What Drives People to Buy LEDs? Mood vs. Money

August 23, 2012

We ran across an interesting new report detailed in Forbes magazine, predicting that LED lighting will eventually dominate the market. But contrary to what you might think, the report’s authors argue that savings from energy efficiency, won’t be the major driver convincing people to make the switch.

The paper by global investment bank Canaccord Genuity, which is based in Boston, says that the energy savings from LED lighting will eventually become such a standard benefit that no one will see it as an “extra” anymore. (Just like people expect cars to come with air conditioning or phones to offer voice mail). Instead, the authors predict that “intangibles” such as the way lighting can set a mood or increase productivity, will drive people to convert. Lighting, after all, can influence how appetizing dinner looks in a restaurant or whether trying on a new bathing suit in a store’s dressing room makes you want to run screaming. It can transform an average back yard, into an inviting space, where people want to unwind with dinner and drinks. As homeowners and companies make the decision to upgrade their lighting fixtures—for whatever reason—opting for the most energy efficient options, like LEDs, becomes a no-brainer decision.

Unfortunately, the details of the report are proprietary for the bank’s clients, so it’s difficult to know how strong of a case it actually makes. But everyone from film directors, to people deprived of wintertime sunshine, know full well how much difference light can make. Studies have shown that people exposed to warm white light, are more prone to resolve conflict collaboratively than those exposed to harsher cold light, and are more willing to volunteer their time.

It’s all interesting food for thought. Though many of us probably take our lighting for granted, most homes and businesses could probably benefit from some thoughtful overhauls.