Have you ever gone into a big box store looking for a product and find two similar products, but one is twenty percent cheaper, only to bring it home, attempt to assemble it and then realize WHY it was twenty percent cheaper? Have you ever regretted that kind of purchase?
Are you getting reliable emergency lighting?
This phenomenon is not limited to items sold in big box stores. It is also present at electrical distributors. With the emergence of offshore imported products, products that might seem identical at a first glance and that are usually less expensive, might have you wondering if you are getting what you paid for. Is the product easy to install? Does it meet code? Will the quality outlast its warranty? Or worse, can you even claim against the warranty?
These questions can be asked, especially when it comes to emergency lighting. Not only are ease of installation and warranty essential, but more importantly, life safety is at stake. In the emergency lighting market, we have seen the introduction of LED technology in remote heads, a decrease in wattage consumption, a voltage drop, longer runs at decreased DC voltage, reduction of the overall system purchase price and installation cost.
Emergency Double Remote Heads
A 3-LED watt emergency double remote fixtures might seem the same when they are next to each other but are they really?
One design might have an LED array designed to reach up to a 77-foot spacing, while the other uses a repurposed tungsten-style lens design, offering 28-foot spacing. So, the upfront cost of the repurposed lens design might seem to be 20 percent less expensive, but the end user will require three times the number of remotes to achieve the same coverage. Money considerations aside, more importantly, life safety may be at risk: Is the less expensive remote, improperly installed, and not able to provide minimum light levels prescribed in the Canadian Building Code Section 18.104.22.168 that mandates a minimum of 10 lux at floor or tread with no less than 1 lux worth saving a few pennies?
Emergency Lighting Battery Units
The situation is not limited to emergency remote heads, but also emergency lighting battery units. LED remotes are an integral part of most battery packs and, the above-mentioned issues not withstanding with respect to remote heads, the questions are now greater. Again, they may seem the same next to one another…
But one must ask: Is the line cord installed, or does the end user have to install it, if it is even provided at all? Are there terminal blocks installed inside the cabinet designed for ease of wiring when connecting remote heads, or do the simple un-skinned wired leads require skinning and wire connectors? Is the charger board easily accessible for future maintenance if required? What is the overall quality of the electronics and the battery? Twenty percent savings for how much pain?
In conclusion, appearances can be deceiving and upfront cost savings may be tempting. However, as in the Latin saying goes “Caveat Emptor” (Buyer Beware)!
With over 400 years of combined experience, Stanpro is committed to providing professional consultation and high performing quality products that meets all provincial and national building codes, backed by a comprehensive warranty.