New research on LED usage in UK homes suggests a welcome shift in consumer focus to energy efficiency rather than price, writes Holger Engelbrecht, of reichelt.
Lightbulbs: recently named as one of the greatest inventions of all time. From lamps to spotlights to fairy lights, they are available in all shapes and sizes, suited for a range of purposes. While they can a big source of energy consumption, lights can also provide the perfect opportunity to reduce costs and save energy.Take LED lights. They have now become a viable lighting option for homes and businesses alike in the UK – 73 percent of UK homes have fully switched and Sainsbury’s has recently become the first British supermarket to switch to LED lights completely as well. Why? Because people are starting to seek lighting sources that are both green and inexpensive.
In addition, the shadow of the upcoming halogen ban is looming and energy prices are soaring, causing campaigners to call for a cap on bills. Until that comes into effect, both consumers and businesses will continue to look for the most energy efficient and cost-effective lighting.
Energy savings biggest concern
Energy efficiency is the most important factor for British people when buying any light, according to research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of reichelt elektroniks. This is a common theme across Europe where 35 percent of German consumers agree and 41 percent of participants agreed in France.
Efficiency is of particular concern to over 35s in the UK, with 37 percent of over 55s saying it influences their choice of lighting. This shows that further education on the benefits of LEDs is needed for younger generations. Whilst this age group may have less disposable income and the preconception that LED bulbs are too expensive, they are in fact a better long term option.
With an energy saving of up to 90% compared to filament bulbs, LED technology is the most efficient light source on the market. They boast an impressive life span of roughly 50,000 hours versus filament bulbs at 1000 hours and energy saving bulbs which last 6000 to 15,000 hours. Their lengthy life cycle is of obvious appeal to consumers as they require less frequent replacements, reducing the need for upfront spending.
Thanks to the “EU Energy Efficiency” label launched on September 1st, 2013, customers can easily identify how power each light bulb uses.
Overcoming the pricing barrier
Whilst pricing has dropped down the rankings of importance to third – behind efficiency and design which was cited as the second most important factor at 23 percent – it remains a barrier for many wanting to switch to LEDs. 27 per cent of UK adults find it too expensive to do so. Consumers still opted for alternative bulbs because upfront costs were cheaper.
If you are renovating your home or refurbishing your office, lighting can be a big expense. However, in recent years, thanks to technology developments and production, LED lights are now in reality much more affordable.
While the switch to LEDs for home lighting was associated with relatively high purchase prices 10 years ago, the technology is now available at low prices thanks to mass production. In the US, for example, the cost of LED bulbs fell by 94 percent between 2008 and 2015.
When considering making the switch and concerned about cost, consumers and businesses should ask themselves: What is the most important reason for me to switch to LED and why should I do it now? And which rooms should I start refitting and are there rooms where it’s less worth making the change?
The LED era is here. Retailers must address this new demand for affordable, energy efficient lighting and those customers who now seek the long-term cost savings on offer versus conventional bulbs quickly.
Consumer needs have clearly shifted as we look for ways to become as energy efficient as possible instead of being primarily focused on pricing. It’s up to organisations to spread the word to businesses and consumers that affordable, energy saving light source options are out there on the market now.
The research of 1,000 UK adults was conducted by OnePoll in June 2017. OnePoll are members of ESOMAR and employ members of the MRS.
Holger Engelbrecht is a business graduate who has been working in the sales department at reichelt elektronik since 1999 and is currently product manager for Lighting & Tools.