Buyer Beware: Not All LEDs are Created Equal

Buying LEDs

In today’s global market, the internet makes it easy to source and order almost anything without even leaving your chair. However, there are many times when price and ease of ordering should not be the only factors when making a purchase of LED exhibit lighting products. There are many companies all over the globe selling low quality, gray market LED lighting products that actually cause more pain than cure.

When researching LED lighting solutions, a buyer should have an understanding of LED lighting hardware factors such as quality, durability and longevity, to ensure it maximizes return on investment. An LED is a light-emitting diode and several key features need to be considered when comparing LEDs – such as light output (Lumens),  life span, color temperature consistency, current control and CRI (color rendering index). It’s also important to consider what the cost to repair or replace low grade LED products are, especially for projects done outside of your office.

Another key factor to consider when shopping for LED Lighting is certifications. Look for LED lights with UL, CL Tuv, CSA, and ESA certifications. For example, permanently installed lights in Canada are now required to be CSA certified. This translates into partnering with a company that specializes in high quality LED products that stands behind its products at all times. The internet is a double-edge sword as it offers tremendous ability to search for LED lighting products and compare prices instantly, but at the same time, quality cannot be guaranteed until it is in the hands of the exhibit builder. And it’s equally important to work with an LED lighting specialist that stands behinds its products with a full warranty policy paired with sales support before and after the purchase.

Look for suppliers that have lighting experience in the industry, LED lighting knowledge and the ability to work directly with the display builder. The ideal lighting supplier should be considered an LED Lighting support center for the display builder, working with sales staff, designers, engineers, project managers and fabricators to assist with every project involving lighting requirements from start to finish. Plug and play solutions will help lower your installation and dismantle dollar and when issues arise or a light needs replacing, plug and play makes it simple and simple saves money.

Not all LEDs are created equal. Be sure to do adequate research, try to avoid purchasing the first product you find without comparing it to other similar performers and above all, learn about the supplier. Due diligence will pay itself back in dividends and / or Lumens.