I started thinking the other day that while I may be looking for relatively powerful lights for what I have in mind, others may not need that type of power. In the interest of making this site as comprehensive as possible, I thought it would be a good idea to look at one or two grow lights with small wattage intended for small grow operations. If you’re just looking for some lights for a couple of tomato plants for a simple grow operation you have going on in your shed, you probably don’t need 1000W power – that’s what I’m talking about here.
A light that clearly falls into this category of grow light is the SANSUN LED Indoor Grow Light Full Spectrum 15W. This light is not intended for a large grow operation, but it should be able to do the job for you for those couple of tomato plants in your backyard shed. You can expect this one to retail for less than $100.
The manufacturers of this product claim that it’s a full spectrum light, but that doesn’t appear to be true. There are 225 LED bulbs in the light tray for the SANSUN LED 15W – 165 of them are red bulbs and the other 60 are blue bulbs, which means it’s not full spectrum at all. That doesn’t mean it can’t be an effective growing option, as red and blue bulbs should always be your main concern to cover both the vegetative and blooming stages of the growing process, but light boards that include other bulbs such as infrared bulbs and ultraviolet bulbs are generally much more effective.
Low Power Output
One clear advantage that this product does have over other types of indoor grow lights is that it will obviously have a very low power output. This is only a 15W system so you won’t have huge electric bills, but you do have to wonder if it’s got enough power to get the job done. As we’ve already stated, you probably don’t want to use this lighting system for anything more than a couple plants; you will have to hang the system low enough that it can be effective so you’ll want to think long and hard about your set up.
The Total Package
In order to get you started Sansun does include all of the hangers you need with this lighting system and they also provide you with a power cord. The problem with the power cord is that it’s only about 4 feet long, which might make it difficult to reach the wall socket. It’s probable that you will have to use an extension cord of some type with this system, so if you don’t already own one you should be prepared for that expense as well.
90% More Efficient
This SANSUN 15W indoor grow light is up to 90% more efficient than traditional light systems such as fluorescent or HIDs, so it does have that going for it. Again, the problem with that is that while it doesn’t give off a lot of wasted energy in the form of heat, it isn’t extremely powerful at only 15W. The system simply isn’t designed for anything but the smallest grow operation; even if you use a bunch of them together it won’t make them much more effective as it will simply extend the growing area so that you’re covering more plants.
A Lightweight Option
One other positive thing about this basic lighting system is that it’s extremely lightweight. The entire structure only weighs about 2 pounds so it shouldn’t be difficult to work with for most people. As long as you install the hanging wires correctly there shouldn’t be any danger of it falling and damaging the plants below.
What They Don’t Tell You
Aside from some of the concerns we’ve already mentioned in this review there are a couple of other things that are disappointing about this product. The fact that it has no infrared or ultraviolet bulbs was something that really surprised me for a product that claims to offer full spectrum. In my opinion this should be enough to make you reconsider the purchase.
It probably won’t surprise you to know that several customers have complained that this light system simply doesn’t have enough power to be much good for anything other than seeding. In many cases customers complained the plants they tried to grow using these lights simply never got out of the ground.
One more thing I should mention is that by most accounts this lighting system is made of a cheap plastic material that breaks at the slightest touch. I understand that light bulbs can break, but I would expect the casing they’re contained in to be made of sturdier stuff. It’s just one more reason to have second thoughts about buying this system.
Searching for Better Options
The bottom line is that this SANSUN LED Indoor Grow Light system doesn’t seem to be up to the job. Its 15W of output power just isn’t enough for the purpose of growing plants and its cheap construction is also a cause for concern. There are plenty of good lighting systems out there that are very reasonably priced and I would suggest that you check out some of the other reviews on this site for better options.