Lately with all the economical shifts there have been increased demand for all things pre-used, because they are a lot cheaper but can offer similar quality as new things. And T5 lights too are no different, because people are looking to sell used T5 grow lights to make a profit from things they don’t use anymore and purchase used lamps to spend less money on them. But is it really wise to buy used lights and do they work the same as new ones?
If you are thinking of buying pre used T5 fixture without bulbs then there are a few things you need to check either before buying the fixture if it is possible or right after you receive the fixture for possible return. The first surely would be if the lights is working at all. For that you simply need to put in some bulbs that are compatible with the fixture, plug the fixture into power outlet and turn it on. If it turns out effortlessly and smoothly then you probably have purchased good, healthy T5 fixture.
The next thing you should be concerned about is the electronic ballast of the fixture, because it is the component of the fixture that is the most delicate and can break quite easily. If you turn on the light and either right away or after a while the bulbs start to dim and/or shut off completely then probably the ballast is to blame. In this case you have two options either don’t purchase the used fixture or purchase it and then just replace the ballast for a new one, which isn’t that hard to do and even then you will still be saving money, because T5 light ballasts aren’t very expensive. But if the fixture and bulbs turn on fine and seem to work fine then the ballast probably is fine.
You should also check if the hanging kit is in place and in order, because although it is quite easy to figure out different way to hang the T5 light, healthy hanging kit will significantly simplify the fixture process. Check also the power cord and see if it isn’t damaged, because that would also take time and money to replace. And of course you should check for any scratches or dents too, that might indicate that the light has been dropped or something has happened to it.
If everything looks fine then you really shouldn’t be afraid to purchase used T5 fixture, because the fixture itself isn’t that hard to break. The bulbs are a different story and you should always buy new bulbs, to ensure that they work to their full potential.
So to answer the question whether it is wise to buy used T5 light fixture, I would say that if you really don’t want or aren’t able to spend the full price of new T5 fixture, then sure you can buy used one as long as it looks and works fine. With a used fixture of course there is a larger chance of malfunction or that something might break, but if the previous owner has cared for the light then you should be fine even with used T5 fixture.