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Do you want to save lighting costs? David Emslie shows us how easy it is when you apply the latest technology business lighting solutions. But, even with a proposition that is a “no brainer” for the client David still finds marketing the solution one of his biggest challenges. David talks us through both his solution to save lighting costs and his answer to the marketing challenge.

David Emslie provides lighting solutions. He started Novalux LED four years ago. He noted the lighting industry was ripe for massive change. New technology was 5 or 6 times more efficient than existing products. The opportunity to help businesses save lighting costs is huge.

Nova = new Lux = light. Very clever!

Save lighting costs with David Emslie from Novalux LED Ltd. The Next 100 Days Podcast

Save lighting costs with David Emslie from Novalux LED Ltd.

LED lighting is still relatively new. White light is now available in new products of commercial lights. Everything from offices to football stadiums.

There is a lot of businesses who simply have not realised the benefits. In 2015, the UK market penetration of commercial buildings was 7%, with forecasts of demand rising to 75% by 2020. That is an awful lot of lights.

There is an enormous opportunity to build a significant business.

The life of bulbs is far longer. LEDs often have a 5-year warranty, with a 50,000-hour lifetime (20 years). Compare fluorescent tubes burning out every year or so. So, they are vastly better value and energy saving.

David works out the PAYBACK point. Normally for solar it is within 10 years. LEDs are no longer than 3 years. David discussed a client making a payback in 11 months. The potential to save lighting costs is huge.

So why aren’t people clamouring to install LED lights into their businesses?

  1. People aren’t aware.
  2. People are only starting to add this domestically.

Old lights produce way too much heat! LEDs operate at a much lower temperature. The filament and halogens and floodlights operate on a heat basis. David says they are NOT lights they are heaters. The energy they generate comes out as heat. Halogens operate at 240 centigrade – 2.5x boiling point. So, old technology are heaters with a side-effect of light.

LEDs have electronic components deliberately designed to create light. It is a light source with a small amount of heat as a side-effect. Massively more energy efficient.

Too many lights on in summer, it gets fantastically hot and stuffy. So, you need air conditioning. Which means you are using more energy to take away the heat generated by old fashioned lighting.

What’s a typical lighting scenario for a small business?

Say, an office with 50 people and a small warehouse or retail unit at the front. Maybe their electricity bill is £30,000 a year. By fitting LEDs, you could reduce this by £12,000.

To complete the install, it would probably cost around £25,000. So yes, there is a capital outlay.

From an investment point of view, the business would realise a saving of around £12k for 15 years = £180k for and investment of £25k or an ROI above 7 at least.

Isn’t there a compelling case to save lighting costs?

Of course, but businesses still need to find the capital.

David has 6 different finance companies who are queuing up to lend to businesses looking for this investment. Example, lease on job £600 versus an immediate saving of £1,000 per month. So even with financing, businesses can immediately realise a saving. No deposit, no capital, make the change and start saving money.

No brainer? – Yes, But there are some common issues

  • Not heard of it
  • Is this a scam? (Of course not!) Too good to be true.
  • Existing lights are not broken so I don’t need to change them.

There is a significant marketing challenge.

The proposition is really appealing. So, what does David need to do to create momentum with his audience?

People don’t call him to say they are ready to invest. When he approaches them, they are taken with the argument that they save money, energy and carbon.

Energy Consultants refer business to Novalux LED.

They’ve communicated the compelling message – would you like to spend less? Easiest job in the world? Don’t roll-over and renew your energy costs.

Inertia applies. So, what should a business do? LED isn’t the only saving. There are 3 key ways to save lighting costs.

#1 Check your bill

The first thing you should do is check how much you are paying per kilowatt hour. No more than 13p domestic. David spoke of a commercial client paying 16p. With judicious use of an energy broker, he secured them a better deal, from 10 suppliers bidding for the contract of 11.1p per unit. A night rate of 7 or 8p for commercial contracts. Ask 6 companies for a quote.

Ask the question and go and get a better deal!

That’s a way to get people in motion. Nothing to do with changing the lights, pay less. The quality of the electricity is the same!

#2 Are you leaving your lights on when no-one is there?

Chances are you do. Turn them off and it will cost you less. You cannot rely on people. Use sensors. These are like your outside security lights. They will turn off lights after a few minutes of inactivity. Sensors are now microwaves and sense the presence of live people!

#3 Change to LEDs

LEDs use a lot less energy with new technology. Hence they are a major way to save lighting costs.

This is the third element of David’s TRIPLE WHAMMY! Get the lowest cost for energy use. Don’t use energy if you don’t need to. Use technology that uses the least amount of energy!

Novalux LED do complete audits of your use. They’ll help you with all three steps.

Side-effect of all this, is energy generators don’t need to create the power. That is where savings come from carbon. There is a gap between how much we want to use and how much generators can produce. The headroom 20 years ago was 20%. These days that gap is 3%. This offers a prospect of a brown out.

  • MACRO issue for UK: Increase capacity or use less.
  • UK strategy has focused on increasing capacity through solar, wind, hydro. Renewable resources. Problem is when the power is needed is not when you generate it.
  • Focus is on storage. What happens when we all use electric cars?

How long does it take to install?

It depends on the size and type of the business. A couple of months’ design and specification is typical, same again for installation.

Is getting capital a big job for business?

No, Novalux LED do it for you. You’ll need to be creditworthy. Credit brokers are keen to pre-approve businesses based on their creditworthiness.

What’s the best thing that would happen to Novalux LED?

Even though the route to save lighting costs is a no brainer, nobody rings to say I’d like to sign up. They do a risk-free audit. So, the client knows the scope. Survey, analysis, design, full specification, costing and the deal. At that stage, a company knows what to do.

One champion in the business usually. Some companies have sustainability officers. They tend to be driving forces. Schools have a board of Governors. Usually a committee in the public sphere.

What’s the ONE thing you really like to solve the biggest problem you have?

People to make their minds up quicker. Brexit. What is happening politically. Having said that, what you do when you have uncertainty – so get yourself into shape financially.

Kevin advised that most businesses treat energy as a fixed cost. David and Novalux LED offers a route to changing this into a variable cost.

Is this challenge more financially based argument rather than emotional?

Yes! Happier staff, more productivity. Light is wonderful, better feelings. Health benefits. Fewer headaches from lighting. School exams in large halls have this problem. Its not all about just saving lighting costs.

People approach David and say they see properly, no headaches, lifestyle improvement.

Why are people NOT grabbing hold of this?

They are, but slowly. NovaluxLED have seen phenomenal growth. They are looking for more people, larger contracts.

David’s 9 Pieces of Advice to Listeners

  1. Proposition – clear idea. Can you describe what you do in 3 sentences?
  2. Be customer centric. Base it on things people want to solve their problems. What makes you different, stand out and be relevant to their target audience.
  3. What is your target audience? Who do you sell to? You don’t sell to everybody. You need a niche.
  4. Clear plan and framework.
  5. Clear written objectives – Be SMART. How will you know you are on the right path.
  6. Simple accounting system. Keep it up to date. David uses Free Agent
  7. Be reliable. Respond to people quickly and accurately. Pay your bills on time.
  8. Talk to people – build a network.
  9. Get your financial structure right.

How to get in touch with David

Contact:                 David Emslie


Telephone:           +44 1904 891213

Address:                 Novalux LED Ltd., Unit 4B, Chessingham Park, Dunnington, York, North Yorkshire YO19 5SE

The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby