I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Parker, Partner at Lighting Group Network, a new lighting company selling ten overseas decorative lighting brands, in North America. They’re not your typical lighting manufacturer.
Shiller: How do you describe Lighting Group Network?
Parker: LGN is a very unique company starting with our team of highly experienced lighting professionals that have been in leadership positions at other lighting companies yet, choose to work with people that they know, like and trust. It is interesting that our relationships started as customer to supplier and now we are all partners. We share a common goal – love of “light.” In addition to our 4 person leadership team, we have lighting designers and architects on staff to assist with design and application. Our offering is a mix of 10 of the top luminaire manufacturers in the world. One of which is our own line (Vanilla Lighting) that draws on our years of experience to create high performing luminaires including picture lights, downlights, track lighting, framing projectors and more. All of our products are ETL Listed. If I had to sum up our mission – delivering light – the right light right where it is needed, mitigating glare and interfacing seamlessly with virtually all control systems available.
Shiller: Where is LGN based, in North America?
Parker: LGN has offices in NYC, Haverstraw, NY, Stamford, CT and Tampa, FL. Our new headquarters will be in Stamford which is currently under construction.
Shiller: You’ve mentioned to me that LGN is “not selling fixtures, we sell light and lighting solutions.” It sounds like you sell combinations of luminaires and separate drivers. Can you please explain the advantages of this approach and the philosophy behind doing it this way?
Parker: Our focus is on delivering light – we sell light! Most lighting manufacturers are focused on selling fixtures. It starts with the application and then the proper luminaire and finally we recommend the driver. We all know that there is a difference between hypothetical and reality. According to the specifications many drivers, luminaires and control systems should all work in harmony. In reality, they do not. Our “secret sauce” if you will, is that we know which power supplies work best with the controls systems out there and the luminaires we offer.
Shiller: Can you please share the 10 luminaire brands comprising LGN?
Parker: The ten brands that we offer are:
- Academy Light – arguably the best picture light available.
- Agabekov – Swiss architectural linear lighting.
- Arch_er – Australian line of beautiful linear pendants.
- Backlight – Italian line of highly customizable illuminated panels for interior and exterior applications- if you can think it- Backlight can make it.
- B Light – An Italian manufacturer of Asymmetrical and Symmetrical downlights, in ground, linear and drive over glare free luminaires.
- LEDNER – French manufacturer of extremely high-performing miniature luminaires- the jewelry of lighting.
- Loupi Lighting – French manufacturer of medium sized -track, spots, and downlights and soon to offer wet location-rated luminaires.
- One A – Danish manufacturer of downlights, pendants and sconces. The uniqueness is the quality and the wide range of standard materials including many metals, cement, wood, alabaster, and glass.
- Promotech – Italian manufacturer of extremely high-quality linear flex with no fixed cut lengths. Flex can be cut to any length required eliminating dark spots.
- Vanilla Lighting – Our own line of downlights, track luminaires (including framing projectors), spots and in-wall. Most of the products are produced in North America. Vanilla is all about meeting that perfect price vs. performance ratio.
Shiller: Do you think there are any synergies from LGN combining all of these overseas brands? For example, are there any opportunities to mix and combine products across the different LGN brands? Can LGN supplied drivers power multiple fixtures within one brand or across more than one brand in some cases?
Parker: There absolutely is. We blend the use of our offering on most projects. It is super convenient for the customer to place one order for the entire project. This works out well for our reps. Although we are not trying to be all things to all people, our niche is pretty wide. We start with the control system used and then back into the driver required for use with the luminaire(s). It is possible to use one supply for a couple different manufacturers, however, there is a wide mix of constant current and constant voltage drivers used. Even with constant voltage, we used 24V for eons and now we’re bumping up to 48V for many products. Constant current is still very much the “Wild West” in our world from 150mA to 1200mA – even if we match the constant current required, we have to check to ensure the driver will meet the forward voltage for the application. This is why we stock many thousands of drivers.
Shiller: Which business functions does LGN handle for the North American market? Marketing? Sales? Inventory and fulfillment? Customer service? Warranty claims? Other?
Parker: We are the exclusive sales and marketing arm for all of our partners, as well as our own brand. We inventory luminaires, drivers and light sources shipping from our NYC and Haverstraw locations, and soon from Stamford, CT. We handle all warranty claims and coordinate all of the safety listings.
Shiller: How would you like to see LGN evolve in the coming years?
Parker: Our team has been around the block a few times. We’re not trying to build a company to sell or to build the biggest lighting company in the world. We are trying to have fun, introduce new technology and provide lighting that we can be proud of to our client base. Sadly or not depending how you look at it- we love helping people deliver lumens.
More information about Lighting Group Network can be found here.
All Images: Lighting Group Network.