7 Straight forward Ideas to Have knowledge of The moment Buying LED Lights.
LED lighting is all the rage these days. I often talk with churches that are looking at buying LED fixtures to either add to the functionality of these lighting system, to produce maintenance easier, replace old gear, be more efficient or any combination of the above. But I also see a lot of churches who’ve made poor decisions buying LED fixtures and been disappointed. If you look out to the LED market today, you might find it is flooded with lights in most price ranges- literally from $100 to $3000 and above! That is the best product for you personally and your congregation?
So can I Buy Cheap LED Lights?
I wish I really could just give you a simple, 1 word answer, but I can’t. Yes, you can buy the least expensive thing you will find, but you will probably be disappointed. I have seen churches buy LED lights from companies I’ve never heard of that don’t carry much of a warranty led light therapy manufacturer. They’ve been disappointed when, 1 year in the future, some of the units are breaking and not as bright or consistent while they used to be. Cheaper LED lights tend to be poorly designed and allow heat to dim the LED’s early within their life and poor electrical connections may cause units to fail prematurely. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Moving past the negatives, I actually do advise churches that are wanting to get to the entry level to purchase less costly LED’s from reputable lighting companies who’ve been with us for a while, such as for example Chauvet, American DJ and Elation. These companies have great fixtures in the lower price range. They may possibly not be as cheap as others you’ve seen, but you do get everything you purchase! I read late the other day of a cheaper, newer name of LED fixtures that is going out of business by the end with this year. Which makes it very difficult if you want replacement parts later on or want more matching lights!
Here are two things you have to know and consider before buying LED fixtures.
1. Consider the grade of light appearing out of a RGB-only fixture. These only have red, green and blue LED’s inside. You may have seen some marketing material saying why these fixtures can released “16 million colors”, and while that may be technically true, I bet you are able to only tell the difference between a couple of hundred of these at most. You’re not going to acquire a good brown, amber, or white color out of those irrespective of how good they are. The laws of physics will win every time. They’ll make your flesh look pink in the event that you attempt to use them as front light. However, with these fixtures you can get a lot of good colors for a good price and these are good for lighting set pieces or walls.
2. Non-“tri”, “quad” or “homogenized” LED’s have individual red, green and blue LED”s as you are able to see. So, when you mix up an orange, purple, aqua or anything that’s not pure R, G or B, you’re likely to see multiple colors when you consider the light. This may be distracting if you’re utilizing it as backlight, or anywhere that congregation members can easily see the front of the light fixture. The good news is why these non-“tri” LED fixtures are good for lighting set pieces and other things that hide the fixture from the congregation’s view.
3. Cheaper fixtures will flicker when you videotape them or use IMAG to place the video on screen. If you’re shooting video, make sure that you get fixtures that are guaranteed “flicker free”, because fixtures that aren’t will flickr on video- I have seen it myself way too many times! Some units may look okay at full, however not when dimmed due to the way that LED’s are dimmed. When you have this issue with lights you already own, try running your units only at full which often looks okay on camera.
4. Always buy lighting products which have a warranty of at the least 90 days – if the organization won’t stand behind it, I don’t feel safe doing this either!
5. Look at the construction of the fixture vs. actual light output. You don’t need something built like a reservoir if it’s just likely to be installed in your church and not move often. Those units are created for production companies. There are budget fixtures from many companies which have the same LED’s as expensive fixtures, in a cheaper and less durable unit.
6. Remember that different manufacturers use different tinted LED’s within their fixtures. Fixtures may also vary in color by each run, or batch, of fixture. To find the best color consistency, buy most of the LED fixtures you’ll use at once. If this isn’t possible, buy in groups centered on use- such as for example buying most of the units to light your backdrop at the same time, then later buying the people you employ for backlight, etc. It is better to stick to one manufacturer for your entire LED fixtures for color consistency, but when you yourself have to change, it’s not the conclusion of the world when the colors don’t match perfectly.
7. If you’re buying more than 4-6 units, be sure to get something demo unit! Local dealers can demo and/or allow you to borrow products for FREE in hope to make a sale! Otherwise, many manufacturers will ship you a fixture for only a deposit and the expense of shipping it back to them so that you can try it out. You want to see how the light works together with your current setup, if is is bright enough, how it works together with skin tones and if the beam angle is correct for your room.
LED lighting is a favorite, new technology that is making its way into our churches. Like any major purchase, LED lighting requires the best opinion to produce a good choice in fixture. It’s important to produce a good choice to be the most effective steward of the resources given to you, and to purchase something that won’t later malfunction and cause a distraction.