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Client Case Study 2:

The True Cost of 'Cheap' LED Installations

Carbon Cheaters was approached by a local IGA to quote the replacement of fluorescent tubes with LEDs, but was unsuccessful to a company with a cheaper product. Less than 12 months later, Carbon Cheaters was approached again, but to provide technical expertise to rectify the catastrophic LED lighting they had inherited.

The Problem

Installation of 'cheap', poor quality LED T8 tubes caused IGA:

  • A dark retail environment Light with the fluorescent tubes recorded 750 lux that was reduced to 350 lux with the new LEDs. Within days, the LEDs began to flicker and fail causing further light loss.
  • Reduced store aesthetics To increase light levels, the owners removed the diffusers from the light fittings. Shoppers were then exposed to the wiring and control gear and dead and flickering tubes. Store lighting was patchy, with each light fitting housing at least one dead or flickering LED tube out of the four - as shown in the above image.
  • Poor quality light Colour rendition in cheap LEDs is typically low and unsuitable in retail environments. Vibrant colours of products on shelves was reduced below internationally acceptable levels leaving the store with an overall greyish hue of light, where white floors, ceilings and walls appeared grey.

         In turn, all of these factors lead to:
            — A lost customer base
            — A decline in retail sales
            — Reduced business profitability
            — $10,000s in write off LEDs
            — Another major investment into LEDs

  • Fire and electrocution risk - neither the LEDs nor fittings complied with AS/NZS, meaning they had the potential to become 'live' or ignite and insurance cover would refused for non-compliant goods
  • Significant losses of time and money. The cost of the supply and install of 'cheap' LEDs, which had to be replaced, was well over $10,000 - a complete waste of money, time and effort, given the problems outlined above.
  • Environmental loss caused by the high energy in production and transport of defective LEDs, and their subsequent disposal in landfill.
  • Warranty. The original LED installation company never returned to honour the '3 year warranty' and replace the faulty tubes.

The Solution
  • Carbon Cheaters carried out a full site inspection and analysis before providing a report to empower the client with educated recommendations and resolutions.
  • Upon project management, Carbon Cheaters recruited and briefed electrical workers on the safe removal and disposal of non-compliant LED lights, as well as the installation of Carbon Cheaters LEDs and modification of existing light fittings to meet AS/NZS (this was methodically planned to minimise cost to the client). The Results
  • An immediately brighter, healthier, safe workspace. Carbon Cheaters LED lights conform to both AS/NZS for electrical safety and produce light levels to AS1680 to meet the tasking requirements.
  • You get more light using less power with Carbon Cheaters LEDs. IGA save a further $9,000 in electricity with our LEDs when compared to the cheap inferior LED tubes.
  • A more productive workforce - the detrimental effects caused by inferior LEDs were removed.
  • An extremely satisfied client - as verified by Carbon Cheaters being awarded further projects in light of recommendations from this company.

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