Guideline: Successful Lighting Campaigns EE-Lighting

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Successful promotion of energy efficient lighting requires positive attention of consumers - public as well as private. For this purpose, campaigns have proven to be a vital mean to disseminate information and to support an increased awareness. Basically, campaigns are defined as

  • limited in time,
  • focused on one topic,
  • structured dramaturgically,
  • a communication effort that operates with a range of media,

…in order to achieve a definite objective.

A major objective of lighting campaigns is to spread information, raise awareness and finally to result in changed behavior: the application of energy efficient lighting. For this purpose, different activities can be considered to interact and thus to create synergetic effects. In the following, a planning process for campaigns will be outlined, including the identification of actors and addressees and the formulation of objectives. Based on practical experiences, the implementation of a campaign with its various features will be described. The document will conclude with potential follow-up considerations.

Planning a Campaign

Planning a campaign contains several factors to consider. At an initial stage it is necessary to identify the actors in the campaign and the addressees of the campaign. Jointly with the primary actors, the objective of a campaign needs to be defined. The latter can be operationalized in result chains with indicators. A time schedule assists the operative planning process.

Relevant actors & addressees

The identification process of relevant actors is supported by various available tools [1] and won’t be further described in this document. This process is however an important aspect as it certainly influences the definition of objectives and means of a campaign.

Relevant actors for a successful campaign in the field of energy efficient lighting might be:

  • Political decision-maker, e.g.:
    • minister/vice minister
    • majors
    • public representatives/decision-maker (e.g. counterpart)
  • energy provider/utility
  • retailer
  • university
  • press/media
  • cooperation partner, e.g. lighting industry (Compact Fluorescent Light CFLs)
  • service provider
  • consumer associations, chambers, etc.
  • and, of necessity, the population resp. the target group of the campaign

After having identified the actors, the definition of addressees will further narrow down objectives of a campaign. Regarding to this, the mentioned list of actors can be similarly applied to outline potential addressees.

To provide practical tips in this document, the addressees of the campaign are

  • private households,
  • national decision-makers and
  • municipal decision-makers.

Concept Development

Naturally, lighting campaigns require a definite objective that describes its purpose and breaks down intended results and impacts. The objective itself depends on the involved actors as well as on the selected addressees.

Joint definition of objective(s) with partners (key and primary actors) can be supported by management tools such as GIZ results-based management approach, including result chains and indicators[2]. A time schedule for the campaign further assists in operative planning.

Result Chain & Indicators

This exemplary result chains details objectives for above mentioned addressees:

Result chain lighting campaign.png

The objectives are:

  • The knowledge of private households to energy efficient lighting has increased and the acceptance has improved.
  • Decision-makers are motivated to promote energy efficient lighting in private and public buildings.

In order to achieve these objectives, the lighting campaign contains the measures:

For further information to possible objectives in energy efficient lighting and relevant indicators, see Monitoring Module for Energy Efficient Lighting, GIZ Sectorproject “Technology Cooperation in the Energy Sector” (2010)

Time Schedule

Realistic scheduling of the measures is a must. In the context of planning campaigns, there are several factors to be considered:

Based on practical experience, a time schedule may look like as follows [3]:

Timeschedule 03022011.JPG 

Dowmload the schedule as an Excel-Sheet

Implementation of a Campaign

The implementation of a campaign principally requires a sound communication strategy that defines key messages and arguments and identifies approaches to select the right participants at the right time. The strategy elaborates how synergies can be achieved by composing a complete package out of different individual measures. It furthermore defines ways and means of effective information dissemination.

Information dissemination is integral part of the individual measures. At the same time, the development of information material receives input by measures such as

The results of these measures can provide a feedback to be fed into information dissemination and for ‘fine-tuning’ of key messages that cover rational as well as emotional arguments for consumers to use energy efficient lighting.

Communication Strategy

Elaboration of a communication strategy is based on (above) formulated objectives of a campaign and considers synergetic effects of individual measures to achieve intended results.

In the case of a campaign in Kosovo, the campaign aimed at addressing the population (private consumer) on one side via ‘flagship projects’ in public buildings. The intention has been that the inefficient lighting system (incandescent bulbs, etc.) in public buildings would be replaced with energy efficient lighting systems to demonstrate the usefulness and added value to the visitors. The latter would then transfer the idea of energy efficient lighting to their own homes. This idea responds to the intention to keep the own ‘house-in-order’ (i.e. the public buildings) first in order to act as a role-model for private consumers. In preparation of the replacement, lighting audits and walk-though audits were implemented that, at the same time, provided data for presentation to national and municipal decision-makers to raise their interest for energy efficient lighting and its opportunities.

On the other side, the Kosovo campaign addressed consumers by exemplary observing the acceptance of CFLs in 200 selected households. This went along with lighting checks and the exchange of conventional bulbs for CFLs and was accompanied by a consumer survey. OSRAM was acquired as a cooperation partner and sponsor for 2,700 CFLs.

The selection of a number of 200 households was done as this provided a manageable size for the campaign which though provided opportunity for replication in other regions of Kosovo. Additionally, it was of importance to select households that actually pay their electricity bills and accordingly would feel the savings in their “own pockets”. In the case of a successful campaign, it was intended to implement a nation-wide campaign, true to the motto “200 Kosovo households cannot be mistaken – energy efficient lighting provides a better lighting quality at definitely lower expenses”.

The elaboration of key messages and arguments for energy efficient lighting is consequently a central aspect of the communication strategy.

Key messages for a campaign are based on rational arguments (e.g. the savings estimated beforehand, or actually calculated during lighting checks) and emotional arguments (expectations and attitudes to energy efficient lighting/CFLs, as asked during a consumer survey). The better one knows the technical, social, economic parameters in the surroundings of the campaign, the better the effects.

Determining the key message(s) has thus to define, which connotations shall be brought up because of headlines, visualization and application of various media.

Means of promotion

Before, during and after the implementation of a campaign, media play a central role. A fundamental part of communication (e.g. announcement of dates, press releases to inaugurations) certainly makes use of the media. Ideally, the approach of communication is multi-media-based, using e.g.

  • printed media/daily newspaper
  • TV
  • Radio
  • online Networks
  • social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

While selecting media, considerations should imply

  • general availability of media,
  • access (including for instance expenses for newspaper, TV, computer etc.),
  • educational background of addressees,
  • further socio-demographic characteristic of addressees (e.g. age),
  • interest of addressees.

To address a large target group, newspaper ads are an effective medium as it easily addresses many people (provided that it is common and affordable to read daily newspapers). Using TV for spots and product placement is a vital tool in countries with high TV coverage. Borchures can be used to disseminate at retailers, during Open Day Events etc. Yet, advertising is an investment that certainly needs to be in line with the budget. (further information see also: ToR for development of information brochures)

The means of promotion play a crucial role in determining how comprehensible and understandable a campaign for participants will be. A consistent communication approach that is reflected in the selected media supports the recognition of the campaign. Therefore, application of media already plays a role in selecting resp. finding participants for campaigns.

Selection and Management of Participants

While selecting participants -for instance for an exemplary test campaign-, the following aspects can be of relevance:

  • In order to amplify the visibility and effectiveness of campaigns, it can be recommendable to select participants that live in the periphery of buildings where pilot measures (e.g. lighting installations) are/will be implemented already. 
  • Addressing persons who have a direct link to pilot buildings eases the selection. These can be for instance:
    • Employees working in the buildings
    • Housekeeper
    • Relatives of school kids/students
    • visitors of public buildings

This approach has the additional benefit to disseminate further information about the pilot activities in the buildings.

  • Setting up an application procedure while applying media is recommendable, e.g.:

Placing notices in pilot buildings,

  • Mailing to all employees of pilot buildings,
  • Displaying/dispatching of application cards,
  • Positioning an application box (likely to be monitored).
  • The selection process may make use of coordinators at public buildings. The coordinators assist in distribution of notices, displaying and monitoring the application box. Coordinators can be for instance:
    • Housekeeper at schools, administration, libraries
    • Caretaker
  • The selection process needs to be transparent for applicants/participants and may include approaches such as
    • ‘First come - first served‘
    • Drawing
    • Lottery
    • Competition

The more comprehensive the application and selection procedure, the greater the degree to which applicants already look into the subject of energy efficient lighting before the campaign.

Further relevant aspects:

  • When participants apply for lighting checks in households, the provided data needs to be cross-checked:
    • Address of the participants
    • Did they mention a time for the visit?
    • If energy data is provided, is the data reliable?
  • Participants need to agree to the participation (written agreement)

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Information Dissemination

The dissemination of information and so, the spreading of the key messages (e.g. “Save your money, spend less energy!” or “Energy Saving lamps: Of value for climate protection – too much of value for the dustbin[4]) is at the core of a campaign. Information dissemination is based on selecting accurate channels and means (cp. ) whereby ‘accurate’ refers to

  • Considering the framework conditions of the addressees:
    • Their degree of knowledge,
    • their motivation to learn,
    • their interest for media;
  • Considering different interests of e.g.
    • architects, light planners etc. with a more likely interest in guidelines, calculation tools, planning approaches;
    • private consumers, with a likely interest for rather entertaining information provision, events;
    • decision-makers, possibly emphasizing economic effectiveness;
  • Considering already existing, useful and tested information (e.g. from lighting industry) to minimize efforts but maximize effect (e.g. while distributing at open days).

Kick-off Event

A first lighting check in a private or public building can be taken as a starting signal for a campaign. The attendance of important persons or persons that are deemed as ‘innovators’ in their country, assists in receiving publicity. This may for instance imply the exchange of a conventional light bulb for a CFL by the respective minister/vice minister.

In the case of Kosovo, such a kick-off event emphasized the relevance of the subject energy efficient lighting for the country.

Kick-off events can consider

  • to involve media (as far as possible) for information dissemination,
  • to include sponsors to present their products,
  • to provide further information about energy efficient lighting.

Involving ‘innovators’ in a campaign can have vital multiplier effects. Innovators are considered as ‘pioneers’ that are open to new technologies but are at the same time deemed as trustable and neutral in their opinion. (Examples for innovators can be: testing institutions, chambers, individuals from movements, politicians).

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Lighting checks & CFL-distribution

The implementation of (technical) lighting checks assists in the generation and proof of rational arguments and testing energy efficient lighting.

When implementing lighting checks, the following preparatory work tasks have to be considered

  • contracting of a consultant (if necessary);
  • selecting a university with a technical faculty to implement technical lighting checks (ideally, electrical engineering);
  • developing/adapting the necessary forms and calculation tools for lighting checks;
  • implementing a training-course for students who shall implement the lighting checks (technical skills, communication skills);
  • acquiring a sponsor for CFLs;
  • planning and organizing the visits (cp. Selection and Management of Participation).

Cooperating with universities has two major advantageous for the promotion of energy efficient lighting: a) it eases implementation while making use of already existing capacities, b) the importance of the subject of energy efficient lighting is raised in university contexts. A spin-off might be the recognition of the subject in future university curricula. However, in any case, cooperating with universities needs additional preparatory time; e.g. to get into contact, for selection of suitable faculties, recruitment of students.

For the implementation of lighting checks as well as for the preparatory training, a toolkit can be applied that provides tools for

  • walk through checks and interviews (technical),
  • calculation forms to estimate costs, payback, saving potentials,
  • participation declarations,
  • further information to ELS and
  • templates for before-after comparison.

See: Toolkit for lighting checks in households. GIZ Sectorproject “Technology Cooperation in the Energy Sector” /INTEGRATION e&e (2010)

The implementation of lighting checks includes two parts:

  1. Documentation of the actual lighting situation in the household. 
  2. Exchange of conventional bulbs for CFLS (that match the old ones in terms of lighting intensity) in all rooms.

It is recommendable to exchange the bulbs for CFLs in all rooms of the home. Otherwise, inhabitants are continuously exposed to direct comparison of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ bulbs.

Consumer Care/Survey

A consumer survey is recommendable in order to learn about potential emotional arguments for energy efficient lighting based on attitudes and knowledge of the end-consumer. It can be as well considered as part of consumer care and awareness raising, as

  • the interview to the subject energy efficient lighting will on one side assist to estimate the consumers degree of knowledge. At the same time, it supports to raise the awareness for the subject.
  • the consumer (shall) receive(s) the option for feedback (by an evaluation interview or feedback cards). According to experiences, this can improve the acceptance of technological innovations.
  • the interview assists projects to better understand consumers‘ concerns, worries, aspirations vis-à-vis lighting. Measure can thus consider this knowledge to improve their positive impacts.
  • The results of the survey can besides be used for monitoring and for information dissemination (demonstration of before-after effects, generating further emotional and rational arguments).

When implementing consumer surveys, the following preparatory work tasks have to be considered

  • contracting of a consultant (if necessary);
  • selecting a university with a sociology/social sciences (or equivalent) faculty to implement interviews/consumer care;
  • developing/adapting the necessary questionnaires (pre-testing, preventing technical terms);
  • implementing a training-course for students who shall implement the interviews;
  • planning and organizing the visits (cp. 3.1.2)

The implementation of the consumer survey includes two visits:

  1. The first visit includes the initial interview to document the state of art and expectation of the consumer, the degree of knowledge (before the lighting campaign and/or exchange of conventional bulbs for CFLs!)
  2. The second visit includes the obtaining of feedback from the consumers to the campaign.

Possible questions for a second visit include:

  • The CFLs are still there and working?
  • If not, was exchange of CFLs necessary? Why? Which lighting systems are installed now? 
  • How satisfied are the consumers with the energy efficient lighting? 
  • Did the attitudes/interest to energy efficient lighting change?

The second visit can be done between four weeks till one year later than the bulb exchange. An early visit is recommendable to strengthen the awareness raising process as consumers receive further attention because of the visit. However, assessment of first impacts is rather observable six months later (at the earliest), when consumer had the chance to ‘digest’ the information and practically test the CFLs. As well the consumers should have the chance to experience CFLs in different seasons (if applicable). There is no need to inquire for savings, as these can be easily estimated (in Kosovo ~50€/a) and are rather irrelevant for households.

In the case of Kosovo, the lighting checks and the consumer survey have been done in tandem. I.e. the technical students and students from sociology jointly visited consumers, implemented the lighting checks and interviews at the same time. This provided more comfort to the consumers as it required less time (1.5h for the first visit, 0.5h for the second visit). In addition, it supported synergetic effects of the individual measures.


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Flagship initiative – Lighting audits in public buildings

An important aspect of the campaign in Kosovo has been the combination with the implementation of lighting audits and walk-through audits, each with three public buildings.

Selected public buildings have been:

  • building of the ministry
  • municipal administration
  • university
  • school
  • national- and University library
  • student Hostel

The selection of the ‘right’ pilot buildings is very important for successful ‘flagship initiatives’. The selection process is closely related to the identification of actors and addressees. In the case of Kosovo, actors have been specific national and municipal decision-makers (in terms of supporting the audits in the buildings), while addressees have been other decision-makers (for replication) as well as private consumers.

Accordingly, it was of importance that the buildings

  • reflected characteristics of the building stock (of e.g. municipalities in Kosovo),
  • provided saving potentials/need for rehabilitation,
  • were easily accessible/in a larger catchment area.

For further selection criteria for pilot buildings see document: “List of criteria to select pilot buildings to implement lighting measures” GIZ Technology Cooperation in the Energy Sector (2011)

Already the results from lighting audits and walk-through audits are vital to demonstrate the effectiveness and added value of energy efficient lighting to decision-makers. The usefulness of flagship initiatives accelerates when, in a second step, the suggested lighting measures are implemented and results become tangible (e.g. in terms of savings, better lighting quality).

In the framework of lighting campaigns, it can be advisable to formulate a communication strategy with multiple communication levels. A first level can be to address multiplicators and/or innovators that shall act as ‘pioneers’ for energy efficient lighting. In the case of Kosovo, addressing decision-makers with the results from audits provided the opportunity to ‘use’ them for further promotion of energy efficient lighting. Such an approach can reduce waste circulation of the campaign measures but at the same time addresses end-consumer indirectly.

Open Day Event

An open day event is an opportunity to address consumers/addressees of a campaign in a relaxed atmosphere to inform about technological innovations such as energy efficient lighting. At the event, consumers receive the option to literally ‘touch’, ‘feel’ and thus experience energy efficient lighting. In preparation of an open day event, the following questions should be clarified:

  • What is the aim of the open day?
  • Is it purely informative? Product placement?
  • Will sponsors be involved?
  • Who is supposed to visit?

Usually, the major aim will be to raise the interest for energy efficient lighting. To support this aim, the following aspects should be considered

  • For potential visitors, their personal benefit of participating at the open day needs to be clear.
  • If it is intended that the open day event will be covered by media, one needs to consider an activity that raises media attention (e.g. inviting a political decision-maker, prominent person)
  • If a private building is considered for an open day (as was the case in Kosovo):
    • all inhabitants need to agree to the rehabilitation;
    • all need to agree to act as role model and to provide their home for the open day event.
    • The inhabitants need to be present at the open day and ready to answer questions to visitors.

For further preparation, the following aspects should be considered:

  • the time of the open day (weekday or public holiday);
  • the accessibility of the building/space for the open day (in a larger catchment area, parking space, infrastructure);
  • the programme (including moderation, information material, accommodation etc.);
  • is authorization required? (e.g. by municipal administration);
  • is any kind of entertainment needed? (e.g. for kids, to attract media);
  • advertising the open day/press release to announce the open day;
  • possibly organization of sponsors.

An open day event should make use of practical and literally tangible experiences. It should underline rational arguments (e.g. the cost savings) as well as emotional (e.g. the warmth of the light and comfort).

Follow-up of Campaigns

The above described campaign was implemented over a period of altogether four months.

The results of the campaign are namely available information about

  • calculated saving potentials in private households (200)
  • knowledge about attitudes and expectations of households to energy efficient lighting
  • energy saving potentials in exemplary public buildings, including costs of rehabilitation.

This information assists in further promotion of energy efficient lighting as it provides rational and emotional arguments for decision-makers but as well retailers, light planners, auditors etc. The arguments are based on the “realities of the ground”. The latter is important as practical experience needs to match the own situational framework conditions of consumers to become attractive for them for application.

The follow-up of campaigns needs to consider that the information has to be properly documented which implies to define

  • responsibilities to document the results (incl. lessons learnt),
  • the type and way of documentation,
  • the communication of results (e.g. via presentations, flyer).


  1. Cp. E.g. GTZ: Capacity WORKS. The GTZ Management Model for Sustainable Development. Success Factor Cooperation. Eschborn (2009)
  2. GTZ: Results-based Monitoring. Eschborn (2008)
  3. Estimation in the time schedule is based on implementing a campaign with 200 selected households.
  4. Deutsche Umwelthilfe.(2009)