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Opinion


Buyer Beware


If we buy a product and it fails to deliver, it tends to colour our view of the company that supplied it. In the lighting sector, one area that is of particular concern is the information that is supplied on packaging. With new technologies coming to the market, the information supplied is becoming increasingly important in terms of understanding performance. This trend began when compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were first launched and manufacturers needed to explain that, say, an 11W CFL would provide the same light output as a 40W tungsten GLS bulb. The same principle is currently being applied to LED light sources. This information isn’t just for show, it’s


really important – and inaccurate information can only lead to disappointment. From the lighting specifier’s perspective, it may also lead to complaints and a loss of confidence by the end customer.


Nick Smith, Marketing Manager with Crompton Lamps, explains why lighting specifiers and installers need to pay close attention to the information on lamp packaging.


It’s worth noting that the information


provided by leading brands is generally very accurate. However, our concern over this matter has arisen following testing of products from lesser-known brands, often targeting the budget end of the market. The results of those tests serve to illustrate just how misleading packaging can be. One such example is a 25W halogen capsule lamp, labelled as ‘energy saving’ and claiming to provide the same lumen output as a standard 40W incandescent lamp. However, our tests showed that the lumen output was only slightly higher than a standard 25W incandescent lamp, so there are no meaningful energy savings to be had.


The label ‘energy saving’ seems to always be questionable, especially when technologies are first introduced. Early CFLs certainly failed to deliver the expected results, and we’ve seen a similar phenomenon with LEDs, where the early generations did not live up to expectations, but the latest generation offers exceptional performance. This makes the information provided with these lamps even more important. Each negative experience not only impacts a customer’s perception of the supplier, it can also put them off using that particular lighting technology. One bad experience with LED light sources, for example, could discourage a person from using them again.


Given the importance of LED light


sources for reducing energy consumption, this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. In demanding accurate information from their suppliers, everyone involved in lighting specification has a key role to play in ensuring that lamps ‘do what they say on the box’.


Contact


Crompton Lamps Limited T: +44 (0) 845 612 8151 www.cromptonlamps.com


82 www.a1lightingmagazine.com


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