North American lighting fixture manufacturers are optimistic about sales prospects for 2007–2008, particularly in the nonresidential construction market. Manufacturers are more optimistic about profitability than they were two years ago, according to a study conducted by ZING Communications Inc.

Manufacturers see significant opportunities in technological investment and development, marketing/promotion and cost reduction. However, a general lack of education about lighting’s value and product knockoffs present significant threats.

The 2007–2008 Lighting Industry Outlook was designed to explore lighting manufacturer perceptions about business conditions and their companies’ business prospects in the coming year. The study is based on surveys distributed to lighting manufacturers. Results are contrasted with the findings of the 2005–2006 study.

A sizable portion of fixture manufacturers believe that construction activity and their sales will increase in 2007–2008 but are less optimistic about their net profits increasing. Interestingly, respondents at larger companies (>$25 million annual sales) are more optimistic about future profitability than smaller companies.

The top threat trends to fixture manufacturers are general lack of education and product knockoffs.

A large portion of the lighting industry engages offshoring as a business strategy.

Research/technological development, marketing/promotion and cost reduction are the top three opportunity trends for fixture manufacturers (consistent with previous findings).

“The research suggests that lighting fixture manufacturers are more likely than not to believe that nonresidential construction activity, manufacturer sales revenue and average lighting fixture prices will increase over the next two years,” said Craig DiLouie, principal of ZING Communications Inc. “The biggest opportunities for today’s lighting fixture manufacturer are in developing innovative products and aggressively promoting them to the specification market, while the biggest threat remains a lack of education about lighting’s value among end-user markets, indicating there remains a strong need in the industry for an industry marketing and education campaign targeting the end-user.”

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