Why are LED lights so Expensive?

salty150

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The "answer" is very simple - because they can.

People pay these prices - if no one paid these exorbitant prices - the price would be lower.
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

NHgoalstop

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I wonder if these high end led companies would make more if they priced them with a more affordable price point drawing in more people. They won't make as much per unit but if they say more units to more than cover the loss than I would think it would be worth the move.
 

90's reefer

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The fans not working won’t cause the unit to melt? I’m sure you could find a small computer fan on amazon to replace the broken ones. I’d be worried about heat without cooling fans. LED’s will cook the motherboard without cooling fans
They are T5's and the temp is within a few degrees with the fans on or off as measured with an IR thermometer.
 

Tuffyyyyy

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I wonder if these high end led companies would make more if they priced them with a more affordable price point drawing in more people. They won't make as much per unit but if they say more units to more than cover the loss than I would think it would be worth the move.
I have no data to back this up but EcoTech seems to be far & away the most popular lighting company on this board. If you’re already #1, and the highest priced option, why would you lower your price?
 

fcmatt

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I have no data to back this up but EcoTech seems to be far & away the most popular lighting company on this board. If you’re already #1, and the highest priced option, why would you lower your price?
Eventually the new hotness will come out and cause them to be more competitive. So you are correct. If they are hitting their internal goals as a company change won't happen internally. Outside influence will.
 
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fcmatt

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I wonder if these high end led companies would make more if they priced them with a more affordable price point drawing in more people. They won't make as much per unit but if they say more units to more than cover the loss than I would think it would be worth the move.
Margins, for a company, is a big thing. It is a last resort as a for profit company to lower their margins for more sales. They would rather try anything else to move more units that keeps margins nice and fat. Like marketing, exclusivity, and etc...

Normally outside competition changes that.
 

oreo5457

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Well soo many ways to look at this..
First you have a small lot (yes it's not street light volumes) industry that is handicapped by small lot materials, r&d, sales reps, advertising, trade shows.. list goes on.
Second you have the fact that, contrary to Economics eggheads there is really no rhyme or reason to pricing things in Capitalism.
They pretend there is but it's all hit an miss really.
Third you have multiple markups in the supply chain each making up their own margins of profitability.
Then you have collusion where you fix pricing stifling competition on the same product sold by different vendors.

CREE XP-g Royal blue diode runs about $1 each in lots of 1000.. so it's certainly not the diodes. :)
That's .33/watt.
Which leads me to "my" idea of what a fixture should cost for say non-boutique type lights.
$2/watt...

Granted some diodes, even wholesale command larger prices..
Luxeon "UV" (415nm) diodes run $5.30 each in quantities of 2000.
Might add $32 per diode per fixture.. Now that said probably one of the most expensive "UV" diodes out there (sorry don't know all companies ) and as you note, nobody uses them for a commercial unit.

Now what really bothers me, way more so than light head pricing is add on costs.
At what I consider the top end prices, controllers should be included..

Yea designing and maintaining software is expensive (don't get me started on THAT rabbit hole) but it's just err wrong in my mind.

So personal opinion............ and as they say you decide with your pocket book.

Oddly few complain about $1000 T5 fixture which has practically zero "tech" and generally is nothing but aluminum (maybe a few microns of silver) , ballast, tombstones, a fan and a plug. Sometimes you don't even get bulbs.. :)
Another product where cost of materials and even labor is not that high.

Main thing is volume..

The prices for LED lights have been steadily falling, and are expected to diminish further. PBOT said the cost of the specific make and model of LED fixture it has been installing (the Leotek ECobra) started at $500 per in 2000, but by 2018 it had dropped to $124 each.
I have no data to back this up but EcoTech seems to be far & away the most popular lighting company on this board. If you’re already #1, and the highest priced option, why would you lower your price?
Personally, it's probably Chinese black boxes.. ;)
As to why one would lower a price is to sell many more at less than an equiv cost of manuf.
30% lower margin but 2x the sales is a lot more cash..but ..again..small market.. no place to go.
 

oreo5457

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Margins, for a company, is a big thing. It is a last resort as a for profit company to lower their margins for more sales. They would rather try anything else to move more units that keeps margins nice and fat. Like marketing, exclusivity, and etc...

Normally outside competition changes that.
Or if you are Japanese.. Honda (or Toyota don't remember which) cut automobile margins to reamain #1 in sales volume after a yen appreciation. US car manuf. freaked out (since "greed is good") because they thought their
POS's sales would increase when Hondas(Toyotas?) became more expensive.
They literally said "how could they do that"?

Gotta pay the rentiers..
 

fcmatt

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A 1000 dollar t5 fixture is 5 feet long, holds 8 bulbs, and for a 1000 it will include enough left over for the bulbs almost. 5 feet of coverage compared to what? 24x24 for a 800 dollar led? You need at least 3 of those led setups... just saying.

But yea.. the old school ones are stupid simple. But that is a selling point to me. Less to break and I can actually repair my old school lights :-/
 

maxwell

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Hi , I am amazed that reefers take all the hype about leds as gospel , I have have been running various led units for 5 years and have had multiple failures and believe your findings as to the quality of leds being used in reef lighting even though we pay through the nose for them . What I have never seen is FAILURE RATES BY MANUFATURER/models posted in polls on forums which would be the only way for the manufactures to reduce the price structure as people would shy away from them . Why do we get upgrades on light units every couple of years is it because of fault rates and reliability ??? .My personal opinion is that you are lucky if you get 3 years out of any led light fixture with the odd one going the distance only way to tell is if reefers accept they have had a failure and that's a reason for another upgrade.
 
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alton

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I love these threads! My oldest BML Led is 8 years old and still works fine. My 310 has four of them along with 6 AI Leds that average 5 years of age and cost me $100 each. Lets cover cost on an expensive fixture because this came up in another thread. Philips new fixture to cost $800+? The same fixture but 4,000 K with a 5' cord, no controls and considered a high bay fixture 24,000 Lumens my cost with Tax $527.17 and last year my company bought 1 million + in lights from our Philips rep. So with markup you are looking at a off the shelf Led fixture $600. Now change that same fixture with special Leds, controls, and only buying one or two where I bought 100's and you are not paying that much more for a specialty fixture. My company installed a light in a school that lit up the stairway, and that one light cost $75,000. But remember its for the children!
It's great to live in a country where we all have so many choices!
 

oreo5457

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A 1000 dollar t5 fixture is 5 feet long, holds 8 bulbs, and for a 1000 it will include enough left over for the bulbs almost. 5 feet of coverage compared to what? 24x24 for a 800 dollar led? You need at least 3 of those led setups... just saying.

But yea.. the old school ones are stupid simple. But that is a selling point to me. Less to break and I can actually repair my old school lights :-/


$159....:) w/ 8 6500k bulbs..Replacement bulbs would cost about $36 so fixture alone is "worth"....$123

POINT is they are ALL relatively expensive ..no matter the tech.
On that note who pays $800 for a phone?
Showing my age I guess.
 
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45ZoaGarden

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Well soo many ways to look at this..
First you have a small lot (yes it's not street light volumes) industry that is handicapped by small lot materials, r&d, sales reps, advertising, trade shows.. list goes on.
Second you have the fact that, contrary to Economics eggheads there is really no rhyme or reason to pricing things in Capitalism.
They pretend there is but it's all hit an miss really.
Third you have multiple markups in the supply chain each making up their own margins of profitability.
Then you have collusion where you fix pricing stifling competition on the same product sold by different vendors.

CREE XP-g Royal blue diode runs about $1 each in lots of 1000.. so it's certainly not the diodes. :)
That's .33/watt.
Which leads me to "my" idea of what a fixture should cost for say non-boutique type lights.
$2/watt...

Granted some diodes, even wholesale command larger prices..
Luxeon "UV" (415nm) diodes run $5.30 each in quantities of 2000.
Might add $32 per diode per fixture.. Now that said probably one of the most expensive "UV" diodes out there (sorry don't know all companies ) and as you note, nobody uses them for a commercial unit.

Now what really bothers me, way more so than light head pricing is add on costs.
At what I consider the top end prices, controllers should be included..

Yea designing and maintaining software is expensive (don't get me started on THAT rabbit hole) but it's just err wrong in my mind.

So personal opinion............ and as they say you decide with your pocket book.

Oddly few complain about $1000 T5 fixture which has practically zero "tech" and generally is nothing but aluminum (maybe a few microns of silver) , ballast, tombstones, a fan and a plug. Sometimes you don't even get bulbs.. :)
Another product where cost of materials and even labor is not that high.

Main thing is volume..





Personally, it's probably Chinese black boxes.. ;)
As to why one would lower a price is to sell many more at less than an equiv cost of manuf.
30% lower margin but 2x the sales is a lot more cash..but ..again..small market.. no place to go.
It’s not just as simple as lower the prices and get more sales. Ecotech is in the realm of advertising themselves as a premium (luxury) product like Neptune systems. If they lower their prices, they would no longer be the best thing since sliced bread because there would be more premium options. People would look at the more expensive options and go oooooooooooohhhhhhhh. Ecotech wants to be the brand people go oooooohhhhhh to. It’s a premium brand. I don’t hear anyone complaining about the price of a new Audi compared to the price of a new Volkswagen. It’s built by the same company with the same parts. But the Audi costs twice as much. What!?!? This is the same thing with out lights. Ecotech makes radions which is the “Audi” of lights while ecotech also makes AI, the “Volkswagen” of lights. Built by the same people using the same components. If you’re going to complain about the prices of premium products, step down and buy within your means.
 

45ZoaGarden

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$159....:) w/ 8 6500k bulbs..Replacement bulbs would cost about $36 so fixture alone is "worth"....$123

POINT is they are ALL relatively expensive ..no matter the tech.
On that note who pays $800 for a phone?
Showing my age I guess.
$800? The new iPhone is $1,500 LOL
 

oreo5457

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It’s not just as simple as lower the prices and get more sales. Ecotech is in the realm of advertising themselves as a premium (luxury) product like Neptune systems.
Yea that too. A local Brewery here sold lot of beer but at err "fair" prices.. Adv. jockeys decided to market it as a "premium" beer, jacked up the price and sold tons..
Needless to say locals were not happy.

If something is too cheap regardless of quality people tend to shy away..
 
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Tuffyyyyy

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Eventually the new hotness will come out and cause them to be more competitive. So you are correct. If they are hitting their internal goals as a company change won't happen internally. Outside influence will.
I don't know how accurate this is for our hobby. At this point we're down to 3 major companies (2 of which are related) with Ecotech, AI and Kessil. But even Kessil is kind of like the Nintendo fanboys these days where we just keep buying them for the shimmer. The only time I can recall a price reduction is when AI drops their prices to clear inventory for the new product - these products are even always excluded from sales.

I don't like where we're headed for reef lighting options tbh. I've been meaning to make a thread to keep a tally of all the lighting Companies out there, just because I'd like for this hobby to get away from Ecotech & AI being the primary answer for everyone's lighting option.
 

45ZoaGarden

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I don't know how accurate this is for our hobby. At this point we're down to 3 major companies (2 of which are related) with Ecotech, AI and Kessil. But even Kessil is kind of like the Nintendo fanboys these days where we just keep buying them for the shimmer. The only time I can recall a price reduction is when AI drops their prices to clear inventory for the new product - these products are even always excluded from sales.

I don't like where we're headed for reef lighting options tbh. I've been meaning to make a thread to keep a tally of all the lighting Companies out there, just because I'd like for this hobby to get away from Ecotech & AI being the primary answer for everyone's lighting option.
Kessil is starting to catch on. The new ap700 is a very interesting fixture. But at $800, there’s better options.
 

Lizdoesreef

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Well the same goes for cell phones... All the big competitors have their own high end version and they are all in the 800-1200 range!!! But there are plenty of brands that offer similar technology but w/o the bells and whistles. For example, Chinese box LEDs are very cheap but has been proven to be almost as effective in growing corals as to the high end lights. There are also units that are in the middle price range w some perks, such as the ocean revive being one example. On the higher spectrum, reef brites also have upped their game, and have the best blue spectrum in the market. If u have a large budget and just absolutely have to have the best and latest technology, then by all means, whatever helps you sleep at night. But for the average reefer, the lower price ranges LEDs has done phenomenal.
 

Complaining about the cost of aquarium equipment when you pay large sums of money for coral & fish..

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