What Google Trends says about the photographic lighting industry

Many Western lighting brands face declining interest as Chinese companies emerge, according to search queries.

Google trends

As 2014 draws to a close, I’ve had a sniff around Google Trends to identify which photographic lighting brands have received the most queries over the past four years.

Among European lighting brands, high-end Swedish manufacturer Profoto has maintained a steady level of interest over the past four years, while other companies have seen a slight decline. Interest in Profoto overtook Bowens and Elinchrom around late 2013 to early 2014; the Profoto B1 TTL studio flash was announced in November 2013.

China’s Yongnuo, which manufactures flashes, triggers, LEDs and recently lenses, seems to have received a huge growth in interest. Phottix and Godox, based in the same city, are some way behind, but have overtaken the beleaguered US-based PocketWizard.

Other American brands seem to have faced a general decline too.

And all-manual flash purists might want to watch out. TTL flash is on the rise!

This analysis should of course be taken with a pinch of salt: Google Trends data does not necessarily correspond to customer sentiment or sales figures, and the brands I have picked are fairly arbitrary. Nonetheless, these plots should give a rough guide to the relative frequencies of search queries.

Have you spotted any trends this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

David Selby
Based in Paris, France, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a quantitative analyst.