This blog post has to do with quality (not quality of light, that will be a separate blog post) but more on the quality of the LED lighting products, manufacturers, short and long term implications. Quality is what we pay for, you want cheap you’ll get cheap, you want quality then pay for quality. This can apply to consultants you hire, cars you purchase, clothing you buy to the LED lights you install in your home.
Not everything in LED lights is driven on price. You might see in a Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Amazon, the list goes on. If you ONLY buy on price and don’t look at anything else besides “hey this is an LED I’m good” then you’re missing out on a lot of items. If you’re purchasing for your home, take a few minutes to look at a few elements to make sure that you purchase the proper LED lighting products. If you’re purchasing for your business, office or city, this can be a longer sales process and we will dive into this as well.
Short Term vs Long Term
Unless we live in the lighting world, we can have tendencies to be driving by price. Choosing the cheapest LED lighting product you see on the shelves doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the same quality lighting throughout the lifespan of the light bulb. LED lights are an investment (18-20 years of life!) so don’t just look at the price, also remember that the LED lights will be with you for a while. Short term we look at the initial cost as that is front of mind. If we are a upgrading our home we think about how much money we want to spend, if we are really laid it out we can look at the amount of money we are spending vs cost savings over time. Check out our Energy Savings Calculator if you want to do the math to see what you would save! From a larger perspective (business or city) you want to know what you’re spending upfront, operational costs, project start to complete dates, utility costs. All good stuff to know however you want to make sure you have quality LED lighting products because if you don’t, all the calculations, projections can be thrown off due to the lighting products not being able to last as long as they were supposed to.
Long-term should be looking at the longevity of the LED lighting products over a period of time. Do they last? Are they are bright as they were when you purchased them? What is their warranty if there was any malfunction? From a home perspective, this can greatly help reduce your energy savings. From a large scale project, this would have a significant impact on your operational costs, reducing energy and utility costs as well.
Some people are driven only on price and there is no way around it. You get what you pay for. If you see the cheapest lighting products on the shelves at a hardware store (unless they are discounted for some reason) or a sales person is just selling you on price, look at why they are selling you on price. LED lighting products have significantly come down of the years, however, there is a difference in quality LED lighting products when you compare a cheap LED lighting product and one from a quality lighting manufacturer.
How long has the manufacturer been in existence? LED lighting companies have been popping up left and right. If the manufacturer have any certifications on their label? If you are purchasing for your home, do they have a wide selection of product available? A customer service number? What is their warranty? Many cheap manufacturers will only offer 1 year warranty, however many manufacturers will offer 5 year warranties (federal government customers require 10 year warranties among other elements such as TAA, Buy American, Buy America, etc.). So if you purchase just based on price from a no-name brand, and the LED light burns out 2 years in, warranty most likely won’t cover.
Product/What Should I be Looking For?
Make sure that the product you purchase, whether it’s for your home or city, have earned their Energy Star certification. Low quality bulbs will be cheaper, however Energy Star, which is run by the Department of Energy, has high performance standards that the bulb must go through to ensure that the bulb will perform as expected. Just look for the blue Energy Star label.
To take it a step further and especially on larger products, DLC lights and certification is another level you go check to make sure you’re getting the quality led light bulbs. DesignLights Consortium (DLC) focuses on quality and energy efficiency on lighting products. Very similar to Energy Star, which is specifically for lamps, DLC will to fixtures. DLC has a great website where you can access and view their “Quality Products List (QPL)” where you can see what products have been qualified by DLC and can be the best choice for your project. This independent agency, which works with utility companies, manufacturers and regional efficiency organizations, continues to push how we can get the most efficient lighting, provide quality lighting and continue to build public awareness.
So there you have it! Just a few things to look at. Just to recap and if I lost you, check these items out:
- Warranty period
- Energy Star label (for bulbs)
- DLC Rating (for fixtures)
- Manufacturer location
Make sure you check out our products here and purchase your quality lighting products today!