How to avoid getting ripped off with LED lighting upgrades

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We’ve written about the Energy Savings Certificate Scheme (ESC) recently, but have come across a situation that we felt important to warn people about.

See, a lot of businesses get approached to upgrade their LED lighting – often with some really amazing sounding deals.

These companies can come in and upgrade you to LED lighting, put in all you paperwork with the government, and yes – they get you money back (sometimes it’s a lot of money too).

It sounds almost too good to be true, but like many things that sound too good to be true, it has a lot of places where things can go wrong.

After having dealt with the aftermath of these “amazing” deals a few times now, we really wanted to write this post to warn and educate business owners so they don’t get ripped off.

Outside of all the options with brands, the installation process itself, and the service being provided by the company, there are two main areas in which LED lighting upgrades can cause problems.

Here’s what you need to be certain of:

1. Will you get enough light?

See, the way the ESC Scheme works is the bigger your energy reduction is, the bigger the rebate you get back.

So if you were to go from a 400w M/H hi-bay light to say, a 90 watt LED, the energy saving would be huge. The government would look at you like you’re saving the planet and they’d reward you for being the eco-warrior that they think you are.

But here’s the thing, that 400w light is the equivalent of between 180w – 230w in LED. If they put you on a 90w light, you won’t be able to see properly!!

The ESC scheme only pays you once, so if you need to change those lights later you’ll be out of pocket with no rebate whatsoever.

Making sure you’ve got a reputable company to ensure you’ll be getting enough light output will save you a bundle.

2. Will you have a decent warranty period?

To keep the cost of the upgrade down, you can find cheaper lights to install.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

Yes definitely great to get them cheaper, but only as long as they are still great quality.

LED lights are meant to be low maintenance and last for years without needing any fiddling. A lot of the cheaper lights are not very good quality, which means the likelihood of them breaking down increases.

So if you’ve got a 1 year warranty and the install is really cheap, what can happen?

Well… the same thing that happened to one of our clients.

They are an RSL club that were sold cheaper undersized fittings with a 1 year warranty. The lights started to fail shortly after the warranty expired, and the company refused to come back out to fix them!

Now they have to change out the light fittings for the correct wattage and their own cost and without the rebate (remember – you only get the rebate once).

Conclusion

If you can, look past the amazingly low cost of the upgrade and the amazingly high rebates, and make sure you’ve got those two questions covered.

After all, what’s the point of an LED lighting upgrade if it doesn’t actually cast enough light and breaks all the time?

If you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal, feel free to contact the LED lighting specialists at Faraday Group.

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