Why LED Quality Isn’t Created Equal

In today’s video, Have Lights owner Kyle McClelland discusses LED quality. There are countless LED products on the market today, which is a huge plus for the industry in terms of innovation and versatility. But just because it’s an LED doesn’t make it a quality product. The components of the light source itself — the diodes, chips, driver, and the assembly — can vary significantly, paving the way for issues. The truth is, LED quality isn’t created equal. Here’s what to know about potential issues and the role pricing pays in quality.

Issues Stemming from Inferior LED Quality

The biggest issue with low-quality LEDs is premature failure. Let’s say your LED is supposed to last ten years — and no, unfortunately LEDs don’t last forever — but it burns out in one month, or one year. Any LED that fails in a month can be chalked up to internal issues. But LEDs that last one or two years and then begin failing are a sign of quality issues with your lighting as a whole, and not an example of a single quality issue. That’s a problem, because any LED should last at least as long as the warranty period. In the industry, the average warranty period is five years, and sometimes up to ten.

Another worrisome signs is discoloring. Sometimes you’ll see an LED figure that turns noticeably green. Excessively dim LEDs that barely produce any light are another sign of failure, and so is the flicker factor. One a case-by-case basis, this may just be a bad fixture. But when these issues apply to your lighting as a whole, you’re very likely dealing with a quality issue. It’s a frustrating spot. When you invest in LEDs on your property, you don’t want to see these kinds of issues. You invested in energy efficiency, which doesn’t mean “off,” it means lower wattage that produces the same amount or more lighting than what you had previously.

Defaulting to High Quality

You’re far more likely to avoid these issues when you opt for a good quality product. And it’s important to understand that some of the best products on the market may not necessarily have the highest price. There are some really good products that are really pricey, with a ten-year warranty and a lot of research and development behind them. There are also mid-level products with a lot of research and development without the same high price. There are even inexpensive products that offer decent quality, but when you’re looking at the really cheap products, you tend to get what you pay for — they aren’t the best product or the best quality, but they’re definitely the best price.

Price isn’t necessarily the best indicator of quality. Pay attention to lumens. If you’re replacing a product, anything less than 100 or 120 lumens per watt is likely not the highest quality product.

The warranty is another important consideration. How long has the company been in business, and are they an actual manufacturer or just a reseller? If it’s a reseller, that’s not necessarily a problem, but you’ll need to be sure that the company behind the manufacturer’s warranty. Here at Have Lights Will Travel, we take it a step further by backing the warranty for the life of the product whether the manufacturer is in business or not. We don’t necessarily deal with manufacturers that do go out of business, but if it did, we would stand behind it.

The Takeaway

Never install a product that in the long run won’t be the best benefit. Retrofitting is expensive enough, don’t do it again two years down the road. My recommendation is to find good quality products, but don’t always rely on the best price as an indicator. We’re here to help in Nevada and California, and we strive to offer extensive education on the products we’re providing. Plus, we work with contractors around the country, and we’re happy to make recommendations. Contact us today for a free estimate.