10 Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About LED Lighting
LED lighting goes far beyond energy efficiency, it is also making lighting more personal and customizable. Thus, there are valuable lessons to learn from one of the greatest technology marketers of all time: Steve Jobs.
1) Brand Identity
Apple is more than just a brand: it has created a culture around it, and perhaps even an entire lifestyle. LED lighting is associated with sustainability and environmental stewardship, and it can bring marketing benefits to companies who deploy it, in addition to energy savings. Environmentally conscious clients are more likely to do business with firms who share their values.
2) Performance is Important, But Also Aesthetics
Steve Jobs was obsessed with product design: he wanted to deliver the best performance and customer experience, but contained in sleek and visually-appealing devices. LED fixtures are electronic devices after all, more closely related with computers and tablets than with older types of lighting. The manufacturing flexibility of LED lighting enables the creation of products that not only save energy, but can be used decoratively by architects and interior designers.
3) Product Customization Sells
Apple products can adapt to user lifestyles and preferences, and a similar approach can be applied with LED lighting. It is now possible to dim lighting fixtures or adjust their color from the comfort of a smartphone application; in fact, these functions can be automated, and some lighting apps can even learn usage habits on their own!
4) Keep It Simple
Despite their high-end design, Apple products are intuitive and user-friendly. The same approach can be followed with smart LED lighting: if a lighting control system does not require a manual, it was done right! Smartphones and apps have accustomed clients to self-explanatory systems, and LED lighting is not exempt from this trend.
5) Quality Is More Important Than Quantity
In an interview by Bloomberg Business Week, Steve Jobs once said: “Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”
This can be applied to LED lighting, where the market is flooded with products that offer maximum savings, but with an extremely poor lighting quality. The best LED designs are not those that save the most energy at the expense of everything else, but instead those that balance savings and lighting quality through proper fixture selection and spatial distribution.
6) Offering Solutions Proactively
Steve Jobs also said: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Skepticism is common when adopting LED lighting, and the long-term benefits often take a back seat to the upfront expense. However, once the technology is adopted, clients are generally satisfied with the reduction in power bills and maintenance activities, not to mention the degree of customization made possible with LED products.
7) Provide Experiences, Not Products
Apple Stores provide a unique customer experience even before their clients have purchased a product. In addition, Apple gadgets grant access to an expansive universe of services and customization features.
LED lighting can also be used to create experiences: it is now capable of wireless communication, color adjustment, dimming and automation. The technology can provide ambience and personalization, rather than just a constant lighting output.
Steve Jobs demonstrated that first movers tend to be more competitive, and this applies when adopting new technologies such as LED lighting. Home and business owners who implement LED lighting early save more energy in the long run, and are better equipped to adopt emerging technologies such as visible light communication.
9) Seamless Integration Among Devices
Apple devices require minimal setup: when a client buys a new one, it integrates seamlessly with any other Apple products already owned. Smart lighting solutions developed following this model provide more value, since they minimize the configuration time and bring their benefits to the user right away.
10) Thinking Outside the Box
Steve Jobs didn’t limit himself to selling computers, he focused on the user experience and dared to offer new products and services that nobody had imagined before, such as the iPod and iPhone.
There are emerging technologies with the potential to turn LED products into much more than simple light sources. For example, Li-Fi is a light-based communication protocol orders of magnitude faster than Wi-Fi, and it could turn LED lamps into communications hubs. In other words, LED lighting could become the backbone of the Internet of Things.
LED fixtures have become more like electronic gadgets than conventional lighting fixtures, and this allows them to be used as a platform for a broad range of services. By applying the Steve Jobs mindset to LED lighting, it is possible to capture considerable value, making lighting more personal and turning it into a potent communication tool.