Monthly Archives: March 2011

Halogen Lamp

The Halogen Cycle

The process by which Halogen lamps actually work! Occurring when the filament of a Halogen lamp has reached operating temperature, Halogen atoms within the bulb envelope attach themselves to the vaporised Tungsten particles emanating from the filament. The Halogen atoms carry them back to the filament where they are reused.

Linear Tungsten Halogen Tube

The high wattage tubular lamps found in security floodlights. These were among the first commonly used domestic halogen lamps, and whilst they now come in lots of different sizes, wattages and voltages, by far the most common is still 117mm, 300w or 500w, 240v. They have two ceramic caps at each end, and must not be touched by the bare hands when installing, as the salt from the sweat of your fingers will compromise the quartz envelope at high temperatures, leading to explosion!

Dichroic Lamp / ‘M’ Lamp

This very popular Halogen Reflector is the lamp principally seen in recessed down lights. The word ‘dichroic’ refers to the fact that electromagnetic radiation is split into two distinct areas: heat and visible light. A dichroic filter throws light forward and two thirds of the heat backwards through the reflector. Whilst the term ‘dichroic’ relates to both mains and low voltage lamps, it is commonly used when referring to low voltage ‘m’ lamps.

The two common sizes are 50mm and 35mm. This measurement describes the diameter of the reflector. Dichroic lamps are available in many wattages, and with a range of beam widths, covering both ‘spot’ and ‘flood’ applications.

Most lighting manufacturers and some in the lighting trade still abide by the original naming convention which used ‘M’ numbers. A 50mm, 50w, 38degree for example is an M258, whilst an M223 is 35mm, 35w, 38degree.

In terms of its cap the Dichroic lamp follows a low voltage standard in having two parallel pins at its base which fit into a ceramic lampholder.

Coming in a variety of colours, they are nowadays, usually glass fronted, to prevent the touching of the sensitive quartz capsule.

GU10 Halogen Lamp

The mains version of the 50mm dichroic. These lamps were developed fairly recently in response to the need for a compact halogen lamp for use without a transformer. GU10s are distinct physically from their low voltage counterparts by their base or cap. GU10s have a large bevelled ceramic base with two thick ‘twist and lock’ studs which fit into a plastic lampholder. (Dichroics, as described above, have two parallel pins).

GZ10 Halogen Lamp

Similar to a GU10 lamp, in that it is a mains halogen lamp. Unlike a GU10, however, which has an aluminium reflector, GZs use a dichroic reflector so that all the heat produced during normal operation is thrown backward. GZ10s are used in applications where heat must not be thrown forward.

Par Lamp

Halogen version of the common incandescent reflector. These too were developed fairly recently and met demand for a halogen lamp which fitted existing fittings. They therefor, most commonly, have an ES cap, though SES and BC versions are available. Their physical size is part dependent upon the wattage, which can range from 25w – 150w. A typical spec would be Par20, 50w es.

Hi-Spot

Original brand name for par lamps and GU10s coined by Sylvania, the first company to bring mains halogen lamps to the market.

Capsule Lamps

Very small 2 pin low voltage lamp. They are available in a range of wattages and in two different cap sizes, either G4 or G6.35. This measurement refers to the 4mm or 6.35mm distance between the two pins.

G9

Rather like a capsule lamp but operates on mains not low voltage. They may be distinguished from a capsule lamp as they slightly larger and have 2 ‘loops’ rather than 2 pins at the base. G9 refers to the 9mm gap between these two loops. 25w, 40w, 60w, 75w, frosted or clear.

Halolux

Like a G9, Halolux lamps are used in a mains voltage environment, but are fitted with standard SBC, SES or ES caps instead of two loops. With a second envelope housing the ‘working’ capsule they are physically bigger than a G9. Made only by Osram, they are available in frosted or clear.

Halogena

Like a Halolux, Halogenas employ two envelopes and standard caps, this time BC and ES. Made only by Philips they are available in 100w and 150w.

For more information on all mains and low voltage halogen lighting please visit Gil-Lec

By Darren Gilbert

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Pot Lights

When I moved into our newly constructed house there was a naive side of me that expected everything to work perfectly for at least the first five years. In hindsight, it seems to me that the best house to move into is a four to six year old home, after all the kinks have been worked out.

In the last month we have had a burst water pipe, cracked marble counter tops, halogen pot lights that seem to burn out the minute you change the bulb and a stubbornly clogged toilet (okay, so this last one may not have anything to do with the actual house). Currently our hotwater heater is making a strange humming noise and I’m waiting for the repair man to come and take a look.

On the positive side, I’ve learned a lot about lighting, marble, and plumbing which I thought I’d share with you so you can avoid the problems we’ve had.

Halogen potlights:

Angelo Bossi from Brak-Glan Electrical Service paid me a visit last week to take a look at my pot lights. Here’s what he told me:

130 volt lights are better than 120 volt lights. Power to your home is supplied at 120 volts, but sometimes you get a power surge and that can burst a bulb. The 130 volt bulbs are more expensive, but they last longer because they can absorb the surge. If you’re looking to lower your electricity consumption, there is a 9 Watt compact fluorescent bulb on the market that replaces your 50 Watt halogen. We have 17 potlights on our main floor alone which all tend to be on from from 7-9 in the morning and 4 to 10 at night. I did the math: 17 halogen pot lights at 50 Watts each burning for 8 hours a day uses 6.8 kilowatt hours of electricity.  At $0.05/kilowatt hour the total cost works out to $0.34 per day or $124 per year.  If you used the 9 Watt bulbs instead, you use 1.224 kilowatt hours of electricity per day which would cost $0.06 per day. The total annual cost per year is $22.34. You’d save about $100 per year, so switching to CFL bulbs would pay for itself in about two years, less time if your lights are on longer or if electricity prices rise.
There are some things to be aware of with these CFL bulbs:

They are not dimmable. They are more expensive than halogen bulbs (approximately $9 to $13 per bulb). They take a few minutes to warm up and provide their full Wattage. They come in a variety of  “colour temperatures” (a softer, yellow light to more day – blue light). They’re available at electrical supply stores.
Stone counter tops:

Whenever I tell a contractor our kitchen counter is marble there’s usually the strangled sound of disbelief on the other end of the phone which roughly translates into  “Marble in the kitchen? What were you thinking?”

Although we didn’t have a choice in finishes, I have to be honest and say that I liked the marble counter top when we moved in and I still like it – despite its prima dona, high maintenance ways. Of course if you look at it the wrong way it chips and it does need to be sealed on a regular basis, but it’s got a nice European look to it.

However, I noticed a few months ago that there were a few hairline cracks emanating from various edges of the counter. A few on each side of the stove, and one out from the middle edge of the counter. The original installer came and epoxyed them right away, but they kept growing. Finally, the contractor sent in Peter Potopov from The Stone Doctor.

Peter has repaired the cracks so that they will not get any larger (but they’ll always be there).

While I had always thought that the cracks had been caused by improper installation or the stove vibrating against the counter he said  that the house, still being new, hasn’t finished settling yet. Apparently stone counter tops shouldn’t really be installed for a few years after a house has been built. To support that theory he showed me a 1/4 cm. gap between the backsplash and the counter top.

Now, I figure that the stress fractures occur when a counter is affixed to the wall on two sides because there is less ability for it to move. Our island, which is also marble, is perfectly fine.

Final stone tip: You know it’s time to reseal your counter top when a water spill leaves a dark mark after it’s been cleaned up.

Plumbing:

I heard a hissing noise one day when I opened the front closet to get my coat. I felt the back wall of the closet and it was soaking wet. After the water was turned off, the plumber came and took the drywall apart. One of the water pipes had been punctured by a too long nail. Jim Davidson of Davidson Home Services said, “If they’d done the job right, they never would have used nails this long. If you miss the stud, you can puncture the plumbing or electrical wiring” – which is exactly what happened.

While Jim was repairing the burst pipe and the drywall I asked him if he’d please figure out why the second floor toilet was so backed up. We’d tried everything and couldn’t get it unclogged. After he removed the toilet from the floor he found the culprit: Q-tips. Q-tips create a grate which is impossible to unblock with a plunger. Conclusion: don’t flush Q-tips down the toilet!

By Cathy Rust

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Patio Lighting

There are many different types of patio lighting options to choose from. Some are simple to install like for instance solar string, strip, and tube lighting. Others like spotlights and overhead lights are a little more involved because they require electrical wiring during installation. To determine which type of patio lighting will best fit the layout and function of your outdoor patio area, you must first decide how much light you need in order to accomplish the tasks you wish to accomplish in the space. For instance, if you are trying to illuminate the area for evening sitting and relaxing then your probably only need some small ambient lighting like that of string lights. On the other hand, if you plan to entertain in the space, then you will definitely need larger amounts of light that adequately illuminate all walkways, stairways, and especially the area where your guests will sit.

Some people may prefer to create an intimate space for their patios even if intended for entertainment purposes which can easily be accomplished with the addition of an umbrella and some patio umbrella lighting. Others prefer that the space be a gathering spot for family and friends which can also easily be accomplished with lights that illuminate from below like recessed lighting and also lights that illuminate from above.. String lights work well for either of these scenarios because they can be purchased in various sizes, colors, and levels of illumination. Spot lights are not recommended in areas where you plan to entertain because many times they pose a hazard by being too bright and almost blinding. Choose a mix of fixtures and lighting types that way you can use your patio space for multiple functions.

When shopping for outdoor fixtures look for easy to install fixtures that will provide your outdoor living space with great ambient patio lighting for any occasion. Choose fixtures that can be dimmed when needed so you can tone the mood down if you are just trying to relax and turn them up when you want to entertain and have fun with loved ones. Before you install any type of light fixture always follow the included installation instructions for that specific light fixture. If you have purchased a used light fixture, you should consult the internet for that manufacturer’s recommendations. If you cannot find that brand or style of fixture online then it is best that you consult with an electrician or have an electrician install the fixture properly.

By Roy Yazzie

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Kitchen Lights

The kitchen is a place in your home where not only you work, but you also spend time in there entertaining, relaxing and spending time with your family. Many times, you will find that your kitchen is the hubbub of your home and you may spend more time in here than other rooms in your house. For this reason, the right kitchen lighting is very important. When you build a house or renovate your kitchen, you want to get recommendations from the pros to find out which type of lighting will work best. Here are a few tips for getting the right kind of kitchen lighting in your home.

A Bright Idea: Picking Kitchen Lights

While there are many different types of lighting that you can buy for your home, there are generally two types that will be used in your kitchen. Those two include functional lighting, such as those used when working or cooking and decorative lighting that is used to set the mood or to add a decorative touch to the home. When you talk about functional lighting, a kitchen will usually have fluorescent lighting or recessed lighting. Over the stove lighting are also quite common. You may even like the look of soft lighting that goes underneath cabinets. If you are lucky enough to have windows in your home, then natural lighting can also be used during the daytime. All of these types of lights in your kitchen are popular and when you go to pick kitchen lights, these are all options you will consider.

Shopping and Installing Your Kitchen Lights

Now that you know what type of lights you can choose from, you will certainly want to shop carefully for your lights. Before you buy, you will want to make a detailed plan and decide exactly where the lights will be placed. Placement is very important so that you can see when you are spending time in the kitchen. As you shop, think about how that particular light will look with your décor and in your home. Look at the prices and decide on whether or not this is a project you can complete on your own. If not, then you may have to hire a professional. In addition, replacing old and outdated lighting in your kitchen is one thing, but adding new lights will certainly require electrical skills that you may or may not have. Keep this in mind as your plan and shop for your new lighting.

Of course, shopping for your new lighting is part of the fun of updating your kitchen. You have many unique options for lighting in your kitchen. Don’t stop at your local home improvement store. Check out what you can buy at specialty lighting stores and through the Internet. You might be surprised to learn that you can find fixtures that you never even considered. The lighting that you choose will be as unique as you. Find something that is both functional and decorative and you will enjoy your hard work for years to come.

By Jack S. Blacksmith

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Chandelier

Chandeliers are beautiful and functional fixtures that can add value to a home. Whenever a house has a chandelier, people always look up to admire its elegance. Besides being functional and attractive, chandeliers are a wise investment because they last a lifetime and use less energy than other lighting fixtures. In this article, we’ll show you how to choose the right light chandelier to enhance the beauty of your home.

Ideally, a chandelier should complement a room without distracting from the rest of the design. Size is a major consideration, so if you are designing a simple room, an elaborate or ornate lighting fixture may look out of place. However, a luxurious, richly decorated room can glow in the refracted light of a spectacular crystal chandelier.

By the same token, a small fixture can fade into insignificance in a massive space. Generally, for dining rooms, chandeliers should be twelve inches shorter than the table’s width. The proportions of the room to the fixture can be another crucial decision. Measure both the room and any potential chandeliers to make sure that it will fit without either getting lost or engulfing your entire room.

The next consideration should be the level of illumination that chandeliers can provide. Sixty watt bulbs are the normal strength for chandeliers with one or two sockets. A chandelier with more than three branches should use forty-watt bulbs to provide light that is pleasant and not overpowering. You may choose to install a dimmer switch to give you more control over how much light your fixture gives the room.

Wrought iron chandeliers offer style and sophistication to your home, at a fraction of the cost of a crystal chandelier. Additionally, wrought iron lasts must longer, making your investment in the product a lasting investment, versus the short shelf life of many other chandelier materials. However, crystal chandeliers remain the classic choice. Though dining rooms are the settings most conventionally associated with chandeliers, there’s nothing to stop you from using one to add a stylish touch to any other room, including the bathroom. Just make sure that it blends with the decor.

Although chandeliers most commonly appear in dining rooms, feel free to place them anywhere in your home. Mini chandeliers look great in foyers or hallways, brass chandeliers can add luxury to the decor in a bedroom, and wrought iron chandeliers can add sophistication to an entertainment room or even a bathroom. Use your imagination and think outside the residential lighting box. If you aim for a look that is coordinated and pulled together, you’ll end up with a stylish home that everyone will envy.

By Mike Selvon

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Christmas Lights

Soon after Thomas Edison developed the light bulb that could be used for commercial use, the idea of Christmas tree lights was one of the first applications. Before the discovery of electricity candles were used as Christmas lights. The dangers of this were of major concern at the times.

As time evolved the candles had glass covers, or metal lanterns with small wicks and were hung on the trees like ornaments on Christmas trees. Think about doing that in this day and age: a recipe for a burning house.

Even with the dangers it took many years for holiday tree lights to become commercially available. It’s said that the idea of these lights came from Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson: he had the bulbs made specially for his house and he displayed them his Christmas tree lights at his home on New York City.

From these humble beginnings the Christmas tree lights went through many changes before General Electric introduced them commercially. The early days of lights on Christmas trees was night lights strung together to make long stings of lights. You may have seen these in some old pictures. Those large bulbs that would shatter into a million pieces when they hit the floor.

Christmas mini lights were introduced in the mid to late 1970′s. There have been many changes to the original Christmas lights but for the most part they are the same. Sales have climbed as application for these lights have changed to not just decorating the tree but also used as outdoor Christmas lights. Icicle lights are the most popular and are seen on most homes that use outdoor lighting at Christmas time. Outdoor decorative lighting has become one of the most popular types and can become somewhat of a competition among neighbors. Many people will use animated Christmas lights that can create a spectacular scene and some are even animated.

Many of the lights used now are led lights. They are long lasting and if one light goes out the whole string will still work, not like the old days, if one light was out you had to go through one by one to figure out the bad bulb. And with some holiday light strings of 100 or more, it was not a fun task. So make sure before you purchase your next set of Christmas lights that it says on the box that you don’t have to replace a bad bulb to make the whole string of lights work.

By Adriana Copaceanu

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Light Sensor

Dwelling house owners have at all times been fascinated with safety and security, usually within the form of alarms or security systems. However, even a basic security lighting system can help make your own home or enterprise location considerably safer. Most criminals are attracted to simpler targets – locations with poor lighting, places unlocked, locations with out alarms. Exterior home lighting, within the form of floodlights, safety lights, and motion sensors porch lights, are a great way to protect your home and keep at bay prowlers. The location and site of security lighting could be difficult, since there are a number of options from floor lights and eave-placed lights that can be utilized to gentle up a driveway, yard, porch or patio area.

Motion sensor porch light could use a laser or infrared tripwire, however there are three more frequent sorts of sensors for the movement lights. Passive infrared sensors detects physique warmth within the infrared spectrum, Ultrasonic sensors use a transferring objects reflection of ultrasonic pulses and microwave sensors use technology just like police radar guns. Motion lights tend to use more than one of those sensors in order to scale back the number of false alarms. Some movement lights have their sensors programmed to ignore small animals and pets.

They can be set to activate any time someone, together with you, approaches the property. This works great for issues like lights across the entrance door or walkways. Why worry about turning lights on and off each night time, when they can do it by themselves. Motion sensor porch light, you may set to activate for 10 minutes every time they are activated. That approach for those who or another person walks as much as your door, the world is illuminated. You don’t need to fumble in the dark for keys or keyholes, and visitors have their way lighted with out stumbling by way of the dark. And also you don’t need to bear in mind to turn them off at bedtime – they turn themselves off and can flip again on when needed automatically.

Most safety lighting is pretty primary to put in if in case you have a current mild fixture. Step one is popping off electrical energy from your fuse box. Then turn off the sunshine change that controls power to the fixture to be double safe. Then take away the present mild fixture, disconnecting the bottom wire and the white and black wires that provide power. Observe the directions that include your new motion sensor porch light, reconnect the ground and black and white wires and fix the light to the bracket as needed. Your motion sensor light is now installed. You will be able to generally control its function by flicking the light swap off an on – one flick puts it into sleep mode (it solely comes on when wanted), whereas an on/off/on sequence often moves into guide mode, where the sunshine stays on permanently till turned off. Motion sensor lights must be placed 6-10 toes above the ground for optimum protection and responsiveness. Needless to say our door lights require specialised weatherproof conduit and electrical boxes — installing new outside lights and security lights will not be a process the typical do it yourself ought to attempt unless they know the local electrical constructing code and are familiar with working with electricity.

By Tomas T.

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Disco Lights

DJ Lighting Equipment is a very important aspect of any disco equipment setup and one which should not be overlooked or underestimated. However, once you have a good idea of the available options you will find that it is relatively easy to equip yourself with some great lighting solutions at affordable prices.

There are many types of DJ lights available and they differ greatly in price point so it is a good idea to plan out your requirement and understand that if you only ever do small or sometimes medium sized venues then you will NOT need a massive amount of lights or a big lighting rig as these may only get used a few times a year. In fact it may be more realistic and beneficial to buy a few good effect lights, a couple of moving head scanners, a laser and a smoke machine and on the rare occasion that you may require more lighting then you can always hire a few more lights from your local DJ warehouse.

If you are a newbie to disco lighting then you should gain a little more knowledge through reading the next part of this article which gives you the options for choosing DJ lights and lighting packages.

1) Moonflower Lights (Gobo) – This light produce patterns through the lens and can be very effective.

2) Scanners – Available as Fixed and Moving Head lighting units and these are probably the most popular and used the most throughout the mobile disco and nightclub scene. A scanner DJ light can be linked to one another, in a daisy chain, and attached to a lighting controller (DMX controller unit) and the linked units will work as a synchronised effect.

3) DJ Laser Lights – A laser light produces either fixed pattern effect in single or multi colours (requires multiple heads) and the more advanced units can produce some amazing animations which are typically controlled via a laptop running a DMX interface.

4) DJ Black Lights and UV Lights – These produce fluorescent and black light effects such as making any white clothing you wear stand out brightly. These Black Lights are perfect for mobile disco, home and bedroom, and nightclubs.

5) Party Disco Lights – These lights are widely available and offer an affordable solution to house parties, small disco’s and other light applications. You can buy a complete Disco Party Pak from online DJ suppliers and these can turn any small venue into a flashy, colourful and atmospheric party palace.

There are many more options available including light boxes and LCD display panels, strobe lighting and Beacons also Oil Gobo Lights to name but a few. However, the main items listed above (1 to 5) are by far the most widely used lighting equipment and if you opt for a combination of those lights then you will not go far wrong.

By Valery Marks

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Mini Lights

Vases are one of those containers that aren’t used every day but simply beg to be used for some purpose when they’re not holding flowers. Glass and crystal vases are perfect vessels for creating new and interesting centerpieces or as accessories in a room.

Combine vases with lights and you’ll instantly have an eye-catching display! How can you transform your ordinary vases into something extraordinary? Try out some of these decorating ideas and you’ll have your friends and family chattering away at how clever you are at decorating.

Ideas for Vases with Mini Lights

Fill an inexpensive vase – find one at the dollar store – with ornaments and lights. Begin by placing a few Christmas ornaments into the bottom of the vase. Alternately push a string of lights down inside the vase and continue to fill the vase with lights and ornaments so the lights will illuminate the bulbs.

This is a perfect centerpiece idea for any holiday table. Or use it to spruce up a lonely corner of a sideboard, buffet, or countertop. Group a few vases with lights together for an interesting accent. Make it even more aesthetically pleasing by varying the sizes and shapes of the vases.

(Be sure not to leave your vase projects unattended or left on overnight. Traditional mini lights do heat up so protect delicate wood surfaces.)

Vases in the fireplace – rainy summer nights can seem dreary at times, so why not make them a bit more cheery with lights? The fireplace is likely sitting empty and looking a bit cold now that winter is over, so let’s fill it with some vases and lights to make it more inviting.

Push strings of your favorite colors of lights into glass or crystal vases until the vase is full. Do this with several sizes of vases. Fill the opening of your fireplace with the vases filled with lights. Plug them into a multiple outlet extension core and voila – instant charm and ambiance in your space! This is an easy fix to enhance and beautify that gaping hole during the spring and summer months.

Accessories – battery operated white lights are perfect for filling vases and creating unique accessories for any room of the home. Tuck the battery pack into glass beads in the bottom of the vase and allow the string of lights to randomly fill the vase. You can easily accessorize the fireplace mantel, a bookshelf, bathroom sink, foyer, or bedroom with these beauties. New micro dot LED battery lights last up to 100 hours per set of batteries.

Fill it and light it up – similar to the Christmas ornament idea, you can fill the vase with just about anything that would look pretty along with the lights inside. Glass beads, shells from the beach, river rocks, small toys, costume jewelry, sleigh bells, artificial flower petals, spools of thread, or any other small item that would match or compliment the decor of the room in which the vase would be placed. (Again, keep in mind good safely precautions when using different materials keeping in mind that incandescent mini lights do heat up. Do not leave lights on overnight, unattended and protect delicate surfaces like wood.)

Consider using colored glass vases too for a new and unique twist on adding color to a room. A red vase with red or white Christmas lights would be really pretty during Valentine’s Day or Christmas. A green vase with green or white lights would brighten any powder room or bedroom decorated in green hues. Thrill your daughter with a frosted vase filled with purple lights for her bedroom. There’s really no end to what you can do with vases and lights!

By Shellie Gardner

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Recession

I know the anxiety is rising for many of you as the economy falters. I know it is tempting to begin the slashing process of your expenses. And, I know that marketing is one of those areas that typical gets the brunt of those budget cuts. I understand…but you must resist!

Sure, you should always be doing everything you can to maximize your marketing resources. That’s true, even in a good economy. But history shows us that now is just not the time to curb your marketing efforts.

Here are some of the facts from past recessions:

1970 recession year – American Business Press (ABP) and Meldrum & Fewsmith study showed that “sales and profits can be maintained and increased in recession years and [in the years] immediately following by those who are willing to maintain an aggressive marketing posture, while others adopt the philosophy of cutting back on promotional efforts when sales appear to be harder to get.” 1

1974-1975 recession years – ABP/Meldurm & Fewsmith 1979 study covering 1974/1975 and its post-recession years found that “Companies which did not cut marketing expenditures experienced higher sales and net income during those two years and the two years following than those companies which cut in either or both recession years.” 2

1981-1982 recession years McGraw-Hill Research’s Laboratory of Advertising Performance studied recessions in the United States. Following the 1981-1982 recessions, it analyzed the performance of some 600 industrial companies during that economic downturn. It found that “business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their marketing expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth both during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased marketing. 3

Cahners and Strategic Planning Institute (SPI) produced their report, “Media Advertising When Your Market Is In a Recession.” It disclosed, “During a recessionary period, average businesses do experience a slightly lower rate of return relative to normal times. However, expansion times do not generate a higher level of profits than normal periods as might be expected.” This phenomenon was explained by an analysis of changes in market share.

“During recessionary periods,” said the Cahners/SPI report, “these businesses tended to gain a greater share of market. The underlying reason is that competitors, especially smaller marginal ones, are less willing or able to defend against the aggressive firms.” The study then pointed out that businesses that increased media advertising expenditures during the recessionary period “gained an average of 1.5 points of market share.” 4

1990-1991 recession years – Management Review asked AMA member firms about spending during the 1990-1991 recession. “Fortune follows the brave,” it announced, noting that the data showed that most firms that raised their marketing budgets enjoyed gains in market share. Among the magazine’s sample, 15 percent reported “greatly decreased” ad budgets. Advertising was “somewhat cut” by 29 percent. “The keys to gaining market share in a recession,” concluded Management Review” seem to be spending money and adding to staff. Firms that increased their budgets and took on new people were twice as likely to pick up market share. 5

Beyond the statistics, why might it be more important than ever to market despite economic downturn? Strong consideration should be given to the idea that marketing plays a more critical role now than it did during previous recessions. While marketing’s role was once more informational than brand identity building, and considering that never more than today has the clutter factor been so great, relationships between customers and brands are critical. Relationship marketing has surged to the top of effective marketing campaigns as a means to keep an appropriate level of share of mind for purchase loyalty. Marketing serves to foster and maintain consumer-brand relationships. 6

The effect on profits. From the Harvard Business Review, “Advertising as an anti recession tool,” comes the effect of cutting advertising on the bottom line. “The rationale that a company can afford a cutback in advertising because everybody else is cutting back [is fallacious]. Rather than wait for business to return to normal, top executives should cash in on the opportunity that the rival companies are creating for them. The company courageous enough to stay in the fight when everyone else is playing safe can bring about a dramatic change in market position.” In addition, the article points out “Advertising should be regarded not as a drain on profits but as a contributor to profits, not as an unavoidable expense but as a means of achieving objectives. Ad budgets should be related to the company’s goals instead of to last year’s sales or to next year’s promises.” 7

REFERENCES:

“How Advertising in Recession Periods Affects Sales,” American Business Press, Inc., 1979
ABP/Meldrum & Fewsmith study, 1979
McGraw-Hill Research. Laboratory of Advertising Performance Report 5262 New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986.
Kijewski, Dr. Valerie. “Media Advertising When Your Market Is in a Recession,” Cahners Advertising Research Report. The Strategic Planning Institute, 1982
Greenburg, Eric Rolfe. “Fortune Follows the Brave,” Management Review, January 1993
Khermouch, Gerry. “Why Advertising Matters More Than Ever,” Business Week, August 2001
Dhalla, Nairman K. “Advertising as an anti recession tool,” Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 1980

By Shannon Kavanaugh

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