WhichLEDLight Bridges Gap between End Users and Manufacturers in UK

Founded in 2014, Which LED Light, is a website in UK that offers different brands LED bulb price comparison information to end consumers, designers, and installers. To ensure only good quality LED products are recommended on the website, only products that have been tested in International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) certified labs are offered on the UK-based company website. The company’s Commercial Director Rory Wilding recently spoke to LEDinside about the company’s business model and how interested manufacturers can submit their products for review.

Q) What inspired your company founder James Nelson to start Which LED Light website?

Wilding: James Nelson went to university in Bristol, doing a masters degree in electronic communications. Part of his thesis was on energy scavenging devices – that is, devices that could gather energy from the surroundings. He turned his thesis into the development of solar-powered light for bus shelters, which brought him into the world of LED.

Nelson noticed LED technology provides immediate savings and maintenance benefits, however consumers and businesses do not understand how to make the switch.

This lack of understanding has meant market uptake has been low so households and businesses continue to lose money on energy bills. Customers can save between 50% and 80% on their lighting bills if they switch to LEDs – between 60% and 90% if they are replacing incandescent halogen bulbs. Adding in maintenance savings and replacement costs it can amount to a significant amount of savings in a time when energy bills are a paramount concern. James has ambitious growth plans for 2015 following a recent re-launch of the website.

Q) How can manufacturers become potential partners? Are there any costs involved for product submission and certification? Can you please explain the process for a manufacturer whose products are not ILAC certified?

Wilding: We are an open and transparent company that is open to working with all manufacturers that are willing to be proactive around quality requirements. We do not receive any payment to list manufacturers or merchants on Which LED light. To list a product we request that manufacturers provide us with independent lab tests to verify product specification claims. From here we ask manufacturers to provide us with a list of their best merchants who have outstanding customer service and good levels of stock in order to fulfill user orders. If manufacturers cannot provide independent lab certification we can arrange testing or sign post them to a testing house in order to have their product claims verified.

Q) What is your business model? Can you elaborate on the services provided to LED manufacturers that become partners?     

Wilding: Our business model is very simple – we take a commission for each successful sale. The commission comes from the merchants meaning our users pay nothing for the service. This way our service is free for end users and merchants incur no costs unless we generate a successful sale. Manufacturers also receive a free service that can be a real added value for their customers. We have really aimed to make this a win-win for each party.

Q) I noticed there are no Chinese or Taiwanese LED manufacturers among your partners yet. Are you hoping Chinese and Taiwanese LED manufacturers with high quality products to become potential partners?

Wilding: We are hoping that Chinese and Taiwanese LED manufacturers with verified product specifications or those who are willing to verify product claims will get in touch. We have noted that some Asian manufacturers do have lab tests but sometimes do not understand our business model and expect us to place a bulk order. As a third party intermediary aiming to create trust in the market place we are not aiming to carry huge levels of stock and opt for our merchants to fulfill the order. This means that Asian manufacturers should be prepared to present us with feasible pick and packing options for the UK market.

Q) Will you eventually be offering services outside of UK? Any plans to do so?

Wilding: Yes we do hope to offer our service outside of the UK, our web traffic comes from all over the world as the shift to LED is not a local trend. We are happy to provide our users with tools and resources to understand their needs. We want to focus efforts on the UK domestic market first as we know the culture here and have great industry links. We see our business model as scalable and repeatable. Keeping things simple means we can roll this out globally as interest in LED lighting grows.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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