Submitted by Leif Elgethun, CEO, Retrolux and CleanTech Alliance Board Member
2018 was a great year for the lighting industry as a whole, but like any transitional period, everyone was either rising or falling. Key trends and takeaways include:
- LEDs are now king, accounting for well over 50% of commercial building lighting product sales,
- Consolidation has begun for lighting manufacturers with several high profile mergers (Remphos/Light Efficient Design), realignments (Forest/LEDVANCE), acquisitions (Current), rebrandings (Signify), and bankruptcies (xtralight),
- Network controls and IOT still struggling to get traction,
- A tight labor market proving to be the bottleneck for growth, and
- Trump tariffs generally increasing pricing and causing short term confusion.
2019 Big Predictions
Predicting the future one whole year out can be pretty easy, but here are my top 3 big predictions:
- Consolidation will continue and accelerate with even more companies exiting the market as price erosion continues,
- Networked controls and IoT will become the standard in certain markets with broader acceptance in most markets, and
- The trade war with China will intensify with 25% tariffs coming our way two months into the year.
- Bonus prediction: Lightfair will see a significant drop in attendance from even last year which already had a noticeable decline.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Retrolux Team!