2017 is coming to a close, and I hope all your hard work has paid strong dividends for your business. We are blessed to be in a remarkable industry with remarkable people... an industry going through significant change. With those changes, there is an incredible amount of opportunity and also uncertainty.
Not long ago, many were concerned about the fate of the incandescent bulb and how regulations would negatively affect lighting sales. With LED and other technologies, ALA members rose to the challenge, revolutionized product lines and delivered high-quality, well-designed, energy-efficient products. Today, our retail lighting stores should stock and demonstrate a full line of LED lamps that meet a wide range of your customer’s needs. By doing so, you can educate your customers, give them an experience they could not have on their own, and further solidify future business and loyalty.
Additionally, the world has become connected. Mobile technologies now allow us to control and monitor our homes in ways we never dreamed of. We have the ability to turn lights on and off, dim them, operate ceiling fans, develop automatic scene controls, and perform these tasks all through our mobile phone or through voice controls. In 2017 alone, 130 million smart home products are expected to be sold, which is a 62.5% increase over 2016.
These seismic changes are providing significant opportunities for our membership, and ALA will help provide the tools and education to navigate in our new connected world.
2018 Action Agenda
As we prepare for 2018, ALA will look to strengthen members' bottom lines. ALA will stay ahead of the LED innovation curve and provide relevant product and application knowledge to attract consumers and professionals to showrooms as the go-to resource for lighting, ceiling fans and control products. In addition, we will embrace the smart/connected home opportunity to market and sell a new generation of simple and reliable connected home experiential solutions that will provide more value and service to end users.
ALA will also maximize the millennial generation by attracting young professionals to support the evolving lighting industry and allow their innovative ideas to help shape priorities for current and future plans.
The ALA 2018 Action Agenda will be mailed soon, and we look forward to your participation and energy to help drive ALA’s mission to sell more lighting, ceiling fan, control and connected products.
ALA has scheduled more than 20 committee, board and foundation meetings, and we hope you all will make plans to take advantage of our educational offerings. We have scheduled the following seminars: Recessed Lighting – Design and Application Part I , Layouts, Analysis and Justification – Design and Application – Part II , and Understanding Dimming – Opportunities and Misconceptions .
ALA and Dallas Market Center are working together and partnering to bring trend guru Paul Thompson to Market to host merchandising tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18. Tours will start from the ALA booth on Trade Mart 4 (front escalators) and each tour will visit several exhibitors. In addition to providing inspiration, tour content will also focus on how displays could translate into retail environments with constraints on space and budget.
For a list of ALA seminars and registration information, click here .
After a great response at the ALA Conference, ALA will hold a Women in the Industry event on Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 5 - 6 p.m. The event is being hosted at the Swarovski showroom, TM 4926.
ALA is also co-hosting an event for all industry members under the age of 40, who are invited to join the ALA Young Executives and ART Under 40 groups for Cheers with Peers. The event is sponsored by ALA, ART and the Dallas Market Center and will be Thursday, Jan. 18 from 5 - 6 p.m. at the IDHC Gallery on the 1 st floor of the World Trade Center.
Sales Tax Equality/Marketplace Fairness
ALA is continuing its fight to provide sales tax equality and marketplace fairness between brick-and-mortar and online sales. ALA joined several prominent industry trade groups in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States to support the State of South Dakota in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair – a case about the collection and remittance of sales tax from internet companies. ALA has long championed such efforts to support lighting retailers, who are currently dealing with the burden placed on them by the practice known as showrooming, the ongoing trend of consumers receiving the benefit of ALA members’ training and knowledge, only to then go online to purchase products. To view the amicus brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court, please click here.
New ALA Website Launch
In January, we are excited to launch a completely redesigned website. The new ALA website will feature two sections, one geared towards consumers and the other towards industry professionals. The consumer site will feature articles on lighting design, industry trends, and lighting fundamentals. It is our hope these resources will be helpful to consumers and will also serve as a source of content for our members to share with their customers. The industry professionals site is where members will go to access ALA education materials, the latest industry and association news, as well as other key member resources. This two-part design was developed in hopes of making the site easier to navigate for both consumers and members alike and be an everyday, go-to resource.
ALA Volunteer Community
The drive and energy that you bring to ALA is appreciated, and is a testament to the success of each of your individual businesses. If you would like to participate on a committee in 2018, please complete the committee volunteer form
and email it to my attention. I also want to recognize that many members have difficulty serving on a committee, task force or board because of the time commitment it requires. That is okay. Volunteerism comes in many shapes and forms.
Your promotion of ALA is another way in which you can give back to the association. ALA offers myriad resources to help you drive consumer sales. We encourage you to place the ALA logo
( JPEG ) on your advertising materials, website, shipping boxes, etc. That is just one of the many ways your membership provides added value to your brand. Our focus is on providing a variety of promotional tools for you to utilize as is, or customize for your particular business. It's easy to connect with your customers through sharing the ALA blog , Bright Ideas e-newsletter , Lighting magazine , the ALA Newsfeed , and our new "Lighting Trends" video .
With the holiday season approaching, I wish everyone a prosperous and joyous conclusion to the 2017 year. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to ALA and the lighting industry.
Eric Jacobson, CAE
President and CEO
American Lighting Association