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LED Lighting Needs Vary Widely By Sector, Says IHS

From retail to offices to transportation each requires different marketing strategies to win

A recent series of three reports from IHS found that the needs for lighting vary greatly by sector. Security is a significant watchword in transportation, increasing sales is important in retail and the up-front and lifetime costs of installation, electricity and maintenance is critical in office environments.

 Each of the following three areas offers a similar opportunity, but each requires different marketing strategies to win, explains Jamie Fox IHS' principal analyst for Lighting and LEDs

Transportation Lighting

In the $18.1 billion global market for street and transportation lighting, the most important requirement is that the users of the space feel a sense of safety and security. They need the right lighting to feel relaxed, whether they are walking by the side of a road, or waiting at a bus stop or train station. Bright lighting without glare or shadowed areas meets this need. 

Other success factors include the quality of light, up-front costs, running costs and ease of maintenance. In the IHS Transportation Lighting report, it is not just the frequency of replacement that matters, but also the ease of access to difficult-to-service locations - although longer lifetimes for LED bulbs can mitigate maintenance costs.

 Retail Lighting

In the $17.6 billion retail market this year, the key requirement is to light the product - not the space -to increase sales. Food, clothing and many other items require a high colour-rendering index. In fact, "the three most important factors of successful lighting are the right amount of lumens, the right placement of the lights and the right light colour," according to one retail lighting designer interviewed for the IHS Retail Lighting Applications report. There are two types of lighting in the retail environment: product lighting and the illumination of floor spaces.

Product lighting is more focused on quality and sales; whereas floor space lighting, especially in larger spaces such as supermarkets, is often focused more on cost. While lighting quality is not as critical, a uniform white look tends to make a store look more attractive.

Office Lighting

In a market of $18.8 billion for lighting in offices according to the IHS Office Lighting Applications report, cost is especially important. While lighting cost is an important consideration in all sectors, in office environments the cost argument overrides all others. Installation cost, running cost, and maintenance cost will inform most choices; quality and design issues tend not to rank as highly. 

The light quality only needs to be good enough, that it is not seen as an issue by users. Bad lighting can have an effect on employee productivity and morale, but providing exceptionally good lighting is often not considered to be worth the extra investment. Boutique and stylish companies employing lighting designers represent a minority of companies. In some cases, reception areas of offices are more focused on style and quality, than the non-public areas.

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