Exclusive Features

Looking Directly At The Light

Looking Directly At The Light

By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine

By the time you read this we will be deep into the second of three days at the NECA Show. Here’s one of the big things you need to know:

There are a lot of lighting manufacturers here. Like almost 50. About 20 percent of the exhibitors are showing off lighting products to your customers.

We’ve heard some great stories at tED magazine and lightED about distributors who are working with their supply chain partners to light schools, hospitals and cities with state of the art LED connected lighting. But here’s the important part. We’re not done. Actually, we’re not even close to done.

A Department of Energy report says we had only fulfilled 6 percent of the potential LED lighting projects in this country in 2015. But, we will be at 86 percent in 2030. When you think about it, we did a lot of lighting projects and had a good amount of lighting opportunities just two years ago. We are about to have a lot more over the next 12 1/2.

Other reports also back up the growth. We have published on lightED a number of reports showing expansion for global connected (smart) street lighting expected to grow by 16 percent in the next seven years, emergency lighting expected to grow by 8 percent in the same period of time, smart pole lighting growth of 20 percent by 2025, and auto interior LED lighting to grow by 3 percent.

There’s a lot of growth out there. We need to grow with it to make sure we are sharing our product knowledge along with getting our share of the revenue. Countless cities are considering or already installing LED street lighting right now. Knoxville, Tennessee just announced its latest $15 million project with two major lighting manufacturers. There is no distributor in that equation.

As we have reported in the past, sometimes not having a distributor is a bad idea. Chatanooga, Tennessee is currently in the middle of a significant lawsuit with a local lighting manufacturer because their street lighting project turned into a massive failure. No one wants to see an outcome like that, but having a distributor in that equation probably would have prevented most, if not all, of the legal problems.

We are fortunate to have heard from a number of our NAED distributor members about some great programs, opportunities, offerings, and new lighting specialist positions they are now providing to their customers. We plan on telling all of those stories to help you learn about what is new and innovative when it comes to selling lighting over the next 15 years and beyond.

In the meantime, make sure you are staying ahead of the curve on the lighting industry. Take advantage of these multi-million dollar street lighting projects so they work correctly the first time. And be prepared to grow with the rest of the world as it accepts LED lighting.

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