These solutions are available by upgrading old, outdated lighting sources to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. Retailers can save money while availing themselves of the many product variations within this technology to fill every lighting need, improve the store image and merchandising techniques, attract and keep customers, showcase featured products and encourage shoppers to make purchase decisions.
Early LED Challenges Have Been Overcome
Incandescent lamps use technology that is more than 130 years old and converts most of the electricity required into heat rather than light. LED lamps convert electricity into light so efficiently that the same amount of light generated by a 60-watt incandescent lamp can be produced using only 10 watts.
However, as with any new product, the introduction of LED lighting has faced challenges:
Price – Retailers and homeowners initially baulked at the price of LED lamps and fixtures. Processing methods have been refined in the past few years, which has lowered production costs, and the increased demand for LED lighting has lowered prices. New features have allowed more partial conversions so that retailers can spread the price of upgrading over longer time periods.
Confusion – There has been—and still is—confusion between compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and LED lighting. LED lamps last 10 to 15 times longer and use less electricity than CFLs and, unlike CFLs, are not sensitive to low temperature or high humidity, and have no turn-on delay. There is no mercury in LED lamps, unlike CFLs, which require special handling and special disposal methods. Disposing of LED lamps is easier.
Needs – In early days, there were not enough LED lamps and lighting product choices. Now, there has been an explosion in the number of products and product variations to meet market demands. LED technology has increased awareness of the importance of such options as color appearance, color rendering, spill and so on – these choices are not available from old fashioned lighting sources.
Quality – Early versions of LED lamps did not produce the quality of light that was needed and accepted by most retailers and caused them to refuse to upgrade or to delay upgrading. Tests and research now proves that current LED lighting surpasses incandescent lighting in every way, and more retailers realize that upgrading costs will be recovered.
Environmental Protection – More people are concerned about the depletion of our natural resources and are happy to save money and protect the environment as well.
There are Still Challenges to Face
The rising cost of testing for each new LED product has concerned manufacturers and slowed output. The need to convince consumers of the validity of LED product claims was once critical and still needed to cover the explosive LED product expansion. Less costly and more efficient testing methods are required.
The wide choices in lighting are actually confusing to many retailers and they are clinging to the “olden days” in the same way that people, in general, resist change. There used to be very few choices of shapes, sizes, and brightness of white and colored lights, incandescent or fluorescent. Dimmer switches, up lights, and recessed lights were once exciting options.
Today, making the best choices can be baffling even if the irrefutable advantages of LED lighting are understood. High efficiency, energy savings, reduction of maintenance needs and costs, instant start, higher resistance to switching cycles, low operating temperature, and easy disposal are easy to understand. However, it is not so easy to choose the best light flux (lx) or foot candles (fc); light intensity (CBCP); beam angle (degree); color temperature (CCT); color rendering (CTI); as well as the best use of down lights, up lights, spot lights, pin point lights, rope lights, cove lights and more.
LED lighting provides numerous energy efficient lighting solutions. Retailers want the options that are best at reinforcing their store’s image and function and attracting their target market. People who find the myriad of choices confusing should consult a professional lighting designer to help them make the best, most affordable decisions.
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