LIGHTSPEC | Product developers agree dupes hurt lighting innovation

Jan. 30, 2024
Over on the LightSPEC website, HAYDEN BEESON learns from manufacturers that imitation lighting products can impact their business reputation.

Dupes, knock-offs, counterfeits — different names for the same concept: a cheaply made copy of a superior product. Nearly every industry, from clothing to aviation, has to deal with it, but lighting designers are finding that the problem is growing.

“Dupes have always been out there,” says Gregory Kay, president and founder of PureEdge Lighting, “but fairly recently — I would say in the last four to five years — is when it really shocked me. I could make a product and put it out there, and usually it would take a year or two for dupes to take off, but now it’s like six months.”

The sense that the counterfeit issue is growing is shared in the industry. Shant Madjarian, founder and president of Juniper, tells LightSPEC (formerly Architectural SSL), “For us, it started when the business began to grow. When you’re small, you aren’t a target.”

Madjarian believes one of the ways to fight dupes is to be constantly evolving. “Dupes hurt innovation,” he says. “It’s a race to the bottom.”

What does concern Madjarian is the quality difference; he doesn’t want end users to be disappointed with their lighting and then blame it on what they think are Juniper products. “It isn’t just the loss of business,” he says. “If a Juniper product is specified, and a dupe is used instead, the end user blames the inferior product on Juniper, and that damages our brand.”

This sentiment is echoed by Allied Maker founders Ryden and Lanette Rizzo, who tell LightSPEC, “Some consumers are duped themselves. They hired a team, and the team is looking to complete a job at a good value. Every now and then, some of these companies posturing themselves with our stolen product photos fool some of these buyers. They look at the photos, and they think it's the same product, and they are tempted by the low price.”

Like Juniper, Allied Maker sees customers who are unhappy when they don’t get what they thought they were getting.

“It's really sad to have to tell these people when they call us when something goes wrong that it isn't our product,” said the Rizzos. “[If] people really understood the level of care in our process, there is no way they would not care. Many of these companies that are copying our designs are international companies without the standards of care for their labor force. It's honestly inhumane. This is how products get produced so inexpensively.”

Read the full article at

HAYDEN BEESON is an associate editor with Endeavor Business Media, the parent company of LEDs Magazine and LightSPEC. Beeson recently joined the staff of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report.

Follow our LinkedIn page for our latest news updates, contributed articles, and commentary, and our Facebook page for events announcements and more. You can also find us on the X platform.

About the Author

Hayden Beeson

HAYDEN BEESON is a writer and editor with over seven years of experience in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Endeavor Business Media as associate editor of Architectural SSL and LEDs Magazine, he was the managing editor of several machine reliability publications.