Being relatively new technology, within the general lighting industry at least, LEDs seem to have a new qualifying parameter or feature monthly. Developments in the quality and performance of lamps and luminaires have always garnished a bit of hype, but as this playing ground gets more and more level the sales focus has shifted to “intangibles” – and of late, warranty has been playing a bigger role that ever before.
With clients being better educated confusion is at an all-time high… paradox? Let me explain.
- Clients need to understand that warranty is NOT a guarantee of performance or longevity, rather it is a commercial exercise by the luminaire manufacturer. This often results in a cycle of depreciating product quality: I want to offer a 10 year warranty. Building luminaires that will last for 10 years is impractical in this market. What price per luminaire can the market bear to cover the replacement costs I know are coming? Let’s downgrade component quality to meet the required margins to ensure replacement costs can be covered. Increased sales based on the exaggerated warranty should stabilise returns. Over-simplified to be sure – but not inaccurate I assure you!
- With all standard luminaire criteria being equal, clients should be basing their decisions on the following real criteria: