly through factory outlets to help manage costs. However, this doesn’t mean Mars Hydro skimps on quality standards like improvised manufacturers. Indeed, since we are a registered IITE, customers can easily see our credentials and get in touch with multiple factory outlets. Only IITEs offer a cost-effective LED alternative to high-ticket OEM manufacturers.


Delivery & Service

But it’s not just the quality of products that makes an LED company great. Customers should also evaluate how fast you can receive your order and how easy it is to get in touch with a manufacturer if they have an issue. You should feel confident your company will stand behind its products and promptly resolve any potential complaints.

Unfortunately, the LED grow light space is rife with “service horror stories,” especially with lights manufactured in China. Unprofessional temporary manufacturers could quickly disband once they receive too much pressure. On the other side, high-end OEMs are usually locally-based, which means foreign clients often have to resolve issues with Chinese factories. Understandably, settling disputes overseas can cost a lot of money and time—two things plants businesses can never afford to lose.

To improve communication with our customers, Mars Hydro has factory outlets around the world. While our headquarters is in Shenzhen, customers in Canada, Australia, Germany, Russia, and the USA could receive products from a local warehouse and resolve issues at a local branch. Mars Hydro has also built a significant presence on social media to make it easy for customers to stay connected.


So, Who Is The Best LED Manufacturer For Plant Cultivation?

Cultivators should never feel pressured to purchase their LED grow lights. Buying the wrong LEDs for your grow space can have disastrous consequences on your operating efficiency, so it pays to choose the right lights from the get-go. However, this doesn’t mean you must splurge on high-end brands to enjoy the best results.

Let’s recap the 4 types of manufacturers in the market

  • Top-tier OEM
  • Low-quality OEM
  • Integrated Industrial and Trade Enterprises
  • Temporary manufacturers

Of these four, Integrated Industrial and Trade Enterprises (IITEs) offer the best value proposition to plants growers. Not only are the lights made by IITEs comparable to many high-end OEMs, they won’t cost you as much upfront. Indeed, Mars Hydro’s factory-direct-sale model allows us to offer LED grow lights without huge markups. This means you can enjoy the benefits of a long-lasting and powerful LED product without cutting into your bottom line.

By comparison, top-tier OEMs markup their products to take advantage of their high-end brand name. Also, OEMs must sell their LEDs through a third party, which further drives up costs. While there’s usually nothing wrong with the quality of these LED grow lights, the higher initial cost will eat into your ROI.

And don’t think you could get away with superior OEM performance by buying from a cheap OEM manufacturer. Although the prices for these lower-grade OEMs are reasonable, they don’t come with the same quality assurance as a high-end brand. In fact, low-quality OEM LEDs primarily rely on the “premium brand effect” rather than their actual product quality to increase their sales.

LEDs from temporary manufacturers are also known for their affordability, but this low price tag has nothing to do with a “premier brand effect.” Instead, these LED grow lights are cheap because, frankly, they’re cheaply made. Also, since these manufacturers don’t have the qualifications you’d expect from OEMs or IITEs, they are far more challenging to track down in the (likely) event you have issues. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for improvised manufacturers to disband and regroup under a different label to avoid criticism.


A Small Suggestion For Your LED Investment

Although we feel IITEs offer the best balance between quality and affordability, you don’t have to rely on our words or the testimonials of satisfied customers. In fact, we strongly encourage growers to request product tests from various brands before taking the plunge. This trial run should give you the confidence before investing in the “brightest” option for your plants grow operation.