LED: Paying More for the Cheaper Light

This is a common message we try and teach our customers when they call us. For example, it is not uncommon for us to get a call to quote a price on a Retrofit Unit. When we dig in a bit deeper, we find that we are competing against a 'cheaper' version of a Retrofit Product. To be fair, cheaper is not meant to be derogatory to the competitors product. The price is cheap because it represents 5 year old technology. Digging in a bit deeper, we find the Retrofit is producing 110 lumens/watt, for a total of 13,200 lumens.

So comparing that to our 120W Conversion Retrofit is not comparing apples to apples. Our 120W Retrofit produces 18,600 lumens at 155 lumens/watt. So watts is a bad indicator of matching lumen output.

Our Retrofit Solution that closely matches the competitors 13,200 lumens is our 75W Retrofit, producing 12,375 at 165 lumens per watt. And that saves you money, because now you are only paying for a 75 watt unit. And remember, our kits come with a 10 year warranty (compared to their 5 year warranty) and ours is DLC Premium Qualified while theirs is DLC Standard Qualified (meaning your rebate at time of purchase will be larger)

So if you left it at that, and made your decision based on just those numbers, you would be paying more for the cheaper light. What you have left out 2 important factors in your calculation that will cost you over the life of the product.

1. Rebates for DLC Premium versus DLC Standard

Utility companies are in charge of rebates, so this may or may not be different or even available. But the rule of thumb is, because DLC Premium uses superior efficient LED chips, you will produce more lumens with less watts, and therefore the rebate you get with DLC Premium is more than you would get for the DLC Standard product. In fact, the amount of rebate with DLC Premium may even offset the extra cost of the price over the other product

2. Cost of Operation over 10 years

This is the one that will point out the cost discrepancy between the two units. If you look at the savings over 10 years, lets use the following data:

  • hours of use: 12 hours a days
  • # days used a year: 365
Cost per kw Savings over 1 year
per light
Savings over 10 years
per light
.08 $15.77 $157.70
.10 $19.71 $197.10
.12 $23.65 $236.50
.20 $39.42 $394.20

This table clearly shows how much you will overpay for each light that uses 120 watts versus the 75 watts of the DLC Premium Qualified Retrofit.

3. Buy Cheap - Buy Twice

Let's make one point clear, we are very competitive with our pricing. But we get a lot of customers calling us to fix their cheap LED purchase problems. Those problems consist of lights that have broken or aren't what they thought they were buying. So we understand, everyone wants a bargain. But be careful at the low priced product - its cheap for a reason.

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