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Are Branded Light Bulbs Better?
The importance of buying a branded light bulb cannot be overstated. There are four leading manufacturers of light bulbs in the world today:
Whilst there are a number of very reputable and respected smaller light bulb manufacturers throughout the world, these main four account for a considerable percentage of light bulb consumption across the globe. But are branded light bulbs really better? Let’s take a closer look at three reasons why you should consider purchasing branded light bulbs:
- Superior research, experience, and production volume
- High standard of craftsmanship and quality control
- Warranties and product guarantees
Superior Research, Experience, and Volume
There may be instances where paying for brand name products isn’t worth the extra money, but when it comes to light bulbs, it’s often worth the investment – especially when it comes to purchasing cutting-edge lighting technology like LEDs. Like all manufactured products, some manufacturers will produce slightly higher quality products than others, but all of those products will be capable of achieving the same goal – in this case, lighting your space.
Branded light bulbs offer a number of advantages, such as:
- Research: Big brands have often been producing light bulbs for a long time and, as a result, invest more in research, testing, and manufacturing. This makes it easier to deliver a high quality product that offers superior performance.
- Experience: When you spend a few extra pounds buying a brand name light bulb, you’re paying for the expertise of a highly respected manufacturer. They’ve invested in the education and training of their employees, ensuring a better quality end result.
- Volume: Since well-known brands often produce products at such a high volume and so efficiently that the parts and labour cost less, you may not have to pay that much more for your bulbs.
High Standard of Craftsmanship & Quality Control
It might be tempting to save a few pounds on generic bulbs, but price and convenience should not be the most important consideration when buying or upgrading your lighting. Like a high-quality garment, a well-made light bulb will last longer and offer an increased level of craftsmanship that may initially seem subtle or even unnoticeable, but which will make a significant difference once you know what to look for or start using the product. Because branded bulbs are usually made in-house or by a trusted partner, there are standards in place that guarantee consistency. This often results in benefits such as:
- A stronger filament
- Higher quality soldering
- Overall higher manufacturing standards.
Put simply, well-maintained, better equipment and stringent quality control make it possible for brands to deliver a superior product.
While it might seem like you’re paying more money initially, the price of branded bulbs often proves worth it in the quality and durability of the bulb, especially when it comes to newer technology like LEDs. LEDs can be complicated to make, requiring greater expertise and a higher level of craftsmanship to deliver on the promise of a long lifespan. It’s important to think of this purchase as an investment – this is a product that is going to last a substantial period of time (sometimes up to 25 years), and therefore something you should research before selecting an option that works best for you.
In comparison, traditional light bulbs have been around for a long time and as a result, manufacturers know what they’re doing. Since their invention, the manufacturing process for incandescent bulbs has been refined and companies now have a better understanding of how to make them. Over the years, the technology and materials required to manufacture these bulbs has become more accessible and has also decreased in cost, which has in turn caused the overall cost of manufacturing them to drop. But just because they’re older and better understood doesn’t mean it isn’t worth spending a little more to get a branded bulb.
Warranties & Product Guarantees
Buying light bulbs from a well-known company also provides a guarantee of quality. You can trust your bulb will do what it says on the package: it will be as bright and warm as it promises and it will disperse light at the correct angle, but if you do encounter a faulty bulb or experience any problems with your purchase, top manufacturers often provide warranties to help you resolve any issues. This is especially important for long-term investments like LEDs and large-batch purchases.
The key factor for consumers when purchasing any item is the knowledge and comfort that in the event of any difficulty or problem with the item, the manufacturer and associated supplier will endeavour to resolve the issue to your complete satisfaction. Dealing with major international organisations provides this security.
We at The Lightbulb Company are proud stockists of all four major brands. We hold accounts and purchase direct from each of them – a fact most of our competitors cannot claim to. The advantages of such an established direct relationship are essential: the manufacturer warranties and guarantees are only applicable if purchased through recognised stockists and respected partners.
Many online light bulb suppliers sell inferior unbranded products that afford very little recourse in the event of difficulty. Again, we at The Lightbulb Company have a fully stocked UK-based warehouse operation available for inspection by anyone at any time.
When To Buy Non-Branded Light Bulbs
Branded and non-branded light bulbs can be used anywhere, provided the product is used within the parameters of the manufacturer’s recommended use.
Non-branded bulbs aren’t necessarily of a lower quality, but they often don’t come with all of the guarantees you get from a branded bulb. There are some situations where you can get away with opting for an unbranded bulb, such as when you’re seeking competitive pricing or convenience.
Competitive Pricing & Convenience
In order to attract attention and provide purchase incentive, generic bulb manufacturers will usually offer a lower price on their product. Before you buy a cheaper, non-branded bulb, think about where you will be placing the light bulb and how it is going to be used. Is it in a high traffic area? A generic bulb may not offer the durability required in high-usage space.
A low price upfront may also not provide you the same level of savings over time, but if you are in a pinch or choosing a bulb for an infrequently used space, there’s no harm in picking up a few generic bulbs or having them in stock for emergencies.
With generic bulbs, it’s important to check product reviews, especially with newer technologies that have not been in production for a long time. So, if you are set on generic bulbs, make sure you read up on customer experiences or you might end up with a short-lived product that costs more to replace it in the long run.
There are generally no downsides to using generic lightbulbs. In fact, the whole purpose of the term “generic light bulbs” is to demonstrate the flexibility of using something that is equal in every way to a branded product. The only note of caution you should take is to ensure the quality of the product is equal to the product being replaced. All other aspects should be the same.
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Sarah is a long-time employee of the Lightbulb Company, with a background in hospitality and a keen awareness of the important role lighting plays in our everyday lives. She has worn many hats at our company over the years, developing an extensive knowledge of lighting and the lighting industry. She is passionate about working with customers, understanding their needs, and providing them with the best possible solutions.