Lighting Hall of Fame Inductee Harry Kallick Discusses the Evolution of the Lighting Industry
May 24, 2012 - 11:46am
Industry veteran Harry Kallick, who will be inducted into the American Lighting Assn. Lighting Hall of Fame during this year's ALA Conference, describes changes in the industry and ALA over the course of his career.
Harry Kallick, this year's inductee into the ALA Lighting Hall of Fame
Harry Kallick, this year's inductee into the ALA Lighting Hall of Fame

Industry veteran Harry Kallick will be inducted into the American Lighting Assn. Lighting Hall of Fame during the ALA Conference’s Annual Banquet on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

Kallick is a longtime lighting leader who founded Kalco Lighting Inc. in 1981. He used his design, engineering and manufacturing expertise to build the company dramatically before selling it in 2000.  He currently serves as the Chairman of Varaluz and the Managing Partner of Solar Sign Light LLC

Kallick has also been very active in ALA. He served as Chair of the 2001 ALA Annual Conference Committee and was a major supporter of the Membership Campaign Committee and the Bi-National Advertising and PR program. He also served on the Lighting Board of Governors for the Dallas Market Center for 10 years, holding leadership positions on the Board for four of those years. 

Chairman of the Award Committee Stan Johnston says Kallick was chosen because of his support of ALA over the last 30 years. 

“Harry was the very first to recognize the importance of belonging to the organization and helping to promote the ideas of ALA,” Johnston says. “His knowledge of the industry and use of this knowledge to encourage others to help grow the industry make him perfect for the honor of being inducted into the ALA Lighting Hall of Fame.”

Kallick recently spoke to Residential Lighting about the changes he has witnessed in the lighting industry and ALA over his long career and what retailers and manufacturers can do to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

Residential Lighting: How has the lighting industry changed over the past few decades?

Harry Kallick: The past decade alone has shown a tremendous change in distribution channels. E-commerce challenged the traditional model and put a huge amount of pressure on retailers and traditional distributors.  

RL: How are traditional distributors dealing with this pressure?

HK: The good distributors are sharpening their skills, training their salespeople better and aligning themselves with companies that can help them accomplish their goals. 

RL: How has ALA evolved since you first joined?

HK: ALA has had a very positive effect on the industry by bringing the industry closer together and making it more focused. ALA also provides an abundance of educational opportunities for the three factions in the industry — distributors, sales representatives and manufacturers. 

RL: What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the industry today?

HK: The lack of building is a tremendous challenge for the lighting industry today because it has reduced the total volume. The businesses that have survived have to be more on point, and they have to provide better information to drive customer decisions. Since decreasing waste and increasing efficiency are of the utmost importance, the industry must consider the ecology more today than ever before.

RL: How do you see new technology like LED lighting
changing the industry?

HK: There is no question that LEDs are becoming more prominent as they evolve and as the quality, primarily the color rendition, improves. The new, increasingly eco-conscious consumer will benefit as cost reduction occurs. LEDs are yet another way for the lighting industry to lead the country to a more responsible and sustainable future.  

RL: Any advice for lighting manufacturers or showrooms in today’s economy?

HK: First and foremost, they should invest in education. Both manufacturers and showrooms must educate their employees and their customers to understand not only the technology but also the sustainability of lighting decisions.  Providing this value to customers is incredibly important and will set them apart from others.

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