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Putting the spotlight on illumination solutions

There has been an uncompromising shift in the demand for sustainable lighting solutions coming from big brands around the world.

2024 will see brands start to release information regarding the overall energy usage of their stores including concessions and so it is becoming increasingly important to be transparent about the energy usage of your signage, which will be under the microscope like never before. Those savvy amongst us will see this as an opportunity to be first to the table with solutions that anticipate this growing trend, which if done right will give you an advantage on winning work with global brands.

Boots were early adopters, setting the electrical standards for display, through Design Conformity; specifying that they would only use Energy Rating: Grade C LEDs or above within their schemes, with Next and M&S quickly following suite. This pushed, what was a focus on the trifecta of sustainable principles, which ensured designs considered how materials can be reduced, reused or recycled, to include a spotlight on energy consumption.

Energy saving illumination solutions

A lot of positive attributes must go into the design of illumination solutions to achieve lower energy consumption, which has multiple benefits for the environment. Energy consumption, therefore, is seen as a benchmark indicator of how effective and, in turn, how sustainable a solution is. For example, using an LED with cheap components tends to require more modules/lengths to creates the brightness needed for an effective illuminated sign. This drives up the energy consumption and in turn the LEDs tend to fail much sooner than a better-quality LED.

Lens technology is also key in throwing the illumination around the sign. Smaller beam angles mean more direct illumination; however, it means in bigger depths, considerably more modules would be required to ensure there is even illumination and no spotting. Consequently, this results in higher energy usage.

Lumens per watts (lm/W) is another useful indicator of the energy efficiency of your LEDs with the higher the lm/W (ideally 100 or more) the more energy efficient the LEDs are.

These are all factors that build a picture of the overall efficiency of an illuminated sign and brands are looking for these indicators during the buying process, with transparency of energy consumption in mind. Making a conscious decision to choose more energy efficient illumination solutions and presenting this data in your quotes and sales pitches, will anticipate this need and stand you in good stead with your customers.

Lightening the load

With these trends in mind, Applelec have been working hard to be first to market with sustainable signage and illumination solutions, to help our trade customers be the first to offer these products to their customers.

Our recent launch of the UK industries first GRADE A, super high efficiency, LED Ribbon Tape (ONLY available through Applelec), was a pinnacle moment for us to be able to provide our customers with a product that goes above and beyond the demands that brands are currently specifying.

“If you'd have asked me in October 2021 when we first launched our Boots Spec, DC approved, Grade B LED’s that 2 years later we would already be onto Grade A, I wouldn’t have believed you! It's amazing how quick the advancements in sustainability are coming!!”  Said Lauren Flint, Head of Applelec Supply
Applelec exclusive Grade A super high efficiency LED ribbon tape

Our 8mm LED ribbon tape, for example, provides a whopping 50% energy saving over its predecessors, whilst giving you a fantastic 20% increase in brightness. Available in a range of colour temperatures it uses as little as 2 watts per meters and has an impressive efficiency of 227 lm/W.

So, what does this mean in monetary terms?

We compared our Grade A ribbon tape against Grade B and a generic 9.6w/m ribbon tape and the results were staggering!

Grade A was not only cheaper to buy, saving between 46% and 65% on system costs, they reduced CO2 emissions and increased efficiency up to 131% against the 2 competing options. This all contributed to save the end user up to £508 on running costs, over a 5-year period. 

The facts really show that choosing the right LED is a win, win for businesses big and small. Being able to tell a small business, during a cost-of-living crisis, that your sign will save them over £500 in running costs, against standard illumination, really shows you have their best interests in mind. Then to be able to pitch solutions to big brands, who are demanding Grade C LEDs and transparency, that you can offer them Grade A LEDs, and its consumption data, really puts you ahead of the curve. What’s more, Applelec plant a tree with every order of our sustainable products, on behalf of your customer, what more could you want!?


Find out more about our Grade A LEDs

Or get in touch with the team to find out more about our sustainable illuminations and signage products.

Please also take advantage of our FREE LED sustainability training session, which will give you the tools and confidence to choose the best solution for your project, as well as pitch the benefits to your customers.

“[Applelec’s LED Sustainability Session] was a great starting point for [us] to be thinking about ways we can offer more to our clients, and hopefully win more work whilst continuing to push forward with more sustainable solutions.” Jenny Smith – Aluvista’s Head of Strategy 


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