If you’ve been tempted to buy cheaper LED bulbs or LED floodlights, you’re not alone. Cheap LEDs, often imported from China, are widely available and, as we have reported before, they are often of very poor quality and, in some cases, dangerous.
Cheap LEDs often fail quickly, meaning you end up replacing them much sooner than you might have anticipated. Not only can this result in you having to pay for replacement lighting, but you also have to stump up for the repair and maintenance costs associated with their fitting.
Our guide looks at the problems with cheap LEDs, and why paying a little more for good quality illumination can end up saving you a fortune in the long run.
1. Cheap LEDs get hot, significantly reducing their lifespan
FACT: LEDs hate heat
The longer that LEDs are switched on, the warmer they become. The problem with this is that LEDs hate heat. The hotter they become, the less effective they are and the more likely they are to fail.
There are ways to reduce the heat of LED lights in order to give them a very long life. The most effective way is to use a pure aluminium heatsink, which dissipates the heat much more quickly. These heatsinks are more effective at reducing the heat of LEDs than other types of heatsink.
Even if you use the best LED chips on the market, if they are installed inside a lamp or light with poor heat dissipation, it will dim or fail far faster.
Brightman LEDs are carefully designed to incorporate an aluminium heatsink. This ensures superb heat dissipation, meaning your LEDs will last longer.
2. Dim lights aren’t broken, so your guarantee can be worthlessFACT: A poor quality LED can lose up to 50% of its brightness within six months
If you buy a poor quality LED floodlight, LED panel or LED bulb, the chances are that it will lose up to half of its brightness (lumens) within the first six months.
This can give you a huge problem with your guarantee. Even if your product comes with a guarantee, the supplier can point to the fact that the lights are still working, even if the brightness is significantly reduced. What use is your guarantee in this situation?
3. Cheap parts means poor quality LED lightsFACT: More LED lights stop working because of driver failure than any other reason
LED lights don’t just hate heat. They also hate fluctuating current as much as they hate getting warm. In order for them to function effectively, they require smooth and uninterrupted power with no spikes – and this means a high quality driver.
More LEDs stop working because of driver failure than any other reason. Poor quality LED lights have a low quality driver, meaning you could end up having to replace your lights sooner.
All Brightman products you buy will only contain the very latest components from recognised industry leaders such as Cree, Osram, Epistar, Philips, Meanwell and Samsung. We spent six years sourcing the very best components in order to provide you with lights you can rely on.
4. LED lights aren’t always the right solutionFACT: High-end LEDs are not necessary for all uses
Do you need to buy a high end LED lamp to install in a bathroom where it will probably be used for a couple of hours a day? The answer is ‘no’. A decent quality domestic LED will give you years of service if only used for short periods.
However, if you need to light an area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, then a high quality LED is much more suitable. Do you need to buy a high end LED for use in a hotel corridor that is permanently lit for 24 hours a day? The answer is ‘yes’.
We’ll give you advice on the right product for your needs – and we’ll make sure you don’t pay more than you need to.
5. Cheap LEDs can lead to huge maintenance costsFACT: Replacing poor quality LEDs can result in significant maintenance costs
With today’s Health and Safety regulations, it is necessary to use a qualified electrician (or at the least a trained operative) to install even a simple light bulb. Consider also that, by their nature, LED flood lights and LED high bays are generally installed at heights up to 20 metres, meaning you need a specialist fitter.
If you have to regularly replace poor quality or failing LEDs, the maintenance costs can stack up very quickly. Consider the additional cost of:
Two people – one to stand on the ground to protect your staff/the public and one to repair or replace the light
A cherry picker to reach the light(s) that have to be replaced
The cost of replacement lights themselves
Replacing a cheaper alternative – a metal halide or halogen lamp, or a poor quality LED – can far outweigh the cost of good quality LED floodlights, LED high bays or LED panels.