A Sea Change for LED Lighting Manufacturers

When we first shifted LED Waves manufacturing operations stateside to debut a set of American-made LED PAR lamps back in 2012, we did so with three primary goals:

  1. Lower costs by eliminating middlemen and consolidating operations in-house – accelerating wide-scale adoption of energy-saving LED lights.
  2. Create jobs – especially in the green tech field, particularly for the United States (which was falling behind in this field at the time) and most importantly – for us personally – on a local level here in NYC.
  3. Exercise closer quality control of our in-house exclusives – helping diffuse the discontent some early adopters experienced from poorly made LED products.
Chicago.Illinois.LED PAR30.light bulbs
Chicago, Illinois:
The evolution of our LED PAR30 involved adding dimmability and upgrading from 7 LEDs to latest Philips single CoB.

While we figured we were oddities at the time – supplying and manufacturing LED lights in-house in the USA, despite our small company size – we didn’t realize we were on the ground floor of a global sea change in the SSL industry.

China has long dominated our field, handling the intensive process behind the manufacture of all energy efficient lighting – from the glass-blown curvature of CFL bulbs to the board population and highly nuanced assembly of LED replacements – with a seemingly endless supply of cheap labor. Government subsidies made it even harder for American businesses to resist the allure of Chinese manufacturing.

Slowly yet surely, though, China is losing its foothold and manufacturing has shifted back to the United States. Forbes has noted six commonalities among manufacturers affecting this change:

forbes chinese mfgThis does not portend the end of Chinese manufacturing – far from it. Rather, we’re seeing a leveling of the playing field – and on a higher level at that. Healthy competition between LED Waves among other American manufacturers (not to mention other global contenders) breeds higher quality, lower cost LED lights, with more jobs and better employee satisfaction. And remember, that’s what drove our decision to manufacture LED lights in the USA.