The move comes because Greenlite, a firm with a sector-leading warranties policy, agrees with Lux; many lighting industry warranties are unfair, misleading and fail to adequately protect customers.
The fairer way to do things
“Here’s how our warranties work,” says Bob Hall, Greenlite Managing Director. “We supply the product, install it and provide warranty for 5 years. There is no need for the customer to register this; Greenlite keep a record.
“The warranty starts when the lighting installation is complete. If any component within the product fails, we go to site and replace it for free. For customers, it’s very simple. The product fails, the customer raises an order for replacement. Greenlite replace within 2 to 3 days.”
Hall says there is no hassle, no misleading small print, invoicing or credit notes. “Simply contact Greenlite and we will get it sorted.”
The darker side of warranties
But Greenlite’s outstanding example is often unmatched in the wider sector. ‘In some cases warranties dramatically overstate the likely lifespan of their products,’ writes Lux.
‘A 10 year warranty, for example, does not take into account the complications of long-term LED operation and wouldn’t be offered by a reliable company.
‘Sometimes warranties do not match the performance claims found in the product’s data sheet and fail to address key concerns such as colour shift and lumen depreciation.’
For everyone in the sector, including consumers, creating more realistic warranties offers a more favourable customer experience and the opportunity to hasten LED uptake overall.
The path to warranty excellence
“We strongly believe in fair warranties, that accurately represent product quality and performance and offer the end user the most accurate depiction of predicted lifetime,” says Hall.
“Without more stringent guidelines on this, there is always a risk that customers may be put off LEDs. That in itself would be a tragedy as the industry in its entirety is ideally placed to contribute in the UK’s overall race to low carbon.
“That’s why we at Greenlite are proud to become the first endorsees of the Lux campaign for fairer warranties. We believe this kind of approach can bring the industry together, in a more transparent and cohesive way.
“It truly is the kind of initiative that will harmonise low carbon, and deliver our overall goals faster.”
Greenlite takes care of the lighting supply and maintenance of 12,000 sites across the UK. With this expansive network, there is almost always an engineer available to replace lighting quickly.
“There aren’t many companies who have the same network, so often they can’t honour the promises for replacement and installation they make in their warranties,” says Hall.
“But we are local everywhere. We think it’s a great shame other firms’ warranties can damage the sector we all wish to grow. Greenlite depends financially upon our customers, and we value them morally too. They, and others, deserve the best warranties available, no matter who the supplier.”
The 5 Lux pledges
Lux has set out 5 pledges that would establish fairer, more useful and more transparent warranty systems:
1) The rights of a warranty should extend automatically to the end user. 2) Warranties should match the performance claims of the data sheet, not undermine them. 3) There should be no requirement to register with the manufacturer. 4) There should be no annual restriction on burn hours. 5) Warranty and traceability information be placed on the product.
Hall is hopeful more and more firms will commit to the pledges in coming days.