LED-ing the way


Steve Stark, trade sales director UK and Ireland at LEDVANCE, takes a look at the latest developments in four distinct lighting markets: offices, retail premises, the hospitality industry and industrial premises.

For electrical installers, the accelerating switchover to LED lighting presents a significant business opportunity. Retrofitting LED lighting into existing buildings is increasingly popular, providing an attractive RoI as well as improving the ambiance of the facility. The primary drivers for the switch vary significantly from customer to customer. 

The biological effect of light

One of the major ways in which LED lighting is an advance on the technologies that preceded it is its exceptional controllability. Not only the level but also the colour temperature of the ambient lighting can now be precisely controlled. Regulating indoor light sources not only helps to save energy, but can also stabilise the natural day and night biorhythms of humans, helping to boost a sense of well-being and improving health. 

Offices everywhere are experiencing the benefits of providing controlled and tailored lighting throughout the day, improving working efficiency by adapting light sources to follow the natural course of daylight. 

Setting the scene

The challenge faced by retailers is how to make the products on display look as appealing as possible, while managing energy costs which make a significant contribution to retail overheads. 

At the same time, store layouts are more dynamic than ever as retailers respond to the completely flexible online world to reshape their offer, laying out stores regularly to reflect new products and sales promotions. LED lighting is exceptionally well placed to help them address this triple challenge. Solutions like the retrofittable LEDVANCE 3-phase Tracklight spot LEDs products can be tilted and swivelled to highlight almost any object in the room. 

Aesthetics meets technology

The hospitality business is about making guests feel good. LED lighting can help achieve this, leveraging unprecedented controllability to deliver benefits that go beyond novel lighting effects and energy savings. LED lighting has quickly become a popular upgrade for hotels and venues keen to present an image and create an attractive, welcoming ambience. 

Controlled via an easy-to-use mobile app, or even a voice-command interface, a roomful of LED lamps can produce finely-tuned illumination in almost any colour or provide copious ‘white’ light at any desired correlated colour temperature (CCT) corresponding to tones from warm, to cool, to daylight white. They can fill-in, accent, highlight, wall-wash, or provide the main illumination, and with dynamic control can transform the mood of an entrance hall, lobby, function room, restaurant, or bar gradually or instantaneously. 

Robust and energy efficient

Lighting in industrial locations needs to address safety and sustainability requirements, whilst also being fit for purpose in terms of withstanding the environment and providing the right level of illumination. With the right choice of luminaire, retrofitting LED lighting can be straightforward and bring dramatic improvements in both energy costs and the working environment. 

For example, Peterborough-based Ability International replaced an existing lighting installation in its warehouse that included six-foot fluorescent linear luminaires using 8.7 kW per hour and costing the business £273 a month. Following the installation of LEDVANCE 55W damp proof LED luminaires illuminance has improved by 20% and energy demand reduced by 5kw per hour, saving Ability 68% on their energy costs. 

Ease of installation

If there is one common characteristic that unites these four very different markets it is ease of installation. If an installer is replacing tens or hundreds of luminaires at a site, a quarter or half an hour of the time it takes to fit each one can make a big difference to the project. 

By focussing on reducing the installation time, the installer cannot only provide a more competitive bid without sacrificing their own margin, but can also improve the RoI making the project more appealing to the customer and creating a greater incentive to proceed. 

For Lighting Electricians, the contractors for Ability International, the ease of installation and assembly of the LEDVANCE luminaires was a key factor with stainless steel clamps and safety screws provided alongside mounting accessories. They were able to pre-assemble and complete much of the installation in their workshop facility off-site to minimise disruption. Once at the customer’s premises, the LEDVANCE fitting connected simply using push-fit connectors with all additional parts included.

Using the right luminaires and the right approach, retrofitting LED lighting can be a highly lucrative source of revenue for the lighting installer.