The Grocer is launching a new campaign to accelerate the use of LED lighting in retail.

Switch the Lights will explore the reasons why switching to LED will deliver multiple benefits to UK retailers , the economy and the planet.

Over the last three years the price of LED has plunged by more than 40%. And while the price of LED is falling, the cost of electricity is soaring. Over the next six years, the BRC predicts the overall annual energy bill for retailers will more than double, from £3.2bn in 2013 to £6.9bn by 2020.

But using LED lighting can reduce energy bills by anywhere between 10% and 50%. 

As well as savings on bulbs and bills, the price of the bulbs, and the resulting electricity bills, the all-important ROI is also falling. “Given the energy savings achievable and payback timescale, LED lighting cannot be ignored,” said Alastair Haigh, director at AF Blakemore & Son, another backer. “Significant savings can be achieved, particularly now installation costs have decreased. We have over 300 stores in our estate and are replacing existing light fittings with LED units wherever possible.”

It’s not just the retail industry that will benefit. Shops suck up 10% of the electricity produced by the National Grid, which last month revealed that its “safety cushion” of spare power capacity had shrunk to 4.1%, the lowest in seven years, fuelling fears of UK-wide brownouts, or blackouts.

As lighting accounts for 43% of a retailer’s energy bill, lighting in retail consumes approximately 4.3% of the total electricity produced by the National Grid. If all retailers switched to LED the National Grid’s safety cushion would inflate at a stroke.

Furthermore, the quality of the bulbs is also going up and they have never lasted longer. According to the Carbon Trust, which is right behind the Switch the Lights campaign, LEDs have the longest lifetime of any energy saving light bulb and brightness has increased four-fold since 2007.

“We have now reached the tipping point where it’s clear that LED is the solution,” said Paul Huggins, associate director at the Carbon Trust. “And it’s very important that retailers get behind it.”