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Trade Designer Suppliers

Ramblings – Episode 2

26th July 2016

Ramblings – Episode 2

When discussing LED Lighting I have so often heard the following…

Expensive, not bright enough, power supplies don’t last long, difficult to understand. Conflicting information from different suppliers… the list goes on.

A lot of people’s opinions were formed when LED modules first became half affordable 20 years ago.

Yes, they were expensive. Yes, they weren’t very bright, and yes they didn’t last very long (mainly because the people fitting them didn’t have a clue what they were doing).

The fact is there is an LED out there for every application if you know where to look.

The large sign companies are mostly conversant with LED application because they have the staff, resources and the time to search and understand them.

However, the small and medium sign companies just don’t have this luxury and consequently it is up to the owner to source the correct LED for the job and this is not an easy thing to do.

Many of the LED suppliers on the market are stockists and their sales information, which will guide you is taught to them at an internal sales meeting or from reading the information supplied by the manufacturer.

So, how good is that information?

I would suggest that’s its only as good as the sales person you are dealing with, please bear in mind that these people have rarely used the product they are selling for any length of time for the application you are ringing for advice on. Consequently, they say its ok because that’s what they have been told, you buy the product, it does not work, you call supplier for advice and all they can tell you is, `It says it works on the literature supplied by the manufacturer` but they have no idea how to resolve the issue. Therefore, poor information and poor product knowledge is holding back the LED market. Customers who get bitten are apprehensive to try again. But you will eventually try again because the market is driving the benefits of LEDs.

So… find a supplier who not only sells LEDs but uses them.

15-20 years ago I started looking at the LED market and bought products from America, France and China to evaluate, test and ultimately use. Over the following few years of trial and error and looking at every aspect of the manufacturing process, I slowly started to understand the LED supply chain and the type of LED which is suitable for various applications.

As part of The Sign Group, we made the decision to open up an online trade shop and sell the same LEDs which we used in our workshop. This gave us an excuse to stock more products which not only helped with supplying the workshop, but it drove the prices down making it the most economical site of its kind. And because of all this, when you pick up the phone and speak to someone about LEDs, they will have had hands on experience and are not just reading from a datasheet. In fact, even if they are reading from a datasheet, they’ll have written it!!

Why not have a look at our site…

`If Carling sold LEDs their site would be` –  http://www.weloveleds.co.uk


Here are some benefits of using LEDs:

  • Very efficient running costs. They are 80-90% more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent tubes in most cases.
  • Long life, between 40k and 75k running hours.
  • Easy to fit
  • Easy to use