If Australian lighting businesses are to stay competitive in the rapidly developing smart lighting market alongside tech giants such as Apple and Google, they need to focus on a niche and do it well. That’s according to a senior lighting expert who spoke to Lux Review in an extensive report on the Australian lighting industry, published in the latest issue of Lux Review Australia &NZ.
Bryan Douglas, CEO of Lighting Council Australia, predicted that increasing demand for advanced lighting technology will see a natural cull of companies basing their business model on cheap, imported LEDs. Instead, companies that add value to the industry with high-quality technology will have a good chance of succeeding in the market.
Douglas said: ‘Historically the major technological breakthroughs have come from overseas, but with the advent of lighting controls there is an opportunity for savvy Australians companies to join in.
‘It won’t be easy if we’re competing with the likes of Apple and Google, who are looking to get in to this space, but there will be a niche market for Australian companies.’
The Lighting Council Australia boss said that the ‘LEDification’ of lighting will lead to increasing investment in smart lighting products in people’s homes, as well as outdoors, for the rest of the decade. ‘We are on the brink of a revolution here,’ he added.
But not all lighting manufacturers will survive the revolution, Douglas predicts. ‘There is an enormous number of start-up companies in Australia, driven by individuals who don’t know much about lighting but who can go to China, pick up a container of LEDs and bring them here. I can’t see them surviving.
‘You will need to add value in the future, not just import and distribute. There are simply too many of those importers and many will fall by the wayside. But there will be a few really high-quality Australian businesses left from that.’
The full report on Australia’s lighting industry can be read in the latest issue of Lux Review Australia & NZ. It will also appear online soon.