Upfront Costs Prevent U.S. Businesses from Adopting LED lights: Leapfrog Lighting Poll

The upfront installation cost of retrofitting workplaces with LED bulbs is the main stumbling block holding back business owners from implementing the change. Although 81.9 percent of those surveyed* currently use or plan to use LED bulbs, high price is the main reason 50.9 percent of business owners delay implementation.

The new Leapfrog Lighting poll asked a randomized sample of 200 business owners and managers, "What is the main reason you delayed implementation of LED light bulbs in your workplace?"

"Upfront costs" emerged as a significant obstacle to implementation. Only 5.5 percent doubted manufacturers' claims of long life, and another 6.1 percent doubted energy savings claims. Another 19.6 percent doubted the overall value proposition, while 18 percent were fully convinced.

"Upfront costs tend to be the main issue we run across with clients," said Stephen Naor, CEO of Leapfrog Lighting, who commissioned the poll of random business owners and managers. "That's not a surprise. It's good to see that 81.9 percent currently use or plan to use LED. As an industry, though, we should try to educate users on the overall value proposition. We've done a good job on educating users on the energy and long life benefits."

Since 81.9 percent of those surveyed currently use or plan to use LED in their workplaces, the survey results suggest that upfront cost remains a temporary objection rather than a permanent obstacle. The 19.6 percent who indicated they were "not convinced of value" may eventually be convinced with case studies or other value demonstrations. It appears that the majority of business owners are convinced of the claims of long bulb life and energy savings, a combined total of 11.6 percent.

Interestingly, older cohorts were more likely to be convinced of the benefits of LED lighting; 38.9 percent of respondents 65 years or older stated they were "convinced", none (0 percent) did not believe in the "energy savings claims" or "claims of long life" and only 27.4 percent found upfront costs too high. Those aged 55–64 years also trended higher than average for "convinced," and lower than average on "upfront costs" as an obstacle, at 45 percent.

The age groups 35–44 and 18–24 years were most likely to pick "upfront costs too high" at 62.9 percent. Both age groups were also less likely to choose "convinced."

However, higher income cohorts in the study were more likely to choose "upfront costs too high" while lower income cohorts were the least likely. Among US $150,000-and-up income earners, 73.3 percent found "upfront costs too high," compared with only 44.5 per cent of US $25,000–$49,999 income earners.

There was some deviation by lifestyle as well, with rural businesses less concerned with upfront costs, urban businesses just under average, but suburban respondents coming it at 58.1 percent.

The US Northeast and Midwest were more likely to emphasize "upfront costs too high" while the US South and West were below average on the point. The US South was more likely to choose "not convinced of value" than other regional cohorts.

Males were significantly more likely to be concerned with upfront costs at 54.5 percent versus females at 41 percent. Concerning value, 33.3 percent of females were more likely to be totally convinced of value, versus only 14.3 percent of males.

About the Poll

The blind, randomized poll canvassed the opinions of 200 business owners and managers, a segmented cohort of a larger poll drawing 2,372 responses. Data were collected by a research company on behalf of Leapfrog Lighting. The poll is considered statistically accurate, subject to an error rate of 3.92 percent. The poll has an average absolute error rate of 3.92 and a confidence level exceeding 95 percent.

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