Lux launches campaign for fairer warranties

LED manufacturers sometimes make bold lifespan claims about their products and the reliability of these claims often rests on the quality of the luminaire. Warranties should protect consumers from poor product performance, but in the lighting industry warranties are not always fair and can be misleading.

In some cases warranties dramatically overstate the likely lifespan of their products. A ten-year warranty, for example, does not take into account the complications of long-term LED operation and wouldn’t be offered by a reliable company.

Sometimes warranties do not match the performance claims found in the product’s data sheet and fail to address key concerns such as colour shift and lumen depreciation. The LED’s driver, which is often the cause of a failed product, can also be left out of a warranty. 

Today Lux is launching a campaign for fairer warranties to ensure that customers are not let down when attempting to future proof a lighting project.

We believe that:

  • The rights of a warranty should extend automatically to the end user
  • Warranties should match the performance claims of the data sheet, not undermine them
  • There should be no requirement to register with the manufacturer
  • There should be no annual restriction on burn hours
  • Warranty and traceability information be placed on the product

Have you been left badly let down by a warranty that over-promised? What more can be done to make warranties more reliable? You can get involved with the campaign by commenting below. 

Comments 4

I support the Lux campaign for fairer warranties, but it can only be one part of a better way of describing and delivering lighting quality. The gradual demise of conventional light sources and the rise of LEDs there has been an explosion in the number of companies selling light. Not luminaires,products that actually produce light or control the production of light i.e. LEDs and Drivers. These solid state Lighting products are not like lamps in that they tend to be virtually unique to each company and are not interchangeable. The quality of these SSL products vary enormously. we need to provide a framework that allows SSL products to be compared properly in terms of efficacy, longevity, and reliability. this framework needs to be delivered on an across industry basis including manufacturers, specifiers and end users. with the warranty there also needs to be an agreed common terminology for describing performance, a clear standardise datasheet for both luminaires and drivers and better education of the lighting community as to what quality actually looks like in this new world. finally I would also say that if this campaign is successful the bar must be set at a good quality level that excludes the bad and benefits the good products and is fair to all parties. I put the ball squarely back in the lighting industries professional bodies court to address this problem on a holistic level. the lighting industry as a whole will benefit.

Let me give my opinion point by point: 1) The rights of a warranty should extend automatically to the end user >> This may be against european law because the manufacturer gives the warranty only to his client. The client himself can also amalgamate this with his own warranty and so on..., so up to the end-client the warranty may be heavily reduced due to the influences in between. 2) Warranties should match the performance claims of the data sheet, not undermine them >> fully agree but most data sheets have not too much details, end-client or others may not be able to evaluate due to lack of knowledge. It may be better this is demanded in the tender sheet in details. 3) There should be no requirement to register with the manufacturer >> fully agree. 4) There should be no annual restriction on burn hours >> this is the knot-point! You must calculate your warranty risk on base of estimated burning hours, more burning hours per year means less years of performance! Of course should a LED Luminaire have no problems to survive 5 years, so L70 B50 at 30.000h should be no more offered for office lighting with 4500h per year. 5) Warranty and traceability information be placed on the product >> very difficult if it is trade ware. Product is in stock and will be sold after a longer time, so the warranty may end earlier for the end client due to longer stocking time in between. All manufacturer give a warranty starting from the moment, when the product is leaving his sphere of influence. This is in trade law the moment of risk - transfer. Any change here would cause a big debate to any trade laws. In my opimion impossible to handle.

My first preference is to always seek Certification to available and relevant Standards ,either by self certification ( where justified) or from NVLAP accredited laboratory . Certification to : IEC 62717 :2014 for LED Modules , IEC 62722-2-1 , EN 60598-1 :2015 ,& BS EN 60598-2-3 for Luminaires. Warranties are usually offered to divert attention from lack of compliance with Standards .Notoriously difficult to get satisfaction in legal cases involving warranties .

It seems to be fair, indeed. Just hope that there is no reaction to this article only because all lighting manufacturers are busy, updating their technical datasheets... I welcome this campaign which could help to increase the reliability index of the customers/wholesalers/architects into that technology. The building renovation rate is not high in Europe, and the lighting installations are old : this campaign could help to increase this rate too...

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