September 27, 2023
5 Eye-Opening Takeaways from our Visit to SLG Lighting
This Texas lighting maker might be among the fastest growing lighting companies in North America
In our role as industry observers, we track companies showing robust growth, those facing challenges, once-dominant brands that may be waning, and emerging ones gaining traction, attracting clients and expanding rapidly.
SLG Lighting consistently receives praise in our circles and is a lighting company on the rise. As a distributor- and contractor-focused lighting brand, their mission is to deliver quality indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures both promptly and dependably. To get a firsthand look, we recently visited their facility in the Houston suburb of Stafford, Texas. The experience was enlightening.
In late 2022, SLG Lighting expanded its US presence by opening a new warehouse in the Houston metropolitan area. This 155,000-square-foot building represents a 30% increase from its previous footprint, reflecting SLG’s dedication to superior customer experiences.
We took note of SLG Lighting's state-of-the-art warehouse, advanced equipment and extensive inventory stacked on ceiling-high racking systems. The efficient assembly floor, interactive corporate training center and robust office space further exemplify how SLG Lighting's headquarters is optimized for customer service.
Yet, it's not just these features that set SLG Lighting apart. We delved deeper into the widespread praise for the company's service, as illustrated by Greg Day of SK & Associates in Boston, who highlighted SLG Lighting's unwavering commitment to exemplary customer service.
We aimed to uncover the driving forces behind the growth and accolades. Our visit to SLG Lighting left a lasting impression. Here's what we took away...
1. You likely already know SLG
SLG's team remained discreet about the specifics of its business for other equipment manufacturers (OEM). However, we gathered that its parent company has catered to some of the leading names in lighting for over a quarter of a century. Notably, many prominent outdoor and indoor products, marketed under some of the industry's most recognized brand names, are fundamentally SLG products.
It was revealing and striking to learn that some of the more popular and trusted brands that lighting professionals rely on are deeply rooted in SLG Lighting's capabilities and standards.
2. Recent growth. Building for future Growth.
One of the more eye-opening insights we gained from our exploration of SLG Lighting is their impressive growth trajectory. SLG Lighting's CEO, Michael Wu, is soft-spoken and humble, but his determined fixation on serving customers and growing the business was inspiring.
SLG opened its doors in 2015 and has achieved revenue growth of over 1000% since 2019. (They told us the actual numbers – and they're impressive – but we're sworn to secrecy.) The company has set an ambitious goal to double revenue by 2025. That’s 40-50% growth each of the next two years, and we are not going to bet against them. To gear up for this anticipated expansion, the company is making strategic investments.
In addition to their recent move into the state-of-the-art 155,000 square-foot US headquarters brimming with inventory, they have laid out plans for another new 80,000 square-foot facility located nearby. This new facility is designed to bolster the domestic manufacturing of their expanding portfolio of luminaires and is expected to generate over 100 new jobs.
The company’s future facility isn’t just going to contain racks and racks of more products. They have advanced plans for surface-mount technology (SMT) board assembly, additional storage, paint booths and other finishing equipment.
3. Sports Lighting: A Turnkey Solution by SLG
We thought we knew a good amount about SLG before our trip, but we were surprised to learn about SLG Lighting’s custom sports lighting installation capabilities that offer end-to-end turnkey solutions. They boast a diverse product range and incorporate one of the industry's most widely used controls platforms for dynamic stadium and arena lighting effects.
SLG provides more than just product. They extend their expertise to design assistance, ensuring every corner of the field or arena is well-lit. Collaborating closely with end users and specifiers, SLG engineers systems tailored to precise specifications. Once manufactured, they take charge of the installation. Recognizing that sports lighting systems demand ongoing customer and warranty support, SLG remains just a call away, dedicated to ensuring optimal performance.
4. Buy America compliance
With the increasing number of U.S. projects mandating adherence to the Build America, Buy America Act, SLG is poised to support its clientele. They offer assembly capabilities to assist distributors, contractors, end users, and more in achieving BAA compliance, all while ensuring the top-notch quality and service that the SLG team is known for.
5. “Always Available Inventory” and top-notch service isn’t just a promise
During our recent 36-hour stay in Texas, the “always available inventory” mantra was reiterated by numerous SLG people many times. And we witnessed it firsthand: rows upon rows of the warehouse filled with pallets stacked high with fixtures. The agents and distributors we spoke with expressed deep trust in SLG's ability to always have their desired products in stock, even the more obscure lighting products.
While many companies tout excellent service, the ethos of customer focus was present in every interaction with the SLG team. To verify their assertions, we did some due diligence and found that SLG walks the walk. Alan Schutz, Principal of Ascend Sales and Marketing and the SLG representative for the New York City Metro Area, spoke glowingly of SLG's service ethos. He recounted several instances where the company went the extra mile to support his distributor and contractor clients. We've known Alan for years and value his candid feedback. If he finds a company's performance lacking, he'd tell us. Conversely, when a company consistently supports him, as SLG does, he's eager to share that praise.
As we pulled back the curtain on SLG Lighting, we uncovered a company not just lighting up spaces but impressing industry stakeholders with their growth, dedication and excellent service. Our trip to Texas revealed a business poised not only to meet the lighting industry’s future but to be a bigger and better part of it. Watch this space - the horizon seems bright for SLG Lighting.
NOTE: This article and accompanying video are brought to you in partnership with SLG Lighting.