Lighting Design & Specification

November 13, 2017

David Gordon

Think of all of the unfamiliar lighting manufacturer logos. The lighting industry has dramatically changed over the past five years. Name brand companies have lost overall share to companies that are “unfamiliar” to many. Distributors now comment that their lighting business is up but that sales with “top tier” companies are down or flat. They don’t recognize the names of these “new” suppliers to them.

At times these companies compete on price. Some focus on product or customer segment niches. Some focus on the high end, others are repackagers/sourcers.

Name brand companies still dominate the new project market, but less expensive lines are making inroads. They may not be able to provide the entire package, but lighting agents may substitute at their discretion (yes, profit is a motivator).

In the retrofit market, brand equity doesn’t necessarily translate into brand preference or brand support. Many contractors, mostly small to mid-sized and for smaller projects, have a mentality of “if it lasts a year…” And they can’t justify a 20-30% price differential vs. the brand (and sometimes the difference is more).

Contractors are more willing to buy directly from a manufacturer, through a catalogue, or online for smaller lighting projects (or when they are “moonlighting”).

When publicly traded lighting companies state the small contractor / small project market is slow, they are essentially saying, “We’re not able to capture that business / we’re losing share there” as their distributors comment that their overall lighting business is up and they are buying from these unfamiliar companies.

If you’re a distributor, take a look at your lighting sales from five years ago, three years ago and today. Consider:

  • What percentage of my business are lamps? And then think about the loss of profitability, inclusive of rebates, dating, marketing funding.
  • What percentage of my lighting business was / is, with my top X lines, and what percentage is now with unfamiliar names?
  • How many lighting companies did you buy from five years ago, three years ago and today? And note that many of the companies you purchase from are either not in AD or IMARK, or your company does not have a rebate program with them… this means you need to educate your staff on retaining GP$ … not percentage).

So, out of curiosity, and because market/investment analysts have asked, we reached out to some distributors to compile a partial list of lighting companies excluding Acuity, Eaton Lighting Solutions, Hubbell Lighting, Philips Lighting, Rab, Cree and GE (also known as Current by GE). Companies include:

  • AlloyLED
  • Amerlux
  • Appleton
  • ASD Lighting Corporation
  • ATG Electronics
  • Atlas Lighting
  • Axis
  • Barron lighting
  • Baselite
  • Beta Calco
  • Bruck
  • Crouse Hinds
  • Deco Lighting
  • Dialight
  • DMF Lighting
  • Duraguard
  • EcoSense Lighting
  • Edison Price
  • Eiko
  • Elite Lighting
  • Energetic Lighting
  • Eye Lighting
  • FC Lighting
  • Focal Point
  • Forest Lighting
  • GlobalTech LED
  • GM Lighting
  • Green Creative
  • Williams
  • Halco
  • Hylite
  • ILP Inc (Industrial Lighting Products)
  • Insight Lighting
  • Keystone Technologies
  • Kichler
  • Kobi Electric
  • LA Lighting
  • Lamar Lighting
  • Ledvance
  • Legrand – Finelite
  • Legrand – OCL Architectural Lighting
  • Legrand – Pinnacle Architectural Lighting
  • Leviton – Birchwood Lighting
  • Leviton – ConTech Lighting
  • Leviton – Intense Lighting
  • Light Efficient Design
  • Lighting Science Group
  • Liteline
  • LSI
  • LUCECO
  • LUMAX
  • Lumecon
  • Lumenpulse
  • Lunera
  • Maxlite
  • Mercury
  • Metal Lumen
  • Mobern lighting
  • Neptune
  • Nexxus Lighting
  • Nicor
  • Nora Lighting
  • Nuvo Lighting
  • Satco
  • Sengled
  • Simkar
  • Solais
  • SpecGrade LED Lighting
  • START Lighting
  • Systemalux
  • TCP
  • Tech Lighting
  • Texas Fluorescents
  • Topaz Lighting
  • Universal Lighting Technologies
  • US Pole
  • Visionaire
  • Visioneering
  • WAC Lighting
  • Westinghouse Lighting

Who would you add?

The world of lighting has changed. How do you need to manage your lighting business differently?

David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group develops market share and growth strategies for manufacturers and distributors and develops market research. CMG’s specialty is the electrical industry. He also authors an electrical industry blog, www.electricaltrends.com. He can be reached at 919-488-8635 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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