The Value of Extended Warranties for Production Equipment

by | Audio, Lighting, Production, Video

By Scott Wasserberg

It is easy to extend the warranty on a cordless drill but not a moving light. The lighting console is a computer, but you cannot easily buy extended support. You get persistent calls offering a warranty for an ’86 LTD, but try getting coverage for a 2-year-old LED fixture!

Warranties are an insurance policy for the manufacturer who wants to make it clear to the consumer that the product they buy is going to function for at least the length of that warranty. An extended warranty is insurance we take on to protect us from potential repair costs in the future. As a consumer, we get offered these “extended” products with almost any purchase. When deciding whether or not to buy one, we should weigh several factors.

What to Consider

In our deliberations on extending a warranty on a consumer item, we typically weigh a variety of variables. The purchase price has a direct relationship on the risk we feel in possibly needing to replace the item (i.e. an alarm clock might be easy to replace but the new washer might be more of an investment). How long will the clock or washer last and who will be using the item? Can this item get repaired? All of these factors contribute to our decision on whether to take an extended warranty for our consumer purchase.

Professional AVL equipment does not follow all the same trends as their consumer counterparts. The cost for a digital audio mixer, video switcher, camera, or lighting console can run into the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands for a single item. For many Worship facilities purchasing new equipment, it often comes down to cost and insuring you get the best quality for the money provided. You need to understand each purchase is an investment and protecting each investment is a priority.

Facts about Warranties

Focusing on professional entertainment lighting equipment, standard manufacturer’s warranties range from 2 to 5 years. The useful life of lighting equipment extends years beyond the warranty expiration, yet even well-maintained gear breaks at some point. When equipment breaks after the warranty, some facilities don’t have repair budgets, or if they do, they aren’t expecting repairs to cost as much as some can.

For example, an LED moving light has an average initial cost of $4,000 to $5,000. The repair or replacement of a power supply can cost $500, and as much as $1,000 parts and labor. For a lighting console, the cost can range from $1,000 to as high as $70,000 in repair needs, and the associated costs vary widely. With a life expectancy of 10 or more years, maintaining this investment is important.

Also, when LED houselights fail, restoring light over the congregation becomes a priority that often is costly once the repaired unit is returned to operation. Each highlights the potential risk and the need for extended coverage of your investment.

Do These Warranties Exist?

Unlike the consumer market, there is no third party offering an extension to the manufacturer warranty once it expires. It’s time that professional AVL equipment has the same warranty offerings that the consumer market has had for years. The solution is easy: give worship facilities the option to decide whether they want extended coverage and make it as simple as stepping up to the counter and getting asked, “Would you like an extended warranty on this…?”

In order to remedy this problem, we at The Tron Shop have created the lighting industry’s only third party extended warranty option. We recognize this need, and we hope to help as many of you as possible be better stewards of the expensive equipment you use every week. Let us know if we can help!

Scott Wasserberg is the President of The Tron Shop, the entertainment lighting industry’s only third party extended warranty provider. Warranties are offered for lighting fixtures, atmospheric equipment, control systems, and power control systems. To purchase an extended warranty, call your dealer and ask about The Tron Shop extended warranty. To find out more, visit us at, email at or call 800-615-1182.

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