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Seventh Annual OSRAM SYLVANIA Socket Survey Finds LEDs Take the Lead in Standalone Home Sockets
From the shopping experience to smart lighting, we dive into what’s next for LED lighting.
June 25, 2015 Author: Pamela Price, OSRAM SYLVANIA Consumer Lighting Expert
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Since 2008, the OSRAM SYLVANIA Socket Survey has polled Americans nationwide to uncover insights on consumer attitudes and behaviors around lighting options. The seventh edition of this survey, (see the results here), was modeled to explore the top choices after the incandescent phase-out, the prevalence of home LED lighting usage and consumer interest in technology trends such as “smart” lighting.

As someone who spends much of her time working with retailers to simplify their in-store shopping experience, I find the survey results to be very helpful in guiding our approach.

This year, the Socket Survey shows LEDs are being used more as bulbs in standalone sockets around the home, compared to other applications like holiday lights or electronics. This is a huge win from a lighting education standpoint. However there are still common misconceptions about LEDs, which could explain why compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) technology is often the first incandescent replacement choice according to the Socket Survey.

These misconceptions include:

  1. Watts = brightness. When a lighting myth sparks up this much debate on a Reddit thread, you know it’s a big one. Incandescent bulbs used to be the standard choice, and it was common for wattage and lumens to be closely correlated by most consumers for medium based bulbs. Not with LED bulbs, though. The key is to pay attention to lumen output to assess the brightness. The lumen value can be found on the front of the package, together with estimated annual energy costs.

  2. LEDs are not dimmable. False. There are many dimmable LED solutions available on the market today!

  3. LEDs take too long to warm up. Some consumers confuse LED lighting with CFL bulbs. Early CFL bulbs did take some time to ‘warm up’ to get to full brightness.  The technology behind LED bulbs is different, so they don’t have a ‘warm up’ time.

  4. LEDs contain mercury. One of the more surprising myths we’ve encountered. No mercury. Just diodes.

  5. LEDs cost a lot of money. Prices of LED bulbs have been declining in recent years offering better technology and design. Though these bulbs may have a higher initial cost than other technologies on the market, in most cases the total cost of ownership over the life of the bulb is lower than incandescents. On top of that, many energy suppliers are encouraging customers to make the switch to LED lights, so keep an eye out for utility rebate programs.

To help further address these misconceptions and concerns, we turn our attention to where most consumers find answers to their lighting questions — the light bulb aisle.

As leaders in the lighting industry, our goal is to help guide our consumers, and we found that the best way to do that is at the point of sale. Bulbs burn out unexpectedly, and consumers are least likely to rely on online reviews from experts and peers while shopping for a replacement, therefore bulb education happens where purchasing occurs. By setting up planograms and simulating the shopping experience, we’re able to study the way in which consumers shop for lighting. Knowing that consumers start by looking for a particular shape, we have designed our new SYLVANIA ULTRA LEDs to more closely match the shape and style of the incandescent bulbs that they are replacing. At OSRAM SYLVANIA, we’ve found that the best experience was one that matched what was needed in the home. Creating an LED Blueprint for the Home is as simple as sorting by application.

Not surprisingly, the Socket Survey found that many of the Americans surveyed have a high awareness of smart technologies including home alarms, thermostats, door locks and appliances. But the best introduction to a connected home? Survey says: smart lighting. Even though home automation is still in its infancy, most consumers feel that smart lighting like our LIGHTIFY™ system will eventually replace standard light bulbs. It’s an exciting gateway to the future of lighting technology, and we’re looking forward to the next wave of innovation.


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Ready to take a step towards creating a connected home? Check out these videos to see more about OSRAM LIGHTIFY™.