LED lighting once amounted to a costly gamble on a promising but untested next-generation lighting option. But steady advances in solid-state lighting technology have made LEDs better and more accessible than ever. Now, of course, it’s a viable and even routine option for new lighting installs or upgrades.
The mix of LED qualities and the variables to consider is extensive: light quality (brightness, color temperature and rendering); controllability; compatibility; rated life; lumens per watt efficacy; installability; availability; warranty; price. All of these functions must ultimately be considered and prioritized in order to find the right product for each unique application.
Contractors tasked with shepherding the decision-making on an LED project must bring the scales to this important task. Whether involved in a new installation, upgrade or retrofit project, that provider will be advising on an important investment and long-term commitment. Contractors committed to getting that right by accurately assessing needs, accounting for budgets and wisely selecting from an array of alternatives will help their customers and themselves. Doing that upfront work well means greater assurance of doing jobs correctly, efficiently and profitably, and building their own resumes as LED experts in the process.
To properly lay the foundation for a successful LED job, contractors should consider focusing on a few key touchstones:
- Identify the core need. Distill the client’s need down to its essence. It could be energy savings, higher quality light, controllability, reduced maintenance or something else. Most projects reflect multiple priorities, but many are activated for a primary reason. Discovering that can help ensure a satisfied customer.
- Find the easiest route. LED projects can be time-consuming and complex, more so if products can’t be readily integrated. By identifying products that are installer-friendly and align with the existing infrastructure, contractors can save on labor, minimize site disruption, reduce errors, streamline installation and eliminate corrective work.
- Consider compatibility. In lighting retrofits, new lighting must work well with existing ballasts, dimmers, switches, fixtures and wiring. For projects to go smoothly and deliver expected results, selected products can’t be shoehorned in; they must conform as best as possible to what’s in place.
- Assess overall value. Selecting the right LED solution requires an ability to weigh options against client needs, wishes and resources. But LED products are all over the map today in terms of the value proposition they offer. Contractors must guide their clients through that maze by keeping the focus on finding the solutions with the best mix of quality, reliability, performance, price and support.
- Examine the supply chain. Many big LED projects are organized on tight time schedules geared to minimizing client disruption. Product must be available in the volumes needed and deliverable to the site exactly when needed. It’s critical that contractors steer clients to solutions that carry assurances that the supply pipeline will deliver the product, exactly as specified, on time.
Considering all these factors is labor-intensive. But for contractors looking to do right by their clients and their own businesses, it’s time well invested. The last thing either one needs is a solution that comes up short on performance, but long on invested capital. The hunt for the right LED solution doesn’t have to be all-consuming In fact, the task can be simplified by making one right decision early on: selecting the most capable product supplier.
LED supplier options have exploded in recent years, and that’s helped improve the affordability of products. But it’s also introduced more variability into the marketplace, complicating the process of finding the truly best option. Today, the wise approach is to partner with a proven supplier, one with the selection, support and know-how to help streamline the process of moving through the checklist needed to launch projects.
One that meets that definition is Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), provider of Philips-branded lighting products. Attuned to the challenges and opportunities of each LED project, Signify has led the lighting industry with innovations that serve professional and consumer markets for more than 125 years. The ever-expanding product portfolio is designed to meet any technical need, project type, infrastructure configuration, and budget.
Signify has the breadth of tiered LED lamp offerings that allow contractors to meet the rigorous needs of LED project customers, make the selection process easier and maintain the highest bars of quality and dependability. Equally important, Signify brings a complementary mix of technical resources and support and an extensive distributor network critical to the decision journey and project success.
In the competitive LED lighting project world, success still begins and ends with knowledgeable and capable lighting designers and installers. But there’s more than ever to know now about LED lighting, and contractors on the front lines can feel that pressure. Product suppliers can supply the relief valve, but not all are created equal. The safe bet today, in a market where choices and options are exploding, is a supplier that offers precisely that, all under one roof.
Click here to learn more about Signify’s portfolio for contractors.