Decorex sheds light on adoption of LED – A sponsor’s view

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October 1, 2012

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LED Lighting

The doyenne of Interior Design Shows – Decorex – has just been held in London with more stands, more visitors and more wow factor. For the first time Decorex appointed a company to sponsor their online newsletter – The View – a very appropriate name in many different ways and has selected as their ongoing sponsor for 2012-13. Not only was it rather forward thinking of the show management to appoint a sponsor who was previously unknown to the interior design world (event sponsors usually tend to be the big names already associated with their industry) but hands off to them for putting energy efficiency among the key messages for the show. Sustainability, environmental responsibility and efficiency are now important mantras for all, even in the glossy world of interior design. However, mantras aside, my experience of talking to people at the event itself, exposed a wide variety of individual responses to the adoption of “green” practices in their design projects, ranging from the worrying to the ill-informed. The good news is that designers want to do more to be energy efficient. The bad news is that there are a host of doubts and concerns which are stopping them doing so. Here is my list of the top 5 concerns I encountered most frequently: 1. Colour quality is not good enough – the CQI (colour quality index) is not easy to understand which means it is hard to select the required colour. Much of this stems from poor quality bulbs which don’t provide or don’t retain a true colour e.g. some designers had experience of working with a 5000K bulb which is “too white” and then reveals hints of green and red. As with any technology, quality is the key. Poor quality LEDs do not offer true colour rendering, however quality bulbs, like the ones from do provide true colour outputs. 2. LED lights don’t work well with fabrics or materials – The experience of some designers is that poor quality LED Lights do not show off the absolute colours of the designs and fabrics. This is imperative as true colour rendering of the bulbs is paramount to show off the exact colours of the products. This can only be achieved by high quality LED bulbs which come from the same binning of the manufacturer and the quality of the light does not deteriorate during its lifespan. 3. The bottom section of the LED bulb is ugly – I was surprised how many designers explained how they go to great lengths to hide the bottom part of LED bulbs, often designing a shade specifically for this purpose. I am not qualified to vouch for the aesthetics of one bulb over another but what I do know is that one of London’s top five star hotels on Park Lane selected the candle bulbs from for their chandeliers because they liked the look of them, as well as the light output and the energy savings. 4. LEDs are too expensive – not a new gripe, but still an issue for some people. The big picture is that LED bulbs, especially those at the top end of the market, can save up to 85% energy and last much longer than traditional lighting (our range offers 50,000 hours life). Even those that don’t care about the environment do probably care about their finances, and it makes financial sense to invest in something that offers such major cost savings. 5. LEDs are fine for businesses, but not for homes – it is true that businesses of all sizes are benefitting from LED retrofits, and the vast majority of our work is with 24/7 operations such as hotels and hospitals where annual energy and cost savings can be substantial. But the savings are proportionate and why shouldn’t individual home owners do their bit for the environment and their own finances, as well as the big boys? There is no minimum quantity on orders via, and we promise excellent customer service for all our customers, large and small. All in all, the show was an interesting insight to the world of interior design and I feel sure there is much that we at can do with Decorex associates in an educational capacity to help mitigate some of the fears around the adoption of LED lighting. It comes down to the fact that all LEDs are not equal, but we must not let the bad name of poor quality product ruin the opportunity for the top of the range bulbs. Would love to hear your views on this issue.



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