LEDs bolster energy efficiency in Russia

LED lamps are quickly gaining popularity. They are used in everyday life and in industrial environments, illuminating porches and sports grounds. Eslight CEO Dmitry Zheltyakov explains why this type of lamps has become so popular and how to start a manufacturing business.

Lighting and saving

Dmitry Zheltyakov had an idea to make LED lamps in 2009 while he led the Europack company that provided various supplies to government-financed companies and institutions. Also in 2009, the Federal Law On Energy Saving and Improving Energy Efficiency was adopted, sending up those institutions’ demand for energy-saving lighting equipment. Zheltyakov decided to focus on this niche clearly seeing an upward trend as more and more state-run and commercial companies realized that using LED lighting would cut their electricity bills by two-thirds. High-quality energy-saving lamps were a chance to cut costs. The average payback period for investment in the lighting upgrade is between one and two years. Zheltyakov also realized that the product would be in demand regardless of what the partner company does.

In 2010, Europack made the promotion of energy-saving lighting equipment a separate business line and began offering government-financed entities lamps from well-known manufacturers. At that time, LED lamps were not as popular as they are today. There were few manufacturers and their products were quite expensive. Having studied the products, the technology, and the market, Dmitry decided that making LED lamps should be a lucrative enterprise.

Production of LED lamps under the ESLIGHT brand started in 2011 in St. Petersburg. ESLIGHT company was established in 2015 and named based on the abbreviation of the product description, Energy Saving Lighting.

Dmitry Zheltyakov built a team of fellow-minded experts and used Europack’s profits and his own funds to buy equipment. He rented space for a workshop. Business development also required taking out a loan. Although developing and increasing the scope of production required continuous investment, as soon as in 2014 the company reached the break-even point. As of the end of 2017, the company’s net profit exceeded RUR 350K ($5,350). 

Now ESLIGHT has two production facilities in St. Petersburg and Vladimir. The company’s offices and storage facilities are located in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The small team of 38 people consists of great professionals who solve common tasks. The company has its own brigade of construction electricians who install lighting at facilities of any complexity, be it industrial workshops or open-air platforms. Specialists are also outsourced to solve certain tasks.

The company’s own engineering department develops new models of lights in response to modern trends of the lighting market. Office devices can suit various types of workspaces based on their characteristics and design. Industrial lights are both produced serially and customized to fit the specifics and purpose of the client’s facility.

Street lighting is in great demand and is a major commodity group. They are commonly ordered for energy service contracts where it is important to ensure return on investment, durability, efficiency, easy maintenance and high quality. Garden and park lighting is a standalone product line.

Soft yet rather bright lighting in gardens, parks, public gardens and other recreation places provides for making a person feel safe and comfortable in the evening. LED lights do not dazzle and flicker; they are resistant to negative external impacts such as weather conditions, vibrations or vandals’ actions. Lighting devices are also manufactured for common facilities in newly constructed residential complexes and renovated residential buildings, customers being property management companies and homeowners’ associations.

Lamps manufactured by ESLIGHT are used in various cities all across Russia. Its customers include state-funded and commercial organizations operating in different sectors. The company’s client base has a total of 700 regular customers and over 3,000 partners.

ESLIGHT promotes its products through different tools such as Yandex and Google contextual advertising, retargeting, SEO, themed advertising panels, and aggregators. There are also newsletters regularly sent to the company’s current and potential clients. A large number of ESLIGHT customers found the company via recommendations. To drive sales, ESLIGHT showcases product samples, offers discounts and utilizes other loyalty programs. A particular attention is paid to creating the company’s positive image; efforts are being taken to establish goodwill and loyalty with the public and attract supporters.

According to Dmitry, the LED lighting market is constantly growing and advancing, and the company’s aim is to keep its finger on the pulse. ESLIGHT has to make constant efforts to develop and introduce new types of LED lamps that would follow new trends, as well as to implement new comprehensive proposals, such as energy service contracts.

The Russian lighting technology market is rapidly advancing as well. According to estimates, last year it totaled over €1 bln. The share of LED lights is also increasing and expected to reach 77% in the Russian lighting market by 2020.

By Christina Firsova

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