Lighting Design & Specification

John PrevilleSeptember 06 2016

LDS TEAM

We asked some questions of the president and CEO of a lighting manufacturer with a new identity: LEDVANCE. The name of the company may have changed, but its commitment to quality and innovation remain the same. John Preville talks to us about the challenges of a dynamic industry where new players and new products appear almost weekly. How do you maintain a leading position in this context where speed becomes a determining factor? Intelligent lighting plays a crucial role in this realignment with new vertical markets.

You have extensive experience in the lighting industry and are now president and CEO of a new entity. What are your daily challenges and mid-term and long-term objectives? 

While our company name, LEDVANCE, is new, SYLVANIA is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the lighting industry. This has not changed and our main product brand remains intact. Our strong general illumination base remains intact. Our dedicated factory direct national sales organization is being strengthened, and we maintain our manufacturing operation in Quebec. 

The lighting industry is very dynamic and will continue to be. We are introduced to new competitors and different applications of technology almost every week. Our challenge is to maintain our leadership position and continue to grow in this environment. In this ever changing environment, speed is very important. Longer term, we need to grow our footprint. We have introduced new products like over-the-counter luminaires and smart lighting, and will enter new categories to accomplish some of this. We also need to extend our reach and will expand in key vertical markets. 

I am excited because the new LEDVANCE is designed to handle these new challenges and opportunities and is transformed for more speed, more products and more success for our partners. 

Having already spent 16 years in the industry, what keeps you engaged in it instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere?

There are many accomplished people in the Canadian lighting industry who have much longer tenure than me. We have a far-reaching global business in OSRAM and now LEDVANCE. I have been fortunate to be exposed to many aspects of our business on a regional and global scale. 

The challenges here in Canada and elsewhere are stimulating. I have had the opportunity to progress, to learn from, and to work closely with many outstanding people. Our channel partners, experienced industry leaders, and current and former managers have been instrumental. I have always maintained a strong commitment to make OSRAM SYLVANIA LTD and now LEDVANCE and our channel partners successful. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

This is a question that has been examined and debated in business literature for centuries. There is no precise set of qualities that make a successful manager. It certainly has evolved and continues to change. 

For me three things stand out:

• Inclusive and sharing – everyone has a stake and a contribution to make. You will be successful if you recognize this. Information needs to be shared for people to do their jobs effectively.

• Resourcefulness – a good manager should be able to draw from broad knowledge base and marshal the resources necessary to be successful. 

• Hands on – today you need to roll up your sleeves, get involved and skate with the players as well as be a coach. You need to expose yourself as things develop on the ground, as well as being conscious of the bigger picture.

What decisions do you find are the most difficult to make? 

I find hiring decisions the most difficult. I think finding people with the correct skill level, experience and expertise is obviously key. It is the intangibles and fit that will ultimately determine that person’s success. 

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be? 

As an industry, we have developed a predisposition to differentiate on price in certain categories. With the dynamic environment that exists, many start-up LED suppliers have gained access to our distributors and to the market. These suppliers have little equity other than the next lowest price on a commodity. 

We need a new found recognition for the value that established suppliers bring to the market. We need to be more innovative than ever to maintain this value. We need to deliver this value consistently. Otherwise, there is a risk that customers will become unhappy with poor quality and apply that frustration to LED lighting as whole which will negatively impact the entire industry.

What industry developments are you most looking forward to? How do you see the industry benefiting from it/them?

The advancing LED technology, connectivity and networking possibilities are all compelling opportunities in the near term. I am excited about the prospects that lighting offers our channel partners. It is an extraordinary growth category for distributors. The magnitude of change is so great that distributors are challenged to keep pace. There are great rewards for those that do. We have a role to play in here transferring our knowledge, introducing new products and entering new categories. This is part of our value proposition. 

Could you name a person who inspires you?

I am inspired by the efforts and commitment that our over 150 employees in Canada make every day to our success and that of our customers. The small successes, the extra effort, the customer focus, the tenacious approach, the determination to do what’s right for the customer. Much of this is what makes us who we are. 

In your LinkedIn profile, you note that arts and culture are something you care about. What draws you to them? How have they contributed to your life?

The arts are the window into society’s creative expression. It expands minds, inspires greatness, and should be supported especially in our schools. 

Lighting can play an important role in innovative artistry. I’m always excited when I see our SYLVANIA lighting creating a truly dynamic environment in one of our distributor’s installations. 

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) recently released its latest publication, Lighting Answers: UV ...
TPL Lighting, a full service supplier of architectural lighting and controls for the Greater ...
The LIT Lighting Design Awards was created to recognize the efforts of talented international ...
From designers of custom and modular systems to cultivators and processors, the need for certified, ...
Signify Canada will now refer to a select collection of Signify North America luminaire brands as ...
The Northern Lighting Awards recognises exemplary lighting and controls as designed and integrated ...
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) has announced the ...
Signify Canada has added Jean-Francois Ouellet as Eastern Zone Sales Leader for Signify Canada ...
A new edition of UL 8802, the Outline of Investigation for Germicidal Systems, titled UV ...
The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking consultant ...

Design

  • Prev
“Authentic design” is an important concept that we value at LightForm. Well, of course we do: we ...
 The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating ...
Located on an island within the San Francisco Bay, Naval Air Station Alameda was decommissioned in ...
Ottawa’s River Dental location, adjacent to the Rideau River and Rideau Canal, inspired an office ...
When it comes to establishing a trend and setting a mood, Fiona Rimmer, Interior Designer ...
The light installation Het Licht van Jan (Jan's light) was unveiled today in an ...
A leading urban trend is the creation of signature dynamic lighting designs for iconic downtown ...
In Part 1 of this interview with Leora Radetsky, we covered smart lighting, ...
For years, officials in Calgary, Alberta have been concerned with improving the perceived sense of ...
In a recent article on LEDs, we covered numerous topics and questions to help consumers buy ...

LED Technology

  • Prev
The Alberta Electrical Association (AEA) held their first virtual Learning Expo this past week, ...
Some of the recent blog posts have described different components in Networked Lighting Control ...
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) recently published a study seeking to compare ...
Consumer UVC germicidal devices are entering the market rapidly because of an increased demand for ...
Scientists at the Circadian Light Research Center have identified the narrow band of blue light ...
Pierre Longtin, President of Nyx Hemera, was proud to announce the installation of TLACS-A, ...

New Products

  • Prev
The new WSXA Series offers all the benefits of the WSX Series but with improved functionality and ...
The new AimLite LED backlit panel lights P14BR series utilize next-generation backlit technology, ...
SKYE is a high-performance, easy to install residential grade downlight solution that offers good ...
The eLumigen High CRI C1D2 LED Fixture is the ideal light source replacement for Paint Booth, ...
The eLumigen LED Linear Vapor Tight fixtures are designed for installation at mounting heights of ...
Introducing the new in-sourced, upgraded, and expanded vapor tight LED High Bay -- the ...
Liteline Corporation's 4¼" aluminum remodel housing is now available in black in addition to ...
Aculux 2" LED Precision Luminaires With the diminutive 2"Aculux LED precision luminaire, you can ...
Enjoy faster, simpler installation with preconfigured wireless occupancy sensor kits, resulting in ...
Philips Hue Phoenix from Royal Philips is the first in a new range of white ambience connected ...
Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil