Lighting Acquisitions, Agents and DLC



Al recently returned to the Get A Grip on Lighting podcast to discuss some business dynamics that affect how business gets done.

Watch the video podcast above, or download and listen wherever you get your podcasts:

-  Apple podcasts

-  Google Play

-  Spotify

-  Stitcher



“There tends to be a false correlation – that the end user, the customer, someone in the buying chain makes – that DLC is certifying the Quality of Product and not simply the performance being what (the manufacturer) claims it to be.  And I think it’s an important distinction.”

Construction and lighting people sometimes assume that DLC is an all-encompassing quality certification for light fixtures.  It is not.  The DLC performs an important role in validating manufacturers’ performance claims.  The DLC forms partnerships with utilities and manufacturers, among others.  The organization continuously reviews and updates its standards to help advance energy efficiency and lighting quality in the areas of general lighting, horticultural lighting and lighting controls.


On Agent and Distributor dynamics:

“The local agent is a valuable part of the overall dynamic. …The agents have to create value in different ways and sometimes the distributors’ goals are different than the agent’s goals.”

Agents solve problems, manage projects, coordinate details with dozens of factories, support specifiers, quote the same project to multiple distributors, provide submittal packages, produce AGI32 and REVIT drawings, help resolve field service issues, resolve shipping matters, answer product questions and process orders.  Distributors do many of those things, too.  Sometimes the agent and distributor goals are aligned, and sometimes they are not.


On acquisitions of lamp companies:

“When you had the Big 3 ... Philips, GE, Sylvania fluorescent tubes – no one was going to get fired for recommending one of those Big 3 tubes for their project, but there were also some very good, reputable companies that were making tubes that just weren’t huge behemoths.”

Philips, Sylvania and GE have spun off to separate/different ownership in recent years (add Cree Lighting to that list, too, if you’d like).  The lamp marketplace has shifted.  Many LED players have entered the LED lamp space and are earning market share – causing the entire lamp category to become more fragmented.



Don’t miss the next big lighting story…

Click here to subscribe to the InfoLetter
Just 3-4 emails per month and it’s easy to unsubscribe

August 3, 2020