SIC 3645

The residential electric lighting fixtures industry encompasses manufacturers that produce a variety of equipment and components for home use. Popular offerings include chandeliers, desk and floor lamps, glass and metal lamp shades, yard lights, and wall-mounted lighting fixtures. Light bulbs, cloth and plastic lamp shades, flashlights, and lanterns are classified in other industries.

NAICS Code(s)

335121 (Residential Electric Lighting Fixture Manufacturing)

About 50 percent of industry revenues in the late 1990s were derived from stationary, or mounted, fixtures, such as ceiling and wall lamps. Portable lamps, like movable desk and floor lamps, accounted for about 36 percent of shipments. The remainder of revenues was garnered from the sale of lamp shades and various types of parts and accessories. The total value of shipments in 2000 was $2.11 billion, down from $2.37 billion in 1998.

The first lighting apparatus pre-dates the light bulb—in 1650, German Otto von Guericke produced a luminous glow from a spinning globe of sulfur. However, the evolution of modern day lamps and fixtures parallels the popularization of the electric light bulb, which Thomas Edison invented in 1879. Rapid demand for all types of lighting devices helped the residential lighting fixture industry grow to a $1.4 billion business by the early 1980s.

Industry revenues grew sluggishly during the 1980s, despite healthy residential construction markets. Increased foreign competition was a primary reason for stagnant sales. Although revenues reached about $1.8 billion by 1988, the industry suffered a severe commercial development depression and stalled housing starts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sales plummeted about 16 percent between 1988 and 1990 to $1.56 billion.

New home construction buoyed sales to about $1.6 billion in 1992 and to $1.8 billion by 1993. In the mid-1990s, the industry benefited from the passage of nationwide energy initiatives and legislation. The National Energy Security Act of 1992 mandated the use of new energy-saving bulbs, and the EPA's "Green Lights" program encouraged companies to install new energy-efficient lighting fixtures and related products. Many U.S. residential lighting fixture producers rejuvenated lagging margins with sales of the new energy-saving lighting equipment, while others sought profit growth through mergers and acquisitions. The number of companies dwindled from about 650 in the early 1980s to 498 in 1994, as companies combined forces to survive withering demand.

Despite consolidation, the residential lighting fixture industry remained fragmented in the late 1990s. The majority of the top 50 competitors had sales of less than $25 million and employed fewer than 400 workers. The largest producer was Genlyte Group Inc. of New Jersey, which had sales of $456 million from its diversified operations and employed about 2,600 workers. The Genlyte Group Incorporated reported 1998 sales of $664.1 million and had 3,490 employees according to Hoover's Online . The Genlyte Group, Inc. and Thomas Industries, Inc. entered into a joint venture in 1998 creating Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, a top lighting fixture manufacturer in North America. Thomas Industries, Inc. owns a 32 percent interest and Genlyte owns 68 percent in the joint venture, according to Thomas Industries Inc., 1998 Annual Report . Other top competitors in the residential lighting fixture industry include Catalina Lighting, Inc. and Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, Incorporated. Catalina Lighting reported 1999 sales of $176.6 million and had 2,815 employees in 1998. Catalina Lighting fixtures are sold under the names Illuminada, Dana, Catalina and Westinghouse. Product lines include functional and decorative lamps and lighting fixtures. Cooper Lighting manufactures recessed, track, fluorescent, and emergency lighting fixtures. Brand names include Halo, Metalux, Sure-Lites, Lumisre and Optiance.

Industry trends show that job growth for most occupations in this industry will remain stagnant through the early 2000s. Aggregate employment fell from about 22,000 in the early 1980s to about 19,000 in 1995 and to 18,000 in 2000—the result of work force reductions and manufacturing productivity gains. The number of production workers decreased from 13,676 in 1998 to 13,225 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Production workers earned an average hourly wage of $10.10 in 2000.

Further Reading

Darnay, Arsen J., ed. Manufacturing USA. 5th ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.

Cooper Industries. Cooper Lighting/Brands. January 2000. Available from .

Hoover's Online. Catalina Lighting, Inc. December 1999. Available from,2163,11807,00.html .

Hoover's Online. The Genlyte Group Incorporated. December 1999. Available from,2163,13557,00.html .

Thomas Industries, Inc. Thomas Industries Inc. 1998 Annual Report. December 1999. Available from .

United States Census Bureau. 1995 Annual Survey of Manufactures. Washington, DC: GPO, 1997. Available from .

United States Census Bureau. Residential Electric Lighting Fixture Manufacturing 1997. September 1999. Available from .

United States Census Bureau. "Statistics for Industries and Industry Groups: 2000." Annual Survey of Manufacturers. February 2002. Available from .

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