At the 70th Annual NALMCO Conference, Ken Hawley, the Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Illumus, shared some exciting updates about the company’s growth and future plans. Ken is a 25 year friend from the HID world—him in lamps and your humble editor in ballasts.
Expansion in Sanford, Florida
Illumus has recently moved into a new facility in Sanford, Florida. The company has upgraded from an 80,000 square feet office and manufacturing space to a massive 200,000 square feet facility. This expansion allows Illumus to redesign their production lines for increased efficiency. The previous facility had become too small for their manufacturing operations and lacked the efficiencies ILLUMUS needed for growth.
In addition to the increased space, the Sanford facility now boasts that their new manufacturing space is now air conditioned– a significant upgrade considering the hot and humid climate of central Florida. This improvement is not just about comfort; it’s also a strategic move to attract more talent to their team.
An open house is planned for later in the year.
Made in the USA
Between 70 and 80% of Illumus’ products are made in the US, a figure that is trending upwards. This domestic production offers several advantages, including compliance with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) for their light bar products and a whole suite of products that meet the Buy American Act (BAA) requirements.
Domestic manufacturing also allows Illumus to maintain low lead times and build to a Just-In-Time (JIT) schedule. The average lead time out of their factory is just 3.5 weeks. National distributors, ESCOs, and Lighting Maintenance Contractors appreciate the value of US manufacturing.
Ken introduced me to their innovative lightbar kit, a linear retrofit solution. The four-foot model is designed slightly shorter than four feet, eliminating the need to remove existing sockets. Additionally, the tube is equipped with robust magnets at both ends. These magnets secure the tube in position, allowing contractors to easily screw it down. While magnets are not new to lighting, this is the first one I have seen that does not require the existing sockets to be removed.
Navigating Economic Challenges
Like many businesses, Illumus is feeling the impact of a challenging economy. Factors such as rising interest rates and a lack of switchgear are creating headwinds for the company. Ken stated that switch gear now has a 12-18 month leadtime and definitely is a factor. However, despite these challenges, Hawley sees opportunities for growth and success.
Sustainability and Recycling
A small but growing number of customers are asking about sustainability and recycling options. Illumus is paying attention to these requests and has begun internal discussions on how to address these concerns.
Target Verticals and Brand Strategy
Illumus targets several verticals including education, hospitality, industrial, municipal and retail sectors. The company operates two brands: Green Creative and ILP. While these brands have mostly the same agents, they do not overlap or compete with each other; instead, they complement each other.
ILP focuses on industrial, outdoor, and commercial lighting solutions while Green Creative offers lamps, tubes, downlights, and track lighting options. “There is not an application space that we can’t cover between the two brands,” says Hawley.
With its strategic expansion, commitment to domestic manufacturing, and focus on sustainability, Illumus is poised to continue its growth in the lighting industry.