Recently, thousands of building professionals descended upon Chicago to learn the latest in green building practices – in the forms of educational events, seminars and networking sessions – at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. (If you weren’t able to attend, check out GreenSource magazine’s recap of sessions, events and speakers.
Progress Lighting attended and exhibited at the show to not only learn about changes in legislation and advancements in energy efficient technology related to building activities – but to also share the knowledge that we have about these same issues.
We discovered that one big question attendees had on their minds was focused on LED’s. We’ve included our own Q&A using questions we received at Greenbuild below.
Q: How do you characterize the demand for residential lighting products?
A: In 2011, one of the largest opportunities for residential lighting products will be in the remodel market. Rather than building new homes, people are staying in their existing homes, refinancing and remodeling, which can lead to upgrades in lighting.
Q: In today’s down construction market, which products are winners?
A: LED products in general are the winners in today’s construction market. Significant increases in efficacy (lumens per watt), warm white color consistency, and an exceptionally long lifeline (more than 25x longer than incandescent and 5x longer than CFL) make them viable alternatives to traditional light sources, such as incandescent.
The sustainable element is very appealing, as well. They don’t contain mercury and there are no UV rays, which decreases fading of fabrics and other materials.
Also, consumers want something that looks like what they have always bought in the past. With LEDs, they have the potential to protect aesthetic integrity of product, while replacing inefficient incandescent fixtures.
Q: What role are premium sustainability-related home rating systems such as LEED, NAHB’s green standard and ENERGY STAR for Homes playing in the market?
All provide opportunity for builders to differentiate quality. The challenge is they are all different and not equal.
Q: What can electrical distributors do to add value to their residential lighting projects?
The number one thing electrical distributors can do to add value to their residential lighting projects is show the product. Seeing is believing.
- In showrooms, individuals should consider incorporating products on a Z-wall and providing literature that is geared around energy savings.
- For retailers, they have to have a display space and represent energy efficient lighting as a whole home solution.
One of the main takeaways we have is that although customers may be skeptical, people want LED products. They want to learn more about the benefits, the technology and the payback, but they need to be educated. Building professionals who learn about these products and can effectively educate their audiences will be able to differentiate themselves among their competitors as a “green” industry expert, which can strengthen business relationships in a variety of ways.
Were you able to attend Greenbuild this year? We’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the larger questions you had (or addressed).
As for Progress Lighting, our next stop will be the International Builders Show in Orlando next month. Stay tuned for more details!