As we say in Joisey, fuggeddabouddit! That does not mean your customers don’t need lighting maintenance. It’s just taking on a new dimension. Let me explain…

As we all know and are experiencing in dramatic ways, the lighting industry is changing. That seems to me too weak a word (I was going to say: “too light”) for what’s happening. When every single light source commercially available will be replaced by the new technologies, metamorphosis is more like it and is the word for the day. If you believe that, then why waste time on soliciting new customers when every one of your existing customers need you. And we all know it’s easier on your sales force to sell and serve existing customers. They know you, they do business with you, they trust you, so re-enforce that trust by upgrading their lighting system to the new SSL technologies and advise them of how lighting can become the core connector to every device we own. Seriously, it’s not about lighting anymore…

If you are currently in the lighting maintenance business, here’s a viable approach to your selling efforts: Dear Customer, we hereby cancel our maintenance contract with you. You do not need it anymore. We propose to upgrade your current lighting system with the new LED sources. We are very familiar with your lighting system as we have served your best interests and maintained it for many years. Lighting is changing and long-term warranties, some as long as 10 years, are common now. A complete audit of your facility is in order and a total upgrade is suggested……..THEN CLOSE THE SALE.

Now here is where you need to reposition your business. The traditional lighting industry ended about five (5) years ago. Thus, you are not in the traditional lighting maintenance business anymore; you are in the LIGHTING ADVANCEMENT BUSINESS. Advancements in lighting are here and moving rapidly into the future, at the speed of light (pardon me, I’ve been in lighting too long). Connected Smart Lighting is now, the present: in addition to the stalwarts of quality of light, energy efficiency, and long-life, advanced lighting products are being introduced that will not only allow consumers to manipulate the timing, intensity, and quality of light but will internally track and react and adapt to the users’ living, playing and working patterns.

Connected Smart Lighting now has: its own apps, IoT / IoE / PoE applications, embedded devices, sophisticated control capabilities, interactive communications, mobile wireless communications, energy monitoring, automatic dimming, network technologies, plug-and-play interaction, facial recognition, integrated security, connected lamps, programmed to research the space, the ability to transmit sensitive information, mobile applications, wireless protocol implementations, web services, and backend infrastructure. Did I leave anything out…….I’m sure I did.

Lighting will always be concerned about quality of light, but energy efficiency and long life are off the table, really. So are maintenance contracts. So let’s focus on quality of light and getting it right for our customers………SSL technology is driving the bus. Do your existing customers know this is happening? Why not?

Lighting Advancement is your business now and the exciting thing for you and your business is, it will never end. Advancements in the Connected Smart Lighting industry are pretty amazing but the Programmable Intelligent Lighting industry to come is earth shattering / a game changer…….IT CAN THINK! Lighting has the potential to be the core connector to every device you own. How many times do we have to say it: IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT LIGHT ANYMORE. It’s about IoT / IoE / PoE / VLC / Li-Fi / VoIP / SAE / LaaS and much much more…….and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What’s under the surface of the water is mind boggling and yet to be defined. The real game changer is Big Lighting vs. Big Networking. Or will it be cooperative innovation again, as the history of lighting has foretold? Time will tell but it is clear, we are on a pathway to connected information using light! WOW! Bill Gates points out how important that is: How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose.

Simply put, your customers will want Programmable Intelligent Lighting in their facilities when they understand the benefits and there are and there will be many. It’s all about the ability to easily interface with other systems to deliver additional value; it is key to your success in an overall vibrant digital ecosystem. Connected lighting systems can interface with many other building verticals, all leading to things like intelligent productive workspaces, innovative applications and services, digital marketing platforms, human centric lighting, healthcare – circadian rhythm cycles, plug-and-play interactions, integrated security (installed cameras for facial recognition), home and office automation, intelligent networks – secure / reliable, horticultural applications and much much more. Changing light bulbs on a 5-year group re-lamping cycle makes no sense any more. It’s not necessary and you cannot sell it. You owe your customers more.

Your task as a Lighting Advancement Company is to get it right and you will, well, some of you will. So have no fear, I predict that the opportunities will be greater than ever……..if you reposition your company and take advantage of the undeniable opportunities now and foreseen in lighting.

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  1. Steve Byrne says:

    This is outstanding. Great counsel from a lighting industry sage and prophet.
    Thanks Bill for shining a light on the path forward.

  2. Fantastic Bill! I am forwarding to all of my Lighting Maintenance friends. Thanks for all you do for our industry.

  3. BillAttardi says:

    Thank you Steve and Rob, just like the smart phone is just not about the phone call, lighting is not about light anymore. You pioneers have shown you get it. Continued success…….onward & upward. Bill

  4. Rod Heller says:

    You got it Bill. It is the convergence of light-IT-human physiological response. This is the future and it is going to throw a lot of roadblocks up for traditional lighting designers, engineers, electricians. The companies who embrace the above will be the winners, the rest will fade away. The survivors will have a bright future because there will be so few competitors!

  5. Kayla says:

    I didn’t know that the lighting industry is changing. The lights on our porch are not working properly after the storm. My dad suggested having lighting maintenance and shared this article with us at home. It says that lighting will always be concerned about the quality of light.

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