Just Lamps Launches Initiative to Help Identify Counterfeit Projector Lamps
Just Lamps, the world’s largest specialist projector lamp distributor, has issued this dramatic warning to the channel - the AV market is...
Just Lamps, the world’s largest specialist projector lamp distributor, has issued this dramatic warning to the channel - the AV market is rife with counterfeit lamps – and is taking steps to address the issue.
According to the distributor, after first alerting the industry two years ago that fake projector lamps were infiltrating western markets, the problem has escalated. They conducted a series of test purchases across the world where the advertised price appeared too-good-to-be-true, and the results indicate that there are now thousands of phony lamps in circulation in all markets.
Dave Bethell, CEO and founder of Just Lamps explains “The fact is, people are being duped. If you were offered a £1,000 Rolex watch for £20 you’d know you are buying a knock off copy, but if you’re offered the same Rolex watch for £900, you start to think you may have a great deal. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening in the replacement lamp industry today with customers paying a high price for what they think is a genuine product and unwittingly receiving a fake.”
The lamps that have made their way into the supply chain are visually very convincing. The packaging, manuals and bulbs all look genuine and they have the correct logos and markings. Unless buyers have the original lamp to compare with, it’s almost impossible to tell them from the genuine article.
This means that many in the channel are being duped, starting with the distributor who imported the lamps thinking they were getting a great deal. With many orders being fulfilled direct to the end user on behalf of the reseller, trade customers may not even see the lamps before they land with their clients.
In a bid to counter the problem and promote lamp education, Just Lamps has launched the reference website www.counterfeitlamps.com. The site helps identify 80% of fake lamps by giving a guide to bulb markings and clearly showing what a customer should expect to see. It is designed for anyone in the channel who feels unsure about their ability to spot a fake.
As well as demonstrating bulb markings, there is guidance on other tell-tale signs in lamp construction, advice on courses of action and a free evaluation service for worried consumers.
“We want to rid our market of these illegal and potentially hazardous lamps”, says Bethell. “Some distributors are inadvertently making criminals out of hundreds of resellers and thousands of projector users. The whole issue of supply management needs addressing, and having a better educated market will help drive this. Our hope is that when they and their customers look at their lamps in detail, if counterfeits are present they will take the right steps to stop this unlawful practice”.
In addition to the website, Just Lamps provides a simple checklist, by bulb manufacturer, for service engineers to carry with them when they replace a lamp, available from their local Just Lamps office. They also intend to share the findings of their free consultation service with the projector manufacturers in a further move to help keep the replacement lamp industry reputable.