Somewhere between being the purchaser of both products and the reseller to the end user, is simple reality. I know it's probably frustrating to a lot of manus to hear this, but most of us in the contracting world are dealing with heavy competition. In this competition, comes a very fine line of three very important aspects. Price point, Quality and Warranty. Integrated fixtures can really be there own worst enemy at times.
Bare Bones fixture without any lamping: $62.00
Same Fixture with High quality LED Drop in that has 5 year Warranty: $92.00
Same Fixture with Integrated, Encapsulated LED & 10 Year Warranty: $183.00
We can bicker all day about "don't ever sell a system by the fixture", but at the end of the day if you sell a 10 light LED job with transformer @ $2700.00, the customer is going to be able to basically use deductive reasoning to see about how much it is costing them per fixture. If I install the same cookie cutter 10 light LED job with the integrated LED in the example above I literally need to be at about $4500-$5000 to turn the same percentage of profit. In today's atmosphere, all contractors are trying to find reliability with an extremely competitive price point. While that Integrated fixture may in fact be a more realistic rendition of a long term LED solution, it's a very hard sell in many cases.
The trend im seeing is contractors and lighting specialists are looking at MANUS base fixture, then comparing that price point to the manus same fixture with integrated LED. IN many cases that number is 2.5-3X greater for integration.. Logic hits you in the face and says "I can pay an extra $125.00 for integration or pay $25.00-$30.00 for a stand alone lamp and just upgrade the base fixture". While I know this maybe frowned upon as "well there is no field testing for that lamp with that fixture", etc.. But as long as I have demo'd the lamp to my satisfaction and have a warranty in hand, I have to compete with my market. I know it's not necessarily fair or comparing apples to apples, but so far most of the big LED Lamp names have helped themselves tremendously with low failure rates in my experience. I can count on two fingers how many failures I have had in 2.5 years.