LED lighting is supposed to last forever. So you might expect the warranties on LED products to be quite generous. But if you check your warranty to see if it covers the cost of labour as well as materials, the answer is probably no.
Those warranties that do cover labour costs usually only do so for part of the warranty period. Dexeco’s five-year warranty, for instance, covers labour for the first three years, while Hermin LED’s warranty covers labour for one year.
On our Lighting Talk group on LinkedIn, Asher Christophers of Australia’s Austep Lighting asks why this is.
The most obvious reason is cost: it’s simply not economical in most cases for manufacturers to commit to returning to sites to fix faults. Another is expertise: suppliers may not have appropriately trained people available to resolve issues on site.
Then there’s the issue of installation. Many problems with LED lighting arise because products have been incorrectly installed. But this won’t be apparent until someone has gone up a ladder or cherry picker to take a look. If the product isn’t at fault, or if there’s any doubt over who’s responsible, then who picks up the bill?
One of the few companies that does offer a labour warranty is Australia’s Digilin. Managing director Tremaine Wrigley says Digilin has always been willing to rectify issues on site, and has now formalised that commitment.
“We believe in our products and we believe that operating with integrity is the key to maintaining long-term business relationships,” Wrigley told Lux, adding that Digilin designs and builds all its own products in Australia, and has an “incredibly small failure rate”.
The terms of Digilin’s warranty allow it to charge for a call out if the issue turns out not to be due to its products. This, says Wrigley, “inspires installers to try a little harder”. Many failures can be resolved over the phone, he says, “once the installer has retrieved the product manuals and system schematics from the bin”.
The UK’s Shoplight also offers a five-year labour warranty. Managing director Mark Shortland believes some manufacturers could do more to help installers, for example by prewiring products. Shortland says: “I don’t suppose car manufacturers would provide a labour warranty if they sold their customers the engine and the body separately and told them to put the two together.”
- Companies including Saturn LED, Greenlite and Pulsar have signed up for Lux’s fairer warranties campaign, which calls on lighting suppliers to offer warranties that offer buyers real protection
- Warranties in the lghting indusry will be one of the subjects of a panel discussion at the LuxLive 2017 exhibition and conference on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017. Entry is free – pre-register to stay in the loop HERE.
Picture copyright Alamy 2017. All rights reserved.