Having worked with lighting showrooms, home centers, electrical distributors, hardware chains, hospitality suppliers, energy saving retrofit contractors and some of the country’s leading electrical device manufacturers, at Trans-Pacific Facilitators, we understand what it takes to pursue lighting product development and product sourcing in China. For more than two decades, our team of experts has helped businesses source materials and develop products in China such as:
- LED lighting fixtures for furniture and offices
- LED lighting modules for gaming and specialty items
- Outdoor LED lighting modules
- LED outdoor signage
- Induction lighting
If you’re searching for expert resources on lighting product development and sourcing in China, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find some of the benefits, key points to remember and valuable questions to ask both your sourcing partner and the manufacturing facility.
Benefits of Lighting Product Development in China
There are many benefits to outsourcing your lighting product development to China. Similar to other products, when you choose to outsource, you reduce expenditures on facilities, staffing benefits, energy and raw materials. Furthermore, you can hire specialized manufacturers that are skilled in volume production, giving you more time to concentrate locally on your core operations, such as administration, sales, marketing and customer service.
Specifically, the development of lighting products in China allows for exceptional cost savings both in materials and labor because these products are often manufactured in bulk orders. Generally speaking, the higher the bulk order, the greater the cost savings.
Testing and Safety Approval for Lighting Product Development
Because the lighting industry, specifically the LED lighting industry, is such a niche market – where not all Chinese manufacturing companies are capable of meeting safety and environmental standards – it is imperative that you select a sourcing partner that has the experience and knowledge of this particular industry to ensure your success. This is most important when it comes time for testing and safety approval.
Many of the products developed for the lighting industry require UL, ETL, CE, TUV, Energy Star or other safety approvals. Because it is unlikely that you will travel to China on a regular basis to check for these standards, and because it is more unlikely that you have the manpower or knowledge needed to perform such tests, you must partner with a company like Trans-Pacific that understands the requirements and testing procedures.
Typical lighting inspections that you should expect include:
During this phase, inspectors will check all raw materials and evaluate operational procedures to ensure compliance with specifications and production schedule.
In-Line Production Inspections
Once 10-15 percent of the client’s products are finished, the team will check against specifications, evaluating the quality and forecasting the timeliness of delivery.
Prior to shipment, products will be checked for completeness, including the inspection for function, quantity, appearance, safety, packaging and shipping mark to make sure the product is ready to market.
Getting Started: Questions to Ask Your Lighting Manufacturer in China
Below are some of the most important questions to ask your outsourcing partner and any prospective lighting manufacturer in China prior to any contractual agreement. The answers to these questions will give you insight into the company’s experience with lighting products and whether or not their procedures and standards will be up to par with what you expect.
- Do you have specific experience with the lighting industry?
- How do you source materials and manage inventory?
- What type of specifications and drawings do you need to recreate my lighting product?
- Will you be able to translate documents and product specs into Chinese?
- Will you provide product samples for approval? How many samples will you provide? How will I be charged for those samples?
- What risk management steps will be taken to ensure my business is protected?
- Can you provide packaging? At what cost?
- Do you handle testing and safety approvals like UL or Energy Star?
- How often will you tour the facility to check quality and production?
- Will I be able to visit the facility in China?
- Can you provide references specific to the lighting industry?
This is just a brief overview of what it takes to get started with lighting product development in China. For a more complete view of the pros and cons associated with outsourcing lighting production to China or to speak with one of our team members regarding your specific product, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Trans-Pacific Facilitators today.