Bad Lamps: how to avoid a dangerous bargain
Recently, a Lux Review article caught our eye.
“EVER received an email offering unbelievable deals on high-performing lighting? We have. And with international safety certifications, long warranties and a stupidly-low price, who could resist a bargain?”
We’d guess every contractor has done it at some point or another: been tempted to take a punt on a too-good-to-be-true product offer to stretch a project’s budget that bit further. What harm could it do?
Well, as Lux Review discovered, a fair bit. The product – a 100LM/W high bay – was just $15.80 (about £12) and listed all of the usual legal requirements: CE marking, UL certification and a reasonable 3 year warranty.
When it was delivered (a substantial 4 weeks later – enough time to install dozens if not scores of high-bays) it became clear that all was not as it seemed. While you might expect an online bargain to be a little underwhelming – poor paint job perhaps, or a cheap finish – the product they received was downright dangerous.
For the full review of this high bay/death trap, head over to Lux Review. It’s quite the horror story. To summarise, we’ll just say that the problems ranged from flicker and excess heat, to a lack of earth wire and live casing.
We caught up with our Purchasing Director, Dominic Groves, to find out how BEW can help customers to avoid poor quality products while still pricing their projects competitively.
What’s in a name?
When it comes to purchasing high quality lamps, quite a lot. There’s a reason that some lighting manufacturers stay so popular and that’s often because they’ve invested time and money into product development, testing and safety. At BEW we trust existing brands to supply good quality lamps, and avoid cheap imports from unknown suppliers. We also maintain relationships with our suppliers to gain an insight into their own quality processes.
The cheapest way to buy is always in bulk, but for a single contractor, that can mean keeping a lot of stock stashed away for future jobs. That’s one reason why shopping at your local wholesaler can mean you get a better deal on quality equipment. We can also get the goods you need straight to site, whenever you need them (so no more wasted time waiting for an online delivery driver, when you could be on site getting the job done).
Occasionally, a product doesn’t do the job as well as it should. Perhaps it’s an LED that flickers, or a programming problem on an IoT gadget. We work closely with all of our suppliers to make sure that problems with products are fed back from our trade counter straight to the manufacturer, and work to ensure that our customers get the right products, and technical support, they need to finish the job.
For an alternative to cheap imports, and for advice on every project, head into a BEW branch near you and speak to your local trade counter team.