Light fittings…as specified?

Shanghai, 25th January 2010

Part of our job as lighting designers is to assess alternative light fittings during the procurement process. While we all like our as specified fittings to make it through, budget restrictions often gets us to assess alternative proposals. The danger however is that it opens the door to all kinds of vendors (local friends of contractors, etc) to propose light fittings. As can then be expected most of the time alternatives are not even close to our specification.

This morning we received a box full of such alternative proposals for one of our projects for our review and comments. The problem is that most of the time these so called “samples” are really samples and not working models. Model types are often very different, but the explanation we receive is that it just represents the “quality” of what we can expect. Then the “best” one (and where you really should start to worry) is when they say: “don’t worry, no problem, we will supply as specified”. While the client may like the sound of it, the reality is that they mean to say they will custom copy the fittings. In other words we will be the guinea pig for their manufacturing try-outs! How otherwise can they achieve those cut throat prices! No thank you!

A small anecdote on the side: One day I asked the supplier whether his fitting was IP65. And he replied yes it is. After probing further (as the fitting did not really look like it was) I found out that was just the name of the fitting… 🙂

Anyhow, my colleague’s assessment of the lot was pretty much spot on when he said: “this quality is only suitable for a one week exhibition”…  It goes to tell we rejected the proposed alternatives.

25. January 2010 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: lighting design | Leave a comment

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