Singapore 28th June 2013
As I flew back to Singapore late last night I watched a frightening documentary about the state of fake and counterfeit goods. The conclusion basically was: You make it; we fake it! In other words for any product in the world there is somewhere a counterfeited product available. The scary thing is that it applies to products and components you even did not realise they could be counterfeited, like car brakes for instance…really! Yes they do. But by far the biggest counterfeit industry seems to be medicines with even hospitals and doctors falling prey to counterfeiters, specifically if you buy over the internet! Can you believe there are people in this world that counterfeit renowned anti-cancer drugs! How sick is that…there are documented cases where people have died from taking fake medicines!
So what is the situation with lighting you may ask…well one and the same! You can get the real thing or you can get look alikes. We as professional designers of course know the difference and we specify our products right from original equipment makers and when we go for tender we invite only reputable suppliers or contractors we know will not try and dupe us into a fake. One supplier many years ago ever tried, by showing the original sample for inspection and then subsequently supplying copies for installation, but he was found out and forced to replace all for the original fitting (as the client had paid for!), Not surprisingly he ended up on the black list of the lighting consultants and found it hard to recover his credibility. As we all know it takes years to build up trust but only minutes to destroy it!
In our lighting industry it is more the inexperienced buyers (the non-suspecting public) that would fall into that trap and believe me even in lighting it is a big industry. You just need to go to southern China near Guangzhou where the heart of the lighting manufacturing industry is to see lighting resellers with branded counterfeited lighting products…The documentary ended by saying how hard it would be to erase these counterfeiting manufacturers as in some cases these factories provide a lively hood for the whole city! But are we not ourselves also guilty in sustaining this industry?
Light Watch 4-116: Unfortunately I don’t have any real-fake lighting product comparison pictures…maybe some of you have? Please share with me! Here are some from other products…