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  • Why Should I Buy Name-Brand Lights vs. “From China”? What constitutes a “name brand”?

 December 22

by LearnStageLighting.com

Should I buy Name Brand Lights?

Welcome to the podcast and Episode # 113! Today. we’re going to discuss purchasing name brand name lights versus purchasing from China.

As some people have experienced is buying a new brand, have issues, and the brand disappears within a year or two. I don’t want that for anyone and that’s why I think it’s an important topic to discuss.

Show Sponsorship (2:49)

The sponsor of today’s show is Learn Stage Lighting Labs. If you’re new here, the Labs is a great community for those that are getting started with lighting and are looking for help to set up their rig that is designed for their needs and goals. Inside of the Labs, we have action plans, tutorials, and a forum for all Lab members to ask questions. It’s a great resource and it really has helped so many people in the lighting industry.

As a special offer to those listening to the podcast, I want to offer you a free month inside of the Labs, you can check the page here: Join the Labs! This is a great opportunity to join and see if it is a good fit for you at no cost to you.

You’ll have an entire month to binge-watch the videos, check out the action plans, and join in on the discussions in the forum. If you decide after the 1-month trial it’s not for you then you can just cancel. It’s very easy to do. If you decide you want to stay on longer we have monthly and annual payment options.

I hope you’ll give it a try and see if it’s a good for for you.

Main Segment (5:00)

When going out to purchase lights, most of these are assembled and made in China. There may be some more high end brands that may be assembled here in the Unites States. It’s safe to say that most lights are in fact manufactured in other countries such as China.

In the previous years, when outsourcing products had began, generally anything made in China was manufactured at the lowest cost possible. Which in return meant very low grade products that did not last long and were cheaply made.

It turns out, that it was quickly found that certain manufacturers wanted their products made as inexpensively as possible, China caught onto this and made it happen. However, China does make some of the best quality lights, computers, and electronics. It just depends what the company is looking for and willing to spend.

There is a big difference between the no name brands on Amazon and the big names known in the industry. One of the pieces to look for is the build quality. There is a big difference in needing a light for your church, DJ, or side business versus what you would need for on the road tours. If you are the one handling the lights and you’re careful with your equipment, you can afford to have something that is decent and works well when taken care of. But if you get a light that has lower build quality that is loaded and unloaded by stage hands, then most likely it’s not going to last very long.

Should You Buy Lights from a New Brand?

There will be times a new brand gets introduced and sometimes they take off. I’ve seen this many times and my rule of thumb is waiting a couple of years to see if they stick around and get established. You’ll see these companies and brands pop up, grow really fast, can’t keep up, and then go under.

The risk with these type of companies that may go under within a year and two, this leaves customers unable to get replacement parts and unable to purchase the same light in the future.

Another piece I’ve noticed with very cheap lights is that there are issues with the connections, linking additional lights, and even the quality of the lights.

What Constitutes a Name Brand?

A brand I have mentioned before is GAMMA from the LDI Tradeshow. Unlike, other new brands who hit the marketing hard, importing products like crazy, and then go out of business. Gama, whom I had never heard of, had already been in the industry for 10+ years. They took a different approach, and the gentleman who started the business had connections in the industry to get started. The company didn’t blast out marketing campaigns but instead focused on quality and sold within their network. They built a reputation, focused on quality, and then focused on their marketing.

There is a big difference between some of the “new” brands and products. You have a lot of companies and products that sell cheap items and they’re gone in less than two years. But then, there are companies like GAMMA who’ve been around but are just now starting to gain a foothold in the lighting world and they sell good quality lights.

I reviewed one of their products, the Gamma TX 4:

Some companies will make a light, update it, and that can be frustrating for customers who have that light and want to purchase the same one later. It also adds to the cost for future customers.

Companies like GAMMA have created a product the the TX4 and have not updated it because it was built and tested to be a quality product from the beginning.

It’s important to be aware of the cost, the quality, and even the histroy of the company who manufacturers it. Are they going to stick around, do they provide any customer service, and are the products made to last?

It’s hard to say but be aware of purchasing a light at a very low cost that the quality may not be very good. In my mind, it’s not a good decision to buy something very inexpensive and from a no-name brand because you’re going to invest in something that will need to be replaced within a year.

With generic knock offs for the name brand products, just be careful purchasing a knock off because most likely, they are build with cheaper parts and the quality is not great.

Closing (30:08)

Thank you for joining today and I hope you are able to take something away for when you purchase new lights in the future. I really suggest purchasing more of name brand lights as opposed to the new no name brand lights. You want to purchase quality but with a good price.

Thanks for joining and we hope to see you in the next episode!

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