LED Cowboys

Singapore, 7th May 2012

It was a quiet Monday as many companies have taken the day of for Vesak Day, a Hindi public holiday that was celebrated last Saturday officially. A good time to run a rant on the LED cowboys…

I am pretty sure I am not alone in my frustration towards scrupulous suppliers who do the rounds seeing unsuspecting company and hotel engineers selling their latest LED products. Truth must be told, it has become a cut throat market out there with so many LED manufacturers around (as mentioned before in the Guangzhou/ Shenzhen area alone there are more then 5000 LED manufacturers!) and as a result it has very much become a price “fight”. The sad thing however is that in the process we end up with all these disappointing LED installations which absolutely do not live up to the expectations. Quality is taking a back seat and it is therefore not surprising that without much exception all major key players in Frankfurt went out of their way to explain the benefits of good quality LED’s.

As you can get the same LED product but with a much lower McAdams ellipse binning tolerance for its core chip for nearly half the price for instance, it is no wonder that some “desperado’s” take this shortcut to get the sale. While in principle I have no objection against offering a lower tolerance binning, it needs to be made clear to the client/end user. But unfortunately it is being sold under the pretext of being the same, tricking the client in thinking that he is getting a good deal! There are many quality criteria more as I described in my second L+B review last week, which require expert knowledge to understand and make aware to the clients.

On top of that there are still heaps of suppliers that sell their LED’s with less than 2 years warranty…if that is not a sign of a low belief in the product, I don’t know. Our LED specifications require a minimum 5 year warranty, subject to conditions between client and manufacturer. The term LED cowboys is therefore very apt as they gallop along “shooting” their LED’s to the eager clients who are all under pressure to show being sustainable and socially/ environmentally friendly.

Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness in regards to the quality criteria in LED technology they find themselves with inadequate budgets and happily fall in the trap of cheap LED’s. As lighting designers we somehow need to step up this awareness fast and furiously.

Light Watch 3-61: Last weekend was Super Full Moon weekend, with the full moon roughly 14% bigger as it finds itself on its closest distance to the earth. Below some pictures as could be seen around the world, some using the moon as a spectacular backlighting.

07. May 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: going green, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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