Jump to content

Would you support local distribution of chinese LEDs?


GroYurOwn
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have developed a good relationship with Chinese LED manufacturer. They make very high quality lights that have been proven to grow coral well, and are built very well. I have been in discussions with them regarding becoming a distributor here in the US. My question to you all is this:

 

If you could purchase and LED light direct from manufacturer for, let's say $110, including shipping, would you be willing to pay more for that same light if you could purchase it locally, with a return/exchange policy that did not require shipping back to China. If the local distributor could swap faulty units, and make simple repairs for you, and could even provide loaner lights if your unit needed to be sent back for repair, would that be worth paying more for? Also, being able to see the light in action prior to purchasing it, see it over a reef tank.

 

Would you pay $195 for a light with local support? Even if you could get it online for $110?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you all provide, it would be very valuable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose that's the question that in general is being discussed more and more. How much are we willing to pay for something from an LFS versus going online. Most folks on this forum are huge fans of the local stores and often pay for things a bit higher because we're supporting local. However, we all have budgets and depending on the item, the internet may be the best option.

 

We currently have a couple supporting sponsors who manufacture LEDs and as the PR guy for this group, I wouldn't be too interested in supporting international while we have stuff being built in our backyards. That's just my initial opinion, but I'm always interested in helping the local stores increase sales.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Would you pay $195 for a light with local support? Even if you could get it online for $110?

 

 

I've bought LED lights direct from China for much lower than "retail USA" prices in the past, but once you factor in the shipping costs, it reduces that savings significantly. Depending on the number of units imported, shipping can add 30-40% more to the cost if it's only a few units.

 

So, IMO $200 is not unreasonable for local service and support for good quality fixtures with desirable features.

 

As to whether or not you would be able to sell enough of them locally to make it worth your while against all the other brand names out there, I can't say. You can always sell them on eBay and get a national/worldwide audience for them.

Edited by beardedsmurf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you've figured out a way to offer a better light at a better price I think you'll have a tough time competing with the few locals that are already doing pretty much exactly what you're wanting to do for the last few years.

+1

 

There are two other companies local with the excact same business model. One even has his units in an LFS over their tanks so you can see excactly what the lights look like, and what your coral will look like under them. Repairs can be done in shop, or locally. His price point is in the $150 range.

 

Many of the LED's being made today come out of China.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, I have been out of the hobby for a couple years, since my son was born, and didn't know what the situation was with LEDs locally. Three years ago I bought some Chinese LEDs and was very happy with them, and I know from speaking to this company that they are really putting effort in to making a quality, affordable product. They also make indoor gardening lights, which will probably be in high demand come July... Does anyone know where I can go to see some of these lights in action to compare?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, no.  I would not be intersted in another chinese led fixture.

 

I feel we need to get past the false satisfaction we find in spending less up front on low quality chinese leds.  The old adage, "you get what you pay for" couldn't be more true.  Why try to save a couple hundred bucks by buying a cheap fixture for your several thousand dollars worth of coral, only to "decide" you don't like the results and chock it up to "LEDs are bad", then switch to T5/MH...  Who's doing the spectral research?  I know it's not the chinese manufacturers, they are just copying anything they possibly can, with bad results I might add...

 

Now, don't get me wrong, both the local vendors of entry level fixtures make due with what they have available to hit their desired price points.  I also tip my hat at the fact that they are trying to get decent binning on the diodes they do get.  With time, I think they will evolve closer to the middle ground as demand warrants/shifts.  With that, I say "thank you" to Bo and Kenny, keep pushing boys.

 

We're stuck with 2 very polarized options when we should be getting what we truely want, problem is, we don't know what we don't know...

 

Majority of options available:

 

Cheap Chinese Fixtures - Low efficacy, usually 40-70% depending on spectrum and this is at the top of the efficiency curve!!  Diode spectral QA/QC is low and I've seen some pretty far off shifts.  Drivers use current modulation for dimming which causes even more spectral shift and can put the efficency way lower on the curve.  Spectral shift can lead to algae/cyano blooms, coral bleaching, etc.  Improper diode placement helps combat hot spots but causes the disco shadowing we've become accustomed to.  High heat due to the low efficiency/efficacy leads to light output decline.  Bad overall spectrum, the amount of research put into these fixtures is a quick google of higher end ones and a copy paste.  Differences in manufacturers diodes (spectral and efficacy differences) prevents this from being anything close to a valid idea.  Desired lighting temperature color (kelvin rating) is a variable, there are an infinate amount of ways to reach it.  There are a lot of really inefficent/improper ways to do so as well.

 

High End Fixtures - These use higher quality diodes but taylor the light to fit the largest demographic possible.  They get around this fact with multiple dimming channels.  Who runs their fixture at 100%?  I do applaud kessil for offering a couple different color options but that's about it.  Unnecessary interface options bloat the cost.  Revisions are incremental as if the entire industry is part of a conspiring union trying to milk out as much money as they possibly can with each minute change.  I would be okay with that if they had at least pushed towards max potential first.  In an attempt to maximize profit, lowest design cost to acheive decent performance is typical.  But, as any descision, this comes with a price tag.

 

 

Here's what I would buy:

 

A light that put spectrum first taylored for coral coloration, efficency close second, light spread/diffusion up to par with MH/T5, and bells/whistles optional.  Sounds an awful lot like the T5 fixtures we are so accustomed to... :doh:

 

Here's why:

 

When I buy a frag/colony/nem, I want it to have the best color it possibly can, I want good growth too.  Why spend a LOT of money on coral just to have it be ho hum?  If lackluster coral was desired, poo brown zoas, acans, and sps would fetch a darling price.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, however I spent 400+ on a nice t5 light fixture made here in the old USA from Finnex and had problems like always after warranty. Now I have Chinese cob lights. Well say though good customer service with Finnex and cheap repair parts. But that should tell you something lol

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by YUP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

R and D costs fortune and without proper R/D, it properly is just good for fish only tank.

 

Ah yes, a catch 22... You need money in to research but don't have in without product out.

 

Also, Chinese COB's are the pinnacle of LED in-efficiency.  30-50%...  BUT, everyone has their needs/priorities and you can't argue with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also looking for a time when I can upgrade from my Chinese LED lights to a higher quality unit.  It all comes down to dollars for me.  At the time of purchase the Chinese lights gave me some great light at

an affordable price.  Now that I also have some AI Sol lights I see a big difference in the intensity and know that a better quality light does indeed do more than the inexpensive one that came from China.

 

Certainly there is a place for the inexpensive light in our market, but I am now looking to the future when I can afford to upgrade to a better quality unit (and more expense).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost half the people are missing the point. No these local distributed lights are NOT built in our back yards. They are NOT more efficient. They are no different then what this guy is proposing. They are all China made leds. Yes there may be a label and maybe some tweaking (which I doubt) but still same ole. Why not let this guy offer up a better deal? Look what people said when the first string of lights came to us. We're we not the same to them as we are with this guy?

Edited by kriz2fer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost half the people are missing the point. No these local distributed lights are NOT built in our back yards. They are NOT more efficient. They are no different then what this guy is proposing. They are all China made leds. Yes there may be a label and maybe some tweaking (which I doubt) but still same ole. Why not let this guy offer up a better deal? Look what people said when the first string of lights came to us. We're we not the same to them as we are with this guy?

 

The locally distributed and branded Chinese LEDs, like Ocean Revive, are *known quantities* for us. They've been here for a while and we know they work pretty well, are pretty reliable, and are sold by someone that we trust will follow through on warranty issues. Several here are making the point that there might not be an easy market for what GroYurOwn is proposing because there is already a known quantity doing essentially the same thing he is proposing. Unless these lights were significantly cheaper, or someone demonstrated that they were better in some way than the ones that already are here, it might be hard for this guy to sell these lights. He just asked us for our opinions regarding "niche," and that is what he is being given. I don't see anyone missing the point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if he were willing to do like a BETA test group and used their input and testimonials, then maybe if the results were good he might be able to break into the market. But as for none of us knowing anything about these lights I don't think anyone would be super willing to convert over to them for the current price point.

 

Maybe get a hold of a few LFS to test the lights against the other ones in its class or even just a hobbyist that has similar lights.

 

I'm sure someone would test them out at a 1/2 price BETA tester promo. I would test them, but I'm sure I would be kinda bias since I'm using T-5s. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are Ocean Revive lights made here in Portland? I can't seem to find any info on that on their website. 

No they are made in china just like yours would be. I was here before any of these guys even started selling the lights and I will tell they had a hard time cracking the market just as you would, its still possible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if he were willing to do like a BETA test group and used their input and testimonials, then maybe if the results were good he might be able to break into the market. But as for none of us knowing anything about these lights I don't think anyone would be super willing to convert over to them for the current price point.

 

Maybe get a hold of a few LFS to test the lights against the other ones in its class or even just a hobbyist that has similar lights.

 

I'm sure someone would test them out at a 1/2 price BETA tester promo. I would test them, but I'm sure I would be kinda bias since I'm using T-5s. 

 

 

This is essentially what Bo initially did with Ocean Revive, he offered the locals a group buy at a cheap price on a few different models of the standard fixtures that were being made from his manufacturer at the time. They were also able to order them with different diode patterns so he in turn had people paying for his initial R&D at least when it came to optics, diode placement and color.

 

Quite smart if you ask me...

 

Now I have to agree with Bomber, there's a lot more to all of this than simply making a fancy looking fixture and throwing a few of the new hottest LED's in it.

 

At this point I've owned a few different LED fixtures and none of them have made me as happy as my good old insanely priced german tube fixtures.

 

I will say with companies like ATI and some of the other German companies that have many years of developing T5 bulbs have the upper hand. They know what it takes to create proper spectrum's and now that they're getting involved in the LED game I think things will start to evolve more.

 

I do find it interesting that if you look at what's happening in Europe with Led's is very different than what we see here. Companies like Triton seem to be have great success with fixtures with higher amounts of lower wattage led's vs using a few very high wattage diodes.

 

Anyways I've gotten totally off track here and I'm going to bed!

 

Like I said before if you can either offer a unit with a much greater value to it either by being extremely inexpensive or a higher performance unit than the current china led's at a very similar price point you might be on to something... Other than that I think you'll be wasting your time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...