Beware The Cheap LED Light Fixture!

Reblogger Marte Cliff
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Jay Markanich shares some information that could save us all from a lot of grief. I had no idea about this...



Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

This is a head's up - beware the cheap LED light fixture!

We have a 20 year old house, which we built.  It was time to upgrade the fluorescent kitchen light fixture.  I wanted LED.

Looking around I wanted one that provided good light, lots of lumens.

Watts measure the amount of energy a light bulb uses.  But lumens are the indicator of the amount of light.

LED lights are made up of many small points of light sources.

What I didn't know then was that when one buys an LED light fixture, the weight of the fixture and points of light sizes (called "chips") are essential.

The fixture I bought and installed was very light.  Why is weight important?

Because, according to my research, of poor quality materials used to construct the "driver" and to dissipate heat weigh more!

However, you may say, aren't LED lights cool?

Yes, to feel the heat from them.  But the point of light, the chips, are extremely hot.  What drives the energy to them, and the ability for them to dissipate heat, is essential.

Good materials allow for such heat dissipation and the fixtures last for years and years.

But cheap stuff, materials without a good driver, smaller chips, and no ability to dissipate heat, will not last long.

Our kitchen light lasted 7 months.  Beware the cheap stuff!

One day it was fine.  The next it provided half the light.  And the next no light at all.

When I took off the cover this is what I saw.  WHICH PROMPTED MY RESEARCH!  Do you see how tightly the plastic cover sits over the fixture?  There was nowhere for the heat to go.  And the chips are 1/8" square, considered very small.  Yes, they get very, very hot!

So, you ask, can cheap fixtures cause fires?  YES!  We were lucky, apparently.  Ours just flaked out and died.

Following my research I bought a good quality light, and it is heavy!  It provided large chips, a good driver, and the ability to dissipate heat.

But, I had another problem. 

When I took down the builder-installed fluorescent light this is what I found!

No box, and wires merely stick out of a hole in the ceiling! 

Unbelievable!  That's the same problem I found when I replaced the bathroom light!  But the round fixture I first installed weighed less than a pound, so no junction box, while not to code, was needed for its support.

So for the new fixture I had to install a hefty box.  It is attached to an arm that cranks and tightens against the floor joists inside the ceiling above.  It holds 70 - 120 pounds!

With the help of a neighbor (this was NOT a one-man job!) here is the new light!  With lots and lots of lumens!








Perhaps hard to see in the lower-right photo, but there is a 1" space above the fixture for heat to dissipate.

Here are the recommendations from experts when you buy LED light fixtures.  What to look for.

1.  LED with good heat dissipation may cost, and weigh, more.
2.  Try to find out the chip size (the points of light).  The larger chips provide more light and better stability.
3.  Make sure any paint is well applied.  Better paints make a difference.
4.  Verify the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) mark, which proves the fixture for testing, validation and safety.
5.  Confirm a Design Lights Consortium (DLC) qualification.  DLC qualified fixtures have been tested for certain performance and safety standards.  These better fixtures often come with a 5 year warranty.  (The one I installed has a 10 year warranty).

My recommendation:  If you buy with all that in mind you will likely have a fixture that is safe, provides great light, and is long lasting.  I learned a lot from my experience and research.  I hope you do too.  "Let there be light ... and it was good."



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Almost Anything Goes
Bartender, Make it a Double
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
led light fixtures

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you for the reblog, Marte!  I'm glad you liked the post and the information was useful!

Jun 08, 2018 02:44 AM #1
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Marte... I read this post the other day and learned lots of new things about LED fixtures. There's a lot we don't know about many lighting options now open to us. Great choice for a reblog. Happy Friday!

Jun 08, 2018 03:58 AM #2
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. Always good to get tips from Jay! Enjoy your day!

Jun 08, 2018 05:14 AM #3
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Jay is full of good insight and real world knowledge.  I'm so glad he wrote this and that you shared it.

Jun 08, 2018 12:20 PM #4
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jay Markanich - you're more than welcome. I appreciate you writing this and giving us all a warning.

Happy Friday to you too Nina Hollander. Aren't we lucky to have folks like Jay sharing their good advice?



Jun 08, 2018 12:37 PM #5
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Wayne Martin - Yes, Jay has tons of knowledge. We're fortunate that he's willing to share it so freely. 

Thanks Chris Ann Cleland - I'm glad he wrote it too. The more people know about this, the better.


Jun 08, 2018 12:39 PM #6
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Yikes, that is scary, not good at all, hope the breaker popped before hand.

Jun 12, 2018 06:01 AM #7
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

David Popoff - Yes, I can see a house fire could easily be caused by one of those.

Jun 12, 2018 07:59 AM #8
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Marte Cliff

Your real estate writer
Do you have a question about real estate copywriting? Just ask!
Spam prevention