Namah Chawla

Lighting segment woos Gen Y professionals with smart, voice-enabled products

Smart lighting brands like Havells, Syska, Philips, Crompton have gained popularity and increased demand not just in metros but also Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

The world today is driven by innovation and speed. If you want something, you can get it within minutes. Hungry? Order food and it will be delivered to you, again within minutes. Want to learn something new? Go online and you will get all the information you need.

The same principle applies to home designs and smart lighting too. People can not only personalise the ambience of their homes as per their mood, but also access it remotely.

Growing disposable incomes and internet penetration have made most people to switch to smart lighting solutions, experts opine. Additionally, the COVID pandemic that has redefined the role of our homes, has also provided a big push to the segment.

Speaking to afaqs!, Nikhil Gupta, head of marketing, integrated communications and commercial operations, South Asia, Signify, says, “Consumers now have greater appreciation of the role of connected gadgets to improve their in-home experience. They are using smart lights to enhance the ambience of their homes with multiple colours and also set schedules to automate their lighting as per their lifestyle.”

Nikhil Gupta, Signify
Nikhil Gupta, Signify

Hassle-free installation and energy-efficient solutions

As per Pragya Bijalwan, CMO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals, lighting is not just about ‘brightening’ a room. It is rather about ‘transforming’ living spaces.

Pragya Bijalwan, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals
Pragya Bijalwan, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals

As the need for smart lighting has escalated across different geographies of consumers, brands now offer a variety of options. Smart lights are available in about a million colours, are voice-enabled and can be operated remotely via smartphones.

The process to upgrade to smart lighting is fairly simple and includes three major steps. First, users are required to have a Wi-Fi router, along with Ethernet. Next, they need to replace the old light bulbs with smart ones. The last step is to install an app that makes it easier to operate the lights from anywhere. It is a simple setup and does not require any extra maintenance or renovation cost.

Another interesting thing to note is that smart lighting uses LED lights, which consume 75 per cent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, halogens and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). This makes them energy-efficient and also results in cost savings.

Prag Bhatnagar, senior vice president, Havells India, says, “As smart lighting can be operated remotely, it can be simply switched off using an app. With the help of motion sensors, the brightness can be adjusted automatically when there is natural light in the room.”

Prag Bhatnagar, Havells India
Prag Bhatnagar, Havells India

These characteristics help by lowering the home’s energy usage and thereby saving money. Hence, makes smart lighting an attractive replacement for conventional filament-based lighting technology.

Target audience

Gupta points out, “While earlier, the demand for smart lighting was coming only from the top metros, it has now expanded to Tier-II and III cities as well. Consumers in these cities are starting to discover automation and voice assistants. Lighting is, in fact, one of the most popular applications used with voice assistants.”

Gurumukh Uttamchandani, executive director, Syska, seconds this and adds, “Our focused target group for the smart lighting category is working professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, who are looking at integrating technology in their daily lives.”

Gurumukh Uttamchandani, Syska
Gurumukh Uttamchandani, Syska

Owing to factors such as easy accessibility and comfort, ‘smart’ is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Smart home automation has gained popularity among consumers since it not only provides several benefits, but also increases the aesthetic value of homes.

“As the need for smart lighting products has escalated to a large extent, Syska has been at the vanguard of offering these smart LED lighting products at price points that can be affordable to a majority. We have a vast extensive distribution network that stretches through the length and breadth of the country, allowing us to reach every household in India,” asserts Uttamchandani.

Catchy ad narratives

Havells’ latest campaign ‘Mahaul Banaye Rakhna’ captures the role of smart lighting in making a home come alive. The film showcases the use of innovative lighting solutions to uplift the mood of a family, resulting in better bonding between the members.

As per Bhatnagar, Havells’ marketing strategy is to strike a chord with its consumers. As a home-grown company, the brand believes in the practice of building strong human connections.

Bhatnagar says that the response from the customers during the festive season has been positive. “The company's sales have increased in both B2B and B2C segments, mostly due to the increased demand in the realty, infrastructure and industrial sectors.”

The right media mix and distribution channels

For Crompton Greaves, television continues to be a dominant medium. "With increasing channel fragmentation, Crompton has recognised the need to invest in high-impact TV shows. It has associated with shows like 'The Big Picture' on Colors, 'India's Best Dancer' and 'The Kapil Sharma Show' on Sony TV. The brand is also looking at digital in a big way," says Bijalwan.

In addition to TV advertising, Syska also has a strong digital presence and engages actively with its consumers on social media. The brand has associated with actor Rajkummar Rao to build a strong connection with its audience through news and general entertainment channels.

There are over 100 Syska lounges, which are experiential zones for customers to get a hands-on experience of the brand’s diverse product range.

Says Gupta, “Over the last year-and-a-half, we have witnessed a significant shift in consumer buying behaviour towards e-commerce. We’ve also seen a healthy growth in our e-commerce revenues and, consequently, have increased our investment in digital marketing. Our spending on digital marketing has more than doubled since last year.”

Most of these brands have an omnichannel presence, with an extensive distribution network across the country that caters to both retail and modern trade demands.

“Our brand ensures that all the newly launched products, including smart lighting solutions, are made available through leading e-tailers. This allows consumers to shop Syska products through the online channel as well its retail outlets,” concludes Uttamchandani.

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