The soap dish part of the title can actually be a “fill in the blank” for each of us. We all have a Made in China story, and that’s for our grow equipment or for our every day. Here is the thing to know. The grow light mover made in China and the soap dish made in China are absolutely the same. And, here is why.
The maker of this soap dish had to know that a wet bar of soap would sit on that soap dish, right? But, all we have to do is take a look at the photo to know it was simply painted to look bronze. There was never any intent for it to function. The only intent was to make it look like a soap dish just long enough for us to buy it.
How Is a Grow Light Mover Made in China Just Like a Soap Dish Made in China?
Now to the grow light mover made in China. We did a test buy of three random China made grow light movers on Amazon. Each grow light mover was virtually the same. Two even shipped together even though they were listed as different grow light system products. In reality, the grow light mover made in China will have a white label with no real information other than what appears to be electrical ratings. For those who know what is required to get proper ratings, we’ll leave it to you to decide if the odds are these are faked or not. Also, these grow light movers will have different Amazon/eBay listing names that change over time. So, there is no accountability and there is no tracking.
Spoiled with high expectations
To set the stage, we are very much used to our “Made in the USA” LightRail light mover products. And, we know how an instrument grade Motor is expected to function over many years. Plus, we understand grow light systems and what is needed to move the heaviest grow light. And, that’s under continuous duty, indoor grow room functionality, so crop after crop and year after year. So, it’s safe to say we’ve been conditioned to have very high expectations. From that background, here is how it went with our testing/dissecting, and this is what we found.
Three random china movers, hot, hot and just as hot
We’ll call this the grow light mover made in China and that’s because the names don’t matter. Remember, from our sampling, these are all virtually the same so we will talk in the singular. First, let’s talk grow equipment temperature. We pointed a thermo-gun to the China mover motor and saw a reading of 134 degrees Fahrenheit. A LightRail, in contrast, runs at about 85 degrees consistently. But, for the China mover to run at 134 degrees; it is worrisome for a number of reasons including the practical of not being made to last in the indoor grow room setting.
Where will we find them when it all fails?
In other words, a motor at that operating temperature is not made for continuous duty. Our techs’ opinions were that the life expectancy appeared to be maybe 10 months to a year. That’s more like renting, really, and then what do we do? The China mover warranty is only one year, so it appears they might be in agreement with our techs. But, where will we find them when it all fails? Where is their service department located?
The grow light mover made in China appears to have this overall hot running, sub-par motor assembly. In addition, there are many specific details we see as wrong with it. After running it on its track for only four days, with weight to simulate a decent grow light, we saw that it was decaying its own drive wheel. That’s in four days. At that rate, might it need a drive wheel every month and maybe sooner for any kind of grow light weight? We don’t know. We were a little surprised at this China mover’s overall wear. It appeared accelerated for wear, yet function is the very area we need our grow equipment to perform.
A bad deal is a bad deal, and there is no winning for the math on this
This brings me back to the soap dish. That soap dish was a $17.95 mistake. So, it was a cheap lesson, but the grow light mover made in China can be a lot costlier, and that’s on many fronts. As one question, how many spare motors do we have to have on hand? Truth: A bad deal is a bad deal, and there is no winning for the math on this. In other words, just looking at that purchase price “savings”; we simply cannot afford to save that much.
So yes, with the up-front price difference of the real deal, a LightRail light mover, compared to the imitation made to look like a LightRail; there is a cost difference. But, there is also this difference. LightRail light movers are made in the USA, made to last and made to actually get the job done like a workhorse. That’s true for the LightRail 3.5 Kit, the LightRail 4.0 Kit and the LightRail 4.20 Kit. It’s also true for the LightRail 5.0 Kit. But, the grow light mover made in China only has one purpose and that is to look like a LightRail light mover, and just long enough for us to buy it.
Only real grow light system products have real value
As we do our grow room design, we have to ask this. Does function and reliability of our grow equipment matter? The answer to that is; it’s the only thing that does matter. We all currently have way too many versions of the soap dish offered to us from the pages of Amazon and from the shelves of our stores. But, here’s the thing. We have to always know the difference between fake and real. Only real grow light system products have real value, and that’s every single time.
Our cautionary tale and public service announcement all rolled into one blog
Keep it real, keep it LightRail would be the appropriate tagline here. But, this is the cautionary tale for all of our grow equipment. Brand matters and a good rule of thumb is to look for the grow equipment brands we know. Sure, they might be imported. But, there will be a positive track record that we can see and a name we can recognize. In a world filled with posers, reputation matters and it gives us the guidance we need to differentiate between what is fake and what is real. Functionality should be the fair trade we all receive for the money we spend on our grow room and greenhouse setups.