‘Tis The Lighting Season
As the days get shorter and the evenings a little less bright, it’s easy to find yourself squinting a little more often before realizing that the bulbs in your work area have burnt out.
You may not have missed them under the summer glare, but a lot
of workers find themselves with a lot of bulbs to replace come fall
— this means that your customers will soon be in the dark, too.
Seasonal Affective Inventory
Stephanie Gallaher would say that this is not an uncommon
occurrence for companies that rely on task lighting to get the job
done. Gallaher is the marketing manager for ProBuilt Professional
Lighting, LLC, and says that most companies operate on a lighting
season — and that distributors need to plan for it, especially as
dimmer fall days set in across the country. Having a small inventory of most lights – the ones your customers will need when they
realize that theirs have burnt out — is essential this time of year.
“We believe that distributors should have a product line that
offers a wide variety of products, everything from the small task
light to the big wide area lighting. Every facility is going to have
different needs,” says Gallaher.
Jay Matsueda, Director of Global Marketing for lighting manufacturer Fulham, echoes Gallaher’s statement, saying “Distributors
should choose an assortment of popular items across all technology
categories, such as Fluorescent, HID, LED, Induction, Halogen, etc.”
Less Is More
Evidenced by Matsueda’s list, the number of lighting options for
a distributor to stock isn’t getting any smaller — but the lights
themselves are. “Chip on board LED have just one single chip in
there — they don’t even look like a light bulb,” says Gallagher.
With these technology advancements in smaller and more
powerful fixtures, manufacturers are starting to focus more on
the safety features of the lights themselves. Says Gallaher, “We see
a lot more customers looking to the safety features of products
now — are they cool burning? How are the cords hung?” Most of
the new lighting that ProBuilt carries is battery operated and LED
— eliminating the tripping hazards of cords and the potential for
burns when workers reach to position already lit fixtures.
Quality of the LED is important, adds Gallaher. Cheaper LED
products in consumer stores often burn a different color and
may only light a smaller area than more heavy-duty commercial
options. Distributors should work with a vendor that is upfront
about the exact lumens of each feature the lighting range that
the fixture is built to light. This can help distributors choose quality lighting for their customers.
Matsueda does caution that LEDs may not always be the an-
swer. “Currently available LED products are not always uniform or
mature enough for all applications. In many instances, the cost has
not come down enough yet to compete with other technologies
that pay back faster.”
Before ripping out inefficient lighting, distributors can also
encourage customers to look at alternative ways to save on energy
with their current setup. Fulham has developed off-the-shelf induc-
tion kits to convert existing HID highbays into cost-efficient induc-
tion lighting, helping facilities to save money without replacing
their fixtures, something that many of your customers might just