Why are LED lights so Expensive?

Silver14SS

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After your last post, I think I understand your point and I'd agree. They are maximizing profits by selling a luxury product and the market is clearly accepting of this. I just find it interesting that all of our equipment hasn't moved to this market- whether that reflects "market research" that the average reefer wouldn't swallow the price tag associated with a "luxury return pump" or "luxury RODI" or whether we just haven't seen that shift yet. I'm guessing the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle- it's probably much easier to convince someone that their corals will color up better or grow faster under a premium light compared to a cheap light than it is to convince someone of the value of a "premium return pump". I'm guessing that eventually some company will figure out a selling point and we'll be having this discussion in ten years about the lack of affordable dosing pumps.
I don't understand why, and I think it's very odd, but this site seems to be obsessed with price vs. perceived value. I'm into other hobbies that aren't cheap and do not have good returns on equipment and there's no price complaints. I swear some members on this forum (not directed at you, OP, or anyone in this thread) would go to Ruth's Chris and complain that they don't have a $1 value menu.
 
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90's reefer

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I don't understand why, and I think it's very odd, but this site seems to be obsessed with price vs. perceived value. I'm into other hobbies that aren't cheap and do not have good returns on equipment and there's no price complaints. I swear some members on this forum (not directed at you, OP, or anyone in this thread) would go to Ruth's Chris and complain that they don't have a $1 value menu.
Good steak analogy!
A better one would be comparing a Ruth's Chris steak to one from Denneys.
They are both edible but you really cant compair.
There are many choices.
Used G4's are still pricy imo.
 

h2so4hurts

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DIY is still a thing. You can get double the light for the same price. I love my MakersLED DIY build. Takes a bit of effort but it's 100% custom.

Or you can go the Chinese black box route. I have a number of friends the swear by Viperspectra and ocean revive. But, ATI, Kessil, EcoTech, et al are definitely overpriced for what they deliver.
 

90's reefer

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In the time I have owned my ati t5 fixture some people have gone through 3 versions of led lights. But they did not have to buy bulbs every 6 to 9 months and saved a ton! Lol

The halide people can probably double up on that!

Led only saves you money if you run your original purchase without replacement for 6 to 8 years basically.

With that said good lighting costs $$$.
Again I have to laugh at the exspensive T5's, which I run, replacement cost.
$20 a month for 6-8 months? If you cant afford that this is the wrong hobby lol.
Plus you get a new light source everytime you change bulbs.
Most im my area are going to T5 led hybrids which may be the best of both worlds.
 

hyprc

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Niche Market + a healthy (sometimes greedy depending on who you're talking about) markup. Gotta make margins on a product you can only sell to 1% of the population if you want to stay in business/survive. Granted there's demand even at the high end, or else the greedy ones wouldn't still be in business.
 
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90's reefer

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Niche Market + a healthy (sometimes greedy depending on who you're talking about) markup. Gotta make margins on a product you can only sell to 1% of the population if you want to stay in business/survive. Granted there's demand even at the high end, or else the greedy ones wouldn't still be in business.
Well said!
 

clekchau

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It's interesting- I've thought a lot about this and I don't have a great answer. Ultimately, most of the manufacturers are selling luxury lighting options. As to why most of the lighting that is coming out is targeted to the luxury market rather than a middle ground, I'm not so sure (it's not like skimmer manufactuers all decided to target the luxury market). I'm not entirely sure why it happened, but I've noticed in the past 5-8 years or so, there has been a decrease in affordable reef equipment. It seems that the trend has been to move towards high end or low end with the middle ground disapearing. Clearly, from a business perspective, this has been a boom- many new reefers don't know that there are affordable options for skimmers, wavemakers, lighting, pumps, etc if the only products they see advertised or reviews for are extremely expensive/luxury items.
Nail on the head
 

Elaine123

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It's interesting- I've thought a lot about this and I don't have a great answer. Ultimately, most of the manufacturers are selling luxury lighting options. As to why most of the lighting that is coming out is targeted to the luxury market rather than a middle ground, I'm not so sure (it's not like skimmer manufactuers all decided to target the luxury market). I'm not entirely sure why it happened, but I've noticed in the past 5-8 years or so, there has been a decrease in affordable reef equipment. It seems that the trend has been to move towards high end or low end with the middle ground disapearing. Clearly, from a business perspective, this has been a boom- many new reefers don't know that there are affordable options for skimmers, wavemakers, lighting, pumps, etc if the only products they see advertised or reviews for are extremely expensive/luxury items.
So I am in the process of buying new equipment. Are there certain manufactuters or places that you recommend looking for well made decently priced things? I think most of the manufacturers are charging ridiculous prices in this hobby - and laughing all the way to the bank.
 
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teller

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Every 3 months a thread like this come up.
I will play the OP in advance because I personally I am fed up with this stupid kind of threads.
Yes you can use use and buy MH there are some suppliers in the USA, I am from EU.
You can use and buy T5 fixtures.
Why you OP do not buy a MH or T5 fixtures??????
I don not get anymore this kind of threads,,,,,
this kind of threads never end well.
Please use and buy whatever light technology you want and you can afford.
I am little p... off because every time this kind of threads come up never end well.
My little rant. I am sorry. But too much is too much. Don´t like led, buy MH and or T5.
 

saf1

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Ever run a business? There are costs all up and down the board that factor in to the price of the lighting be it bulb or LED. Facility, staff, compute, advertising, and the list goes on.

Using $1500 as a reference, and it is a big upfront number, that is pennies a day over a 5 year period using Kessil's life expectancy in their FAQ (5 - 7 years). So 20 - 24 bucks a month. What is the cost of a traditional lamp fixture be it (S)VHO, PC, T5, or MH unit, initial bulbs, then replacement bulbs at set intervals? You can always build your own if the initial cost disturbs you.

Hobbies are expensive be it golf, sewing, RC, scuba diving, or HPDE for example. The better question or complaint should have been on coral prices as it relates to made up names. Even then they are not a requirement. Just a bump in the road and many a beautiful tank with $10 - 15 dollar frags be it soft, LPS, or SPS.
 

Silver14SS

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Every 3 months a thread like this come up.
I will play the OP in advance because I personally I am fed up with this stupid kind of threads.
Yes you can use use and buy MH there are some suppliers in the USA, I am from EU.
You can use and buy T5 fixtures.
Why you OP do not buy a MH or T5 fixtures??????
I don not get anymore this kind of threads,,,,,
this kind of threads never end well.
Please use and buy whatever light technology you want and you can afford.
I am little p... off because every time this kind of threads come up never end well.
My little rant. I am sorry. But too much is too much. Don´t like led, buy MH and or T5.
Whether it's fish, coral, lights, sumps, there are price complaints here at least weekly. It'd be nice if people Just bought what they wanted at the price they value without trying to make those who spend more or less feel bad about their choice.
 

biecacka

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There are also more than 2 vendors doing this there are a few other smaller name brands in the market at that price point. It is a niche market.
I guess my question would be how much moreR&D is done on the current generation as opposed to previous ones. Like could some of that cost just be left in for “why not” cause? I don’t know, I’m not in that industry at all. But it’s like once your source the leds and the plastic for the body of gen1, wouldn’t that R&D already be accounted for in gen 2...3... so on and so on. Like I said, I have NO knowledge of how it works so I’m just talking out loud.

corey
 

92Miata

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some marketing guy with a calculator came to the conclusion if you sold them for half the price and still make a good profit it wouldn't turn into twice the number of sales. In fact they would probably have to sell 3 or 4 times the number.
R&D is very little and the consumer is the main R&D with feedback etc given
Its astounding to me that people think a lot of R&D is going into reef products. I've got a bunch that I'm pretty sure the company never even built a prototype - because they would have immediately known it was a terrible product.


I've got two identical tanks - they have the 'same' skimmer - one an older model, the other the newer DC model. The DC pump is clearly better than the older pump - quieter, moves more air, etc - but almost every other piece of the newer skimmer is worse. The newer skimmer has a narrower neck, despite moving more air - so its almost impossible to tune. The newer skimmer's collection cup design is clearly worse. The newer skimmer's diffuser plate is worse. The older skimmer has a valve so you can tune airflow, the newer one doesn't.


There are some companies that are clearly doing things right - but the majority are just slapping together whatever they think they can sell - especially when it comes to equipment for smaller tanks - some of the equipment just plain doesn't work at all.
 
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jda

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LED lighting does not cost a lot of money. Look at all of the inexpensive units out there.

Features and tech cost money... of which you NEED none of these but people want them. Like so many other things in life, the wants cost.
 

92Miata

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In the time I have owned my ati t5 fixture some people have gone through 3 versions of led lights. But they did not have to buy bulbs every 6 to 9 months and saved a ton! Lol

The halide people can probably double up on that!

Led only saves you money if you run your original purchase without replacement for 6 to 8 years basically.

With that said good lighting costs $$$.
7 or 8 years is way too long.

My XR30W cost about $900 new.
My 250w DE Giesseman fixture cost about $450 new.

The Giesseman goes through about $120 worth of bulbs a year. That puts the horizon at 4 years. It uses about $50 more a year in electricity than the XR30W - that lowers the horizon to 31 months. And thats not even accounting for the additional HVAC load and other cooling concerns.

You can argue that the Geisseman is a silly luxury fixture (and it is) - but so is the Radion. The numbers are even more in LEDs favor once you start comparing cheap LED fixtures vs cheap halide fixtures.
 

teller

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Whether it's fish, coral, lights, sumps, there are price complaints here at least weekly. It'd be nice if people Just bought what they wanted at the price they value without trying to make those who spend more or less feel bad about their choice.
I so totally agree with you.
There is that thing .... we all have a need list and a want list. Maybe it is better will fulfill the need list first, just my opinion.
 

wrasse man

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Everything grows in price because WE continue to pay the exorbitant price. This will only continue as long as WE accept it as normal. Yah some will chalk it up as R&D, inflation, off shore tariffs and the such, but prices are climbing to fast for that. It’s a money grab, one company sees they can command a certain price and then miraculously every other comparable light is near the same price. Thats not happenstance. Look at every item in this industry, from reactors, sump, chems, etc the are all priced similarly. Anything priced slightly less is just an underbidding sales tactic.

The problem is if your in the game, then they have you.
 

fcmatt

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7 or 8 years is way too long.

My XR30W cost about $900 new.
My 250w DE Giesseman fixture cost about $450 new.

The Giesseman goes through about $120 worth of bulbs a year. That puts the horizon at 4 years. It uses about $50 more a year in electricity than the XR30W - that lowers the horizon to 31 months. And thats not even accounting for the additional HVAC load and other cooling concerns.

You can argue that the Geisseman is a silly luxury fixture (and it is) - but so is the Radion. The numbers are even more in LEDs favor once you start comparing cheap LED fixtures vs cheap halide fixtures.
The problem with most cost examples is the coverage of led. Would you hang just one over a 4 foot tank? Probably not. Now you need 2. Maybe even 3? Shading might be an issue with 2.

Or just slap a 6 to 8 bulb 48 inch t5 fixture and away you go for a decade.

Oh down the rabbit hole we go. But my real point was that a lot of people, not all, never run their first set of led for 3 plus years to really max out savings. And the amount that die after 2 or 3 years is pretty shocking to me. We see threads here about it quite a bit.

Led, to me, have quite a few angles to purchasing them in a super smart manner. So if cost is a big big issue one has to analyze what their long term goals are!
 
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