More people opting for funeral wreaths with LED lights and artificial flowers
More people are turning to the longer-lasting wreaths, made of artificial flowers and LED lights, to express their condolences to the loved ones of those who have died.
The shift in preferences, from fresh flower wreaths, started in the middle of last year, according to suppliers.
Businesses The Sunday Times spoke to said that LED wreaths were introduced here in 2019 after they took off in Taiwan and China.
Reusable and eco-friendly, these wreaths have become popular because of lower rental, a grander appearance and customisation potential. Some can even display messages ticker-tape style.
Rental costs – which includes installation on site – range from $90 to $120 per wreath, which is cheaper than a fresh flower wreath.
Eternity Funeral Service managing director Eforce Tan, 37, said his company has seen a 30 per cent increase in demand for LED wreaths this year from last year.
He said: "Some wakes are held for seven days, but the traditional fresh flower wreaths can last for only four to five days."
Soul of Productions founder Lim Kok Wei said that after a few days, the artificial flowers just need to be cleaned up and any damaged ones replaced.
His company recently set up 102 electronic LED flower wreaths, 50 lanterns and two balloon arches for a wake in Hougang Street 51.
In all, the wake had 162 LED wreaths, 50 lanterns and seven balloon arches, said Mr Lim.
"It was definitely one of the largest (funeral displays) in Singapore this year," he said.
The 35-year-old, who started supplying LED wreaths in March this year, sees a 20 per cent to 30 per cent increase in demand for the wreaths each month.
He added that the lower rental fee is a draw as well, as "most fresh flower wreaths cost at least $120".
The founder of Last Journey Flower Wreath, Mr Jeremy Ng, 23, said he had orders for two to five LED wreaths per wake last year, but now gets orders of 20 to 100 per wake. He had a recent order of 130 wreaths.
He said some people like that the wreaths can be customised based on the deceased person's religion and that they make the wake look grander.
X Funerals marketing executive Cyrus Lee, 31, said: “LED wreaths will appeal to some people because when they get about 10 of them, they can light up the whole carpark.”
His company has rented 600 to 900 of such wreaths per month this year - up from 400 to 500 a month last year, he said.
But providers of fresh flower wreaths do not think their business will wilt any time soon.
Mr Christopher Tan, the telesales manager at Humming Flowers and Gifts, said nicely arranged flowers provide an ambience of peace, calm and serenity.
"Fresh flowers also provide a sense of warmth, and may help givers better express their emotions," he added.
Noel Gifts product and services manager Jess Chan said fresh flowers provide a softer, more personal touch.
XpressFlower managing director Soh Yee How, 57, who has been in the florist business for 26 years, said: "It is more sincere to give fresh flower wreaths.
"They are still a very natural way for people to send their condolence messages to the bereaved family and to say farewell to the deceased.
"I don't think it is something that can be taken over by technology."