Whether you’re looking to sell your latest makes at local festivals, or display your self-grown produce at farmers markets, there is a whole range of equipment you’ll need to make this happen. From the obvious – market stall tables and display equipment – to the not so obvious – credit card machines and point of sale displays – you will need all these to attract customers and sell your merchandise.

Note that when it comes to lighting in the United Kingdom, electricity connection isn’t always an option for market stall owners, so having a battery and solar powered LED light on hand is always a good idea. These types of equipment can easily be acquired from local hardware stores, or from specialist markets online.

4 Types of Market Stall Lighting Equipment

When it comes to market stall lighting, you have several equipment or options at your disposal. There are four main types of bulbs you can pick from and they include:

  1. CFL Bulb
  2. Incandescent Bulb
  3. Halogen Bulb
  4. LED Bulb

What is the Most Popular Type of Lighting Bulb in the UK

Once you make a selection, you need to decide the best brightness based on lumens. In the United Kingdom, LED bulbs are becoming more popular and the most used in market stalls. As LEDs have grown to dominate the general purpose lighting market, many fixture manufacturers have taken to integrating them directly into their products in addition to producing traditional fixtures to be used with replaceable light bulbs and linear tubes.

In 2017, 70 percent of the general purpose lighting fixture market was tied to either LED-integrated fixtures (often called luminaries) or LED-ready fixtures (used with separate LED bulbs or tubes). In that year, the latter made up the majority of LED fixture sales, but LED-integrated fixtures will outpace LED-ready types and will be in the majority by 2022.

Have it in mind there are a number of benefits to integrating LEDs into fixtures, but this also raises new concerns that the lighting industry may have to address for LED-integrated fixtures to become more widely accepted by consumers. LED lighting is revolutionary not only because of its energy efficiency but also its impressively long service life.

While incandescent bulbs typically last only around 1,000 hours – barely a year with several hours of use each day – LED lighting is commonly rated to last 50,000 hours or more, which can more or less translate to decades at the same rate of use.

Indeed, the concept of a light that could last decades is still hard for many to conceptualize, but that’s precisely why LEDs are transforming the lighting industry. Instead of consuming light bulbs as regularly as many other market stall supplies, LEDs are making it possible to install a light and to let it stay for years and years – more like a furnace or roofing. If a light source can last that long, hardwiring it into the fixture as a permanent component makes sense.

Pros and Cons of Using LED Lights to Lighten Market Stalls

Fluorescents and CFLs are still a viable option for market stall owners in the UK, and they do boast of decent energy savings, but many big name lighting manufacturers are investing their efforts into LEDs and discontinuing work on fluorescents. Embracing and becoming familiar with LEDs sooner rather than later will make it easier to determine the perfect replacement for when your current bulbs burn out and your supply diminishes.

Pros

  1. Durability & Longevity

First and foremost, LED light bulbs are built to last. Made from durable components and designed to turn their energy into light rather than heat, they can withstand a wider range of temperatures and environmental conditions than their predecessors, and they last far longer. It also means that they have a longer replacement cycle, so you can install them and not have to think about them again for years.

  1. Significant Savings

Even though there was some initial hesitance to embrace LEDs over the upfront cost when they first hit the market, the price of LED bulbs has dropped significantly as they have become more common, providing you with even greater savings on several fronts:

  • Energy savings – owing to how they generate light-emitting electromagnetic energy rather than incandescent heat—LED light bulbs are so energy efficient that they drastically reduce the amount of energy required to produce the same level of brightness as an incandescent or CFL bulb, saving you money on your electrical bill without compromising how well your workspace is lit. Learn more about how energy efficient lighting design can help you reduce your business’s energy consumption.
  • Exemptions, rebates, reliefs, and schemes – Depending on your location, some utility companies offer rebates for the use of energy saving light bulbs. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be eligible to get money back for your investment in environmentally friendly technology. To learn more about incentives for upgrading your business to LED lighting, visit gov.uk.
  • Replacements and labor – Thanks to their long lifespan, LED light bulbs don’t need to be replaced as often as incandescent or CFLs, saving you the cost of replacing bulbs more frequently, and the time and manpower required to change them.
  • Disposal – since they contain mercury, CFLs and fluorescents have to be disposed of safely, and often this means a disposal fee. LEDs, on the other hand, can be disposed of or recycled with household rubbish.
  1. Better Lighting Quality and Control

Indeed you may find it hard to part with the warm, recognizable glow of an incandescent or halogen bulb, but LEDs have made encouraging leaps in terms of quality over the years, and they now boast of greater benefits, control, and customization than your old bulbs:

  • Smart lighting entails that you can schedule your lighting to achieve maximum energy savings and create optimal lighting conditions for any work task or environment. This level of customization can be especially ideal for warehouses or office spaces.
  • There is a wide range of correlated colour temperatures to choose from, including colour-changing options, to create the ideal mood for retail spaces, restaurants, and other business environments.
  • As long as they specify on the package that they are, LEDs are dimmable and are available with very high lux (a measurement of brightness), allowing you to gain a wider range of brightness from a single bulb.
  • LEDs are highly directional, so none of the light gets wasted going into areas it isn’t needed. When combined with adjustable fixtures such as track lighting, it is easy to adjust your retail store lighting to highlight and showcase specific products, promotions, displays, and important signage.
  • Unless you are trying to dim non-dimmable LEDs, they are silent, meaning there is no distracting buzzing noise to disrupt concentration
  • They turn on instantly, with no warm-up time needed to reach their full brightness, saving you time in the mornings and providing immediate illumination to the first one in.
  • No heat generation – Incandescent light bulbs provide excellent light for artworks, but the heat they produce can crack, warp, bubble, burn and otherwise damage them. Since LEDs don’t emit heat, they can safely light paintings and other works of art without the risk of heat damage. This makes them ideal for lighting antiques, flowers, and heat-intolerant foods such as chocolate. LED office lighting will also help keep stalls cooler, decreasing the amount of energy needed to cool a work space in summer months.
  1. A Safer, Happier, and More Industrious Stall

Aside from the fact that lighting has a huge impact on mood, it also affects physical well-being and productivity levels. Poor lighting can cause eye strain, fatigue, headaches, and trouble concentrating, greatly diminishing comfort and the ability to work efficiently and effectively.

Since LEDs are so easy to customize and adjust, they can help mitigate these issues by providing adjustable warmer or cooler color light and brighter or dimmer lighting conditions, depending on the needs of the task you are performing.

They are also highly directional, which helps limit screen glare, making it more comfortable for office workers. In addition to improving work conditions for your employees, commercial LED lighting can also influence customers, making good, controlled lighting hugely beneficial for those in the retail, food, and service industries as well.

Cons

  1. They Can Fail Under Heat

LED bulbs can overheat if they are exposed to heat, so the ideal way to ensure they work well is to keep them protected with a lampshade or sconce. Note that if they are exposed to heat in your stall for an extended period of time, their expected lifespan shortens. When you notice a LED bulb flickering, it is most likely because the bulb is not paired with a compatible transformer.

  1. An Upfront Investment Is Required

Prices often factor in the lifespan of a product. In terms of a computer, the more memory it has initially, the more you will pay. If you were in the market for a new AC unit, the higher its SEER rating, the more expensive the price tag because you are paying for an energy-efficient unit.

An LED bulb follows the same logic. If it has a longer lifespan, you will be paying more upfront because it is an investment. A less expensive bulb is great in an emergency situation. If you do not want to replace bulbs soon, you are encouraged to go for the investment.

  1. Directional

Have it in mind that a LED bulb is directional instead of illuminating in all directions. When you take a look at an LED bulb, you will notice that it is frosted. The frosting helps to distribute the light in all directions. If you pick up a bulb and it has that frosting, this is how you know it is an LED as opposed to an incandescent or halogen bulb.

  1. Not Great for Dimmers

Note that lighting effects can be created through the use of dimmers. Howbeit, LED bulbs are not compatible with dimmers. If you like the convenience of a dimmer, you will have to find the switch that is specifically compatible with LED bulbs. LED technology has advanced a lot as far as energy efficiency goes, but the dimming feature still has a long way to go. Those who have their heart set on dimming features should opt for incandescent bulbs instead.

The Cost of Using LED Lights in the UK

A 6 watt LED bulb compares to a 60 watt incandescent light (or if you are more up to date, a 14 watt fluorescent bulb), so it is a good start for a comparison. According to reports, an old style light bulb is around £1 to £2 depending on where you buy one, which is pretty cheap but has a couple of simple health warnings attached.

An incandescent light bulb will more or less last about 1,200 hours before it requires replacement. If you compare this to the average lifetime of an LED bulb of 60,000 hours you begin to see the savings you can make. You would need around 50 incandescent bulbs to last this long.

In addition, a 60 watt incandescent bulb is going to use a whole lot more electricity. Over 60,000 hours one 60 watt light bulb is will set you back around £700 whilst a 6 watt LED bulb will cost in the region of £80-90. So, whilst an LED bulb will cost you about £15 to £20, the initial outlay tends to be far outweighed by the savings over time.

If you like to compare LED to CFL, then the savings are not as great but they are encouraging enough to be worthwhile. A comparable CFL bulb costs around £3 and lasts about 10,000 hours. Over its lifetime it will use in the region of £180 of electricity, still considerably more than the LED bulb on its own.

Indeed, there are different types of LED lights but you should expect to pay between £10 and £20 whilst a tube may well set you back anything between £20 and £50. If you are looking to install a larger number of bulbs for your market stall, replacing perhaps 30 or more, it can cost you in excess of £400.

Agreeably, it sounds like a huge investment, although you can access the Green Deal to help with financing, but the savings on electricity and the longevity of bulbs more than compensates for that initial cost.

Over 60,000 hours, 30 incandescent bulbs, with the amount of electricity used and replacements required, will cost you over £23,000 whilst the comparable LED bulbs will cost just £2,600. Even the comparison with CFL bulbs is quite good with the cost over the lifetime of LED bulbs providing a saving of £3,000 or more.

Conclusion

While your stall structure and display is important, make sure you pay as much attention to your lighting and illumination. When purchasing your equipment, make sure you approach a reputable provider who carries original merchandise.

While you may feel hesitant to make the switch to LEDs, there is no better time to start embracing this technology for your business. Aside from the fact that there are fewer alternatives to choose from, commercial LED lighting has a lot to offer retail businesses.

Ajaero Tony Martins