Q&A: Chicago Pneumatic talks LED light tower uptake in the Gulf

Chicago Pneumatic’s business line manager for the Middle East, Edmer Gonzales, discusses the market penetration of LED light towers in the Gulf and putting the case to the customer

Chicago Pneumatic launched the CPLT H6LED, which is designed to maximise light coverage and brightness, in December last year.
Chicago Pneumatic launched the CPLT H6LED, which is designed to maximise light coverage and brightness, in December last year.

PMV Middle East asks Edmer Gonzales, business line manager for the Middle East at Chicago Pneumatic, about the market penetration of LED light towers in the Gulf and how the case for lower total cost of ownership is faring with the customer.

Q: Chicago Pneumatic’s recent orders included its first sale of CPLT V15 LED light towers in the region: how is your LED product doing in general?

A: “Awareness is growing thanks to the recent successes we’ve had in persuading customers to switch from metal halide to LED light tower technology, and more companies are now expressing interest in LED light towers based on their comparative benefits.” ***

***These benefits include the extended lifespan of LED light bulbs, at 30,000 hours – or a working life of three years – compared with metal halide bulbs, which might typically require replacement after 6,000 hours. LED light towers also use significantly less energy, and as much as 70% less fuel (in the case of the CPLT H6LED), while delivering comparable lighting outputs.

Q: What proportion of Chicago Pneumatic’s sales in the region involve LED versus metal halide light tower models?

A: “Approximately 85% of the current market is for metal halide light towers, with the remaining 15% accounted for by LED, but we expect the share of the latter to continue to grow moving forward.

“Cost-conscious companies – especially within the rental market – are beginning to look past the initial investment cost and are now considering transitioning their fleets from metal halide to LED light towers. This can save a lot on the cost of maintenance, accessories and specifically the wear and tear of bulbs; which are the key component of a light tower.”

Q: Is Chicago Pneumatic convincing its customers with the lower total cost of ownership (TCO) arguments associated with LED lighting?

A: “Yes, we are finding this approach to be very successful. Along with our authorised dealers we can provide customers with practical on-site demonstrations of an LED light tower against a metal halide model.

“During this we conduct live performance testing and share our existing technical data. By analysing this data, customers can see the longer term cost savings in terms of fuel, accessories and maintenance and therefore better understand the difference between the two technologies.”

Q: Chicago Pneumatic recently received a 100-unit order for metal halide light towers in Kuwait – why do you think the customer went with a metal halide model?

A: “We recommended metal halide light towers for this particular order as they were able to deliver the level of illumination required for the project, and due to the tight lead time and high volume of machines requested. The customer also wanted to use technology they were familiar with.”

Q: What are the main objections to the purchase of LED light towers in the Middle East region?

A: “The main objection is the upfront price difference between an LED light tower and standard metal halide variant. The challenge is demonstrating the long term value of investing in LED to customers, which can be overcome by sharing with them the full benefits and comparative performance of an LED versus metal halide light tower.”

Q: What advice would you give to customers trying to make decision about which light towers to buy?

A: “Our advice to companies considering purchasing a light tower or upgrading their existing rental fleet is to look past the initial investment and be open to embracing the longer term benefits that LED technology has to offer. We’re happy to provide the information that backs this up.

“It’s not hidden and is based on straightforward comparative testing between our LED and metal halide light towers, which we can conduct on-site at the premises of potential customers.”

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