What makes a quality LED light?
Author: Prestige LED Lighting
What makes a quality LED light?
There is a significant difference between professional stage lights, and cheap hobby lights found on discount sites. It is similar to sound systems. One can walk into a department store and purchase a set of speakers for $100. But professional sound systems in live entertainment venues can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars! The difference is that sound systems for live applications are much more complicated, and manufactured to produce separation of multiple instruments and clarity at high volumes.
1.1 Pro lighting vs. hobby lighting
It is the same with lighting. There are cheap LED hobby lights that are not for professional applications.
At Prestige LED Lighting, we are a super premium brand. We manufacture and sell only the very highest quality professional stage lights.
The reason our lights are cheaper than other professional lighting companies is not due to inferior quality. Rather, we entered the market with a disruptive business strategy to manufacture and sell the highest quality pro lighting direct to the public. We are able to do this by not using third party distributors, we do not have a retail store, and we use an online platform to sell globally.
In short, we have cut out numerous layers in the distribution chain of professional stage lighting to bring you the highest quality at the best prices.
So, let’s explore what the difference is between cheap LED lights and the kind of high quality professional lights that we sell at Prestige LED Lighting.
1.2 Quality of construction materialPoor quality LED’s are constructed with cheap materials. It is not always obvious on a photo, but you can feel it when you touch them in real life. Many customers who go and purchase basement bargain LED fixtures will be surprised at how quickly they fall apart. Moving parts malfunction, lamps blow, electrical malfunction.
High quality LED fixtures are constructed from high quality materials. At Prestige, we take pride in the construction of our lights and accessories. As a result, they have a longer life, are less prone to malfunction, and are reliable.
Areas that are essential:
Fan noise: cheap LED lights have loud fans that create a lot of white noise.
Heat emission: High quality lights will have better heat dispersion resulting in longer life and less faults due to burn out.
IP rating: An indoor rating is IP20. Outdoors must be rated at IP65.
Chip: Led lights have internal chips. The quality of this chip determines the quality of the light. One faulty chip renders a light useless.
Certification: Lights should have CE & Rohs certification.
1.3 Pre-testing of every fixtureCheap fixtures are not individually tested by an actual person before they are sent to a customer. At Prestige, every light we sell is first systematically tested in person. This results in us finding any problems before we ship to customers, enhancing our quality control and minimising faulty goods.
Each light is plugged in to a controller. We test every DMX channel, every colour, movement (where applicable), and effects. Once a light has passed testing it is packed for final sale.
1.4 4in1 led lampsAt Prestige, ALL our lights are 3in1, 4in1, or 5in1. Cheap LEDs often are not.
To explain, lets say an LED light has 39 lamps. With cheap LED fixtures, there would be 13 blue LEDS, 13 red LEDs, and 13 green LEDs. The result is that when colours are displayed only a small percentage of the fixtures lamps are actually on at any one time.
With Prestige, our 4in1 lamps solve this problem. Every lamp can do every colour. This means that every lamp is on all the time. For example, if the fixture has 36 lamps, each of those lamps can do red, green, blue, and white. The result is that colours are significantly brighter, more vivid, and many times more powerful. It’s the difference between cheap lighting and pro lighting.
One of the main things to look for when choosing LED lights is to only purchase lights that are either 3in1, 4in1, even 5in1. Cheap LEDS will have separate led lamps for Red, Green, Blue.
1.5 WarrantyOne of the most significant differences between cheap LEDs and high quality Prestige LEDs is our warranty. Often when buying cheap LEDs, when they fail, the online retailer will offer very poor service.
At LED, we have a special replacement warranty. If your light is faulty within the first year, we will send you a brand new light, and we will pay the shipping. We are able to offer this warranty because we believe in our product. This gives you total confidence in our quality.
1.6 Brightness and intensity of lightAlways check the specifications of the light you are purchasing. 2 lights can look the same, but actually produce a very different light.
Always check for the wattage of each LED lamp, and also the number of LED lamps. As a general rule, better quality and more expensive LED lights have more powerful wattage per lamp. For example, a cheap LED fixture may have 96 lamps. But if each lamp is only 1 watt, it will not produce high brightness or intensity of colour. It would be better to go with an LED fixture that had 18 lamps, with each lamp being 8 Watts.
In addition to wattage, high quality LED lights will simply produce a greater intensity and brightness than cheap hobby lights. So always look for intensity of colour, number of lamps, and wattage of each lamp.
1.7 Features (matrix, DMX channels, gobos)The better the LED light, the more features and options it offers.
For example, there is normally a big price jump for LED lights that have a zoom function. This enables to LED light to be focused from sometimes as little as 8 degrees, the whole way up to 50%. This extra feature adds greater functionality to the LED light, enabling it to be used to achieve a greater diversity of effects and outcomes.
This principle applies to every area of LED lights. Cheap LEDs have fewer features. In fact, sometimes they cannot even be controlled by DMX. If a light is not DMX, it is most certainly not a professional light, and cannot be controlled by an external controller. Only ever look for lights that are DMX controlled. ALL of Prestige lights are DMX controllable.
Also look for how many DMX channels the light uses, and what those channels do. High quality lights will tend to offer more channels with more features. Some moving lights also have gobos. And some LED cans and panels have matrix, which enables every lamp to be separately controlled via DMX to provide unlimited control.
Other important features to look for include:
Zoom – the ability of the fixture to zoom into a narrow focus or spread out to a wash. This adds great versatility to the use of a light.
Wattage: wattage of most powerful lamp. The higher the wattage of each lamp, the better the brightness.
1.8 Packaging:The ultimate packaging for lights and related products is a flight case. This ensures your goods have been fully protected via transport. Cartons are more prone to damage. This is especially the case with moving lights as they have so many moving parts in them, and as a general best practice, should be sent in flight cases.
1.9 Temperature control of white LEDsHistorically, one of the weaknesses of LED stage lighting has been the inability to produce a warm white. With cheap LEDs, you will not solve this problem. They do not offer any temperature control over the spectrum of light omitted. Cheap LEDs will challenge to display a nice white light. It will be tainted with another colour, be too cool, and often flicker.
At Prestige, we have developed LED stage lights that solve this problem. We now have LED stage lights that allow the user to change the temperature of light spectrum omitted via DMX! This means, you can have both cool white and warm white (2700K-5600K). We also offer special LED theatre lights at highly specialised temperatures to produce just the right spectrum of light on stage for live applications in theatres, churches, and studios.
1.10 Ability to be controlled by DMXSome cheap LEDs available on the Internet can actually not even be controlled via DMX. This means they cannot plug into a controller. They operate in stand-alone mode, or audio response mode. So to control them the user has to annual adjust settings on the fixture. ALL Prestige lights can be controlled via DMX because we only sell professional stage lights.
1.11 Brand of lampWith moving beam lights, always check the brand of lamp – it has a massive impact on the quality of the light. At Prestige we only use the highest quality lamps in our beams– mostly Philips and Osram. All our LEDs are CREE.
1.12 Flicker free (fast refresh rate)Cheap lights have a tendency to omit a flicker. This is due to a slow refresh rate. This is particularly problematic if the light is ever filmed, as the flicker is very distracting. At Prestige, our LED lights have a very fast refresh rate and will not flicker on screen or on film.
1.13 Why are our packages cheaper?We offer great deals on packages as a core part of our business model. We do this for two reasons.
Firstly, most of our customers purchase packages, and we have put a lot of research into creating speciality tailored packages that have the right mix of different light fixtures.
Secondly, it enables us to manufacture more of specific lights to be able to offer better economies of scale – resulting in better prices.
Our packages are handcrafted deals that contain only the very best lights we sell. We ship our packages all around the world, and they offer the best value.