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Lighting : Annual Buyers Guide 2007
BG2 Buyer’s Guide April 2007 By Paula Wallace Lighting suppliers in Australia, such as OSRAM, Pierlite, Philips, Sylvania, Targetti and WE-EF continued their focus on innovation and providing solutions to a diverse client base over the past 12 months. Steve Furzey from Sylvania said he had noticed a greater awareness of quality products from clients rather than a simple focus on price. Suppliers that spoke to Lighting Magazine suggested that energy efficiency in lighting equipment was a distinct and growing trend. Even before the Federal Government made the surprise announcement that it would phase out incandescent lamps over the next three years, in February, there were more energy saving products being demanded by commercial end users and specifiers. “There is certainly a much greater awareness in the market place regarding energy efficiency. Particularly evident with our customers who are either the building owner/occupiers, tenants, facility managers or designers,” said Tony Dorotic from Energy Conservation Systems, lighting consultants and suppliers of lighting control systems. “Unfortunately the same financial barriers exist that existed previously and sometimes the efficiency strategies can be overlooked in preference to more expensive furnishings,” said Dorotic. The kinds of products cited as most in demand include T5 systems, all kinds of electronic control gear, energy saving halogen lamps and LEDs mainly for aesthetic/decorative effects. “Firstly, low voltage is out,” said David Rooke from Targetti, “...with the requirements of the BCA (Building Code of Australia) it is very difficult to design for 12v 50w dichroic lamps in recessed downlights. Sales for low voltage downlights are dropping dramatically, with the main beneficiary being compact fluorescent.” Most suppliers also said that energy efficient products were important to their business. “OSRAM invented the electronic energy saving CFL (compact fluorescent lamp)... and invests heavily in LED’s, the future energy saving and long lasting lighting solution,” said Walter Wendell, managing director of OSRAM. Energy efficiencies are of growing importance in Pierlite’s new product development, with most products utilising the latest in lamp and electronic control gear technologies. Pierlite is also developing more widespread applications for solar lighting products in public lighting, said David Blackley and Ben Mills of Pierlite, from Japan where they were presenting some of their new products to Panasonic . “We have placed greater emphasis on T5 recessed energy efficient modules in our development program, ” said Mills, “Pierlite is now fitting T5 into almost every market segment, including industrial, retail and commercial.” Dorotic believes that the commercial building sector is leading the way in energy efficient lighting implementation. In addition, “we’ve done a lot of hospital work interstate and many control solutions in schools, but there are so many opportunities out in the market to improve things. The industrial sector is an entirely different proposition which certainly needs addressing”. Even in the exterior/landscape end user/specifier market, the trend is towards “green” lighting. “Environmental concerns have us preparing cost benefit analysis of alternate systems (say for lighting a carpark) with the inclusion of the environmental impact through a 20 year service life, that is tonnes of greenhouse gases,” said Alistair Robertson, managing director of WE-EF in Australia. “Our high end and more efficient area lighting products are doing particularly well which suggests that the market is prepared to look at longer term costs and not just capital costs.” Robertson also said the BCA energy limits have seen a marked trend towards low wattage CMH (ceramic metal halide) products and away from tungsten halogen. “We have focused on compact CMH as the key light source, we have built dedicated families of reflectors and we design everything for an electronic future. The increase in the availability of 20W and 35W CMH lamps just improves our story.” Although Furzey cautioned, “. .. I have noticed a trend for suppliers to add the word “energy efficient/energy saving/ green energy” to anything and everything, irrespective of whether it is or not”. REFLECTIONS ON THE LIGHTING INDUSTRY IN 2006 APRIL 2007 BUYER’S GUIDE Lighting Magazine asked a number of major manufacturers and suppliers of lighting products to provide their views on the industry’s performance over the last 12 months and their predictions for the year to come.