Sourcing reliable, high-quality LED lighting isn’t always easy. As nice as it would be to pluck a dependable manufacturer from out of thin air, the truth is that if you really care about quality, you need to devote plenty of time to your search. The process will be a lot easier if you familiarize yourself with the most important things to look for in an LED lighting supplier. We break everything down for you below.
Five Things to Keep in Mind when Selecting an LED Lighting Supplier
Like most people and organizations that require an ongoing supply of LED lighting and components, you have probably already learned that sourcing what you need from overseas is the best option. Unfortunately, this often means having to make a decision from afar. If you are able to travel to visit a few manufacturers overseas, do so. If not, just make sure to focus on the following five things to ensure that you select the best possible supplier for the job.
- Compliance – You aren’t going to get very far if you end up with LED lighting supplies that do not adhere to regulations here in the United States. LED lights that are meant for the Chinese market are not suitable for Western needs. They must be compliant with many crucial safety regulations and standards. Ask any supplier that you are considering about their previous compliance track record.
- Size – There are thousands of LED suppliers overseas. The vast majority are pretty much mom-and-pop operations, and those are to be avoided as they don’t tend to be very reliable. What you need is an organized, established, medium-to-large-size supplier that has a proven track record. While larger suppliers are often more expensive, they are also significantly more reliable and tend to produce and supply much better products.
- Component Quality – Overseas manufacturers of LED lights and lighting systems typically don’t design their products entirely “from scratch.” Instead, they pull together the components that they need from both local and far-flung sources. Naturally, the quality of the final product is largely dependent on the quality of the components that go into it, so always ask about the types of components that are used. Where do they come from? Do they come from dependable manufacturers?
- Minimum Order Quantity – It’s important to find out quickly whether a supplier enforces a minimum order quantity. All too often, suppliers’ MOQs are prohibitively high, which makes it unrealistic to order from them on a consistent basis. Even if a supplier has a fairly low MOQ, always ask about bulk discounts too. It might be to your advantage to stock up with a large order from time to time as opposed to placing many smaller orders throughout the year.
- Quality Management – Finally, the right supplier will have a strict quality management system, or QMS, in place. It should be a formal system with specific steps and rules that must be followed. Otherwise, you will almost certainly end up with LED lights and lighting systems that are riddled with defects and other issues. Ask any supplier or manufacturer that you consider to explain how they engage in quality control for the products that they provide.
By the time that you have narrowed things down using the tips above, you should have a more manageable list to work with. Before making anything official, do some online searching to see what others have to say about the supplier in question. Ask the company for references from satisfied clients too. Although it may take a while to track one down, taking your time while searching for an LED lighting supplier is well worth it in the long run.