Industry News

Ledvance building an LED one-stop-shop

Voltimum interviews Steve Stark, Trade Sales Director for LEDVANCE UK, about the challenges of building an ambitious LED brand in a highly competitive market.

Despite the company’s long heritage, LEDVANCE is very much the new-kid-on-the-block. This is particularly true as it strives into the LED luminaire market, through which the company is increasingly turning into a one-stop-shop for LED general lighting solutions.

Voltimum talks to Steve about the challenges of establishing a new brand identity, the importance of maintaining customer relationships and the necessity for continual innovation.

Building a new brand in a competitive and constantly changing market is always going to be a challenge. What changes have you noticed in the industry since LEDVANCE was introduced to us in 2016?

One of the main things we have noticed is the shifting trend from LED lamp replacement to LED luminaires. We still see a lot of LED lamp replacement products but we are now noticing the most growth in our business is in LED luminaries.

If you look back to 2016, when LEDVANCE was first established, we were still very much focused on lamp and component business. Today we are all about innovation. We are a global, lighting orientated, luminaire business with a clear focus on LED technology.

The component side of the business has changed for us.  It’s about drivers now where it used to be control gear. The traditional business is dying 20% a year. By 2025, most of the traditional business that we inherited, with its 100-year history, will be gone.

Do you feel there is an ongoing education process for your customers when it comes to LED technology and the purchasing decisions surrounding LED products?

The main education issue I see is based on quality. I still see a lot of poor quality LED products coming into the market from brands that have appeared out of nowhere. This makes the education of the installer and end-user very difficult because there are so many competing companies in this marketplace offering various sources of information. How are they supposed to understand what they are buying and know what to look out for in a product?

So, a lot of the education process is buyer beware. I sit as part of the committee for the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) whose goal it is to educate the market and help customers know how to identify good quality approved products from trusted suppliers.  

Which industries/applications do you see as emerging opportunities in the future?

For us, it is a matter of focussing on, what we call, the VAM (Vertical Application Management) Projects and Verticals markets. We have identified these as shop, office, industrial, healthcare, facility, outdoor and hospitality.

We want to develop specific families of products, which can attack those key individual markets. By tailoring our product offering, we hope to maximise the opportunities and better serve our customers.

We have also launched our human-centric lighting concept – a talking piece for us at Light + Build this year. It is very much a part of our philosophy that LEDVANCE should be a leader in promoting energy efficiency and making light smarter and more user-friendly.