'Give store managers the credit for energy savings, and watch halogen vanish'

If store managers got the credit for the energy savings from lighting upgrades, many more of them would opt for LED.

That’s the view of Lux’s lighting economist Dave Tilley on how to overcome barriers to the adoption of LED lighting in the retail sector.

While payback times for upgrading typical retail lighting to LED are shorter than in other sectors, the equally short property leases in the world of retail have meant that the uptake of LED technology in shops remains low.

But at last week's Lighting for Retail and Hospitality conference, Tilley suggested the problem lies elsewhere. ‘The store manager doesn’t get the benefit of the saving,' he said. 'So effectively their decision is, "do I take money out of my maintenance budget and fund something that head office gets the credit for?"

'Until certain retailers understand that some of these savings have to be a joint venture, that is and still remains one of the biggest barriers of introducing LED. Otherwise, with 10 months payback time, why are there any halogens left?’

Tilley said LED technology has now come so far that initial concerns about colour temperature and dimming no longer stand in the way of a successful LED upgrade.

‘People do worry about colour temperatures, but there are manufacturers now that don’t stop at 2700K, they make dimmers that drop much further. The technology is out there, it’s really just accessing it.

‘There are stores where LEDs are actually a far better lighting media, and there are some stores where it’s not quite as good as ceramic metal halide. But the retailer has to ask themselves, "do I stay with the ceramic and take all the disadvantages because it doesn’t look too bad, or do I go for LED and work with it and work through it?"'