smartlights.de talks to Innr founder Jeroen Dalderop about the general positioning of the company, about success factors and soon to be expected product launches.
Interview with co-founder Jeroen confirms: Innr Smart Outdoor lighting and WiFi range
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- Innr quickly made a name for itself in the field of smart lighting. The products are popular and are in high demand. What success factors do you identify for this?
Right from the start, Innr focused on the fact that smart products should be usable by everyone. That is why our products offer premium quality at affordable prices. Against this background, the compatibility of our offers with the market-leading Zigbee standard was important to us.
Customers also appreciate our personal service. You can call us or send us an email – so you don’t have to fill out an online form in case of support. This direct proximity to the market and our response times are valued by users, we hear that more and more often.
The proximity to customers described also has advantages for Innr – because in this way we are close to the market and take personal note of customer requests.
- Choosing the Zigbee standard early on turned out to be the right decision. Will it stay with the support of this one standard?
It is true that the decision for Zigbee compatibility was correct. Certainly also related to the fact that in a market like Germany 80 percent of all smart lighting products use the Zigbee standard.
Of course, Zigbee is also a very good protocol in technical terms and well equipped for the future. This applies above all to the control of smart LEDs. Because their presence in a Zigbee network does not burden a Wi-Fi network – on the contrary: with every lamp that is added, the Zigbee network even gains stability.
For this reason, we will always rely on Zigbee compatibility for future product launches.
There is one exception, however: Because in some countries it can be observed that the popularity of lamps that can be controlled directly via Wi-Fi is increasing. The reasons for this are obvious, after all, the lamps are cheaper and the use of a bridge is not absolutely necessary.
That is why Wi-Fi offers are attractive entry-level solutions for people who are dealing with the topic of smart homes for the first time and want to control a few lamps. Innr will also offer solutions to these users and will therefore include Wi-Fi-based products in its product range for the first time in the course of the year.
- The rumours are growing that Innr will soon be offering outdoor products. We have already seen product photos. What exactly can you expect in this area?
Yes that’s true. The market launch of attractive outdoor products is imminent. We will launch the first Flex lights and Spot lights in May. The demand for outdoor products is enormous. This also has to do with the fact that many people are increasingly experiencing and using their own garden as a living space. Especially in times like these, the garden even becomes a very conscious and intensively used, extended living space.
Our outdoor products enhance this area of life. It is full of effects and atmospheric and according to the “plug & play principle”. Because commissioning smart LEDs in the garden is a matter of a few minutes. The lights can either be controlled from the house or simply and conveniently directly via smartphone outside, for example at a garden party. In addition, scenes can be automated by timer, remote controlled and adapted to the respective seasonal events. I’m thinking of Halloween, Christmas or a birthday party.
- Are the prices already known?
They have not yet been published, but I am mentioning them here for the first time. Innr will shortly be offering two colour light strips with a length of two meter and four meter.
OFL 120 will cost 59.99 euros and the longer version OFL 140 will be offered for 99.99 euros. Coloured spot lights are particularly effective. Three outdoor spots are available in packaging for the price of EUR 139.99, which we will market under the name OSL 130 C.
- Innr has a strong position in Europe. Expansion is being driven forward in North America and England. What are the plans in this context?
Yes that’s right. We have a large presence in Germany and the Netherlands. We also see huge interest in smart lighting products in many other countries and in the USA. On the one hand, high-quality products can be found and on the other, inferior offers of dubious quality, which often come directly from China.
Between these poles we see the Innr products in a price-efficient positioning – according to the motto: premium quality at affordable prices. With this in mind, we aim to sell as much in the United States in three years as we currently do in Europe.
Our product quality is in no way inferior to those from Philips
- You address the positioning of Innr. Perhaps you elaborate on this point.
With pleasure. In terms of product quality, our offers are in no way inferior to those from Philips. However, there are product restrictions. For example, with HomeKit compatibility, with the option of dimming LEDs to a minimum or with regard to the entertainment factor of our app, provided an Innr bridge is used. For consumers, this means complete equality in terms of quality at an acquisition price that is reduced by around 25%.
In other words: If you need a HomeKit functionality, have to operate your LEDs at 3% of the maximum possible luminosity level or need a Zigbee-based entertainment app, Innr products are bad advice. It makes no difference to everyone else. Apart from the significantly lower purchase price. 99 percent of users switch lights on / off, dim the light intensity or select a current coloured mood light.
- This point is interesting. Innr does not strive for maximum compatibility, for example with Hue products?
That’s the way it is. We have our own market research and an independent Research & Development department. For this reason, we design completely independent products, some of which we place – with a clear lead in time – in the competitive environment. This fact alone clearly distinguishes us from typical third-party providers. In this context, we would like to mention our product launches of light strips, smart plugs and filament products. In this regard, the allocation of a third party provider is incorrect.
We see ourselves as an independent provider, including a high level of brand awareness. There are numerous examples of the associated innovative strength. Nevertheless, with Zigbee, Innr uses an established standard on which those products from the market leader Philips are based. This is the common denominator, so to speak. We are not afraid of the quality comparison. On the contrary.
- What are the Innr product highlights that can be expected in 2020?
The year 2020 is characterized by various product presentations. Decorative filament products were recently introduced. Our outdoor range completes our product portfolio in May.
In the middle of the year we offer inexpensive Innr-Wi-Fi products for the first time. And there will be further innovations this year, the details of which we will be happy to report on at a later date.
- Final question – what are your plans specifically related to the German market?
In terms of technology, we always see Innr very close to Philips and well ahead of Osram. Due to Osram’s withdrawal from the consumer sector, there are currently opportunities to gain market share. But this trend has been emerging for some time. Our goal is to further expand the 2nd position in Germany. In this respect, we are looking forward to exciting times, especially in Germany, but also in relation to our global expansion plans.