It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to consider quality and dependability before price when it comes to installing or replacing your commercial LED lighting. The bottom line is that not all LED lighting products are created equal and using inferior parts, including many of those that are manufactured offshore, could end up costing your company far more than you’d bargained for.
As a commercial lighting specialist, I face this battle regularly when advising clients about the dangers of settling for cheaper, offshore-sourced products that are accompanied by questionable warranties. In fact, I recently heard a story from one of my wholesalers that I think is well worth sharing.
A local property management company – one that would probably rather not be associated with this particular blunder – recently opted to save some money on the purchase and installation of its parking lot lighting, by choosing less expensive fixtures from China. Within four short years the electronic ballasts had already begun to fail, and with 1400 faulty parking lot fixtures on their hands, it wasn’t long before security became a significant issue for the property management company.
As you may have already guessed, the company in China that was responsible for manufacturing the inferior products was, by this time, either completely unresponsive or had simply disappeared altogether.As a result, the management company was eventually forced to make the pricey decision to replace all 1400 of their fixtures with new LEDs from a reputable North American manufacturer, at a cost of more than $450,000 for parts only! With the final installation charges, this unfortunate error in judgment cost the company close to $600,000 over and above what they had already paid for the original light fixtures.
The China Association of Lighting Industry represents most, but not all, of the illumination manufacturers in that country. Many of the smaller businesses that are represented can’t even afford modern manufacturing technology. Of the several thousand companies in China currently producing LED components, many barely make a profit and are consistently being picked off and closed down by larger competitors. Overall, there remains a glaring lack of the strong brand identities that would inspire, and warrant, confidence in western purchasers.
While many out-of-country manufacturers state that they offer a competitive warranty on their products, actually getting them to honor that promise is another matter entirely. The lesson to be taken away from all this is that a lower price shouldn’t be the only determining factor when you’re in the crucial position of making a major purchasing decision, like the one involving your commercial lighting.
Don’t Let the Lights Go Out on Your Commercial Lighting Project
If you make the choice to go offshore for your LED lighting, there’s a very real possibility that, not only will your company end up spending more money than expected, it could cost you your job if you’re the one providing the recommendation. Purchasers would be wise to think twice before deciding to stake their reputation, and company funds, on cheaper goods, unproven quality, fickle guarantees, and potentially vanishing offshore companies.