Warranties are almost always an important consideration in the buying process. Whether you're buying a new car, new tires, or a new stereo, smart buying is knowing what kind of protection you have on your purchase should the product prematurely malfunction.
Buying lighting is no different, especially these days when more and more buildings are switching to long-life lighting. When you make that purchase, you want to know for sure that your lighting will last as long as the manufacturer says it will.
But malfunctions happen from time to time. So how can you find that security?
LED manufacturers commonly offer three-to-five year warranties on their products. But we like to point out that it's important to pay close attention to the very manufacturer offering that warranty. How long have they been in business? How reputable is their brand? You want to make sure the warranty they're offering is worth the paper it’s written on.
In listening to our clients’ expectations and concerns over LED warranties, the message is clear: they want an easy process, a single point of contact, clear expectations, and a manufacturer that backs their claims.
But with lighting warranties – like any other warranty – the details are critical. It is absolutely critical to outline your expectations from the beginning so you don’t end up with failed products and no support a year after a major lighting project.
What do you do if the warranty isn’t long enough for your situation? What do you do if the warranty is prorated and you expect full replacement? What do you do if the warranty doesn’t cover labor to replace failed products?
There is now a market for extended LED warranties. Just like you can purchase an extended warranty on a computer or an automobile or a TV, you can now buy one for your lighting.
So, what are your lighting warranty options?
We’ve pulled together the main three solutions that we recommend for our customers:
1. Stick with the manufacturer’s LED warranty
Today, standard LED warranties range from three to five years. If you’ve selected a well-known manufacturer, you may find that their warranty terms meet your needs and time frame.
2. Extend your LED warranty beyond the manufacturer’s offering
You may find yourself in a situation where the standard warranty lasts five years, but based on your lighting burn time and life ratings, you’d like to ensure that you’re covered for a full 10 years. If you’re looking for coverage beyond the standard manufacturer warranty, you can actually purchase the equivalent of an “extended warranty” for LED lighting projects.
3. Add labor coverage to your LED warranty
Most manufacturer warranties cover defective parts but not the labor to replace the failed products. If you’re in a situation where you pay for commercial lighting maintenance or you want reimbursement for your staff’s time if they have to replace prematurely burned-out products, you may want to consider adding a third party labor warranty to your project.
How do extended LED lighting warranties work, exactly?
It's probably helpful to offer a practical example of how a third party extended LED lighting warranty would work. But before we do, know that this example is simply one representation of what such a warranty could entail. There is a myriad of ways to customize third party warranties, including covering lamps that see lumen depreciation or color shifting.
Say you're purchasing 5,000 14W LED PAR38 lamps for $25 each. You're comfortable with the manufacturer’s five-year warranty, but want to extend it to 10 years and add labor reimbursement.
Here's how that might shake out:
|Material cost: $25/ lamp x 5,000 lamps =||$125,000|
|Labor cost: $5/ lamp x 5,000 lamps =||+ $25,000|
|Project cost subtotal:||$150,000|
Obviously, the cost per lamp for materials and labor can vary significantly based on the type of product, number of sockets, and the installation conditions.
6-to-10-year material warranty extension: $2.95/ lamp
31 day-to-10-year labor warranty adder: $4.55/ lamp
|Project cost subtotal: $30/ lamp x 5,000 lamps =||$150,000|
|Warranty extensions: $7.50/ lamp x 5,000 lamps =||+ $37,500|
|Total project cost:||$187,500|
Making sure you have a warranty that will cover you in the event that you need it is just another example of how we’re looking to make lighting easier for our customers. If you’re curious about how third-party warranties work and you’re considering a retrofit project, don’t hesitate to contact us.