Lighting Equipment Producers Speak of their Customers’ Lighting Issues
One of the most popular information exchange options among experts on mass, public or themed events is the "round table" discussion, when the most competent colleagues can express their opinions on some topical issues of interest to most of the audience. In this magazine issue we offer an absentee "round table" discussion of the lighting equipment market. This subject is very pertinent at the moment because for obvious reasons the growth of domestic components is being examined and the costs of production are fluctuating.
We asked the representatives of major lighting equipment manufacturers, being direct participants in the market and the most competent analysts, to give their comments on the current situation. The questions proposed for discussion were shaped so that the answers to them could, on the one hand, describe the real situation on the modern lighting equipment market, and, on the other hand, outline the forecast of its change in view of the current political and economic situation. An integral part of such a forecast was represented by the views of our respondents on the questions of lighting equipment quality and its compliance with the claimed parameter values. This is particularly topical since most of the characteristics simply have to be stated and do not require confirmation, but the essence of lighting equipment quality is precisely in these light characterizing parameters.
There is no doubt that views of these questions will reveal the true picture, precisely since the manufacturing companies are part of an intensely competitive market and they may perceive the transparency as positive only if only if they are confident in their production quality. Also, these questions, in connection with the introduction of technical regulations, implied expressing the opinion on the effectiveness of the GOST R system as the main national certification system designed to implement the quality supporting mechanisms and controls, and the networking system combining competent and really independent testing centres. The person to answer would be Vadim Dadyka, the Director General of AtomSvet LLC.
How do you evaluate (in percentage) the components of the domestic lighting equipment market: street LED lighting; industrial LED lighting; office LED lighting; residential LED lighting; luminaries? How, in your opinion, will these segments develop? What is your forecast for the change in these market shares in the near future?
According to our estimates, the percentages will be: street/outdoor and industrial LED lighting - 15%; office lighting - up to 20%, and residential lighting - up to 40%. The total share of the remaining segments (commercial lighting, public utilities & residential area lighting, sport facilities, signalling and other) - less than 10%.
Today, the office LED lighting is the fastest growing segment, i.e. the segment, where the cost of LED luminaries is the lowest. The demand for LED luminaires for shop lighting, especially for large retailers, has increased dramatically.
The demand in the industrial lighting segment will grow more slowly, since it is driven mainly by energy efficiency improvement programmes on the part of large enterprises, which are very much affected by the crisis in the Russian economy. Nevertheless, acceleration of the rate of growth of this segment is expected for the next 2-3 years. In addition to general industrial LED lighting, a growing demand for the hazardous and nuclear area LED lighting plays an important role in this segment.
As far as the outdoor LED lighting segment is concerned, here the urban LED lighting as well as the architectural and decorative LED lighting of buildings are expected to grow actively. In parallel with the increasing use of LED lighting, the increasing use of lighting control systems, both wired and wireless, will become one of the most important trends. (Apart from the road and outdoor lighting, these systems will also be widely used for industrial facilities). In the household lighting segment, LED light sources will gradually displace compact fluorescent ("energy-saving") lamps, and LEDs will be increasingly used in pendant luminaires, wall-mounted luminaires and so on.
How will the picture described in p. 1 change, if we assume that all products will be produced only in Russia?
In the industrial LED lighting segment most of the luminaires which have been produced are Russian, so we don’t expect much to change here.
The import share In the street LED lighting segment is higher. Here we have products offered by leading European brands, and by manufacturers from China. Looking at the progress of office and household LED lighting, the import share is only growing up to its absolute dominance (> 90%) in household lighting. At the same time in parallel with progress from the industrial LED lighting segment to the household LED lighting, the share of Chinese imports is growing. Curtailing import, on the one hand, will exclude low-quality products of Asian production from the market. But it should be noted that many Russian marginal manufacturers are engaged in the supply of Chinese production or assemble it entirely using Chinese components. Reduction of the number of poor quality lighting equipment manufacturers will enhance the technical competence of consumers, which has already happened. Besides, there is a need for more effective participation on the part of the state in the quality control of products presented in the Russian market. Stopping imports of European lighting equipment is not so simple: technical competition with the products from European manufacturers can be considered as a positive factor for the development of the Russian lighting equipment segment. Although, in some segments, such as industrial LED lighting, Russian manufacturers already have products to offer that are of the same quality level as their European counterparts.
What do you think is the real situation with regard to the quality indicators of luminaires in the domestic market (at least at the level of compliance with the claimed parameter values)? Does the current GOST R Certification System (or technical regulations being introduced) ensure proper quality control? To what extent is the domestic market with a transparent quality control interesting for the market players?
The current situation has improved in many ways, when compared with the situation two or three years ago. In particular, the level of discrepancy between the stated and actual luminous flux values of luminaires has reduced in the LED luminaire segment.
However, the current certification system is not sufficient to ensure the quality control of the products. It is necessary to develop a network of independent accredited laboratories able to confirm the quality of the goods in the market, and impose restrictions on the volume of products sold (e.g., in government procurement), when their quality has not been confirmed by such laboratories.
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