For this month’s Face to Face, we interviewed Micaela Abbott, recently appointed Sales Director at Megaman UK, to find out her views on the lighting sector.
How has the lighting industry changed during your 15 years with Megaman?
Since I joined Megaman in 2007, probably the most significant change has been the switch to LED lamps and the development of LED fixtures. In 2009, Megaman was the first company to launch a true replacement for halogen lamps – the LED Reflector Series with Thermal Conductive Highway (TCH) Technology – which was then extended in 2010 to include an MR16 LED and the innovative LED Candle. The Professional and Economy lamp series followed along with the IncandaLED range, evidence of the continued improvement of Megaman’s bread and butter product range – it’s lamps.
Furthermore, as the lifespan of LEDs increased, we found that lighting products were seen less as a commodity item and more as a long-term investment. As such, sales of our Professional range LEDs really took off. As did sales of our integrated fixtures, which provide a long working life, significant lumen capability and design flexibility as well as the benefit of a sleek fixture design. Fast forward to 2022 and we have just launched two new LED fixture ranges – Performa and Essentials – showing that demand for integrated LED fixtures continues to grow.
What are the differences between the Performa and Essentials product ranges?
Essentials is designed to be your everyday go-to. Megaman had identified a gap in the market for a range of products that could provide a reliable, everyday solution, so we stripped back all the features and benefits from our key products, to provide a reliable lumen package with a three year warrantee and at an economy price point. Since its launch, this Essentials range has generated a great level of demand and I’m sure that is to do with the quality of the product versus the price tag.
Performa, on the other hand, is a 5-year warrantied product range with added features and benefits. For example, our TEGO 2 Fire-Rated Downlight which comes with Dual Beam Technology (DBT), Colour Change Technology (CCT), multiple bezel options, microwave sensor capability and more. Crucially, several of our Performa fixtures offer an adaptable one-box solution – so regardless of desired lumen output, colour temperature, beam angle etc, the product that the installer takes out will do the job required and satisfy the customer’s needs.
Could more be done to educate end users on the long-term savings of energy saving LED lamps and fixtures?
There is definitely more work to do. Our customer services team often receive calls from homeowners about replacing old CFLs like for like – so for some the changing legislation has simply passed them by. For those who have LEDs already, realising that there is more you can do to reduce energy use is key, for example, fitting motion sensors or utilising smart technology so that lighting is only activated when needed.
It’s also important to educate users that low wattage does not mean a poor level of light – an energy efficient, low wattage LED, can provide an excellent level of light and help keep energy bills down.
With costs rising at their highest rate for 40 years do you think there is a risk that installer and end user buying habits will be increasingly influenced by price alone?
While more customers are realising that the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice” is true, I expect that over the coming months many people will be forced into thinking about initial purchase costs. Thankfully, with the launch of our Essentials range, we can deliver a reliable and cost-effective solution in these scenarios.
In such a crowded market how can wholesalers ensure they are stocking everything needed to cover all commercial or residential lighting applications?
Looking to adaptable, one-box solutions like our Performa range can help to alleviate stock issues in a crowded market. For the wholesaler, if they stock the Performa range, they can provide a single solution with a wide range of features and benefits straight off the shelf – instead of holding three or four basic products, one box can offer it all.
What are the lighting trends wholesalers should keep an eye on in 2023 and what are Megaman’s plans for the year ahead?
For us the key trend emerging at the moment is efficiency, especially given the challenges around energy prices. Customers are looking beyond just the environmental benefits of energy efficiency to products that can make a noticeable difference to their bills. At Megaman, we are focused on the continual development of innovative technology and control, so that we can offer those savings long-term and reduce operating costs for all end users.
Furthermore, in the pipeline over the next 12 to 18 months we have a number of exciting new product launching within both the Performa and Essentials ranges. We will also be announcing a new smart lighting product – but that’s still under wraps at the moment! What’s great about the Megaman product portfolio is that it never just stagnates. We are always looking at how we develop and evolve our ranges and at how we can better support our customers.
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