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Millennials and the Future of Lighting

Millennials and the Future of Lighting

By Urvashi Verma

The recent emergence of smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa have led to an increasing demand for customizability, control, and efficiency among Millennials.

“These products have brought smart lighting solutions into the lives of consumers who never would have considered it in the past. The opportunity for lighting is offering personal efficiency products that improve the quality of life for consumers,” says Aaron Ganick, head of Smart Home Americas at LEDVANCE.

The millennial generation, comprised of 18- to 36-year-olds, makes up 24 percent of the U.S. population–nearly 77 million people. In a recent survey by Neilsen, more than 74 percent said that new technology makes their lives easier.

Concurrently, smart home unit devices are expected reach 463 million, with unit sales totaling $1.4 billion within the next five years. Utilities are the second largest growing market, according to a report by Ovum.

Past generations valued functionality, but consumers today expect easy-to-integrate lighting products that offer full control to end-users, like voice control, say experts.

“Voice control has really catalyzed the smart home device market. Instead of saying things like “turn off the lights,” you will find more intelligent routines like “I’m going to bed,” which begins a customized progression where the lights gradually dim until they turn off in the bedroom, but completely off immediately in non-essential areas, the HVAC changes its settings for areas of the home where occupants do not sleep, the security system arms itself after providing enough time for occupants to enter the non-secured areas, doors automatically lock themselves, and garage doors shut themselves,” explained Ganick.

A similar trend is emerging in the commercial sector. Businesses interested in attracting top talent are moving beyond improving efficiency to designing buildings that improve worker performance and quality of life for their employees, according to Anne Suggs, associate product manager at Hubbell Lighting Inc.

“Companies are starting to recognize that lighting can play an important role in employee performance. In the next five years, we will see a shift in the way companies think about savings from energy efficiency to how to use lighting solutions to drive worker productivity,” says Suggs.

These changes have revolutionized the marketing and advertising channels used to reach today’s tech savvy users. If suppliers and distributors want to remain competitive, they need to adapt marketing strategies that reach the end-users directly.

“Social media channels are paramount for a consumer product company’s success or failure, and lighting products will not leap off the shelf on their own,” said Ganick.

While nearly 79 percent of people use Facebook daily, nearly 93 percent say that they use the platform to plan and make purchases.

“Manufacturers and brands need to research and focus on the finding the most effective social media platforms to market their products and think beyond their distribution methods,” Ganick said.

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