|The Good||Must Decide Quickly||No Returns / Lies About Returns|
|Black Dog LED||Area 51||Advanced LED|
|Hydro Grow||LumiGrow||Apollo Horticulture|
|Kind LED||Mars Hydro||Build My LED (BML)|
|Lush Lighting||Pro Max Grow||California Light Works|
|Platinum LED||Spectrum King||Illumitex|
|Pro Source Worldwide|
So you've done your research based on what the vendor says and decide to buy a light. But what happens if you finally get it and you realize after a few weeks that it isn't living up to their claims? Most LED grow light vendors offer some sort of return policy on their lights so you can see the light for yourself and even grow with it for a bit to test their claims. After all, these are expensive items and you don't want to get stuck with a light that doesn't live up to the claims. I wouldn't be comfortable buying a light if the seller won't take it back at least a month after you get it, and a few months would be much better.
In the table above, companies with 90-day return policies are in "The Good" column; companies with a shorter return policy or whose return policies are unclear are in the "Must Decide Quickly or Returns Unclear" column, and companies with no stated return policy, which explicitly don't allow returns on at least some lights, or which lie about return terms on at least some lights are in the "No Returns" column.
You can see all of the return policy data for each model light in the table at the bottom of this page.
Advanced LED assures customers on their main products page that Remember we offer a 90 Day No Risk Trial on all our Diamond Series LEDs. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, simply send it back and we will provide you with a full refund, no questions asked (bolding is theirs, not mine). On the top of their Terms & Conditions" page, they state Try our exclusive LED grow lights for 12 weeks and if you are unhappy for any reason, just send it back for a 100% refund of your purchase price. No questions asked. No restocking fees no surprise shipping charges or any other hidden fees! However, further down on the same Terms & Conditions page, they have this:
90 Day Risk Free Trial Policies
Damaged, broken or altered lights will void this offer and not be accepted. Only "as new" products with all accessories and in original packaging will be accepted for a full refund. Large orders exceeding $1,500.00 or combinations of orders exceeding $1,500.00 in aggregate or any non-stock products will be charged a twenty percent restocking fee.
The following products are considered stock items: DS100, DS200, DS300, DS400, XML150, XML350, DS XTE 100, DS XTE 200, DS XTE 300, DS XTE 400.
All other products sold at AdvancedLEDLights.com are considered non-stock items and are not offered as part of the 90 Day Risk Free Trial. Large orders exceeding $5,000.00 or combinations of orders exceeding $5,000.00 in aggregate does not fall under our 90 Day Risk Free Trial.
The DS600, DS800, DS EX-VEG 200, DS EX-VEG300 and XML650 are not listed among the stock items, so by this policy, these lights are not offered as part of the 90 Day Risk Free Trial, under which all of the terms for returns are listed. This would seem to imply that the 20% restocking fee given under the "90 Day Risk Free Trial Policies" does not apply to these lights, and leaves it entirely unclear whether these lights can be returned at all. Perhaps they meant to have the statements about 20% restocking fees apply to the lights excluded from the stock items, but it is not clearly worded this way. If it is interpreted in such a way that "non-stock items" excluded from the 90 Day Risk Free Trial can be returned with a 20% restocking fee, then the last statement that Large orders exceeding $5,000.00 or combinations of orders exceeding $5,000.00 in aggregate does not fall under our 90 Day Risk Free Trial would also mean that orders over $5,000, since they are not part of the "90 Day Risk Free Trial" just as the "non-stock items", would be returnable with a 20% restocking fee.
Since the terms as stated are self-inconsistent and can be interpreted multiple ways, it is entirely unclear what would happen if you were to return one of their "non-stock& quot; lights. Regardless, the mention of restocking fees in the terms directly contradicts the assurances on their products pages that there are no restocking fees or that they will provide you with a full refund.
Area 51 shortened their 60-day return policy to 45 days recently.
Heliospectra, LumiGrow, Pro Max Grow, Spectrum King and Truth Lighting all restrict returns to 30 days. At least these companies have return policies and let you grow with the light for a few weeks before you have to make up your mind.
Build My LED (BML) explicitly forbids returns on any of their lights, saying Since all lighting systems depreciate with use (including the sun), we do not accept returns or exchanges on any lighting products. If you buy their lights and they don't live up to your expectations, you're SOL.
It would seem that if you purchase a light from Apache Tech, Apollo Horticulture, California Lightworks, Illumitex, Kessil or Lighthouse Hydro you are also out of luck if it doesn't meet your expectations, as none of these companies has a stated return policy.
Mars Hydro changed their policy from no returns allowed, to allowing returns within 7 days- and only if the light isn't used. You can't try out the light to see how well it grows and still return it to them.
Many of the companies which have return policies charge shipping or restocking fees, as noted, or limit the return to 1 light. While some of the fees seem a bit excessive, I can understand that companies cannot afford to send lights out to people for up to 3 months if everyone just returned the light; people could cheat and end up not paying to use the lights at all. Just be careful you understand what you might lose if you purchase a light and choose to return it because it doesn't live up to your expectations.