guaranty and warranty in lighting

Singapore 19th September 2011

Does any one know the real difference between guaranty and warranty? In my early days it was always guaranty, then someone started the concept of warranty and now I hear both floating around when it comes to commitments from the manufacturer towards life expactancy of products. Even checking online dictionaries is not really helpful. The subject is triggered by discussions we had today and last week with visiting suppliers in regards to the warranty/guaranty they provide specifically for LED products.

With the main sales credo being energy saving and long life, clients obviously want this to be translated in something more tangible. If a one or two years’ warranty was the norm for conventional lighting systems, with manufacturers claiming 50,000 or more hours for their LED product, a longer guaranty/ warranty is expected. We have (LED) suppliers offering 5 years as a standard norm now, but there are several who up the ante to 7 and even 10 years! While this is obviously an attractive proposition to a client, it should be clear what exactly this guaranty or warranty means.

Todays supplier clarified that to him guaranty was a complete replacement including labour costs of un-installing, replacing the failing product (with new) and re-installing the lighting system. The warranty was only replacing the failing product without the labour cost. He was offering 3 years guaranty and up to 5 years warranty. I did not ask but surely as with all “insurances” it comes with the smal little letters, called terms and conditions.

But one of the interesting questions is of a totally different nature. Considering the speed of progress in LED technology, will they still have the parts and components 5 years down the road? As I see that many of the leading LED manufacturers are already phasing out older LED technology it is unlikely that they will retain the current ones for 5 years, let alone 10 years! In other words should a claim have to be honoured in 5 years time we may end up version 5.2, which has improved so much compared with version 1.0 that it will be an obvious visible change affecting the overall lighting effects. Having to change one may mean having to change all to maintain the integrity of the original design! I am not sure if the guaranty-warranty issuers have thought that far ahead!

In Light Watch today some more futuristic thoughts about solar power in our urban life and lighting….

Light Watch 165: Some more trends from the trendhunter.com website

19. September 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, going green, light watch, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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