Brighter Days Ahead
How has the art of lighting control evolved since Lutron helped define it years ago?
Probably one of the biggest changes we’ve seen take place over the last 10 years is that consumer awareness of lighting control has been steadily growing—especially so in the last five years. One of the things we’ve seen in direction, especially at Lutron, is towards making it simpler to use, install and program. It’s not just about being in the lighting control business any more; it’s about streamlining processes and making things easier for the homeowner and installer.
We recently developed a very simple product called Aurora, sold primarily through electrical contractors and builders right now, that’s 100 percent pre-programmed out of the box. It’s being sold in certain distribution channels right now; electrical contractors are buying it through lighting showrooms and electrical distributors. We’re finding that by having that conversation with the builder and with the homeowners, it’s also creating a lot more category awareness for things like RadioRA and even HomeWorks, which are upstream from that product. It’s been a kind of game-changer for us.
[Meanwhile], our RadioRA product line continues to grow. There’s more awareness of it. We [launched] new literature in late 2005 that took a more benefits-driven approach to explaining what light control does, and that’s definitely helped its growth in a big way. We’re continually making it simpler; we have a more intuitive, large-button backlit keypad that’s part of the system and we’ve created ways to make it possible to change the color of the product after the dimmers have been installed and programmed and in the wall, if the homeowner or interior designer changes their mind as the project progresses. We have 27 colors for that product. In addition to its being more functional, it’s a style statement; the homeowner doesn’t have to feel like they need to plan way ahead about color.