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Top 200 Electrical Distributor Leaders Find Some Product Launches to Applaud

May 23, 2014
Top 200 electrical distributor executives weren’t exactly effusive in their praise for electrical manufacturers’ product launches over the past year. But there were some definite trends in the responses.

The 140-plus electrical distributors who responded to this year’s survey for Electrical Wholesaling magazine’s annual Top 200 Listing weren’t exactly effusive in their praise for electrical manufacturers’ product launches over the past year. But there were some definite trends in the responses from the 34 distributors who answered “yes” to the question, “Have any new product launches by manufacturers impressed you during the last year?”

It probably comes as no surprise that new LED products were mentioned most, but other electrical products stood out to respondents, too, including Southwire’s Coil-Pak; Brady’s new handheld label printer; Klein’s new glow-in-the-dark wire strippers; and a new fire-stop product from 3M.

Scott Lepsky, marketing manager, F.D. Lawrence Electric Co., Cincinnati, said the 3M FIP One Step Fire Stop launch was “impressive” because of “the time savings and field flexibility demonstrated by the product.” He also liked Holophane’s new Phuzion and Vantage LED fixtures. “Both products have been very well received by our customers and demonstrate the advanced technology now available in LED area downlights,” he said.

Steven Byrne, general manager for Facility Solutions Group, Austin, Texas, mentioned the digital control systems for LEDs produced by Sensity Systems, and “any of the control platforms that are offering wireless control of light points as well as information gathering.” “Product launches are fast and furious on several fronts and leaves much of the traditional market dizzy from the rapid rate of change,” he said.

Legrand’s Adorne undercabinet lighting fixtures drew mentions from several respondents and GE’s new high-bay lighting GE/Albeo LED fixture got a thumbs-up from Mike Pratt, president, American Electric Supply, Corona, Calif., who said in his response, “24,000 lumens and a narrow footprint less than a foot wide and only 30-inch in length. Very impressive fixture.”

RAB Lighting drew substantially more mentions than any other electrical manufacturer from this year’s Top 200 respondents, not only for its steady flow of new LED products and the breadth of its LED product line, but also for the marketing support and product samples it provides distributors. Said Ron Heine, president, Medler Electric Co., Alma, Mich., “RAB Lighting continues to develop and introduce new LED product on a regular basis. Amazing company.”

Tim Berry, president and CEO, Kriz-Davis Co., Grand Island, Neb., also mentioned RAB Lighting’s LED product line additions and said their new products have “kept them in the forefront of LED technologies.” RAB also got positive reviews for its new product development and marketing efforts in last year’s Top 200 survey.

Other manufacturers that drew multiple mentions from Top 200 distributors for their new product development efforts over the past year included Acuity Brands, Cooper Lighting and Philips Lighting.