LED-ing the way: The future of light bulbs is bright
American consumers are well on their way to converting over their entire household to LED. Quality improvements and lower prices are two of the key reasons shoppers continue to ditch their conventional bulbs for more efficient options, experts said. Just a few years ago, an LED bulb cost upward of $15, but today one can buy a branded-LED bulb that lasts for more than a decade and saves energy year-over-year for under $5.
“By all accounts, consumers are eagerly latching on to LED technology and everything it offers,” Bill Fitzpatrick, category manager of Cleveland-based GE Lighting, said. “In a short amount of time, LEDs have become a mainstream part of the lighting aisle, and many would say represent the future of lighting.”
As adoption has increased, variability in quality has made it challenging for some consumers to understand which bulbs — and brands — are better than others. Just as is the case with other forms of lighting, there are different color temperatures, different wattages, different shapes and differences in quality among LEDs.
“Consumers who invest in an LED that will last more than a decade want a bulb that’s reliable and lives up to expectations,” Fitzpatrick said. “Brands that have been around for a while and proven their commitment to quality matter in this space.”
And as we are seeing in the latest lighting trend, today’s bulbs are not only practical and energy efficient they are stylish, as well. For these reasons, many design elements are being introduced in the most recent lighting options.
The next wave
As consumers readily adopted LED these past few years and even have come to depend on the versatility it offers, this has paved the way for the next trend — managing their lighting, whether they’re home or on-the-go.
Connected lighting systems can save consumers a significant amount of money, which in some cases means cutting their energy bills by as much as one-quarter.
But beyond cost savings, many of today’s smart lighting products can even change the way a room looks and feels. Then there’s the convenience — those that have smart lighting systems can set up schedules to turn lights on and off. This can all be done with a smartphone, tablet or wireless switch or sensor. The eighth annual Sylvania Socket Survey, a nationwide measure of public attitudes about energy-efficient lighting and awareness of lighting trends, found lighting to be one of the top forms of smart technology Americans own, with a 40% increase since 2015. The results also showed more than 60% of Americans believe smart lighting fits their lifestyle, 55% confirmed they’re likely to purchase smart lighting when they need new bulbs, and 76% of Americans agree smart light bulbs will eventually replace regular light bulbs.
“The majority of U.S. consumers agree that having smart lighting in their homes can help save energy and make their lives easier,” said Aaron Ganick, global head of smart business at Wilmington, Mass.-based LEDvance, makers of Sylvania lighting products. “Recognizing that cost has been an impediment in the past, we have redesigned our smart lighting products to make them even more affordable, without sacrificing quality.”
GE has created a line of gateway smart bulbs called C by GE, which carry lower price points, but have many of the features more expensive bulbs offer. Its C-Sleep bulb, for instance, has three distinct settings and creates the perfect bedroom light for any time of day.
“We have spent many hours studying how light impacts our lives and specifically designed our C-Sleep bulb to provide warm, calm light, which has been scientifically demonstrated to prepare one for sleep and increase our body’s production of melatonin,” Fitzpatrick said. “And in the morning, C- Sleep provides cool, vibrant light, reduces our body’s production of melatonin, helping one feel energized and awake.”
C by GE LED bulbs last 20 years, based on three hours of operation per day, the company said. The line initially is launching in Europe in early summer.
LEDvance is adding a number of cost-effective smart lighting options to its Sylvania 10-Year LED line. The company also is upgrading its Sylvania Lightify smart lighting portfolio with improved technology for better reliability and a new name — Sylvania Smart+. According to company officials, the new Sylvania Smart+A19 60-watt replacement, BR30 and Wet Rated PAR38 LED products offer a soft white 2,700K or 3,000K light, can be controlled and dimmed in a variety of ways, and have suggested retail prices of $11.99, $14.99 and $19.99, which the company said is a savings of up to 50% compared with previous versions.
Feit Electric recently introduced IntelliBulb LED, a line of customized energy-saving lighting solutions. Its distinct approach was to build the intelligence into the bulb, which eliminates the need for special smart home hardware, mobile apps or dimmers to optimize lighting for a particular environment, situation or task. Lighting is controlled with motion or a light switch, providing the benefits of a smarter home without costly installations or hassle. IntelliBulb light bulbs also offer all the energy-saving advantages of the latest LED technology and last up to 15,000 hours or 13.7 years at three hours per day, officials said.
Philips Lighting, based in Somerset, N.J., has introduced its new statement bulb collection. The Philips deco LED line is a blend of contemporary and industrial-style lighting. Available in vintage or modern options, the line features highly-stylized, giant filament LED bulbs designed to be seen. The Philips deco LED giant vintage range combines a giant LED bulb with an intricate, swirling filament for a cozy and warm ambiance.
Philips deco LED giant modern range has a unique, sleek design, perfect for any home with an industrial-chic feel. The smoky gray giant LED bulb, with thin single-vertical filament, creates a crisp and clean ambiance, company officials said, adding that inspiration for the new design came from the large lightbulbs used in lighthouses. “This new line was designed to let the light bulb do the talking, so to speak,” Rowena Lee, senior vice president, business group LED, said. “Given the popularity of lampshade-less lighting being front and center in many rooms of the house, we wanted to offer a bulb that complimented that look with a simple, yet bold design.”
No space, no problem for retail lighting
As many a retailer can attest, balancing what customers want and need with space constraints can be a challenge. Officials at Cleveland-based GE Lighting suggested that when retail space is an issue, retailers should focus their offerings on including the highest-usage bulbs. “Look to the bulbs that would drive the most volume and traffic to the store, including high-quality LEDs,” Bill Fitzpatrick, category manager at GE Lighting, said.
He also suggested that retailers make it easy and simple for shoppers to locate a bulb that fits their needs. Given that the average consumer spends only a few minutes in the lighting aisle searching for a replacement bulb, GE wants to help ease and simplify the shopping experience. For instance, its new HD line includes room recommendations on the front of the package, which eliminates the guesswork of determining what color temperature you should get or the type of bulb is best suited for a particular room in the house.
Fitzpatrick said GE’s HD LED light bulbs bring high definition to lighting, plus offer all the energy savings of LED. GE’s HD series is engineered with a higher color-rendering index for greater color contrast and boldness over an average bulb. There are three distinct lighting options within this series to enhance moods throughout the home in a variety of shapes, sizes and wattages:
- relax LED is engineered for such comfortable, cozy spaces as bedrooms and living rooms.
- refresh LED brings the clean, invigorating feeling of daylight to rooms for work or play, such as laundry and playrooms.
- reveal LED, which the company categorizes as HD+, is designed for places where clarity matters most, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Nature’s Truth rolls out roll-on, greens powder
Piping Rock Health Products is building out its Nature’s Truth offerings with new products. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based brand has introduced its Tea Tree Roll-On and Organic Super Greens Powder.
The Organic Super Greens Powder contains more than 20 raw superfoods and prebiotics, and the company said it is designed to be easily added to a shopper’s routine. The formula is vegan and USDA Certified Organic, as well as preservative-, gluten- and dairy-free.
The Tea Tree Roll-On features pure tea tree oil distilled from leaves and combined with sunflower seed oil to make aromatherapy more convenient. The product is non-GMO, paraben-free and absent any gluten, Nature’s Truth said.
“At Nature’s Truth, we meet consumers’ needs head-on by creating new and exciting products that fit their busy lifestyle, and feature the trending ingredients they are looking for,” the company said.