Kimberly Lighting has been in business for 65 years now. Now called Kimberly LED Lighting, the family-owned company specializes in energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lighting for the residential, business, and industrial sectors, and not a moment too soon – according to Doug Jenkins, Kimberly LED Lighting CEO, the LED market is expected to be a $3 billion market in the next three years, with LED market penetration currently being at only three percent.
“We changed to strictly LED product eight years ago knowing that’s where the market trend is going,” Jenkins says.
The company has worked with numerous Oakland County and Southeastern Michigan businesses, changing over the lights at all 240 Dunham’s Sports locations, and will eventually change over all of the Andiamo restaurants and Dick Scott car dealerships, just to name a few.
LED lighting is an energy-efficient product that is 60 to 80 percent more efficient than any other lighting on the market. This means it will slash 60 to 80 percent off of a company’s electric bill for lighting, being five to 25 times more effective and lasting 50,000 hours instead of 2,500-10,000 hours. In addition to saving actual electric bill costs, because of LED lighting’s longevity companies also save significantly on replacement and labor costs – they won’t need to change out those bulbs for years to come. LED is also completely environmentally safe, as opposed to fluorescent lighting, which contains mercury.
Are you sold yet? If not, then also consider this: energy companies offer rebates for switching over, and the federal government has also mandated stricter regulations on energy efficiency standards, with a second tier of restrictions becoming effective in 2020 and effectively forcing the change.
“It just makes sense to change out, especially for business sector,” Jenkins says. “[Businesses] will cut energy costs by 80 percent and they don’t have to pay an electrician to change out bulbs. It makes sense even without the rebates, but that really helps push them and drive the market.”
The Clarkston-based company does work all over the country, with lighting reps in 44 states, and outside the country as well. Given the meager three percent penetration statistic and the looming federal deadline, Jenkins expects the next three to seven years to be extremely busy for the company.
“By end of this year [market penetration is] expected to be nine percent, and by the end of 2015 it will be 15 percent,” he explains. “Then after that it’s going to skyrocket.”
Kimberly LED Lighting is already extremely busy: the company has doubled its business every year for the past four years. “We maxed out last year’s numbers as of June,” Jenkins says. “The growth potential is still huge.”
They currently employ 12 full-time employees with 25 rep agencies throughout the country employing another two to five people each independently. Jenkins expects to employee 20 people full-time by the first quarter of next year.
On August 1 they celebrated the grand opening of their new 25,000-square-foot facility in Clarkston, moving from their old 4,000-square-foot building. Two hundred people were at the open house, including HGTV star and noted eco-activist Carter Oosterhouse.
Eventually they will bring all assembly in-house, at which point their full-time workforce should double to 40. Jenkins hopes to have this completed by the third quarter of 2015.
Despite LED lighting’s long-term efficiency, Jenkins isn’t concerned that exponential growth now could mean stagnation and decline in the future. “A lot of businesses and factories run 24-7. The product will last for six years and then they’re ready to change again. Plus new construction and new businesses…LED technology continues to evolve also. We might be able to cut someone’s energy costs by another 25 to 30 percent down the road based on new technology.”
Kimberly LED Lighting is especially unique in that it is a full turnkey operation. They will perform a complete energy analysis for the customer, outlining how much changing to LED is going to save them per month and per year, as well as savings on replacement costs and labor. They have people on staff whose jobs it is to handle rebates for their customers. They offer a zero-out-of-pocket shared savings program (since LED is a more expensive product at the outset) for 24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-month terms, so customers can avoid the upfront cash output required to purchase. Additionally, they also handle the installation through their network of contractors all over the country, and handle all repairs and replacements of defective products under their five to seven year warranties.
“No one else does [all of] that,” Jenkins says.
Customers also have confidence in knowing that Kimberly Lighting has been around for 65 years – they aren’t just a fly-by-night lighting company with zero years of experience springing up out of the ether in an effort to cash in on a rapidly-growing multi-billion-dollar industry.
Source: Oakland County