For the past two decades, thought leaders in the lighting industry have been publicly lamenting that the lighting industry will be gobbled up by the electronics industry, Silicon Valley tech giants, and the big telecoms. 20 years into the LED era for general lighting, and this still has not come to pass.
However, there is another, less glamorous industry slowly increasing its acquisitions, footprint, and influence in the lighting industry, and it is hardly getting any attention. It’s Big Plumbing. Perhaps the most recent and largest move was Ferguson’s recent acquisition of Minka Group, a major decorative lighting manufacturer for the residential and resimercial markets. Ferguson is the largest wholesale distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies and pipe, valves and fittings in the U.S. The company also has 245 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery locations in the United States that sell lighting and fan products. Ferguson is a $24 billion company that is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (LSE:FERG) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FERG).
The Minka Group acquisition was just the latest move by Ferguson into lighting. Back in January of this year, Ferguson quietly acquired RP Lighting + Fans, another decorative manufacturer of lighting and ceiling fans.
It’s not just Ferguson, either. Kohler Company introduced its Kohler Lighting line in 2020, in order to provide decorative luminaires that pair with its plumbing fixtures. Moen also offers decorative lighting. Keep your eye out for continued moves by Big Plumbing.