Marketing integrated technologies
Singapore 28th October 2011
Last night we went to attend a product introduction, the Alucobond /Traxon intergated façade pannel and wall cladding solution, pictures of which I shared a bout 2 weeks ago in Light watch when the event was announced. The marketing on their website and introduction I guess was well done with sleek pictures creating great expectations. I was not surprised to see many of my local lightig colleagues in attendance. As lighting designers we are all on the look out for new innovations and solutions that can make our life easier or can produce that extra edge and wow factor that some of our clients crave for. What was interesting was the fact that most of the attendees were lighting designers rather then architects, builders or structural engineers. Now that says a lot of the importance that lighting is taking in the future development of this integration of architectural building components and
lighting. Lighting seems to be the leading element in this integration process.
I felt however that the solution provider (Alucobond featuring Traxon lighting products) was more driven by its technical cladding
expertise, rather then by lighting needs. Obviously marketing such product with potentially multiple specifiers is more challenging then to a specific target group. In this case the product must appeal to architects, structural and cladding engineers as well as lighting experts like ourselves. While I could not really judge whether the product is satisfying architectural builders needs (I guess it does considering Alucobond are one of the world leaders in these products) it seemed not to be in touch with the reality of budgets and practical lighting needs.
What struck me most is that only a 3 years warranty was given, which seemed in stark contras with the 10 to 15 years I understand is standard practice for architectural facades. When queried about the cost a panel with light was a bout 10 times more expensive than one without lighting. Considering the fact that the LED pitch is of relatively low resolution it seems the price is on the high side. Other issues such a replacement and maintenance, integration of PV cells as well as return on investment were asked but in the end what was clear is that many of these questions remain unanswered, mainly because the product is new and therefore basically untested. However I think we all agree that it is the way to go and we have to start somewhere!
In Light Watch some more form the night and product info
Light Watch 190: Alucobond media facade