Bright future for efficient bulbs

Kiwis have switched on to the benefits of energy efficient light bulbs, with supermarkets selling twice as many as they did five years ago.

A quarter of all bulbs sold in supermarkets are now energy efficient varieties, such as LEDs, CFLs and new generation halogen globes, according to IRI-Aztec MarketEdge. This has trended up steadily from 13 percent in 2010.

LED uptake has been particularly strong, with supermarket sales more than doubling since the same time last year.

Energy efficient light bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.

 “These results show that people are now seeing the wisdom of paying a little bit more for a product that will last for several years and save them money over the long term,” says Paul Cording, Marketing Manager at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

EECA has encouraged people to make the switch since 2009 as part of its goal to help more New Zealanders enjoy the benefits of homes that are warm, dry and more energy efficient.  

Supermarket sales are the tip of the iceberg, believes Cording, with DIY stores anecdotally reporting that sales of energy efficient LEDs have shot through the roof. “They’re getting great results by focusing on the home building and renovation market, which makes sense when a new house might require at least 40 bulbs.”

Having DIY sales staff on hand to explain the products also makes a difference, as energy efficient lighting is a difficult category to shop for. “People used to think in watts, which measure energy output. We now have to think in lumens, which measure the light output, or brightness.” EECA advertising that demonstrated the wasted energy output of an incandescent bulb with a melting chocolate bear proved highly effective, he says.

EECA’s current marketing campaign reminds shoppers that when switching to an energy efficient bulb, they need to remember three things - the type of base (screw or bayonet), brightness (light output or lumens) and bulb colour (warm or cool white).

The future for efficient light bulbs is bright, believes Cording, with retailers and manufacturers expecting high quality and lower priced LEDs to push continued growth in dollar share and volume.

Media enquiries:

Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Senior Communications Advisor, EECA

Phone: 04 470 2238 or 027 403 3378

Email: kathryn.fitzpatrick@eeca.govt.nz