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Such a crap shoot

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Prolightscaper, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Prolightscaper

    Prolightscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    There is something else that bothers me with this LED deal in regards to business.

    A week doesn't pass that I don't get an e-mail straight from China offering LED retrofits at very very low prices with low qty purchases. A fraction of what they are being sold for here in the states.

    They all look the same as there are about 5 or so different MR-16 styles no brand names on these things.

    Most claim American made Cree chips. How can this be verified.

    Of course they all have their spec sheets. No way to validate these claims.

    Warranty claims-most 3 yrs from date of purchase

    My point is that this whole LED retofit game is such a shot in the dark.

    Other than CREE , which seems to be the biggest name in chips there isn't any brand name that stands out to assure you that this product is coming from a reputable source. What about the driver, other components?

    Who knows if they will even be in business in a yr.

    Who knows what you are buying as the prices run the gamut , no brand names from the manufacturer . There are probably several private labels for the same exact product under different reseller names. That's what appears to be the case.

    On warranty claims how do resellers know what has been sold more than three yrs ago (unless they keep changing their designs so frequently) if there have been multiple purchases in between which is common for contractors. There are no serial #'s recorded and who wants to deal with a warranty claim on such a small margin item anyway unless there are multiple failures.

    Is the contractor to eat it?

    Contractors already have a difficult time with justifying the cost of a quality MR-16 replacement lamp during service when the customer thinks they can get the same at a fraction of the cost at the big box. You and I know that the quality is not the same, they do not.

    Now take a much higher priced LED retofit. How can a contractor make a margin on this when the customer can again go into a big box and buy for cheaper than what a contractor can buy from a supplier for.

    At this point I have no idea if what they get at the big box or on the internet is inferior to what I can supply from trade sources. Who knows if its even the same thing from the same factory under a different resellers name.

    Some of these Asian websites with all the crazy colors look like product that is sold in flea markets. That doesn't create much confidence.
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    the best way to inform yourself and be fair is to test multiple LED's from many sources. I continue to put an LED in the field here and there and then check up on it every few months. promising results- nearly all ( but not all ) LED's I have put out there in the past 24 months are still working great. bad news: nearly all LED's I have tried from 24 months and older are dead. all LED's older than 3 years are dead.

    still kinda hard to put your faith in something that has such a poor track record. but you gotta keep testing and looking at everyone's LED's. the best ones can be made in china and Japan, and the worst ones can be made in China and japan.
  3. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284


    Did you keep any notes of whose LED product you installed and how long it lasted. This is specific information that would be very useful to everybody posting here.

    Have you checked out the DOE's Caliper Program? <http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/caliper.html>
  4. nikster78

    nikster78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I remember seeing a thread with pics and info on a test david was doing in his shop. Not sure the title and the last update.

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