Lighting Design & Specification

April 9, 2019

Blake Marchand

In operation since 1972, Calgary Lighting Products offers near 50 years of experience in the lighting industry. Initially focused on residential customers, Calgary Lighting Products is now a commercial supplier of lighting solutions to businesses operating across Southern Alberta in the hospitality, commercial property management, residential property management, and industrial industries. President Latif Jamani took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss Calgary Lighting Products and provide some insights on the industry.

“The lighting industry is constantly evolving and developing, therefore our approach is to keep learning and share that with our customers,” explains Jamani, “Our hands-on approach has set us apart from our competitors for many years, and it is a reason why many of our customers have chosen to keep working with us.”

As a family owned and operated company, Calgary Lighting Products maintains those family values by giving back to the communities they serve and supporting organizations like big Brothers Big Sisters, 18 Degrees of Jazz, and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. The Jamani family took over Calgary Lighting Products in 2001 when Latif’s father purchased the business. Latif himself joined the company in 2006, taking over as president. And with that, I will hand it over to Mr. Jamani, who offers a look into Calgary Lighting Products, the technologies and trends that have impacted the company, what makes CLP unique, as well as an interesting project with the Calgary Zoo.  

Tell us a little bit about your team.

We are IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) educated lighting experts. In fact, everyone on our team has completed the IES course. Over the last 19 years we’ve amassed a depth of knowledge that is shared across our entire team. Additionally, because of our focus on the above types of properties, we’ve developed intuitive expertise on the lighting needs of these sites. We help our customers from energy audits, to design, to installation. We even have an in-house installation team that has completed several hundred installations across many sites. Having this additional skill set brings more value to our customers, and they have told us that it gives them peace of mind knowing that we have this capability. We are also active in the lighting community in Calgary, so have relationships with our fellow experts such as lighting designers, agents, electrical engineers, etc.

What technological or industry advancements have had the biggest effect on what Calgary Lighting Products does?

The two advancements that have had the most impact on our work is the full building LED retrofit approach, and the capability of controls in a building’s lighting system.

Converting a building to LED in one smooth action has both opened up a new portion of our business and the way we help our customers with their lighting challenges. Because we are on the forefront of the industry, we saw the opportunity to offer full building LED retrofits as a service as the market evolved. With the support of our manufacturers, and our team, we’ve been able to do this successfully and grow and adapt with our customers’ needs in this respect. 

Controls are opening up a new layer of building customization and functionality that will really help take the end-user experience to higher levels. It’s pretty amazing what we can do with controls, and the infrastructure that it lays for future evolution. With industrial facilities and AAA office properties, controls make sense to help property managers oversee their sites more effectively.

What are some industry advancements or new technologies that are most interesting to you?

I’m excited to see the increased adoption and further integration of controls into our local market here in Calgary. I am also interested in the application of the IoT in lighting solutions. There are a lot of opportunities here, especially in human-centric lighting. Lighting has been shown to affect our health, moods, concentration, and productivity. LEDs already offer different colours, intensity, and temperature. The idea of using IoT to control lighting in a commercial setting to help people who work there every day is fascinating, and I am interested in how this could positively affect people on a daily basis.

What about some new trends in the industry? Are there any types of project or products that Calgary Lighting Products is providing more of lately?

One new trend that we are working more with is controls, especially in our commercial settings.  As property owners and managers integrate smart technology either into new buildings or when upgrading older sites, lighting is one of the main systems that they can build into their new controls. They can automate systems and find new ways to make their buildings more efficient as a whole. Lighting is a huge part of that.

Lighting design used to be simpler with fluorescent troffers, pot lights and track lighting. Now software like AutoCAD and AGI help us manage more complex lighting designs and systems.

What sector that you service, or service you provide, makes up the largest part of your business?

We’ve noticed in our customer base that the appreciation for quality lighting has drastically increased. Lighting used to be more of a bare necessity or afterthought, but now people also appreciate lighting for its aesthetic qualities. People recognize the benefit of higher and crisper light levels and how this relates to their business and customer experience.

For our core customer groups, we continue to see an increase in our main services of lighting supply, design and installation. This continues to evolve as more advanced technology arrives and our customers’ needs change and grow.

Can you tell us about a project that you found particularly interesting, unique, or rewarding? Or perhaps a project that posed an unexpected challenge?

We’re very fortunate that we get to work with some of Calgary’s most public sites. A project that stands out is the Calgary Zoological Society (Calgary Zoo) lighting upgrade. The preexisting lighting system was over 30 years old, so the infrastructure had served its time well. The rewarding part was that we were able to standardize the lighting across the site and install upgraded lighting infrastructure to provide another 30+ years. As a result of our work, we improved lighting levels and coverage, as well as drastically reduced maintenance. All of this added up to the end goal of improving the overall end-user/customer experience.

What sets you apart as a company?

We handle all aspects of our business in-house. Everyone here is empowered to solve the customers’ requests. When you call us, you will reach a human and the person you speak with on the line will most likely be able to answer your question right away. Our hands-on approach has set us apart from our competitors for many years, and it is a reason why many of our customers have chosen to keep working with us!

The lighting industry is constantly evolving and developing, therefore our approach is to keep learning and share that with our customers. Additionally, being a positive member of the lighting community is also a source of strength. Our agents, manufacturers, designers and engineers all provide us lots of support too.


Blake Marchand is Assistant Editor, Panel Builder & Systems Integrator

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