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whilst also making a critical contribution to mitigating the carbon emissions of the business. But it is not without its challenges.

• Retailers the group worked with on the project were adamant that a successful project is one that brings consensus across different business areas, so engaging early with the business is critical.

• Being able to create a strong business case was also seen as vital to securing funds to install across your estate and often companies would pilot the project in a few stores first to support their plans for a wider roll out.

• Finally many retailers were extolling the virtues of testing the product in a lighting lab if at all possible to see the product under operational conditions. Whilst it may add cost to the project, being certain about its performance is central to any future LED lighting project.

Lighting of retail space is about more than simply making it light enough to be functional, and it is an issue internationally, not just for the UK. Images above: Shopping centres in Durban, South Africa (left) and Dubai (right).

significantly since then and that difficult period of innovation has given us much better colours and light levels. The Switch the Lights report has a number of case studies from retailers that demonstrate that LED lighting creates a much better environment than even existing T5 and T8 lighting schemes – in some cases the change to LED has resulted in increased sales. But the myth of LED hasn’t kept pace with the level of innovation of the technology. Many retailers have spoken to say that there are still problems in convincing other areas of the business that LED is a good solution not just in energy savings but in design and environment.

The group found that there are a number of other challenges that retailers are facing in switching to LED.

• Current energy and carbon policy is too complex and is a key barrier to investment. Harmonisation of policies could deliver significant acceleration of deployment of energy efficiency technologies.

• Leases can often have upgrade or improvement works clauses to them, which could impact on the ability to undertake such a project; leases often include dilapidation clauses, which could result in the retailer having to put back in place the old lighting scheme if it vacates the property.

• Store disruption can have a big impact on the overall viability of an LED project as it can result in loss of sales and can damage brand recognition with existing customers unless an effective communication strategy is in place.

• The technology is innovating, and moving so fast that it can be very difficult to identify the right lighting design and may result in choosing a less appropriate design for the intended use at a significant cost.

Whilst these challenges can be significant, retailers have commented that a collaborative approach across the business will often remove them and can deliver much greater benefit in terms of design quality and operations and can help to manage risks associated with store disruption.

In conclusion LED lighting can be a great driver for

energy efficiency in retail and can lead to a much better environment for both staff and customer alike. It can help display products in more flexible and interesting ways and can lead to additional sales. It can also achieve savings on energy use of up to 60%

Retailers are leading the way in LED lighting and are helping their business to not only save money and carbon but also deliver attractive environments for customers. The research conducted has enabled the group to get a good sense of the LED market. The research sent out a very clear message; around 80% of retailers surveyed expected their business’ lighting to be completely from LED by 2020, and speaking with manufacturers, the British Retail Consortium has every confidence this will be achieved.

For further information please contact Andrew Bolitho, Energy, Property, Planning and Transport Policy Adviser at the British Retail Consortium (02078 548942; E-mail: andrew.bolitho@

IRF seeks additional sponsors I

nnovation & Research Focus (IRF) is currently sponsored by 7 Research and Professional Institutions. Collectively we have recognised that there are many other organisations who may want to take advantage of sponsorship but have never considered becoming involved before. We are therefore publicly inviting new sponsors – from government and its agencies, the research community, universities, and the private sector, wherever innovation is taking place in and for construction and the built environment.

IRF has been in publication for over 20 years and is published 4 times each year – in February, May, August and November. The newsletter is aimed at influencing the practical engineering and built environment communities and their related disciplines (e.g.

environment, flood risk management, climate change, energy, materials and waste management and sustainability) with news from the research and innovation community, plus announcements of outputs, which are particularly important. In the process it promotes the hard work of Sponsor’s in this domain reaching IRF’s readership of greater than 80,000. IRF is available to read as a physical newsletter, as an electronic E-Book, and via the website

If you are interested in sponsoring IRF or would like further information about the benefits of sponsorship, please contact Tim Vickers from the Editorial Team (020 3137 2375, E-mail: enquiries@ We look forward to hearing from you.

Innovation & Research Focus Issue 102 AUGUST 2015 3

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