We’ve been exploring FOUR SHIFTS resulting from the COVID-19 that I feel will have a big impact on lighting showrooms. They were:
- SHIFT ONE: Geographic barriers will weaken
- SHIFT TWO: Health and “staying well” climbs to top-of-mind
- SHIFT THREE: Trust established prior to in-person meetings
- SHIFT FOUR: Vendor & Showroom consolidation accelerates
This post addresses SHIFT TWO.
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In every previous pandemic in human history the anxiety of the crisis led to a heightened awareness and search for ways to stay healthy. While this may not (at first) seem connected to lighting, it absolutely is. People worldwide are now asking one critical question that lighting showrooms should pay attention to: “How can I feel better and stay healthier?”
When the virus itself dies off, the psychological residue won’t just dissipate. This is the kind of event that sticks around emotionally long after it is gone physically, and that means people will more urgently seek ways to improve their well-being for many years to come.
LIGHTING IMPACTS HEALTH
You and I have about 11 million sensory receptors in our brains. Of those 11 million receptors, 91% of them (about 10 million) are dedicated to one thing and one thing only: processing light (i.e. vision). Light plays a MAJOR role in our health and wellness and I’ve started running advertising as well as bringing in products that are more healthy-light oriented.
When we ran multiple focus-groups recently, and wellness-related words/phrases like “Mood”, “Productivity”, and “Feel Better” were far more frequently brought up by lighting consumers than were style or design. That’s likely because the light ITSELF generated by a fixture is far more impacting on our well-being than the style of the fixture. People know this intuitively and now that health and staying well are in the forefront, it presents even more opportunities for showrooms to talk about lighting’s impact on wellness and provide expertise/service relative to healthiness.
THE EFFECTS OF BEING HOME
We’re seeing a big spike in things like depression, abuse, addiction, sleep problems, etc. as people are spending much more time in their homes. While some of those are extreme, I’ve also noticed a lot of people placing orders with us recently because they’ve finally gotten tired of living with the awful ceiling fan or chandelier etc. that they’d been meaning to switch out but hadn’t gotten around to until being stuck at home made it unbearable.
If nothing else, as people start coming back out and meeting with you again to pick out lighting, start talking about the impacts of lighting on wellness. Lighting that is too dim, has a low CRI, or has limited adaptability to different times of day, moods, etc. can really be detrimental to your wellness. This should help you show where it’s worth spending more to get good lighting rather than scrimping on cheap, unhealthy lighting.
ANOTHER REASON TO BUY
We’ve allowed “style” to become the main driver in how we sell lighting. I think that’s a mistake. Style is certainly important, but healthy lighting is at least AS important. The thing is, that for lighting showrooms healthy lighting is a more defensible driver than style. Every room and home is different, so unless people work with a lighting professional – someone who stays on top of lighting technology and will come to your home to measure etc. – they’re all but guaranteed to get less than healthy lighting.
Yet we showrooms almost never talk enough about the health impacts of lighting and how important it is to get your lighting right. Our expertise and ability to go into the consumers homes to get the lighting right for better wellness is a strong hand to play.
I encourage you to begin talking more about the health impacts of lighting. Researching this to a level of proficiency. Here are a few resources that might be useful:
- HEALTHY LIGHTING TRAINING
Summary: This is a training I did with the team in our Midvale store. It’s been posted on the LSA page so may not be new to some, but has some helpful information.
- HYGGE LIGHTING PRINCIPLES
Summary: This is a short video introducing the principles of healthy and Hygge lighting (which comes from Denmark). There are multiple videos in the series and if you’d like links to those, email me and I’ll send them to you.
- PRESCHOOL BLOCKS EXPERIMENT
Summary: The results of an experiment where two preschools had healthier lighting installed on top of their existing system and the difference in kids’ productivity, attention span, cooperativeness, etc. were studied.
Jason Petersen owns Hansen Lighting Inc. a lighting company with multiple showrooms in Utah.
Jason acquired Hansen Lighting out of near-bankruptcy in 2004 and turned the company around by implementing outside-the-box systems and ideas. The company is now one of the fastest growing companies in America (#3087 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list) and has been recognized as one of the most profitable privately-owned retailers in North America.
Jason is also the co-founder of XOLogic and Lit Living Inc.