Above All Lighting
- Written by: E.C. Gregg
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
As the LED industry continues to develop and improve longer-lasting and more efficient fixtures, lamps and bulbs, Guy Esposito, understands how hard it can be for customers to keep up, and not just because of what’s on the shelf.
As president of Above All Lighting, a company that designs, manufactures and distributes indoor and outdoor LED light fixtures, he’s seen them struggle through the quagmire of endless high bays, wraps, flat panels and flood lights.
On top of that, he’s watched customers struggle to comply with state-funded rebates and incentives for energy efficient projects which are constantly being updated.
“These rebates can pay for 50 to 70 percent of the cost of a product, so they certainly figure in significantly as to whether a project will make financial sense or not,” Esposito says.
Since it was founded in 2015, Above All Lighting has helped clients in retail, commercial real estate, healthcare and higher education take advantage of these savings by educating them on these complicated standards. And, when the time is right, delivering the right LED product for their needs.
Above All Lighting is headquartered in Toms River, New Jersey, and has two additional distribution centers in California and Oregon, which allows the company to distribute standard and customizable products, such as area lights, outdoor flood lights, highbays, wall packs and garage lights, throughout the U.S.
“We know our customers expect us to be the experts on the technology as well as what the new codes will do and what the codes require,” Esposito says. “In the end, it’s our job to not only know and understand what’s coming … but to be ready ahead of time whenever the changes in the code occur.”
Speeding up design to delivery
To stay ahead of the curve, Above All Lighting has invested heavily in its own design, engineering, testing and mass production facilities.
“I want to take away your lighting headache by giving you the right ‘aspirin,’ in this case, the right product, to solve your lighting pain,” says President Guy Esposito.
Often, when U.S. distribution companies order LED products from 3rd party manufacturers in China, the process of designing and manufacturing the final product can take up to a year. The distribution companies also have to mark up the final price in order to make a profit.
Because Above All Lighting fabricates nearly all of its products in-house, it can react quickly to customer requirements and go from design to delivery in as little as three months. It is also able to offer lower prices than competitors that source overseas.
The plant also gives Above All Lighting’s engineering and design teams more control over the final products. This in turn, allows the company to customize products, which is one of Esposito’s favorite parts of working in this industry.
“It gives us the ability to be creative because each customer comes to us with a specific problem, and we get to use our knowledge to help solve that problem in this role,” he says.
For instance, if the company is manufacturing fixtures for an observatory, Above All Lighting will design an outdoor lighting system using a specific color temperature they know can be filtered out by the observatory’s sensitive telescopes. Meanwhile, the banking industry requires specific light distribution around ATMs so that security cameras can capture the faces of people approaching the ATM.
While these scenarios present their own interesting challenges, Esposito says he most enjoys the work Above All Lighting does for casinos in Las Vegas and across the country.
“It’s such a unique environment,” he says. “For one thing, today’s modern casinos are something of a city within themselves—there are so many parts of those properties that you or I as the consumer don’t see.”
Above All Lighting helps these casinos figure out ways to properly—and flamboyantly—light millions of square feet without breaking the casinos’ budget every month, doing so by experimenting with different products, controls and light temperatures to find the perfect balance.
As a result of collaborating with clients on so many projects, Above All Lighting has over 50 U.S. and overseas patents related to lighting fixtures. Esposito says maintaining this level of innovation means staying in tune with what the market needs out of an LED fixture.
“But frankly, from a business case, it’s also being willing to take a risk.”
The cure for the common light
Esposito’s insights come from spending 30 years in the lighting distribution industry, working for companies like General Electric and Fulham Co. Inc., and he wants to pass this knowledge on to the next generation.
In June, Above All Lighting will launch Lighting University, a series of free online course that will start with lessons on the basics of light and color and go all the way through advanced LED technology.
While the education component has always been important for Esposito, he says his initial goal for starting Above All Lighting in 2015 was to have more control over the process and development of the product line, “and make sure we spent an adequate amount of time listening to what our customers want and who is using our end products and what is important for them,” he says.
At the end of the day, Esposito says he just wants to know what his customers’ biggest headaches are when it comes to lighting.
“I want to take away your lighting headache by giving you the right ‘aspirin,’ in this case the right product, to solve your lighting pain,” he says.
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