How Covid-19 Changed the Lighting & Controls Industry


It’s been over two years since Covid-19 first came to the United States and despite restrictions being lifted almost everywhere world-wide, the lighting controls industry still continues to feel the effects post-pandemic. When the pandemic began, many lighting suppliers thought this change would only bring negative impacts on productivity and profitability and that it could take years to return to pre-covid numbers. While these issues are expected to remain for the foreseeable future, many companies have realized the effects of the pandemic will permanently change their business, but not just in a negative way.

5 Issues Affecting LED Lighting Post-Pandemic

When the Covid-19 pandemic caused a world-wide shutdown, five of the most prevalent issues affecting LED lighting suppliers and contractors were, 1) an increase in build time, 2) postponement of active projects in both the pre and post-design phase, 3) tightening of the labor force, 4) logistics and freight challenges, and 5) delays in getting lighting equipment. Although many of these issues have improved from the most challenging periods of shut-downs, persistent supply chain issues and ongoing freight challenges have caused countless delays on construction projects.

Despite the virus being somewhat contained and manufacturing companies having been open for over a year in many places, the shutdowns have created a massive amount of backorders at the manufacturing level which could take at least another 12-24 months to correct. This supply versus demand dynamic, aided by worldwide inflation, has caused steady increases in supply costs throughout the construction industry.


How Change Can Bring Forth Opportunity

Despite the negative impacts on the industrial lighting controls caused by the lasting effects of the pandemic, many companies like Energy Wise Solutions used the pandemic to reshape the way they do business. For some companies, this was simply the way to stay afloat during and after the pandemic. In other cases, companies were able to open new doors and set themselves up for growth once businesses began to open and construction projects began to restart.

Many companies across the U.S., including Energywise Solutions, have moved forward with a remote or decentralized workforce, which has proven it can be just as efficient and effective as working in-office. Working from home has allowed some lighting professionals more flexibility with less travel, affording companies the opportunity to put more time and money into improving their business systems and customer service. As an example, the supply chain and logistics challenges forced Energywise Solutions to add staffing to specifically manage and relay tracking/timing of delivery information to contractors daily, updated in real time.

These factors have also allowed many businesses to refocus their attention on finding new markets, some of which have opened the door for opportunities they may not have discovered if it was not for the effects of the pandemic. All of this has helped create optimism that despite the severe impact of the pandemic, the lighting and controls industry is stronger and more efficient than ever before.

As a leading supplier of LED fixtures and controls, Energywise Solutions can provide you with energy-efficient illumination solutions and help to manage timelines during these challenging times. To learn more about the lighting fixtures and controls we can design and supply for your facility or next project, get in touch with us today.


Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of Energywise and writes on topics and issues surrounding the lighting and controls industry, industrial lighting control systems, energy management, profitability and sustainability.

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