Jeff Lagaly, CEO of Civilight North America, sits down with enLIGHTenment Magazine to discuss the company’s enhanced presence in the market.
For the past 12 years, Shenzhen, China-based Civilight has made great strides as an innovator in commercial LED lighting and packaging. While the Civilight brand is well-known and respected at all of the major international lighting shows (i.e. Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, Light+Building, Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition), it hasn’t aggressively pursued the North American market – even though it has exhibited at Lightfair International for six years.
“In the past, Civilight’s booth at Lightfair was more focused on market exploration,” explains Jeff Lagaly, a lighting industry veteran who joined the company in December 2013 as CEO. According to Lagaly, there were a few findings that stood out: For example, end customers said they didn’t like buying lamps from many different sources. For example, company A might have the best MR16s, but you also need to buy from company B to get the best PAR lamps. It became apparent [through the discussions at Lightfair] that there was a need for one vendor that could supply high-end products across the board. “Buying from many sources can be confusing to designers as well as their customers,” Lagaly states, adding, “That’s a lot of spec sheets they’d have to learn!” With Civilight, there is a complete assortment of high-quality products from PARs, BRs, linear lighting, and spotlights to other lamp types.
Lagaly – whose previous positions include 11 years at Cree as its World Wide Director of Sales plus 5 years as VP/Sales & Marketing at Intematix among other key lighting positions – is confident that Civilight can address and satisfy all of the needs of the North American marketplace from its new distribution center in Nevada and its new regional offices.
In addition to Lagaly, Civilight of North America has hired Peter Walker (whose previous posts include Cree and WPG Americas) as VP/Channel Sales & Marketing and Sharon Katz (a veteran of Toshiba and MaxLite) as Director of Marketing. Lagaly is based at the firm’s North American headquarters in North Carolina; Walker heads up the California office; and Katz is based in New Jersey.
“Lightfair 2014 will be our coming out party,” jokes Lagaly. “We will be debuting UL-listed products developed for the North American market that are just completing the ENERGY STAR® certification process.” The product assortment can be categorized into three groups: Architectural (at the high end), Commercial, and Professional (which offers products with good CRI at an attractive price point). “We believe we are offering products that fit the requirements sought by lighting showrooms, electrical distributors, and architectural lighting professionals. Civilight’s Lightfair booth is #2308