Engineering & Technology

New ALA White Paper Provides Guidance on Selling LED Solutions

Wednesday, June 28, 2023/Categories: News, Engineering & Technology, Industry News, ALA News

New ALA White Paper Provides Guidance on Selling LED Solutions

Consumers have a lot of questions regarding LED technology, and thanks to ALA’s newly released guidance document created by members of the ALA Engineering Committee, showrooms now have expert advice at the ready for answering those questions and helping their customers determine whether an integrated LED product or a socketed one is right for them.
One of the contributors of the Socketed vs Integrated LED Light Fixtures document, Chris Primous of LiteTrace, recently spoke with ALA’s Raelle Bell and Liz Ware on an episode of their podcast, “That’s Brilliant,” to explain more about these guidance documents. That interview is available online here.

In the document, one option is not preferred over another; each choice has pros and cons. This white paper is designed to help you guide consumers through their decision.

Overcoming Integrated LED Resistance
With an integrated LED product, the LEDs are built into the housing and are not replaceable; the light source remains intact through the product’s lifetime. While this is a great benefit from a maintenance standpoint, there are consumers who are hesitant to commit to the light color, brightness, and beamspread offered by the fixture without being able to alter any of it like they can with a screw-in replacement bulb.

One advantage of the integrated LED fixture is the form factor. Thanks to the incredibly small size of LED light sources, manufacturers can create slim, flexible designs that are just not achievable with the more traditional socketed approach, for example with backlit mirrors and accent lighting applications. 

Since integrated LED fixtures have more design complexity, there is a higher price associated with this solution. That higher pricetag, however, is an initial cost; the energy savings from a longevity and maintenance-free standpoint is a key advantage considering that most integrated LED fixtures can last 20 years or more.  As Primous explains, “The cost is a little bit higher upfront, but you will have a more efficient-performing product and a product that’s optimized and has better light output.”

Some consumers may be concerned about the possibility of the fixture failing. Primous acknowledges that the risk is small, “but the benefit is a product that should last a lot longer [serviceable life] than a socketed version because the latter will only be as efficient as the light bulb selected by the consumer.”

Integrated LED fixture warranties vary; the standard is 5 years. 

The Case for Socketed Fixtures
It is important to note that there are advantages to socketed LED products as well — and a lot of that has to do with the application. “With socketed product, the consumer still has replaceability,” Primous recounts. “Some people might not like the fact that they’re stuck with the light quality that’s inside that product; however, many manufacturers are starting to put selectability options for color and light output into their integrated products.”

In the case of track lighting and landscape lighting applications, a socketed LED solution allows the consumer to change the beam output (i.e. going from a wide flood to a narrow or a spot) to suit their preference. “The flexibility that you have with a socketed approach is still very good for a variety of applications,” he adds.

The higher price point of integrated fixtures also provides the showroom with the opportunity for more profitability.  “They are also selling a complete lighting solution,” Primous says. “So the showroom shifts from just selling a housing to selling a complete solution —and selling a complete solution is going to be better all around, for the showroom and the consumer.” 

ALA-member retailers can download the white paper here.

Photo by Crystorama


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